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  • Game Design Challenge: Face Your Fears

    - 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 overcoming childhood fears.

    Assignment Details

    As the new semester kicks off, think back to your first day of school. For many children, starting school is a source of anxiety - it's a major shift in everyday routine, and daily classes introduce an entirely new set of challenges for kids to face. Over the years, however, children gradually learn to adapt to schoolwork, and fears begin to dissipate as school becomes a familiar part of daily life.

    But what if kids could safely face their fears in the context of a video game? For Game Career Guide's latest game design challenge, your job is to design a game about overcoming childhood fears.

    You may cover any genre you wish for this month's contest, but your gameplay mechanics must incorporate and address a specific childhood fear. Sample ideas for this month's challenge include a light-based puzzler about overcoming fear of the dark, an RPG that puts players in control of an imaginary monster that hides under beds, or a time management game about preparing for the first day of school. Think back to your own childhood for inspiration, and try to remember the techniques you used to overcome your own fears when drafting your mechanics. Be creative, and have fun!

    To Submit

    Work on your ideas, figure out your strategy for coming up with a solution, and ask your instructors and fellow students for input. When your submission is complete, send it to [email protected] with the subject line "Game Design Challenge: Face Your Fears." 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, September 18.

    Results will be posted Tuesday, September 24.

    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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