Results From Game Design Challenge: Pool Party!

By Danny Cowan [06.26.18]

With summer arriving, pools everywhere are opening up to hot summer crowds. From city-run public pools to massive water parks, taking a dip with others to cool off from the heat is a summer tradition for many all over the world. But while a few games such as the recent Swim-Out have used swimming pools as a backdrop, it's not a setting you see developers use very often. Let's see if we can change that.

For Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, our readers designed games that take place at a swimming pool. Here are our top picks!

Best Entries

Xavier Ekkel, Experimental Game Developer, TYVB Swimming (see page 2)

Owen Jones, Student at Herzing University-Madison, A Splash of Love (see page 3)

Lorène Hue, Student at Artfx School, Montpellier, Why I Hate Kids In Swimming Pools (see page 4)

Briana Dinkins, Student at Herzing University-Madison, Float 2 Go (see page 5)

Gustavo Moreira Silva, Game Designer, Pirates & Mermaids (see page 6)


Xavier Ekkel, Experimental Game Developer, TYVB Swimming

TYVB Swimming is a ragdoll-based swimming game, where players help a swimmer finish a 100m race using only the T, Y, V, and B keys. It is inspired by Bennett Foddy's game QWOP.

The T and Y keys (at the top of the keyboard) control the swimmer's left and right arms, respectively, whilst the V and B keys (at the bottom of the keyboard) control the swimmer's left and right legs, respectively.

The game is player from a top-down perspective. The game starts with the swimmer standing on the block, ready to dive in, and players use their legs (V and B keys) to jump off the block into the water. The momentum from the dive can be utilised to reach a further distance faster.

The race is 100m and the swimming pool is 50m long, meaning players will have to race to the other side and back to complete the race. This provides an additional challenge, as players who reach the other side will have to manoeuvre the swimmer to turn around and swim in the opposite direction (the camera/UI will rotate so that the T and Y keys are always where the swimmer's arms are).


The player's goal is to finish the race (or get as far as they can) without drowning. The swimmer will drown (and thus lose) if their head is below water for too long without taking a breath, so players will need to use their arms to make sure their head regularly stays above water. If players can manage to finish the race, they can challenge themselves to improve their completion time.


Owen Jones, Student at Herzing University-Madison, A Splash of Love

Hello, welcome to the Aquaria Health Club! Our motto is 'Have a splash in our majestic blue world!' What we do here is focus our time on club and fun activities like teaching kids how to swim to training our local hometown swimmers to become a professional athlete. Not interested in doing anything active, don't worry about that as we show you our zen room where you can bathe in the sun, float in our lazy tubes, and overall relax to our serene music and decor. The possibilities are endless here in the land of twenty different pool grounds. Enjoy your stay and remember 'Have a splash!'


A Splash of Love is an interactive dating visual novel where you play as a new citizen in Zaffre City. Create a character where your gender pronoun is through your own decision. Decide which player model are you whether masculinity or femininity is the dominant feature in both male and female or the natural gender-neutral model. You came to Zaffre City in search of a job and also the search for an unexpected lover. Are you more of a pool cleaner, a swimming coach, a lifeguard, or something else?


Interact with ten different potential lovers and their experience by the chlorinated waters. Train with a Russian athlete who wants to represent America in the Olympics as a swimmer. Teach a foreign girl who is afraid of being in the water how to swim. Befriend a parent who has a kid is learning how to swim. Become the fantasy lifeguard of a person's dreams as you rescue them from drowning. Learn about the secret visitor who sneaks into the health club at night.

Help out one of Aquaria's finest teachers as they demonstrate all the ways to enjoy being in the water. Run into a mischievous deviant who just happens to have fun in the pool like a typical college party boy. Discover the legendary swimming spots with a traveler who wants to swim with the stars. Fall in love with your former high school friend, that you can decide their gender on, as they decide to move to Zaffre City and start over. Finally, meet up with a mystical mermaid who wants to not only experience life on land but find someone to marry.


Be careful about what you say to your potential lovers, they might not like who you are if the dates and interaction are bad. Play minigames from questions to matching games that allow you to earn more money for your job so you can take your special someone out on a date or travel destinations. Earn special computer graphic scenes (CGs) as you spend more time with each character. Don't be scared to dip your toe in the water, there is plenty of fish here to date. Sometimes a splash of love is all you need before that attraction turns into a massive wave of love for your soulmate.


Lorène Hue, Student at Artfx School, Montpellier, Why I Hate Kids In Swimming Pools

Pitch

Why I hate kids in swimming pools is scoring game, with a 3th person view set in a 3D Cartoon universe, in a camping ground's public swimming pool.


Synopsis:

You play a kid in a public pool. You must going home in 3 minutes, and you want enjoy alone to the pool. You use actions, skills and weapons to make leaves people. But be careful! The Supervisor pool and your Mom doesn't has to see you make disturbing actions against other people. 

Gameplay:

1. Character: The character interacts with level elements like :

Actions:Character make actions to disturb NPC.

Skills:Upgrades actions. (Intensity, reach)

2. Weapons: Character is allow to use special weapon on NPC to accomplish the goal.

Weapons are customizable (colours, pattern, skins). And Water gun are upgradeable (water reserve, reach, precision).


3. NPC:

4. Objectives: Each level give a list of different objectives to the player. When the player achieves more than half of objectives, he gain the access to the next level.

5. Levels: Each level is different (Decors, NPC, Objectives). Player is allow to buy the access to another level with coins.

6. Timer: Timer give 3 minutes to the player to make NPC leave the pool. After this time, the character quit the pool with his Mom.

7. Score: Each time the character to make a NPC leave the pool, and do a disturbing action, the score increase.

8. Coins: At the end of the game, the player gain coins in function of his actions. Coins are spend to buy weapons, ameliorations, skills and skins.


Briana Dinkins, Student at Herzing University-Madison, Float 2 Go

Love swimming pools and floats?  Then Float 2 Go is the game to play.  Float 2 Go is a video game with a target audience of 10+.   Float 2 Go has both a single and a multi-player game mode, to bring racing games to a whole new level.  With a swimming pool setting, the player has the availability to upgrade & customize floats to help them win, but first after completing a pre-run around the pool.

Game Play:

Float 2 Go has two parts to each level that the player has to complete.  First, all players start out at a starting line at one end of the pool (start line will be indicated by yellow line).  After a countdown, the player must run around the two times pool before they are able to jump into the pool for the second part of the race.  If the player runs to fast, (example around corners) then there's a greater chance at falling and having to start back at the starting line.  A maximum time will be set in each level depending on the pool size. 

Once the player has completed the race around the pool, they are now able to start the second part of the race.  In the second part of the player, the player will jump into the pool and swim to where there designated float is place.  Once the player reaches the float they will have to try to swim with the float to the other side twice before completing the level. When they complete this part the player with the best times wins.

As the player advances within Float 2 Go, there will be obstacles place within the pool to have to avoid. Rubber ducks, tennis balls to name a few. If a player swims into an obstacle, there will be a deduction of 2 seconds per touch. 

The player at the end of the race will be able to continue on to the next level of pools.  In beginning of Float 2 Go, the swimming pool will start out small and get bigger as the player advances.  In level one it will contain a "kiddie pool" size, and increase to an Olympic size pool.

Customization of floats will come available to the player after completion of level 2 .  Customizing your float includes color, size, shape (animal), how much air is in the float & durability strength of the float.


Basic Level layout


Examples of floats


Gustavo Moreira Silva, Game Designer, Pirates & Mermaids

Pirates & Mermaids is a 2D isometric multiplayer battle arena, where a group of kids are trying to get the control of the swimming pool. Choose your character and fight for the pool.

Hit your rivals until they cry for their parents and they come to take him out of the pool. The team wins when the enemy team has no more kids in the pool.

When a player/character is removed from the water, they can stay in the border of the pool throwing big balls for area damage and make difference (or just caos) in the match.

2 teams with minimum 2 players and max 5 players each.

Initially  there are 6 different characters to play. Each character has different skills:

Mermage - a princess looking girl laying in her pool float sofa

Chick and Rooster - siblings ready for fight

Shark Boy - a boy with a fake fin and a snorkeling kit

Angry Duck - tough baby girl with a angry duck floater

Wrangler - an angry looking kid with water wings in a pool float donut, a fishing rod in a hand and a toy fish in the other hand

Ranger - a cowboy looking boy riding a unicorn floater, and armed with water pistols

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