Aaron Taecker-Wyss

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  All your life, you have dreamt of becoming the most fashionable, attractive sumo wrestler alive. However, the only way to make that dream come true is to defeat your opponent in a deadly Sumo Smashdown! Launch yourself out of a cannon onto a precarious platform overlooking a field of seven-foot metal spikes. The rules are simple: to win, just be the one who doesn't die! The winner receives love, admiration, and a chic accessory. The looser receives nothing but shame and dejection. Which one will you be?

  Sumo Smashdown is the second local 2-player competitive game I've worked on, but it's wildly different from Foiled (the previous one) in mechanics, approach, and design goals. While Foiled was completely focused on offering a tournament-viable competitive experience, Sumo Smashdown is all about creating a preposterous, unpredictable spectacle. If Foiled was soccer, Sumo Smashdown is calvinball. It has more in common with QWOP or Noby Noby Boy than with Street Fighter, although theres also an underlying cynicism in Sumo Smashdown that isn't present in any of those games. This cynical humor is what Sumo Smashdown is all about; the competition just holds that humor together and gives it structure.

  Sumo Smashdown began as a proof-of-concept experiment in procedural humor (that is, creating non-scripted humor through simple gameplay and random elements). I came up with the design while working a really bleak, exhausting sub-minimum-wage job, which heavily influenced the comparably bleak humor of the game. There's a big anarchic middle finger pointed at society hiding under the rainbows and cute stuff, which I hope people pick up on. While Sumo Smashdown is a pretty small game, it's also (I think) a very complete game, in that I think it fully explores what it sets out to.

Like it on Facebook, in a futile attempt to stabilize your ostensibly fractured selfhood as you await your own death.

Website & content by Aaron Taecker-Wyss.

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