I recently was contacted by Aeonix Aeon, whom had something interesting to show me, something that will be particularly of interest to sports enthusiasts, “Vetox is working on a new sport game, Simball. ... It’s still in beta. It’s like basketball, but on hoverboards and with weapons.”
Aeonix described the area as looking much like a “pinball machine” with the bumpers, with two goals on each end. The larger one, when touched by the opposing hoverboard, provides one point. Over that is a smaller one, partially guarded by a bumper, which is much harder to get to, but if it is tagged rewards the effort with two points.
Joining Aeonix at the viewing platform over the arena, I ran into two Simball developers, or “code monkey ninjas” as Aeonix called them, Sean Martin and KrackManiac Robonaught. “We just started a week ago,” Sean Martin told me, “well, the arena I started.”
The two offered to play a game to demonstrate, and the rest of us watched. After they got on their hoverboards, a timer counted down, and a while ball of energy appeared on the field. Both players went after it, and the one who got it first began glowing, and leaving a trail of light, pursued by the other. The energized player would speed across the floor, going up the opposing wall, and hopefully have enough kinetic energy to rise to the goal. Very seldom was a player able to have enough speed to travel high enough to reach the 2 point goal.
If the hoverboard with the lightball was tagged by the opposing player, the ball would switch to the other board, and the two players would switch offense and defense roles. If the player with the lightball ran into a bumper, he would lose the ball, which would be released again into the arena in a few seconds.
Sean Martin later emailed me additional details, saying the sport should be ready and out of beta in December, with beta events in the meantime soon to be ran by Cyphen Heart, “He will also be presenting the new sport to Treet.TV.” Regular games will have “three people per team but this may raise eventually. The objective is to gain more goals than the other team before the time runs out. (Although for beta we have a set goal of 10 and first to reach this wins.)”
Of the boards, “There are currently 3 boards. Each as a special power and abilities unique to that type of board. These powers work from simulated energy within the board. Shown in a small white meter on back. Each board has a Generator that charges energy over time. In the info below is an indication of how fast these boards generate energy over time, and how fast the boards travel in relation to each other.” The Kinetic board has a lot of energy and can either be fast or energize other boards . The Tesla board is able to freeze other boards with an EMP blast, if it’s battery is full. And the Onyx board may be slower than the others, but is immune to EMP blasts and has a sonic “push” to repel other players.
Sean stated there may be more kinds of boards in the future, and possibly more rules for both “official” games and unofficial ones for fun.
“I started the Vetox Project back in 2005, which has a shop 'Vetox' which is located at VSN and at Andromeda Media Group. I'm the lead design and CEO of the virtual company and manage projects. But I also do graphic design in RL, programming, some animation, and a number of other things. Jack of all trades master of none. However I don't have time to do it all so a dev team is very helpful.
“My dev team is currently: KrackManiac Robonaught: Sculpter / Bake / Beta Tester, and RobsterRawb Jaxxon: Sculpter / Take / Texture / Beta Tester. Also VSN is ran by Cyphien Heart. He's not necessarily on my dev team, however we are business partners that just happen to work together well. He handles most of the PR and stuff I'm not used to. For example he got Treet.TV involved into the FS Simboarding sport. He also organized the community and gave them a place to go.”
The Simball arena is at the Dream Horizon sim, at the Virtual Sports Nexus (VSN)