Gunsport: A Beach Sport For Cyber-Dudes

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only a short list of acceptable pastimes:

  • Making everything neon
  • Wearing mirrorshades
  • Helping the street find its own use for things
  • Energy weapons
  • …volleyball?

At last there is a game which combines all of these things: Gunsport. Release is projected for “late” 2015, so for now there’s only a teaser trailer to go on, but we’ve not written about Gunsport properly before and come on now: cyberpunk volleyball.

That video isn’t so great at giving you an idea of how the game plays, but fortunately the official site is a little more forthcoming. The volleyball comparison is fairly apt, although you’re using gunfire rather than limbs to propel the ball into the other side of the court, and the more times a ball passes back and forth the more points its worth.

Players have limited ammo so it’s necessary to aim and time your shots carefully. Ideally you’ll want to work closely with your teammate, communicating your strategies and moves. There are also special moves of varying kinds, but at this point I begin to get a little lost. If you and your teammate shoot the same ball at the exact same time, that’s a Focus Shot which propels the ball twice as fast, but your opponents can turn that right around on you if they’re “drift compatible”. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t that the term used in Pacific Rim for Jaeger pilot teams?

I’m a big proponent of putting mechs in just about every game – mechs are the greatest – but even I think the inclusion of a three hundred foot war robot in a volleyball match could introduce balancing issues.

P.S. Brandon Sheffield of Necrosoft Games wrote a blog post analysing the response to the above teaser trailer when it was released via Microsoft and Sony’s official video channels. It makes for interesting if slightly depressing reading, as well providing a cautionary tale on creating promotional videos.

16 Comments

  1. thawks says:

    My BFF (I know you’ll be reading this!) is one of the game’s artists. Seeing this on my favourite gaming site made my day. :)

  2. LionsPhil says:

    I want to take all the indie artist-developers who can’t keep their pixelart on-grid and force them to use VGA monitors for the rest of their career.

    • Jekhar says:

      Only indie artists? Do “professional” artists get a pass? link to mobygames.com

      • Spacewalk says:

        Screenshots from emulators don’t count.

        • Jekhar says:

          They don’t? The fact that SotN (and many other games, from that decade especially) rotates its sprite art all over the place doesn’t change. So please excuse my laziness to search for an unemulated shot.

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            Phasma Felis says:

            They rotate them, and then sample them down to a 320×240 grid (or whatever it is that they’re using). That’s critical to the “16-bit look.”

            I’m not super passionate about it, but I do click my tongue critically when I see games that are trying to look like they’re 320×240 but don’t actually downsample to 320×240. It looks inconsistent, like when a 3D game has two same-size characters with wildly different polygon counts/texture resolutions.

            (Your emulated screenshot is not a valid argument because it didn’t look like that on the original hardware. If the original devs had had access to 640×480, they wouldn’t have made a game for 320×240 and then upscaled it; they’d have made bigger, more detailed sprites in the first place. But modern pixel-art designers aren’t trying to push the hardware, they’re trying to emulate a certain style, which is a totally legit thing to do, but it stands out when they don’t get the details right.)

          • Jekhar says:

            Ah, ok, my bad. I thought the whole time LionsPhil’s scorn was simply the rotation, not the screen resolution beeing higher than the pixel art res. I can get behind that. Sorry for the argument.

  3. AlwaysRight says:

    Reminds me of Windjammers.

    I have a soft spot in my nostalgia zone for Windjammers.

  4. iainl says:

    Ah, Gunsport. Lovely place, sitting as it does at the end of the Guns peninsula, overlooking the Sea of Bullets.

  5. Turkey says:

    If I were in cyberpunk times and this sport came on the teleputer, I’d change it to the channel that plays murderhockey so fast.

  6. DarkFarmer says:

    in case you like the music in the trailer, it is by one of my favorite musicians, Kurt Feldman of Ice Choir and Depreciation Guild link to youtube.com

  7. Wedge says:

    Looks like it’ll be a great buy to have everyone not want to play with me like Lethal League =<.

  8. gunslingerfry says:

    So…. like Lethal League but on teams?

  9. loquee says:

    Was able to witness and get a hands on this one two weeks ago during a drink up after a games convention.
    It is one of these games that will feel crushingly difficult for 5 minutes, then you get the hang of it and can´t stop even though the next team is already eager to challenge.
    I was surprised how well it worked already, given the circumstances that the place was incredibly crowded and one of the main travel routes seemed to pass through between beamer projection and the players.

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    Phasma Felis says:

    Excellent fantasy author N.K. Jemisin has a longish post about reading reviews that’s relevant to that blog post about the teaser. Basically: read and learn from reviews of your work, but know how to tell relevant ones from irrelevant. If someone doesn’t like your trailer because there’s not enough gameplay in it, that’s relevant; you can maybe change something to turn that person into a fan. If someone doesn’t like your trailer because they hate pixel games or because they wanted it to be an FPS, then fuck ’em. That person is never going to be a fan of the game you’re trying to make, so you don’t need to care what they think.