Meet the master of wacky sports games
Colin Lane is the sports game creator who’s not really into sport. His thing is to distil these serious pursuits down into simple, slapstick arcade games. And they’re hilarious.
Basketball, American football, boxing, golf – it doesn’t matter, Lane can turn any sport into a strange, unputdownable curio. “I never planned to focus specifically on wacky sports games,” Lane tells us. “But it turns out that making them is a lot of fun, so I embrace it now.”
Lane has also already released four different golf games in his fledgling career, despite not actually liking the sport. “I blame my dad for that,” Lane tells us. “Endless hours of golf on the TV wore me down…”
So how does an aspiring creator with no formal training turn into the king of oddball sports games? After seeking advice from game developers on Twitter, Lane downloaded some game creation software and just started making something.
In under a year, he’d released Wheelie Legend, just as he started a game design course to formalise his skills. He’s a quick worker: by the time Lane had graduated two years later, he had released four more games, including his breakout hit, Wrassling.
Created with pixel artist Folmer Kelly, Wrassling cannot fail to elicit a smile – it’s a riot of flailing limbs rendered in chunky Atari-era visuals.
“We were concerned it may be a bit too weird to capture a wider audience,” says Lane. “The response to Wrassling was amazing, there was a steady flow of five-star reviews, fan emails and people reaching out on Twitter to say how much they enjoyed it.”
Just after graduation, Lane landed a job at app developer Toca Boca, but continued to make his own games; they proved to be so popular that in December 2016 he was able to quit his job and go full-time indie.
He’s been even more prolific since then, releasing his best work in Golf Zero, Touchdowners, Battle Golf Online, Dunkers 2 and Big Shot Boxing in the last year.
So what’s next? More sports? “I’m not done with golf yet, I still have a couple of concepts I want to explore,” adds Lane. “I do want to try something away from sports as well – I really want to try a local multiplayer game.”
We can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. Colin Lane’s bevvy of bizarre arcade games will put a huge smile on your face – whether you like sports or not.