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  • Game Design Challenge: Hamlet

    - 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 week, we'll propose a design question. You'll have one week to answer it (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
    Design a game that teaches Shakespeare's Hamlet using only original text as dialogue.

    Assignment Details
    Your favorite professor from college has just received a $50,000 grant to create a game that teaches Shakespeare's Hamlet. She has contacted you to help her design the game; she is the content expert, but she needs your help from the game side.

    She has asked you to come up with a proposal, which will be delivered to a professional serious games company, who will build the game. Students who play the game, she says, should upon completion feel closer to the text; the game should help them remember the major acts and actions of the play as well as the characters' motivations.

    Her one and only requirement is that the only dialogue in the game be unaltered text from the play. Acts and scenes do not necessarily have to be shown to the players in full or in order, but if any game characters speak lines, they must be from the original text only.

    Remember when writing your proposal that the professor isn't a game designer, so be sure to explain the game in a way that she -- and the people who gave the grant -- will understand.

    Helpful Information

    • Teachers love for students to discuss the material with one another.
    • Don't let words like "game" and "character" define what you do. You can define them.
    • Grant money must be spent and accounted for later.
    • You have an opportunity to really impress the game company that will read your proposal, which could be your foot in the door to a full-time job.
    • What happens at Elsinore, stays at Elsinore!

    To Submit
    Send your answers to with the subject line "Design Challenge: Hamlet."

    You can hit up the forums to discuss your solutions (or to steal other people's answers!). Entries must be submitted by Wednesday, June 4, 2008. Be sure to include your full name and school affiliation or job title. Please try to keep your answers to 500 words or fewer -- unless they're really good!

    The responses for this challenge will appear the week of June 9, 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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