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  • Game Design Challenge: Driving Excitement

    - Danny Cowan
  •'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 vehicle-based game that does not involve racing.

    Assignment Details

    The 1990s and early 2000s offered fertile ground for expansion within the racing genre. Sega's Crazy Taxi presented unique gameplay mechanics in which players attempted to pick up and deliver passengers on time, and Sony's Twisted Metal games set heavily armed vehicles against one another in a series of to-the-death arena battles.

    Lately, though, it seems as if the genre has regressed. While there's been a fair amount of innovation as far as traditional racing is concerned (witness Gran Turismo 5's slavish devotion to realism, or Forza Horizon's inventive free-roaming gameplay setup), big-budget, vehicle-based games seem unwilling to step outside the mechanical confines of competitive racing.

    For Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, your task is to create a vehicle-based game. It can fall within any genre you wish, but there's one important exception: your design must not involve competitive racing. Please restrict your design to land-based vehicles only -- no aircraft or sea vessels are allowed.

    Look at Crazy Taxi series and the once-crowded "car combat" subgenre for inspiration. Think of classic action games like Bump 'n' Jump and Breakthru, and consider what made them successful. Then design the vehicle-based game of your dreams. Remember: no racing!

    To Submit

    Work on your ideas, figure out your strategy for coming up with a solution, and ask questions on the forums. When your submission is complete, send it to with the subject line "Design Challenge: Driving Excitement" Please type your answer directly in the email body -- do not submit .pdf or Word documents.

    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, April 3.

    Results will be posted Tuesday, April 9.

    Disclaimer: 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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