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  •'s Game Design Challenge: No Jumping!

    - Manveer Heir
  •'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 the game mechanics for a platform game with no jump function.

    Assignment Details
    You're working on a new 2D platform game, with one distinct difference from all other platform games: the character can't jump.

    There is no button that jumps, or grapples, or does anything that resembles a jump allowed. The only buttons available to the player are movement left and right.

    Why? The company you work for wants to make something different for players, something they've never played before, and decided that to accomplish this, they would remove the key feature of a platform game.

    Upper management believes that great limitations can result in great creativity and ingenuity.

    You have been tasked with creating the high-level mechanics of the game. To still qualify as a platformer, the game needs to have options for the player to get on and off different platforms throughout the game. The game should not be able to be completed by simply holding down the "run right" button until the end of the level is reached. There need to be obstacles, goals, and use of both the left and right movement buttons.

    You don't need to talk about the story, or setting of the game -- just how it actually and functionally plays. Remember, you only have the two buttons available to you and they must move the player left and right.

    To Submit

    Discuss your ideas for a unique solution on the forum. When your submission is complete, send it to with the subject line "Design Challenge: No Jumping!" 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! Storyboards, sketches, and other visual submissions can be attached as .jpgs or linked to.

    Entries must be submitted by Wednesday, October 15, 2008.
    The responses for this challenge will appear the week of October 20, 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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