With Avengers: Endgame setting new box office records, it's clear that superheroes play a critical role across multiple major entertainment industries. And while Marvel's cinematic universe has no shortage of memorable stars with incredible stories to tell, superpowered characters also make for ideal video game protagonists.
2018's Spider-Man revolves around Peter Parker's superheroic abilities, and his powers take center stage in nearly every aspect of gameplay, from traversal to combat.
Fighting game franchises like Marvel vs Capcom and Injustice also populate their rosters with superpowered heroes and villains, while Sony's Infamous series and Activision's Prototype games introduce original superheroes that pay tribute to their comic book predecessors.
For Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, our readers designed games featuring superheroic gameplay mechanics. Here are our top picks!
Mateusz Kimak, QA Tester, Poland, Mystic Little Lies (see page 2)
Eddy Alain NJIKI.T, Game Design Student at ArtFX in Montpellier, France, Spirit (see page 3)
HUE Lorène, Game Design Student at ArtFX in Montpellier, France, The Dazzler Concert (see page 4)
Renato Araújo Lima, Student at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brazil, Professor X (see page 5)
Luiz Henrique Freire Gadioli Cavalcanti, Student at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brazil, Untitled (see page 6)
Mateusz Kimak, QA Tester, Poland, Mystic Little Lies
This is a game about lying.
The Player controls famous X-men mutant Mystique and her shapeshifting abilities in the mission of infiltrating the government of the United States and to do that well she needs to learn how to lie effectively.
Mystic Little Lies is a Hitman-style stealth game with a twist. Mystique can kill/stun opponents and change into them but NPC's in this universe knows each other so the main focus of the game is to get to know them to properly pretend to be them. Each individual NPC has 2-3 private life facts, hobby, and likes or dislike other NPCs, all these information are generated randomly. Mystique can be at any moment interrupt by someone and need to stay in the role to avoid being unmasked. The key is to remember information and to juggle them to fool others into being this person.
Methods to get information about NPCs:
Listening - NPC walks on the map and randomly and chat with each other randomly generate texts like: "Hey, what about Karen, I heard that her daughter went to this school for mutants" or "Did you watch yesterday game? I was sure that Lakers gonna loose" or "OMG I hate Derek he is so big pain in the ass".
Pickpocketing - Mystique can steal NPC's wallets and read documents like Driver license or Passwords to get the pieces of information.
Threatening - when being one on one with NPC Mystique can question him/her to get the needed information.
Googling - In the HUB between missions, Mystique can find online information about more famous NPC's in the building.
Talking - in disguise Mystique can casually talk with other NPC to get information about them. The key is to avoid talking with not liked persons and to not being unmasked via asking the wrong questions.
The game is in the universe when everyone knows about mutants and their abilities and Mystique is pretty famous so all NPC can easily get suspicious and ask uncomfortable questions. Player have always three options to answer and only one is correct. When a false option is chosen the trust level of NPC goes down. When it drops to zero Mystique is being arrested or kill (depends on certain NPC and/or area).
All the missions happen in highly restricted areas starting in big corporations through army area to the final mission in White House. Missions objectives are typical for this kind of games mostly about stealing something, getting restricted information or killing someone. The objective of the whole game is to change the Mutant's law.
Eddy Alain NJIKI.T, Game Design Student at ArtFX in Montpellier, France, Spirit
Spirit is an adventure and Puzzle game.
Synopsis: You play as John, a seriously ill teenager who is forced to stay locked in his hospital room. But john has a superpower, he can bring out his mind from his body like a ghost, in this form he goes through everything he touches and he uses it to escape his room and fly above the city. He can also possess people in order to save them from dangerous circumstances.
You have to observe the situation and possess the characters who can resolve the puzzle.
Everybody have different abilities, for example, you can control a strong man who can push heavy objects or a kid who can sneak into narrow places like ventilation ducts. But John can only possess them a limited amount of times before his spirit goes back in his body, so you will have to possess and act smartly and in the good order.
If you can save at least one person, the level is complete.
For example, in a building on fire for example, you will have to use different person in order to save everybody.
You are capable to succeed because you have an overall view of the situation when you are in your phantom form. Like you can see a key for a door behind rubble, and possess the child and sneak to pick her up or use your phantom form to see the exact position of a survivor and possess and help him with the right tools to get them out.
In this situation, if John possess Joe to open the door, and posses paul to move the rock, and re-possess joe to open the second door, i will not have enough possess to finish the level, so the solution here is pretty simple, John have to possess paul first to move the rock, Posses Joe to open the two door and possess billy to sneak into the vent and get out.
HUE Lorène, Game Design Student at ArtFX in Montpellier, France, The Dazzler Concert
Pitch: The Dazzler Concert is a mix between a rhythm game and a tower defense, ideally the game would have an artistic direction in 2D isometric.
Synopsis: You play Dazzler. In concert, an army of hellfire minions, eager to kidnap Dazzler. The heroine and singer will have to use her powers to destroy her opponents, converting the music into laser beams.
Powers: Dazzler has several attacks that consume all of the stored.
Sonic conversion: She has the power to absorb the sonic vibrations that reach her body. // Fill the jauge.
Projection of light: The absorbed sound is converted into light by his body. // Consume the gauge.
Dazzler can manipulate the photonic energy and change its direction, frequency, amplitude (intensity) and duration.
It can create a light pulse of several thousand Watts / sec, which temporarily blinds those who look at it.
It can generate a solid light beam or a light burst close to 99.9% of the laser.
It can form a photonic shield around it, powerful enough to deflect or destroy small projectiles.
Movements: The player can move Dazzler on a line on the stage, with the left stick on the controller.
Game Over : If Dazzler's hit points drop to 0, the player loses the game.
Win : The player wins if Dazzler is still alive at the end of time, and all enemies are destroyed.
2. Rhythm mechanic
With their keyboard or controller, the player must follow series of inputs for Dazzler to sing and his musicians to continue playing.
Combo: When the player makes combos, the attack of Dazzler will be more powerful, and will be able to touch several targets at the same time.
3. Enemies: Their attacks, resistances, pv and damage are different from each other.
Elite Soldier (Green)
Obstacles: Obstacles can block the enemy's path, forcing them to change lines.
Musicians: The rhythm of the music gives to Dazzler a constant source of sound to convert.
After each game, the player will collect points/money to buy new items. They do not move on the map, and stay at the defined location.
Companions : Companions are towers. Before the game, they are placed on the card by the player. They automatically attack the enemies, and can, according to their effects, boost Dazzler.
After the purchase of a companion, it will gain levels during the game, until reaching its maximum. However, at the next part, its level is reset to 1.
They have their own purchase cost in points/money, different hit points, damages, different attacks, attack speed, attack range, attack type and specific abilities and resistance.
Special Object :
Score: There is a score, which increases thanks to the combo and the successful inputs, and to each killed enemy.
Gauge of Sounds: This gauge stores the sound absorbed by Dazzler, each enemy makes sound, as well as the speakers that transmit the voice of the heroine, and any companions.
Attacks select: Using the RT / LT inputs, the player can select an attack to throw as soon as the gauge contains enough sound.
Inputs, Rhythm : The inputs to be followed are indicated on the right side of the screen.
Timer: The timer of the game is represented by the time bar of the music. The game ends when the music is over.
Renato Araújo Lima, Student at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brazil, Professor X
Charles Xavier is a mutant, a specie of men that carries a special gene which gives him super powers. Throughout time, it was very rare to have this gene activated, but, by a cosmic burst, many people started to demonstrate signs of the same mutation.
With the help of his team, he must find these new mutants and stop the Brotherhood, a group of misguided ones that are trying to fight against mankind. These are lead by a former colleague of Xavier, Eric Lehnserr (Magneto).
The first fight is trying to defend a US military base and you are in the control of the battle strategy.
Your team (The original X-Men): Beast, Marvel Girl (Jean), Iceman, Angel, Cyclops
First Opponent: Magneto
At the end of the mission, the government makes a deal with Charles to keep them out of sight from media and distance from the school for gifted youngsters. Now that Xavier and the X-Men have freedom of the terrain. You can expand, enhance and edit the mansion to host new students and build new teams to defend the world and prepare mankind for a more equally balanced and righteous place for everyone.
There are 3 game modes: story, management and battles. The story is basically fused in all the interactions, but mostly during his time with the students and team members, understanding them and teaching morale and how to use their powers. If the student are unsatisfied, they become stubborn and even can get out of the school.
With the help of your crew, you can order and plan new changes in the school, gather resources and improve equipment for the teams. To teach them, you should decide which characters will be the masters of each class.
By getting in the Cerebro, a machine that boost your powers, you can choose rescue, stealth and defensive missions, the team of mutants that will participate and their equipment, by spending resources. During the mission, you can give commands, boost morale and even try to use your psychic power to take control of some object or enemy.
Special features could be implemented like a "Pokemon Go" mutant search or even a VR version of the game that could give more immersion into the characters perspective.
In the end, the main goal should be a battle strategy game with "Persona" character build and using the lore of this huge marvel brand to take the role of this brilliant mind, director and hero, Professor Charles Xavier.
Luiz Henrique Freire Gadioli Cavalcanti, Student at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brazil, Untitled
A mobile idle game where the player must manage a life of a superhero, as like his agent, making him grow more and more.
Each hero will have powers like: super-strength, super-speed, elastic limbs, talk to animals, breathe underwater, cross inanimate objects and others. Those powers will be chosen at the beginning of the game.
These powers can give you advantages or disadvantages in some missions and will help define your status.
The agent can define the actions that your hero can perform. Each action requires an amount of time to be developed and may have lasting consequences such as:
Train Hero: Makes your hero train to level up, this can take a few minutes or longer, depending on your hero's level. As the level up, the hero can perform more missions, increase his attributes and with a high level can unlock new powers.
Quests: Doing quests the player will get rewards like xp, money, ranking points or even costumes. The missions can be escort, investigate, protect or battle. When selecting a mission the hero will stay in it for the predetermined time of the mission until completing it.
Ranking points: With them the player fills a bar that defines their rank that can vary from 'E' to 'S', the higher your ranking the greater the chances of getting bonuses on missions. To get ranking points the player can complete missions or get sponsorship.
Sponsorship: As your hero grows, sponsors will chase after him to make advertisements. For this, it is necessary to negotiate with them. The player, at the time of the negotiation, will go to a screen where there will be a "mini-game" when he must choose the right dialogue to achieve the sponsorship. Sponsorship will also generate an amount of money within a certain time.
Money: can be used to improve your base, enabling better and faster training and you can also buy new outfits (some costumes can give to the hero a bonus effect).
The community of players can also develop their own costume and publish it for it to be analyzed and inserted into the game.
Mini-game: While the hero is on a mission the player can play some mini-games, which vary depending on the hero's mission, this will give little xp to your hero and will reduce the time needed to complete the mission. In this mini-game he will control the hero and have to pass through simple challenges such as running while diverting objects, unraveling a crime scene seeking evidence, or even hit the target that appears randomly on the screen.
Guild: A player, through game money, can set up his hero society where he can call friends to participate in it so they can participate in exclusive missions together.
The heroes are customizable, the player can set the name and appearance including of course, their super costume!