Java Games: Kickabout League

For the sake of posterity, and for completeness, I am including links to software I wrote in my first job. I graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2007 and was hired to write Java browser games to complement Runescape.

Kickabout was a highly ambitious multiplayer football game which I designed and wrote for It had over half a million players at its peak during the 2010 World Cup.


The goal was to test realtime multiplayer mechanics over TCP - which turns out to be a very tough problem.

  • Fortunately, a year after launch, the IETF standardised WebSockets, which provides a much more elegant solution.
  • Sadly, it means the game quickly became obsolete!

I led a team of four people to develop the game over eighteen months. Kickabout featured an auction house, player customisation, and 4v4 in-browser multiplayer. The game is based on the simplified soccer games I used to enjoy on the NES when I was young.

  • The game is still available online [as of 2016] but it’s tied to a backend infrastructure which is unlikely to remain online while Jagex winds down their commercial service.

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