My Latest Side-Project: A Boxing Management Game Mobile App

I love boxing, and I also love a good side-project. It’s time I dusted off an idea that’s been stewing in the back of my mind for a while

I started juggling the notion of making a boxing management simulation (essentially Championship Manager but for boxing) about a year ago. I made a new Evernote notebook and started making a few cursory remarks, but I told myself that it wasn’t the right time to jump into it; I needed to let it simmer a bit longer in my subconscious. Ideas, much like opinions, are like arseholes: everyone has one, so I have a standard practice of letting new ideas “go stale” in my mind for a while, to see if I’m still excited about them months later. Three weeks ago I decided to actually make a start on it; over twelve months the boxing game app never lost my interest.

Sports sims live and die by the thrill of the sporting event they recreate, so my first course of action has been to hack together a prototype of the actual “fight engine” that will simulate the bouts, because if I can’t fathom this bit then the whole game is a non-starter. My go-to hack platform of Microsoft Excel (heaving with VBA) was my starting point, and after ten days I realised that I had proved the feasibility of my desires (two coloured cells, representing boxers, moving around a ring; one always chasing, the other always evading and retreating).

I spent a morning migrating the prototype from Excel VBA to a VB.NET Winforms application. This migration couldn’t have come soon enough, as with easily implementable classes to play with the development rapidly leaped ahead. Last Friday morning it occurred to me that, seeing as large parts of the logic would be directly usable in the final version, I should be coding the prototype fight engine in C# to plan for an easier final migration to JavaScript. By Saturday lunchtime the new C# Winforms application was up and running.

I have no idea whether there are already games like this out in the wild – all I know is that, as far as I can see, there are none in the Android or iOS app stores, which is the vision for my project. I admit it’s foolhardy not to research the competition, but at this stage – while I’m feeding off the adrenaline of launching a new endeavour – I’m not going to look too deeply into this. I’m a confidence player, and at this stage anything that knocks my confidence might doom the project. At the moment I’m enjoying myself too much to care about the competition. I now have two boxers that exchange a variety of punch types, lose health and get knocked down, and each new feature added continues to trigger the release of endorphins into my noodle. A playable alpha version is still along way off, but I’m excited about the possibilities.