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  • Game Design Challenge: DS Platforming Innovation

    - 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.

    Every other Wednesday we'll present you with a challenge about developing video games. You'll have two weeks to brainstorm a brilliant solution (see below for how to submit your answers). After the two week submission period elapses, the best answers and the names of those who submitted them will be posted, along with some commentary.

    The Challenge

    Design a stylus-based DS platformer with an innovative game mechanic.

    Assignment Details

    Though the Nintendo DS has been out for years and is one of the most successful platforms in the history of gaming, very few games have truly innovated in the standard platforming genre. The system's most popular platformer, New Super Mario Bros. plays it safe with tested 2D gameplay and button input.

    HAL Laboratory's Kirby Canvas Curse, on the other hand, breathes new life into a series otherwise known for being reliable and cute. And it does this with a very DS-centric play mechanic: using the stylus to draw ramps for the ever-moving Kirby to traverse.

    There's much more room for innovation in this genre.

    Your task is to create an innovative, stylus-based platforming game mechanic for the Nintendo DS. You can't use the buttons on the system; just the touch-screen. Bear in mind that you only have to concentrate on the mechanic itself, not the full game design that supports it -- but feel free to elaborate as much or as little as you like. 

    To Submit

    Work on your ideas, figure out your strategy for coming up with a solution, and ask questions on the forum. When your submission is complete, send it to with the subject line "Design Challenge: DS Platforming Innovation." Please type your answer directly in the email body.

    Submissions should be no more than 500 words and may contain up to three images. Be sure to include your full name and school affiliation or job title.

    Entries must be submitted by Wednesday, July 15

    Results will be posted Tuesday, July 21

    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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