Random game ideas: Cattle prods and Sumo wrestlers

20 Sep 2010


(For those of you in the pub earlier some of this will be familiar, but here's the longer version for the benefit of everyone else).

After yesterday's post, somehow the time when I should have been sleeping last night instead had my mind running around plotting the possible conversations that could occur from discussing such matters (this is something I seem to do reflexively when bored). I eventually reached a discussion about the game Fat Princess. It's basically a Capture the Flag variant, except that the 'flag' is an enormously fat princess who can be fed further slices of cake in order to make her heavier and ergo harder to steal. Not having a PS3, I haven't played it myself, but it comes up in discussion on various video game sites every so often, and it seemed like a interesting variant gameplay-wise on a rather tired genre.

I started considering a male equivalent of this, given that the 'joke' can be considered in somewhat questionable taste given the intersection of standard gender roles and weight. A "fat prince" quite frankly isn't as funny, and making any of the other related male archetypes obese (knights, wizards, loveable rogue, etc) also didn't work. Somehow I ended up with the idea of vast sumo wrestlers, and instead of the multiple players trying to save the princess, I'm thinking the best defence is a good offence.

So here's the plot/game running through my head in the wee hours of the morning: it's the nearby future, and sumo wrestlers have gotten even bigger. They've also gotten rather sedentary, and no longer care about the traditions of the sport. It's therefore up to their handlers to save the traditions and bring victory once again to their metabolically-challenged masters. Hence, the cattle prods.

Basic gameplay is as follows: two handlers and their associated wrestlers, who given no other motivation will simply sit there. A handler can however prod a wrestler with his cattle prod, and if he prods them enough then the wrestler will get a bit pissed off and start to turn towards the source of the minor irritation (they've got too much bulk to be really harmed, but they can get annoyed). If you keep on prodding the wrestler, they'll go into a bestial rage and charge straight forwards until they either hit something suitably solid or get bored after a bit. Effectively you're herding your wrestler such that they eventually shove the other one out of the arena, and thus get a traditional sumo victory! Of course, you can also prod the other wrestler and distract them if you're feeling creative...

There's a lot more possibilities that can be added to the basic concept (prodding the other handler to stun them temporarily; lures for wrestlers - I'm thinking a ham sandwich with mustard; setting the entire thing on a platform that shifts according to where the enormously fat wrestlers move; etc) but the basic idea sounds quite fun. This sort of action game with the ability to set stuff in motion but then be forced to deal with the consequences of your choices is ripe for unintended consequences and emergent gameplay scenarios IMHO.

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