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Pok-A-Pok Tournament

Game Design Document

Table of Contents

High Concept

A team-based sport where players compete to hit a ball through a hoop by bouncing it off their arms, shins, and hips.

Key Features

  • Exciting fast paced game of ancient Mayan origin, father of all team based sports.

  • Play as many of the legends of Mayan lore – such as the Hero Twins: Hunahpu and Xbalanque

  • Smite your opponents with ultimate powers

  • Real life locations, like the grand court of Chichen Itza, as well as supernatural locales such as the underworld.

  • Customizable features – such as ball properties, team size and court rules

  • Online tournament play

  • Injuries range from simple bruises to losing your head

  • Quick-match and story mode for singleplayer

  • In game commentator

Platform and Minimum Requirements


Windows 98se/ME/2000/XP

800 MHz IBM or compatible processor

128 MB RAM

Full DirectX 9 compliant 3D accelerated video card with 32MB RAM

DirectX 9

100% Windows compatible sound card


Target Market

The game is designed for an ESRB rating of “T” : Teen; due to the graphical nature of the game.

Production Estimates

Estimated Retail Price - 19.99

Estimated Development Cost – (priceless)

Estimated Schedule –

This game is designed for a two-semester project, and is estimated to require 8 months of work.


Deep into the wild and treacherous forest of ancient Mexico lays a city of fascination and awe. Temples towering over the skies can be seen from the far reaches of the mountains. Alongside the city are bountiful crops of maize stretching endlessly over the land. Every inch of the city wall is covered with encrypted carvings…and to the untrained eyes, shows humanlike entities greeting and welcoming with smiles. This is just one of the many thriving cities of the civilization known as Maya. The vivid exterior of the city is but a shell of the brutal truth of what lies within.

The sun sets high above the sky and the city lay stagnant of usual activities. The temples, bazaars and baths lay dormant, becoming resident to moss and dusts. All of the residences amass towards the strange ‘I’ shaped structure to bare witness to the biggest event of all time, the Pok-A-Pok tournament.
Pok-A-Pok (known as THE Ballgame) is the very first team based sport played by the Mayans, reaching far back to around 3,500 years. It is known through the context of this now deceased civilization that the Mayans often perform rituals to please their gods. What better ways to do this than a good game of Pok-A-Pok. However, pleasing their gods mean certain doom to certain people, meaning the losing team will be sacrificed to complete the ritual. Winning in this sport is a matter of life and death.

The balls used in Pok-A-Pok are purely made of rubber from trees found throughout the region. Each ball is then covered with a secretion from a plant called ‘Morning Glory vine’, adding the much needed bounciness. It is also said that human skulls are used as the core of the balls to lessen the weight, thus the deaths of those unfortunate would not have been in vain. With the ball weighing approximately 8 kilograms and size as big as a fully grown human head, it is imperative for players to wear protective gears.

The rules in Pok-A-Pok are simple. The ball can only be hit by the shins, elbows and waist. The ball must not hit the ground, for it is said that doing so would awaken the demons that live beneath the surface. The player simply needs to shoot the ball in a small hoop set high above the ground, connected to the wall. It is a near impossible task, but since life depends on it…shouldn’t be all that impossible.
There are many myths and legends foretold that revolves around Pok-A-Pok, ranging from the creation myth to non-fictional believe-it-or-not stories. Incredible feats and preternatural performances gave nice flavors to the portrayal of the game. Even the lords of the underworld and the gods themselves played Pok-A-Pok. The sport is more than just entertainment, it is a religion.


Single Player Mode


The tutorial will show first time players the basics of the game: handling the ball, passing the ball, shooting the ball, stealing the ball, and super moves.

Upon selecting Tutorial, a level will load with pre-determined teams for both the player and the instructor. The level will consist of dialogs and diagrams given by the instructor, and then followed by actual gameplay to review the learned materials.

Story Mode:

The story mode is where the player unlocks: teams, team members, abilities and ball courts. The player chooses a team and a character within the team with his/her own name. The characters in the team the player can choose are limited to what is currently ‘unlocked’. Certain characters will be ‘unlocked’ by completing matches in story mode. Ball courts and team special moves are unlocked as the story progresses. The teams that are locked can be ‘unlocked’ after finishing the game with a team.

The intro of the chosen team is played before starting the game. The intro will consist of a scrolling background embedded with murals and hieroglyphs depicting the story behind the team and their purpose for playing Pok-A-Pok. A dialog translation will be shown below the scrolling background to better portray the story.

The player is able to configure the team before each match starts. The configuration involves: changing team members, setting up their abilities and setting up their positions/tactics in the field. During configuration, the player is allowed to see the next match location and view the stats of the opposing team.
The match begins, each team: the player and the opponent will have some form of dramatic entrance and position themselves on the ball court. The crowd goes wild and the opposing team captains throw insults at one another (dialog with team captain’s portrait). Once the manic cheers of the spectators dwindle, the big head statue at the far side of the field will launch a ball up into the air. Whichever team captain catches the ball first shall begin the match as the offense.
At the end of the match, the winning team will do a victory dance while the spectators bury them with valuable treasures. For the more unfortunate losing team, a scene of them bowing down for their inevitable death will be shown. The screen will go black and sounds of head chopping will be heard. If the player is the losing team, the ‘Game Over’ screen will be shown. From there, the player can choose to retry the match or quit back to the main menu.
Upon the player’s victory, the next match takes place in another ball court and the cycle repeats. The first half of the game will involve in the surface world and for the next half will be in the underworld. Once the player has defeated the final team in the underworld, they will transform into gods and a temple for the team will be built to commemorate their victory. The temple can be viewed from ‘The Hall Of Fame’ section of the game.

Quick Match:

In quick match, the player can quench their thirst for a game of Pok-A-Pok in no time. The player chooses any of the custom teams he/she created from the ‘team edit menu’, for his/her team and the AI controlled team. The ‘team edit menu’ can be accessed in quick match to add more custom teams.

The gameplay features can also be set to the player’s liking, such as the ball properties, allow/disallow super moves, allow/disallow decapitation, number of scores needed to win, match duration and such. These features can also be saved and loaded for future use.
The courts the player can select are limited to what is currently ‘unlocked’. Certain courts can be ‘unlocked’ through story mode.
The match is played very much like what is described in the story mode. After the match, the player’s stats are then revealed and are updated to the player’s global stats profile for the selected team.

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