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  • Game Design Challenge: Halloween Haunts

    - 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 set in a haunted house.

    Assignment Details

    From small-town haunted hay rides to massive mazes staffed by professional actors, seasonal haunted attractions are now opening for business in time for Halloween. Haunted houses are a popular game motif as well, with the first Resident Evil presenting a memorable adventure that takes place in a mansion filled with a variety of terrifying monsters. The horror genre has expanded significantly in the years since, and scary sheds, terrifying trailer homes, and other abysmal abodes remain great atmospheric settings for all sorts of stories.

    For Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, your job is to design a game that takes place in a haunted house.

    You may take on any genre you wish for this challenge - just make sure that your game is set within a haunted house. While entries about exploring haunted houses are acceptable, your design can also extend beyond the boundaries established by the survival horror genre.

    Some sample ideas include a point-and-click adventure where you're a real estate agent trying hide the fact that the house you're selling is haunted, a platformer where players are ghosts trying to escape a house filled with obnoxious trick-or-treaters, or a mobile time-management game where you manage and upgrade a professional haunted house. Be sure to consider the horror genre's strengths when drafting your design, 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: Halloween Haunts." 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, October 17.

    Results will be posted Tuesday, October 23.

    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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