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  • Game Design Challenge: The New Sound

    - 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.

    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, along with some commentary.

    The Challenge

    Build a game that uses music integrally.

    Assignment Details

    There's been a lot of talk about how the music genre just isn't doing as well as it used to. Yes, Beatles Rock Band is a major hit, and people still love Guitar Hero. DJ Hero hasn't caught on, though. It seems that gamers might very well be getting plastic instrument fatigue.

    Is it any wonder? Years of essentially the same game over and over is wearing people down. Is it all about pushing colored buttons as lights cascade down the screen? As addictive as it is, there's more to music than rock, and there's more to gameplay than timing.

    Despite the popularity and variety in music, few attempts have been made to marry it to different types of gameplay. We'd like to see that change.

    Sony's Patapon for the PSP takes the metaphor of battle drums and applies it to strategy game. Rez HD, on the other hand, marries the beat to a transcendent shooting experience.  

    These games are a great place to start. Think of a way to use music as a core gameplay mechanic, but don't just cast the player as a performing mimic -- bring it in in a truly creative yet still integral way.

    To Submit

    Work on your ideas, figure out your strategy for coming up with a solution, and ask questions on the forum. When your submission is complete, send it to [email protected] with the subject line "Design Challenge: The New Sound." Please type your answer directly in the email body.

    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 16

    Results will be posted Tuesday, December 22

    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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