Dog Park Derby (pt. 3)

“Dog Park Etiquette” –

This is a continuation of a series of posts about my fictional dog-park MOBA. Check out the original and the follow-up if you want to be up to speed for this one.

Taking Stock

The main goal of today is to build-out the cast of dogs in the game, along with the various objectives that the dogs can have. Before that, however, it will be helpful to take a step back and survey what we have so far.

The Game

‘Dog Park Derby’ is a game where players select a unique owner/dog combo and enter a dog park that is already full of other players. Their dog will have one of three goals quasi-randomly selected (I’ll build in some fail safes that make it unlikely that the same goal will be selected twice in a row and highly improbable that it will be selected three times in a row), and the player will earn a victory (along with experience points and loot) when they complete their dog’s goal, however long that takes. All the while, other players are entering and exiting the dog park with different owner/dog combinations, requiring the player to pay attention to newcomers and be flexible in their strategy .

The Owners

Each owner has one passive ability and three active abilities. The passive ability is not directly triggered by the player. Rather, it responds to other actions and events that might occur in a typical game with the relevant owner. The three active ability loosely adhere to the following pattern:

  1. An ability that directly affects the owner’s dog
  2. An ability that directly affects other owners
  3. An ability that provides a movement boost, immunity to crowd-control (‘CC’), or other temporary advantage.

In addition to these abilities, each owner has access to one of four dogs, and gain access to the unique ability of the dog they select.

Here is a roster of the owners so far:

  • Sporty: A tennis ball-throwing outdoorsy type. High-mobility, low to moderate control.
  • Semper Fi: A loud ex-Marine, with a soft spot for his doggo. High-CC, empowered abilities.
  • The Professional: A full-time dog trainer whose commands can be irresistible. High-control, low-CC, weak to CC.
  • Tech Exec: A high-powered boss lady with tricks up her sleeve. Good balance of dog and owner disruption. Complex kit, hard to learn.
  • Tweeny Bopper: An eager youngster in over his head. Low control, high-impact abilities with longer cooldowns.
  • Granny Mullins: A disoriented senior whose dog must look after her. Player controls the dog instead of the owner, unique kit with strong out-play potential, but low impact if utilized poorly.

Looking over the owners, I think The Professional and Tech Exec are a bit too strong compared to the rest. I’ll have to think up a way to even the playing field a bit. But hey, that’s what play-testing is for right?

Next, let’s look at the dogs. I’ll list the breed and abilities for the ones that have them:

  • Dexter: Australian Shepherd, Duck and Weave
  • Melinda: Golden Retriever, Belly Up
  • Geronimo: Rottweiler, Thrill of the Chase
  • Shania: Afghan Hound, Shake it out
  • Tennessee
  • Rufus
  • Buddy
  • Pipsqueak
  • Vigo
  • Jade
  • Lucy

And here are the dog goals I’ve come up with so far:

  • Make a Friend
  • All Tuckered Out
  • Round ‘Em Up
  • Soak Up the Love
  • My Stick!
  • King of the Hill
  • Yummy Snack
  • Buried Treasure
  • Catch a Squirrel
  • I Just Wanna Fetch

I have not actually explained what these goals entail.

The task today will be to lay out the abilities of the remaining dogs. The goals will have to come later.


  • Tennessee
    • Breed: Bloodhound
    • Obedience: 60
    • Ability: On the Scent
      • Tennessee sniffs the air for 1.5 seconds, during which the player can select a dog or owner in an expanding radius. After sniffing, Tennessee moves towards the selected dog or owner for 5 seconds and is untargetable during this time.
  • Rufus
    • Breed: Irish Terrier
    • Obedience: 45
    • Ability: Play with Me!
      • Rufus barks in a cone in front of him. Dogs hit by this ability move towards him for 4.5 seconds
  • Buddy
    • Breed: Great Dane
    • Obedience: 65
    • Ability: Leaps and Bounds
      • Buddy runs towards whatever his is facing in great, bounding strides, stunning dogs and owners he collides with for 1 second and knocking up dogs and owners within a 5 unit radius for 0.5 seconds
  • Pipsqueak
    • Breed: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
    • Obedience: 30
    • Ability: Yappy
      • Pipsqueak barks ferociously at nearby dogs. Dogs and owners within a 30 unit radius move away from Pipsqueak and cannot use abilities while in it.
  • Vigo
    • Breed: Rhodesian Ridgeback
    • Obedience: 40
    • Ability: Valiant Protector
      • Vigo circles his owner for 4 seconds, during which time they are untargetable.
  • Jade
    • Breed: Shiba Inu
    • Obedience: 32
    • Ability: Burst of Speed
      • Jade removes all crowd control and runs at 2x speed in the direction she is facing for 1.5 seconds, then turns around and runs the opposite direction for 3 seconds.
  • Lucy
    • Breed: Bulldog
    • Obedience: 25
    • Ability: Roll in Mud
      • Lucy rolls around for 2 seconds, creating a muddy zone on the ground. She the gains the status “Muddy” for 30 seconds. Dogs who walk through the muddy zone also gain the status “Muddy” for 30 seconds. Dogs with the status “Muddy” move towards and are more likely to interact with other dogs with the status “Muddy”. The muddy zone lasts for 10 seconds.

That’s all for tonight! There will almost certainly be more Dog Park Derby content to come before the month is up.

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