Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball GO

With the success of the mobile game Pokémon Go, I had an idea for another similar game. This one though, is based on Dragonball Z. First, if you don’t know, Pokémon GO is a mobile game in which you have to walk around the real world and search for virtual Pokémon. These virtual Pokémon will appear on your cell phone screen superimposed on the real world. For example, you may be walking in the park while playing this game and via your phone, a Pokémon may appear next to the intimate couple under the tree.

Taking pictures, cellphone, couple
Don’t mind me. Just looking for a…Pikachu (CC BY-NC 2.0 adapted from Peter O’Connor/Flickr)

Your job is to throw one of your virtual Pokéballs at the Pokémon in hopes of hitting it and capturing it within your ball. You can then level up your Pokémon and force your captives to fight to the death against another player’s captives (sort of).

chicken fight, cock fight
It’s either you or him for dinner tonight Pidgey! (CC BY-NC 2.0 by Pat Gaines/Flickr)

This game takes advantage of what is called augmented reality. Basically, a virtual world or virtual component that you can only see through your device overlays with the actual world in front of you. Recently, while listening to a story about Pokémon GO, I began making connections. This game uses augmented reality. The failed Google Glass was supposed to utilize augmented reality. Google Glass looks like a Saiyan Scouter. There should be an augmented reality Dragonball Z game using Google Glass!

Another quick explanation, Dragonball Z is an anime/manga that revolves around people who have special powers and fight each other. Not quite like superheroes, but something like that, sort of. The fighters on the show become stronger by practicing martial arts and working out. A Saiyan Scouter is a device worn by some of the fighters in the show that looks like a futuristic monocle that can quantify how strong another being is.

Originally, I imagined people walking around wearing Google Glasses who were also a part of the Dragonball Z game on their mobile phone. These people would encounter other Google Glass/Dragonball Z participants and similar to the show, each person would get a reading of the other person’s “power level” and the two may choose to fight one another…with their virtual characters of course. What is another person’s power level based on though? Here’s the good part. The interesting thing about Pokémon GO is that how you interact with the real world has an effect on your virtual world. In the Dragonball Z game, you can strengthen your character by doing real world activities like exercise.

Hoola hoop
His power level’s over 9000! (CC BY 2.0 by Andy Wright/Flickr)

So, to strengthen your virtual fighter, you would have to “train” in the real world by jogging or lifting weights occasionally. With the advent of fitness trackers such as the Fitbit, this doesn’t seem too far-fetched. In case you’ve been living under a rock, a Fitbit is basically an advanced pedometer that keeps track of not only how many steps you take, but also how intense your workout was based on your heart rate (if you use the wristband version), how many floors you walked, and the quality of your sleep based on how often you moved while you were sleeping. This information is recorded digitally and sent to your phone. In the case of the game the farther you jog, the longer you jog, and the more intense you do it, the stronger your character becomes. If you’re recorded as having poor sleeping patterns, then your character loses strength or accuracy. Of course, the fitness tracker and the mobile game would have to be connected for this to work.

Not so bad right? Now, what if we wanted to involve weight lifting, calisthenics, swimming, bike riding, etc.? We don’t necessarily have the technology to track all of this right now, but we do have the beginnings of some tech. Wii Fit-type tech and X-box Kinect-type tech could be used to remedy this. To attempt to solve the weight lifting/calisthenics problem we could turn to the X-Box Kinect technology. There are games under the Kinect Fitness umbrella. In these games, the Kinect camera detects movements such as pushups, situps, squats or even weight lifting and…give you credit for it. If this type of technology was also incorporated into the Dragonball Z game, you could strengthen, say, your character’s punching strength or leg kicks. There are complaints about the sensing ability of the technology, but I’m sure it could be improved upon. In addition, you could play games to increase abilities such as punching speed by popping as many balloons on screen as possible.

X-Box, Kinect
Do remove children from training area. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 by Dustin Henderlong/Flickr)

Ideally, for weightlifting, I was thinking what if there were sets of weights or workout equipment that contained some Bluetooth chip with identifying information that automatically synced with a fitness tracker or smart watch. For example, a dumbbell has a Bluetooth chip in it that identifies itself as a 25lb/11.3kg dumbbell as well as an accelerometer and when you’re in a close enough range your wearable device automatically syncs with it. That way when you grab the dumbbell to do some curls, the dumbbell automatically syncs with your fitness tracker or phone or smart watch and based on the accelerometer, your app could tell how many reps of that 25lb dumbbell you performed. If you use a weight machine, it would also work similarly. Then, that information would go to leveling up your character. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, that type of equipment does not currently exist.

This general concept could be taken even further though if the game were to include “supernatural” abilities such as ki blasts. Ki blasts are another component of the show Dragonball Z which are basically energy beams fighters launch at one another. To make your ki stronger, you have to play games that require concentration and focus like the game Simon in which you have to remember the order of the flashing lights. I remember Wii Fit had a game in which you had to sit still on the Wii Balance Board and if you wobbled too much, you would have to start over. Games like those could be incorporated into this game.

Components of the game could actually be used as part of a mobile game, console game, or combination. If this game were to be developed as a regular console fighting game then leveling up one’s player by doing real world activities would be new. If this game was a mobile game, then one could encounter other players out in the real world and fight them in real time. The mobile version gameplay could be RPG turn-based fighting, or something such as Infinity Blade, or something like Injustice Gods Among Us.

Prizes for winning matches could include virtual money (or real money), experience points, new skills or new items. Other aspects that could be included in this game are the incorporation of smart watches, finding Dragon Balls, virtual gyms, encountering virtual fighters, and occasional tournaments. Also, participating in real world events such as 5ks would earn extra points. There is probably much more one could think of too.

Also, if need be, you could always just make up a generic fighting game with similar features.

Now, someone out there, make this happen! Just don’t forget to send me a check.

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