The Video Games Of The Olympic Games: Doodle Champion Island Games - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

Home Top Ad

Post Top Ad

The Video Games Of The Olympic Games: Doodle Champion Island Games

Chris Morley is working from home.
The Summer of 2021 will go down in history as a rather strange one. Although many areas of the world were coming out of the harsher lockdown stages of the pandemic, Covid-19 was (and is) still very much rife. Shops may well have been open, but outside of the retail sector many offices and corporations were still asking their employees to work from home. 2021 would also see a variety of major events originally scheduled for 2020 now taking place, including the 2020 Olympic Games - and those that couldn't make the trip to Tokyo could still do so virtually, sort of, thanks to Google and their Doodle Champion Island Games, an interactive Google Doodle released to mark the Tokyo Games.

Six sports made the cut for Lucky the Ninja Cat's quest for glory across Champion Island; artistic swimming, archery, marathon running, rugby sevens, skateboarding, sport climbing and table tennis. Victory would earn you a Sacred Scroll en route to becoming champion. Lead artist Nate Swinehart said that...
"We wanted to make the Doodle for the Champion Island Games to really create an opportunity for the world to compete globally together and to learn Japanese culture at the same time."
The game itself acts as an homage to 16-bit gaming on top of Japanese folklore. For example, some of the video game mechanics resemble old 16-bit video games such as skateboarding, which resembles mechanics from Atari Games' arcade game 720°.
The delay to the parent event, as brought about by COVID, actually allowed the game to grow beyond its intended time-frame. As Swinehart added,
“If I had come in and I’d been like, ‘I need two years, and I’m going to do a two-hour game,’ it would have been like, ‘You need to calm down.”
Jessica Yu from his team suggested that the game wasn't actually so much of a novelty as had been popularly suggested.
“We do, as a team, produce five to 10 interactive games a year, so it’s not rare for us. We usually aim for experiences that are probably two minutes in length. And this is exceeding it by hours. But it was an experiment for us.”
And it even drew attention from several gaming websites, Tom Phillips of Eurogamer writing...
“There's a lot to enjoy here, with plenty of nods to Japanese folklore and history which perfectly fit the JRPG theme. Individual sports also get their own anime-style introduction.

The whole thing is beautifully designed and smartly controlled with just your arrow keys and space bar.

Oh, and it autosaves, so you can have quick 2-minute bashes throughout the day while doing other things. Are you feeling Lucky?"
Google itself announced the release of the game on July 23 2021 with a short introduction...
“Welcome to the Doodle Champion Island Games! Over the coming weeks, join calico (c)athlete Lucky as she explores Doodle Champion Island: a world filled with seven sport mini-games, legendary opponents, dozens of daring side quests, and a few new (and old ;)) friends.

Her ultimate goal? Defeat each sport Champion to collect all seven sacred scrolls—and complete extra hidden challenges across Champion Island in the purrr-ocess.

Are you feline Lucky ? ? Click on today’s Doodle, join one of the four colour teams to contribute to the real-time global leader-board, and let the games begin!”
The old friend mentioned above is Momo, a black cat from Magic Cat Academy, originally released in two parts as a celebration of Halloween for 2016 before the second chapter followed in 2020, again as interactive Google Doodles.

The Paralympic Games were not forgotten either, as two new side quests were added when that got underway, with one leading to an advanced version of Rugby. There was also an advanced version of archery made available from the beginning. And the music for the whole experience was kept within the 'online community' and handled by Qumu, known for YouTube videos of his remixes of video game music.

It could be said that Doodle Champion Island Games came together more harmoniously than the actual opening ceremony for the delayed Tokyo 2020!
“The Olympics are never a stranger to controversy, and Tokyo 2020 has been no exception — starting with the fact that it’s being held in 2021 because of the pandemic, against the wishes of an overwhelming majority of Tokyo residents.

Additionally, multiple officials have resigned due to controversies over sexist and ableist comments. And that’s before the problems that come with every Olympics, regardless of where they’re held.”
From Asia to Atlanta for us on our next run-out, as we head back to the 1996 Games.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad