Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Game Idea: Doggie Soccer/Keep Away

Lately I've been playing with the puppy dog at my house.  His name is Bubba and he is a Great Dane/Pitt Bull Mix, is about 6 months old and very rambunctious.  Recently his Momma got him a basketball, and we have been having a blast playing with it.  The thing is deflated enough so that he can get a pretty good grip on it, and my job is to try and knock it out of his mouth.

As I play, I start to think of a scoring system.  For Bubba, his basic way of scoring points is time of possession.  I imagine a shot clock ticking up as he holds onto the ball.  For me, my points come from getting the ball away from him.  Of course, he is faster than me, and has more energy, so if he really wants to, he can just play keep away all day.  But that's not fun, and I will quickly throw down the controller (metaphorically) and leave.  So I imagine that the possession clock isn't worth all that many points, and it either tapers off or cuts off after a certain number of seconds.

He is very good at snatching the ball back up when I've kicked it or knocked it away from him.  95% of the time, he is the one to regain possession, not me.  This leads me to another scoring-system feature.  I think that I should get points based on the distance I am able to knock the ball, and he gets points based on the speed of his recovery.  Like a little bonus get of a sort.  Occasionally, I am able to recover the ball, and gain complete possession.  I think there are bonus points there as well, though the fact that I can launch the ball across the yard may be enough compensation for me.

So, using this scoring system, I think he and I are pretty evenly matched.  I haven't tweaked the actual points rates, and of course I don't have the facilities to measure out time of possession, but that's because this is really just me playing with a dog, and not a video game.  Might be a reasonably fun  video game though.


P.S.  When I was coming up with this idea, I also thought of a game called "Hokra" that i played at the cooperative gaming coop.  This was a four-player sports game, for an invented sport.  Two teams of two try to hold a ball in one of four goal zones.  Points rack up while in possession in a goal zone.  The other team tries to knock the ball away and gain possession.  What I love about Hokra is the fun, but also its simplicity.  Both in rules and fully embraced, minimalist graphics.  It was really fun to play, but I only got half the idea as there were just two of us playing.  I'd love another shot at it.  I wonder what ever happened to ol' Hokra anyhow?  Not to mention the Cooperative Gaming coop.


P.P.S.  I've also come up with stages for Doggie Soccer.  One is a backyard, fairly typical, with a fence and maybe some patio furniture or something.  Then there is the Soccer Field, which has no obstacles and a perfectly smooth surface, and even goals, which could be optioned for points.  And the third is the 'doggie dominated yard' which is a yard that is littered with holes, chewed up pieces of garbage, ripped apart toys, and everybody's favorite:  dog poop.  This stage is skewed to the advantage of the dog, as points are lost for stepping in dog crap or tripping in a hole and twisting your ankle.  I'd like to add that this is the stage I typically play Doggie Soccer in  >;)  

1 comment:

  1. I never played any of the Nintendog titles, but this sounds like something that wouldn't be too difficult to implement and for all I know, there might already be something similar in those games.