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  • Game Design Challenge: Asynchronous Gaming

    - 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.

    The Challenge

    Design an asynchronous multiplayer game.

    Assignment Details

    As social and mobile games have grown in popularity over the last few years, so too have asynchronous multiplayer games. For those not familiar with the term, asynchronous games allow players to play with each other over the internet even in they're not playing at the same time.

    OMGPOP's Draw Something is a prime example of this type of game. Players draw a picture, submit it to their friend, and then wait until they guess what it is and draw a picture of their own. This allows people to play online games at their leisure -- and friends don't have to sync up their schedules to play together.

    Draw Something
    Draw Something from OMGPOP

    Of course, turn-based games like Draw Something are not the only examples of asynchronous games. Zynga's popular FarmVille, for example, allows players to visit their friend's farms whenever they like -- it doesn't matter whether that friend is online. Again, it allows players to interact regardless of what they are up to in the real-world.

    What kind of asynchronous game would you make? What would it be about? What would its mechanics be like? This is a great chance to really bend the rules of online play and design an experience that people can enjoy whenever they like.

    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 with the subject line "Design Challenge: Asynchronous Gaming." 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, April 4

    Results will be posted Tuesday, April 10

    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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