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  • GameCareerGuide's Game Design Challenge Restaurant Game

    [02.11.09]
    - Manveer Heir and GameCareerGuide.com staff
  • Title boxGameCareerGuide.com'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.

    We present a challenge about developing video games. You 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 game about running one of the toughest businesses: a restaurant.

    Assignment Details
    Running a restaurant or food establishment is a tough job. More than half of all new restaurants fail within their first three years.

    Instead of seeing so many restaurateurs trying their hand at operating their own establishments, what if they just played a game that was like running a restaurant?

    Design a game based around running a restaurant. It might be about running the entire restaurant. It might deal with only the kitchen or only the wait staff. It might deal with only devising a menu that will stand out and be successful in a neighborhood that's filled with other restaurants. It might be about calculating the cost of the food served or the mark-up on the wine list. Your game can focus on some or all of the restaurant business, but it is necessary that you define that scope in your submission.

    But most importantly, we want you to think about which elements of game design and game play are most like operating a business.

    The key is to not only make the game fun and interesting, but also to introduce the concept of difficulty that shows how hard it is to run a restaurant. If half of all new restaurants fail, it's because it's difficult to turn a profit. We don't want to see half of players fail, but we would like to see a harder than normal difficulty for a game like this. The game should be for PC and online play, and the budget for development is modest -- don't waste your time daydreaming about particle effects for smoke and kitchen fires!

    Explain the high-level mechanics of how the game plays (no story is necessary) and explain how the player wins or loses at this game. Also explain what part of the restaurant business you are focusing on and how difficulty will function in the game.

    Hint: Diner Dash is probably the most well known restaurant game. You might want to analyze what makes it fun (and adapt some of those ideas to your own game), but you also want to make something that's not a rip-off.

    To Submit

    Dish out your thoughts about this challenge or ask questions on the forum. When your submission is complete, send it to gamecareerguide@gmail.com with the subject line "Design Challenge: Restaurant Game." 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, February 18, 2009.
    The responses for this challenge will appear the week of February 23, 2009.


    Disclaimer: GameCareerGuide.com is not responsible for similarities between the content submitted to the Game Design Challenge and any existing or future products or intellectual property. We won't rip off your ideas, but we won't be held responsible if someone else does.

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