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  • Game Design Challenge: Reinvent the Brawler

    [01.16.13]
    - GameCareerGuide.com staff
  • GameCareerGuide.com's Game Design Challenge is an exercise in becoming a game developer, asking you to look at games in a new way -- from the perspective of a game creator, producer, marketer, businessperson, and so forth.

    Every other Wednesday we'll present you with a challenge about developing video games. You'll have two weeks to brainstorm a brilliant solution (see below for how to submit your answers). After the two week submission period elapses, the best answers and the names of those who submitted them will be posted.

    The Challenge

    Design a beat-'em-up for modern consoles. 

    Assignment Details

    Brawlers. Beat-'em-ups. Belt scrollers. Call them what you want, but they ruled the arcades in the late '80s and early '90s. Technos' Double Dragon ignited the craze back in 1987, and Capcom's Final Fight set the template for things to come. The genre saw its peak with top-notch releases like The Punisher and Alien vs. Predator, and Konami-produced efforts like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, and X-Men are fondly remembered today.


    Somewhere along the line, though, the beat-'em-up genre's popularity faded. Later console-born efforts like Final Fight Streetwise and Beat Down met with mixed results, and despite multiple cancelled reboot attempts, Sega has yet to relaunch its once-popular Streets of Rage series.

    Recently, Wayforward's Double Dragon Neon turned heads thanks to its intentionally cheesy '80s aesthetic, but despite the game's success on multiple fronts, it failed to impress some critics. To them, the brawler is outdated -- a genre that has no place in today's gaming landscape.

    It's time to prove those critics wrong. In Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, your job is to design a brawler that suits modern tastes. As you design your game, keep in mind the common criticisms leveled at brawlers: many are seen as overly simple, repetitive, difficult, and short in length. How will you add depth? What will separate your brawler from similar games? Will you base it on a licensed property, or will you create original characters? The choices are yours to make.

    To Submit

    Work on your ideas, figure out your strategy for coming up with a solution, and ask questions on the forum. When your submission is complete, send it to gamedesignchallenge@gamecareerguide.com with the subject line "Design Challenge: Reinvent the Brawler." Please type your answer directly in the email body.

    Submissions should be no more than 500 words and may contain up to three images. Be sure to include your full name and school affiliation or job title.

    Entries must be submitted by Wednesday, January 30

    Results will be posted Tuesday, February 5

    Disclaimer: GameCareerGuide.com is not responsible for similarities between the content submitted to the Game Design Challenge and any existing or future products or intellectual property.

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