It's more like a creek

Who's your Champion?

Friday, June 12, 2009 | 08:40 PM | by
Those of you that follow my Twitter may have deduced that I've been participating in the Champions Online closed beta for the last few months. While the NDA is still up and I can't talk specifics, I think it's alright to tell you that in that time I've seen the game make huge strides towards becoming a top notch game. It has a lot going for it, and it definitely feels like the spiritual successor to City of Heroes. It's also been one of the more impressive focused testing phases that I've been a part of.

But why take my word for it when you can be a part of the beta test yourself? Cryptic has given me five Champions Online beta slots to give away here on the website. What do you have to do? It's quite simple... as creatively as possible, describe your super hero.

You can draw a picture, you can write a little story/background, you can sing a song, whatever. Use your imagination. I want you to tell me what your super hero looks like, what his name is, what his powers are, and why he's the greatest super hero out there.

From the entries I'll choose my five favorite super heroes/origin stories and their creators will receive Champions Online beta access and may even have your heroes featured on the Champions website.

Send your entries to cad.contest (at) gmail.com. The contest ends on Wednesday June 17th, and I'll announce the winners on Friday, June 19th.

As an example of what a written entry might be like, I whipped up with a  little backstory for the hero I created for the beta test:

For Jacob Conway, a sno-cone vendor at Millenium Bay Aquarium, the day was like any other. Rush hour traffic. Annoying children and their half-interested parents. Watching the minute hand slowly chip away at hour after hour of another day in a dead-end job. A day like any other.

Until the explosion.

Later described as a 'failed' terrorist nuclear attack, the intial blast still kills dozens and and injurs hundreds as it tears through the peaceful bayside aquarium. Not fortunate enough to be spared or killed instantly, Jacob is hurled backwards as he and his sno-cone station crash through the exhibit tank housing a giant pacific octopus.

His body shredded by glass, submerged and pinned by a refrigeration system leaking Freon, high levels of radioactivity in the area... Jacob Conway should have died that day. But against all odds, he survived. If you can call it surviving.

Left hideously disfigured by the accident, Jacob could no longer function outside of the water. His bones slowly dissolved, absorbed by his body, until he could not stand or talk. His lungs would not breath air for extended periods of time. He would randomly emit uncontrollable sub-zero temperature changes, flash freezing the very water that was now his home.

While top scientists and doctors ran test after test, working furiously to understand the genetic changes that Jacob was experiencing, one man, Doctor Malcolm Bridges, sought to address Jacob's immediate ailments.

Creating a special poly-alloy suit that keeps his gelatinous form contained and structured, Doctor Bridges offered Jacob a chance to move on dry land using sheer muscular power. A breathing apparatus tailored to Jacob's now-unique physical structure allows him to venture away from water for lengths of time. Slowly and steadily Jacob is learning to control his freezing outbursts.

And now, hoping to help prevent further attacks like the one that disfigured him, Jacob patrols the streets of Millenium City... as The Arctopus!



So have fun with it, and let's see your super heroes!

Contest rules clarifications

Saturday, June 13, 2009 | 09:01 AM | by
To answer some frequently asked questions:

Can I create a Super Villain?

Sure, why not. You can't play as a villain in Champions Online, but you can create your Hero's own Super Villain Arch Nemesis, so it still falls within the spirit of the contest.

What if it isn't possible to create my hero in the game?

It doesn't matter. You would have to have access to the game to know what powers/costume options are available anyway. Just create your hero (or villain) however you wish.

Can I submit more than one hero?

If you've got a head full of ideas and nothing to do for the next few days, go ahead and submit whatever you want. You won't be disqualified for multiple submissions. However, each hero (or villain) must be submitted in a separate email.

Additionally, please include your full name with your submission, so that I can credit you if your hero (or villain) wins. Remember to send your submission from an email address that you have access to and check regularly.