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  • Game Design Challenge: Oddball Animals

    - 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 month, 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 game about raising and training virtual creatures.

    Assignment Details

    From Bandai's handheld Tamagotchi to the Petz series, the virtual pet genre carved a unique niche for itself in the games industry. While countless household pet simulators emerged during the genre's boom period, the '90s also brought us Pokemon, which allowed players to breed, train, and fight a host of unusual creatures. By cleverly fusing genres, Pokemon became a worldwide sensation, and we think the pet simulation genre is ready for its next big hit.

    For Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, your job is to design a game about raising and training virtual creatures.

    Any style of gameplay is fine for the purpose of this contest, as long as your game's mechanics reflect the challenges involved in raising and training virtual creatures. Use pet simulation as a basis for your project, and then try to think of other reasons players would need to train a creature as they work toward a larger gameplay goal. For ideas, consider a flea circus simulator, a virtual studio for animal actors, or an intergalactic creature rehabilitation sim focused on repopulating abandoned planets. Let your imagination run wild with this one, and have fun!

    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 [email protected] with the subject line "Game Design Challenge: Oddball Animals." 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, December 20.

    Results will be posted Tuesday, December 26.

    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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