Remember how Doritos were running a game design competition? The winners were just announced. Sorry, that should read “winners”. Because there are no winners here. Only losers! See, Doritos have ignored the dozens of legitimate, and somewhat appealing game design entries in favour of five ideas that range from being rubbish to worse to stolen.
That shot above? It’s from one of the finalists, Rhythum Racing. We’ll assume the typo is intentional. We’ll also ignore the fact his accompanying artwork is a screenshot from Jeff Minter’s Neon project. Complete with Llamasoft watermark. The other “winners” are no better. One is, in fact, worse! Doritos presents UDC: Ultimate Dodgeball Champions is a Speedball rip-off that seems designed entirely around the premise of…advertising Doritos.
Futuristic dodgeball teams compete for global dominance. Setting: Each match begins with the viewing of a titantron (big TV) advertising Doritos; the screen reads, “This event is sponsored by Doritos. Feel the ‘Intense Experience.'” Then, the cameras survey the arena, honing in on the cheering fans first, and then on the characters in their starting positions. Meanwhile, the commentators – one being a comic and the other a serious sports commentator – explain the rules, and introduce the teams.
You can’t make this shit up. Oh, wait…
Remember, this is a for-real competition: the winners are hailed as being “Five shining examples of video game creativity”, and they’re all going to be made into betas for people to try out. A lot of people entered this expecting Doritos to honour that end of the bargain, and pick, you know. Actual shining examples of video game creativity.
What’s funny here is not the entries themselves. OK, maybe they’re a little bit funny. The entrants gave it a go, which is all you can ask for in a competition. Bless ’em for trying! No, what’s funny is…oh look just go check it out, it’s worth the five minutes you’ll spend there chuckling/scratching your head. Just spare a thought for the kids who spent time entering the comp expecting Doritos to actually select the best game designs. Or that the heavy association with the Microsoft name might lend some QA to proceedings.