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  •'s Game Design Challenge: Cut the Cutscene

    - 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
    Eliminate a cutscene by making it into gameplay.

    Assignment Details
    In an alternate history, you worked for Wideload Games, developers of Stubbs the Zombie for the Xbox. During development, it was discovered that the game was wildly over budget, and the publisher demanded costs be cut. One of the first things to go was the intro movie, which is told in a news-real style cinematic.

    Your job is to convey all the same information that the intro movie conveyed, except in the context of gameplay rather than as a short movie. The information needs to be delivered in the first level of the game. The information does not have to be told the same way that it is in the cinematic (seeing as gameplay is a different medium, that wouldn't make any sense), but you need to have a plan in place for how you will deliver all the major points.

    Write a plan on how you are going to give the player all the relevant information. What will the player do when the information is being given? Where in the level will the information be given? How will it be given? Design the replacement for the intro!

    Hint: It's probably a good idea to outline what all the major points are before you consider how they will be conveyed. This includes style and purpose.

    Bonus hint: Storyboards are highly encouraged!

    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: Cut the Cutscene." Please type the text portion of your answer directly in the email body. Be sure to include your full name and school affiliation or job title.

    Deadline update: The deadline has been extended to Wednesday, December 10, 2008. The responses for this challenge will now appear the week of December 15, 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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