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  •'s Game Design Challenge: Guitar's The Word

    - Manveer Heir and 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 Wednesday we'll present you with a challenge about developing video games. You'll have one week to brainstorm a brilliant solution (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 non-music-based game that uses the guitar peripheral from Guitar Hero as the input device.

    Special Note
    Thanks to ronnoc10 and TG1 on the forum for sending in a Game Design Challenge concept and inspiring this challenge [and who, unfortunately, will have to be disqualified from the Best Entries (though perhaps they can land an Honorable Mention)].

    Assignment Details
    You, like the rest of the world, are smitten with Guitar Hero and Rock Band, playing the games endlessly with friends. During a talk with your friends, you end up discussing why Guitar Hero is so much fun, how the guitar controller makes you feel like a true rock star. You start thinking about how the controller really can change a game experience, such as with the Wii, and begin to realize that there is a lot of unexplored opportunity with the guitar controller as an input device.

    You approach your colleagues at your game development job the next day and propose a rough idea for the studio's next game. It will be a non-music-based game that uses the guitar from Guitar Hero as the controller. Your co-workers ask you what you do in the game, and you realize you haven't gotten that far yet; you just know that you want to utilize the guitar controller.

    Everyone laughs the idea off, but you are convinced that there is a good idea that uses the guitar controller, you just aren't sure what it is yet. One of the partners at the company says that if you can get a good idea proposal written up in a week, the team will evaluate it seriously.

    You begin to think of ideas for a game that uses the controller, but doesn't involve music. You realize you can't change the actual hardware of the controller in any way, so your game needs to use the controller as-is. You need to have a small proposal to sell the team on the idea for the game. The proposal only needs high-level gameplay fleshed out and how the controller interacts with the game.

    To Submit
    Ask questions or stun your peers with brilliant ideas for a solution on the forum. When your submission is complete, send it to with the subject line "Design Challenge: Guitar." Please type your answer directly in the email body. Be sure to include your full name and school affiliation or job title, and try to keep your answers to 500 words or fewer -- unless they're really good!

    Entries must be submitted by Wednesday, October 8, 2008.
    The responses for this challenge will appear the week of October 13.

    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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