A warrior holding a massive pong paddle slaps aside a pong ball, which travels through several towers spawning troops.

arpongi

May 2018

Overview

Pong reimagined as a 1v1 engine-building RPG. Hit the pong ball to gain XP and gold, spend that gold to construct buildings, then hit your building with the ball to do cool things like spawn units or get more gold!

Players can pick between one of three classes each with their own unique abilities and playstyles.

The game title "arpongi" at the top with a character select screen underneath it showing the options of Knight, Witch, and Thief.
A yellow thief smacks a pong ball through several buildings before it's returned by the blue witch.

Development

In 2018 I helped organize a game jam for the DreamboxXx—a custom arcade cabinet filled with games by local queer game devs, fabricated by DBAA, and commissioned by The Dreamhouse (a queer dance venue).

As part of the game jam I created arpongi! The entire game was developed over the course of a week with the goal of making a game that was "better than pong".

I tried to make each of the classes play differently. The Knight gets a big paddle and tries to win by spawning lots of troops from keeps. The Thief moves faster and tries to win by getting the ball past their opponent using trickshots. And the Witch has a unique mana mechanic and tries to win by leveling up quickly and casting powerful spells.

Reception

arpongi has niche NYC fanbase that enjoys it for what it is: a weird, challenging, charmingly complicated game of pong. The arcade cabinet it appears in is still in circulation and appears at various bars and arcades from time to time.

In 2018 I was invited to showcase arpongi at No Quarter, an annual exhibition of indie games in New York City.

Credits

Design / Programming / Art: Ayla Myers

Music: Raphael Goulart, Rafael Langoni Smith