Results From Game Design Challenge: No Sports? No Problem!

By Danny Cowan [11.26.19]

Simulations of real-world sports have been around since Tennis for Two, and since those early days, nearly every sport imaginable been recreated in the world of video games. Many of these games build themselves around a single athlete or sports figure, like the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series or Madden NFL, though their cover stars typically have little to do with the core gameplay.

Other games, however, take their sports star license in a completely different direction, with memorable results. Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City dragged the NBA megastar off the court and into a 2D platformer with breakable backboards that award power-ups. 2002’s Go! Go! Beckham! Adventure on Soccer Island places soccer star David Beckham in a side-scrolling quest to stop the evil Mister Woe using an enchanted soccer ball. While both of these games incorporate their stars' real-world skills to an extent, their fantasy elements add a spark of creativity that we'd like to see more of in modern titles.

For Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, our readers designed non-sports games starring professional athletes. Here are our top picks!

Best Entries

Katie Pearson, Student at High Point University, Michael Phelps Goes Grocery Shopping! (see page 2)

Michael Clemons, Indie Game Designer from Chicago, IL, Stone Cold vs. The Atrocity Crew (see page 3)

Raismuanda Bin Rusdi, Student at Multimedia University in Malaysia, Serena Williams: Invasion of Wimbledon (see page 4)

Veronika Tanaeva, Junior Indie Game Designer in Moscow, BiaDefense (see page 5)

Jeremy Guillory, Student at River Valley High School in Yuba City, CA, Michael Phelps: Medal Mania (see page 6)


Katie Pearson, Student at High Point University, Michael Phelps Goes Grocery Shopping!

In this game concept, you play as Michael Phelps going grocery shopping!


Your goal is to go shopping for your entire list of groceries while also staying within your budget. The player will need to make choices of which brands to buy and what on the list is exactly important to proceed to buy. The player can also choose to pick up snacks to please Michael.


Since Michael loves swimming there will be a water meter displayed that fills up the closer the player gets to water bottles. As the player, you DO NOT want that meter to fill up. You want to stay as far away from the water as possible. If the player fills up the water meter, then Michael will proceed to dive into the bottles because he is so detached from reality from his love of water. This causes the player to lose the level and has to start over from the beginning. But every time the game is restarted, the grocery store looks different so the player will never know exactly where to water or other items will be.


If the player can successfully take Michael shopping then the player is taken to the cash registers and the game is complete! Michael gets to go home with plenty of food and no water-related incidents.


Michael Clemons, Indie Game Designer from Chicago, IL, Stone Cold vs. The Atrocity Crew

GENRE 3rd person 3D fighting/adventure

PRO ATHLETE Stone Cold Steve Austin

After retiring from Pro Wrestling, Stone Cold opens up a bar called Austin 3:16. He is enjoying his everyday life drinking beers until a tough looking man comes into his establishment looking for with a death threat message. The message alerts him that a four-man group called the Atrocity Crew is looking him with aid of the local biker gangs and it is best that he leaves town. Within receiving it, He attacks the messenger and sends him off with a message.


GAME CONCEPT

The player, as Stone Cold Steve Austin, must move through different locations around the city brawling through these local biker gangs in order to encounter the four-man crew. Because Stone Cold is a former Professional wrestler combat revolves around a mixture of street fighting and wrestling ring action. The player will also have access any items (4x4 board, tires, garbage can, etc...) present to be used as a weapon in order to advance to reduce the number of assailants coming for him.

To be successful in a given fight, the player has to not only reduce the health of any assailant, he must also monitor all three bars: health, adrenaline and stamina. Losing too much health struggling with one foe might leave you in a predicament when you turn to face any remaining adversaries. Likewise, losing too much stamina will keep the player from being able to execute attacks and dodges. When health and stamina are low the player must use the environment to avoid engagement. During that time these resources will slowly replenish. Adrenaline bar is an essential component of combat in the game. Taunting his assailants will cause the adrenaline bar levels to increase. However, taking a damage will cause the levels to drop as well his Health bar. Once the bar is full, the player can going into a Mania rush mode. The player is becomes invincible and invulnerable to all attacks.

GAMEPLAY MECHANICS


Raismuanda Bin Rusdi, Student at Multimedia University in Malaysia, Serena Williams: Invasion of Wimbledon

Story

This is your final match, you was about to get last score that can determine your win. But before the ball reaching the floor, something happen. A huge explosion that emits powerful wave that blast the entire stadium court. An attack from the sky. I was invasion.You woke up badly injured and people running as the alien attacking them. Then you realize you still holding your racket...

Scope

Mechanics

Movement 

Combat

Life and spawn

Challenges

Winning and losing conditions

Winning

Losing

Reward and punishment

Reward

Punishment


Veronika Tanaeva, Junior Indie Game Designer in Moscow, BiaDefense

BiaDefense
Tower-defense game with hero-biathlete

Biathlon. In the middle of the race, right in front of Sven Fisher a portal was opened to another world. He was consumed by this new world, where half of creatures defend towers, and the other half tries to destroy them. The portal was closed before Fisher could get out of there.

So, BiaDefense - tower-defense game with hero starring Sven Fisher, worldwide famous biathlete. You build and upgrade towers, as usual, but also command Fisher to confront the enemies. He can run faster standing on skies, use his skies to block the paths, so enemies have to break them before they go further, use ski polls to fight in melee and sometimes climb the tower to shoot enemies with his riffle. Enemies sometimes drop wood for skies and bullets for riffle in addition to gold for towers. 


Jeremy Guillory, Student at River Valley High School in Yuba City, CA, Michael Phelps: Medal Mania

For my game, the professional athlete is Michael Phelps. Michael Phelps is a 28 time Olympic medalist. I have an idea where a thief steal all of Phelps' medals, and there are a series of challenges for Michael to find all of this medals to regain power. Each medal represents a different topic or trait important to Michael Phelps. For example, a medal could be based on confidence, happiness, love, speed, power, etc. Michael must find all of these medals to become the person he was before.

The thief has sold the medals to Michael's past rivals. These are people like Ryan Lochte Chad le Clos (who were some of Michael's biggest competitors). Michael Phelps could even have a sidekick (his wife Nichole Phelps maybe..). They could fight Michael's rivals by using Michael's thunder thighs or Nichole's goggle gun. The rivals could try to capture Michael and his wife by using a giant swim cap. The final rival is a giant shark that Michael must race to retrieve the last medal. The race would be 750 miles, making it the longest distance Phelps has ever swam.

When Michael finally defeats his toughest rival and regains all of this medals, he returns back to normal life with his wife and kids. The journey lasts a long time and is full of action-packed adventure. Michael is relieved to have won the battle and have his life return to reality.   

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