January 29, 2013 6:00 PM | John Polson
Aurora/Auralux developer E McNeill has created a browser-based prototype to coincide with his OUYA create competition entry, Bombball, an eSport game that he says can take advantage of the console's distinguishing features.
The developer had only 10 days to create the prototype for OUYA, but his and 165 entries completed the challenge.
McNeill describes the game as "an abstract, fast-paced eSport" that was directly inspired by the SPORTSFRIENDS-bound Hokra. "I'm aiming for the same sort of indie simplicity and local multiplayer, local spectator magic. I think that's the area where the OUYA can actually offer some unique value in competition with traditional consoles, PCs, and mobile devices," says McNeill.
Bombball is all about landing the ball in your opponent's goal. The game also has bombs, speed bursts, and fire power that work for or against you, but the most challenging element seemed to be how the ball drags behind you. It requires a different approach to line up a goal shot.
The single-player, browser-based prototype seems solid, but making a good eSport game also requires satisfying the spectators who watch it, McNeill points out. "Some parts of the game were specifically designed to make it more exciting to watch. The high skill ceiling, the close calls, the score buzzer, and the movement trails are all really there for the audience."
Whether games like it or the OUYA itself will succeed is a bit of speculation, McNeill admits. However, "it's offering a platform in which games like mine will not only be possible, but also highlighted and promoted and actually played. Traditional consoles are cool, but they tend to block out the indie developers or else push them into obscurity (like XBLIG). The OUYA may or may not work, but I think there's no reason not to root for its success."