Games rooted in football skills

With centres across the US, TOCA Football invites football players of all ages and experience levels to reach their full potential. Following PRELOADED’s successful collaboration with TOCA Social, we teamed up with the TOCA Football team to explore how new games and digital play could expand their progressive training program.

Using TOCA’s latest proprietary technology, the Touch Trainer and Smart Targets, PRELOADED was tasked with developing group-based challenges and a seamless digital-to-physical integration for a next-generation training experience. The result is a technical framework and a series of innovative games rooted in football skills – making the active player more willing to improve, socialise, compete, and have fun with others.


Players that visit TOCA Football primarily look for coaching and personal development, and their training programme builds skills through quality repetitions and group-based challenges. Designing for this audience meant striking a balance between games that are fun and engaging to play, whilst capable of delivering the specific coaching needs of individual players.

Specifically, PRELOADED was asked to create a multi-player social experience, driven by low-threshold games rooted in football culture, reinforcing the value of community and bringing players together through the love of the sport. The games also had to work with existing infrastructure whilst being flexible enough to work with future technology and curriculum.

The starting point for PRELOADED’s game design process was to dive into the core skills, learning objectives and the diverse elements that help football players reach their full potential. Through interviews with active players, ex-professionals and coaches, PRELOADED concepted game modes and play types based around specific skills. These were later validated with SMEs before moving into a prototyping phase with the target audience.

PRELOADED's engineering team helped us to architect a flexible games engine in Unity, allowing us to design and build a library of thousands of training games based on TOCA’s unique methodology. ”

Akshay Shrivastava, CIO, TOCA Football
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Designing a hybrid, physical-digital play space during lockdown required a flexible approach. The layout of each TOCA centre is unique, with different positions and sizes of TVs around the pitches. To understand how players saw and interacted within the space, PRELOADED developed a VR simulation that allowed us to move around the pitch and experience it first-person. This allowed us to test legibility of the stats and text on screen, and design a game UI that effectively communicated feedback back to the players on the field. 

Easy set-up of the goals and ball delivery was also a key priority for nailing the player flow. The layout needed to help players understand the game and have minimal variance between games to aid understanding and reduce set-up time. To map out the constraints and affordances of the space, we created a demo version of the TOCA pitch in the PRELOADED studio. This enabled us to fine-tune the positioning of the smart targets and touch trainer, synchronise the visual cues for player on-boarding – allowing for more team-based fun in a player-friendly environment.

Soccer is all about finding and creating space on the field - with PRELOADED’s help, we were able to integrate 'light projections' into our experience, that guide a player’s movement.”

Akshay Shrivastava, CIO, TOCA Football


Each of the games are concepted based around specific sets of skills and every session is built around a game mode that dictates what the team dynamic is – competitive, co-operative or individual turns. These modes, combined with different game types, create a scalable framework that requires minimal intervention, enabling a trainer to oversee multiple sessions at the same time.

Driving the team spirit is a feedback system which gives key players performance stats in real-time, displayed on the TV screens. These show the overall performance of each team along with displaying benchmarks for comparison against different play levels. At the end of the session, the metrics facilitate a call-to-action for each team and what they can benefit from their one-on-one coaching.

The result of the collaboration is a new series of training games that are rooted in football culture and based around core TOCA’s skills, with a direct emphasis on team fun and engagement.

Are you interested in learning more about digital and physical play? Get in touch with our team.

The feedback system gives players performance stats in real-time, displayed on the TV screens.

PRELOADED exceeded our expectations as a game design and development partner. I'm very proud of the technology-based innovation we are able to drive with our collaboration – transforming player development in the world of soccer.”

Akshay Shrivastava , CIO, TOCA Football