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  • Game Design Challenge: Fantasy RPG Quest

    - Manveer Heir and staff
  •'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.

    Each Wednesday we'll present you with a challenge about developing video games. You'll have one week to brainstorm a solution (see below for how to submit your answers). The following week, the best answers and the names of those who submitted them will be posted along with some commentary.

    The Challenge
    Outline a story for a quest for a fantasy RPG.

    Assignment Details
    You are a new designer working on a fantasy role-playing game. On your first day of work the lead designer tells you that she needs a lot of writing for the quests in the game. Since you are a new designer, you'll have to earn the right to work on the main quest. You will start, she says, with small side quests.

    She wants you to write a quest, from the perspective of the quest-giver, that tells the player to go to the Tramalforian Forest and collect 20 dwarf beards. She notes that these types of quests are filler quests, meant to make the game feel longer, but that the writing is what sells these quests to players and makes them feel like less of a grind.

    Reading over the design document, you realize this is a fairly traditional high fantasy universe, with dwarves, elves, dragons, and everything else one would expect. The character giving the quest to the player is an old man with a cane. Everything else about the quest is up to you.

    Hint: To get your story across clearly and quickly, you'll want to focus on developing a complete overview or outline of the story from start to finish, rather than go into deep detail about other elements of the game that your team members have to work on (don't steal their workload!).

    To Submit
    Ask questions, talk about bearded dwarves, or stun your peers with ideas for an elegant solution on the forum. When your submission is complete, send it to [email protected] with the subject line "Design Challenge: RPG Quest." Answers must be submitted as text typed directly in the email body. Be sure to include your full name and school affiliation or job title, and try to keep your answers to 200 words or fewer -- unless they're really good!

    Entries must be submitted by September 10, 2008.
    The responses for this challenge will appear the week of September 15, 2008.

    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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