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  • Story Design Challenge: Design A Villain

    - Guy Hasson
  • GameCareerGuide's Story Design Challenge returns! This time, site contributor Guy Hasson asks you to create the coolest villain you can think of.

    The Story Design Challenge is also cross-posted on GameCareerGuide's sister site, Gamasutra.

    The Challenge: Create a Villain

    We all know villains are the greatest. Villains steal the show. They're usually more quirky, more original, and much more freeing to write, see, and play against. Villains are our worst sides released safely. Some villains are fun, some scary, some ridiculous, some divine, and some are literally walking nightmares.

    Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to invent a new and original video game villain. Try to make a villain that would make it an unforgettable experience to play against. At the same time, be original. If you remake a villain we've seen before, your entry will not be in the top three. Make the villain yours. Be truly original; it's fun!

    The Portal series just wouldn't be the same without GlaDOS, the quirky, antagonistic AI. Can you come up with a villain just as compelling?

    Your entry should be a short description that gives us a pretty clear view of who the villain is, how s/he acts, what s/he wants, how s/he plans to get it, his/her background, and what makes him/her fun to play against.

    Good luck, and we can't wait to see what you come up with!

    A Friendly Hint

    When we think of designing villains, our first instinct is to look at their villainous side and design a character that is a function of that side. But that attitude creates one-dimensional characters that are boring. Here's a Story Design Tips article about achieving depth through surprise that gives you a simple tool to achieve depth. Let it help you make a richer, deeper villain.

    The Rules:

    Please don't use anything anyone owns the rights to, even if you're the one who owns those rights. Let's have no variations on existing games, movies, or stories. And nothing you or your company are working on at the moment.

    Please keep your entry under 1000 words. 1000 words translate roughly to 4 double-spaced pages. That should be more than enough.

    Winners will be announced in a cross-post like this one, in Gamasutra and GameCareerGuide on Tuesday, July 17th. This means you have six days to publish your entry (until Monday at midnight).

    To Enter:

    Please publish your entry in the comments of the Gamasutra article, which you can find here. If you don't have an account on Gamasutra, you'll have to register first.


    It doesn't matter what format you use. If you write clearly enough, and I can understand what you meant, the format doesn't matter.


    When you publish your entry, send it to me simultaneously via email (to guyhasson at gmail dot com). That way, you make your entry public (in the comments), while ensuring I have your real email address if you win. Don't publish the entry at your website or in Dropbox, then link to it. Use the comments so everyone can see.

    The prize:

    The prize that's mine to give is a free electronic copy of my book, Secret Thoughts. It's science fiction, recently published by Apex Books. Here's a link to the publisher's website, where you can check out the plot and the reviews. When you send your email, please specify the type of file you want (pdf, epub, or mobi). If you've already won a Story Design Challenge, all I have to give you is glory.

    Good luck to everyone! Go forth and create evil!


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