Braul is a local multiplayer game based around the ancient Aztec Mesoamerican ballgame, with the addition of combat elements to spice up the action. Using Xbox 360 Controllers, up to four players can duke it out in the arena to see who can brawl their way to victory. Using a combination of precision and combat prowess, players can steal the ball from each other in the hope that they’ll be able to land a clear shot at the goal, and increase their chances of winning. Braul boasts the ability to be played as a free for all game, or as a team game, with changeable win settings; highest score in two minutes, or first to 15 points.

Take control of Tochtli (Rabbit), Chimalli (Shield), Xochitl (Flower), or Xilonon (Hairy one) in a battle royale to see who see who has the balls of fury.

 

Concept

The concept for Braul was inspired by other incredible games with controller based local multiplayer such as Rayman Legends, Spelunky, and Little Big Planet. Though we’ve adored the single player elements of these games, it was the mini-games included in these games (Rayman’s Kung Foot, Spelunky’s Death match, and Little Big Planet’s Basketball) that caught our attention. These local multiplayer games did something, which a great deal of games are steering away from now-a-days; encouraged players to meet up in person to play them. Reminiscent of how we enjoyed board games as children through to adults, and the social interactions they brought with them, we wanted to create a video game which was solely based around this local, social dynamic. We wanted to produce a game that we wanted to play, with our friends.

We knew we wanted our game to play like a mini-game; fast-paced, fun, and short. Little bursts of entertainment players could quickly pick up and play in a social environment. We decided to combine elements of our inspirations into something playable, and over time, the vehicle in which we would present this combination of game styles made itself apparent; the Aztec Mesoamerican ball game. This happened for two reasons; first being that the Aztec civilisations were ones which prided themselves on colourful culture, and we wanted our game to include these elements of colour into something engaging. Secondly, the ancient roots of the Mesoamerican ball game means that no-one fully knows the rules, which allowed us to flex our creativity around the game, without worrying about people having trouble suspending their disbelief. These two factors allowed us a great deal of creative license with regards to game mechanics and production, and meant that we could influence the game how we liked.

As for the name ‘Braul’, we took the two main elements of the game (the ball game, and the fighting, or ‘brawling’), and combined them to make Braul (pronounced just like ‘brawl’).

 

Artwork

The art-style we chose for Braul was reminiscent of Rayman Legends, with all graphics in the game hand drawn by Paddy Selman. We decided to utilise this theme throughout the game, to ensure everything looked vibrant fresh, with a wet paint style worked into the core elements of the artworks. Here’s a sample of some of the hand-drawn art – you can also check out the gallery up top.

Tochli
Chimalli
Xochitl
Xilonon
 

Music / Audio

For the video game, I produced five tracks, three of which were put in the game. The three used where used for the menu systems, game playing, and sudden death situations. Concentrating on percussion, the tracks all include a wide selection of tribal drums, darabukas, bongos, claives, guiros, tablas, and cowbells for good measure, to create a very busy and exciting selection of tracks for Braul. As well as this I produced the sound effects for the game, which were kept in line with this percussion theme.




 

Meta

Project Type University – Game Design (DAT303)
Collaborators Rob Sparks / Patrick Selman
Duration Oct 2013 – April 2014
Grade Upper Second

Bolt Mini