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  • Game Design Challenge: Disorganized Sports

    - 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 based on an organized sport that doesn't involve playing the actual sport.

    Assignment Details

    From 1958's oscillator-based Tennis for Two to the current EA Sports empire, games based on athletic competition are a core part of the video game market. Almost every sport imaginable can be experienced digitally, with depth ranging from simple arcade action to complete team and equipment customization. Though video games and sports are inextricably linked, there are few games that simply use sports as a theme for another genre.

    For Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, your job is to design a game based on an organized sport that doesn't involve playing the actual sport.

    Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City

    Imagine a platformer in which an NHL player uses his hockey skills to destroy a nefarious corporation, a puzzler where a lowly equipment manager must rearrange equipment supplies to escape a haunted auditorium, or any other sports-themed concept in which simulation of a sport does not play a role in the action. For inspiration, take a look at Tales of Game's upcoming Barkley 2: Revenge of Cuchulainn, the sequel to the mid-2000s cult classic Barkley, Shut up and Jam: Gaiden, or Soccer Kid, a 90s Amiga platformer starring a ball-wielding soccer player. You may base your game on any sport, so feel free to get creative with this one!

    To Submit

    Work on your ideas, figure out your strategy for coming up with a solution, and ask questions on the forums. When your submission is complete, send it to with the subject line "Game Design Challenge: Disorganized Sports" 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, June 18.

    Results will be posted Tuesday, June 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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