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  • Game Design Challenge: A New Vision

    - 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

    Re-envision a game that was ahead of its time.

    Assignment Details

    In a two year old GameSpot interview that's recently been going around, Capcom R&D head and Mega Man developer Keiji Inafune has recently said that his game, Mega Man Legends was too ahead of its time when it was released.

    Says Inafune, "It was a bit too early for its days. Ever since then, people started saying that 'Inafune's ideas are seven or eight years too early.' It was a sandbox style of game, kind of like Grand Theft Auto. One has Yakuzas and the other has robots, but it's kind of like the same. If we made it at the present time in modern quality, I believe that it would have sold a lot better."

    Many gamers look back at games that were ahead of their time and wonder how they'd fare if they only hit the market at the right time -- so it's not surprising that developers feel the same way about their work.

     Your challenge is to take a game you think was ahead of its time when it was released, and update its game design for the present generation.

    While Mega Man Legends had free-roaming gameplay, it also had an incredibly awkward control scheme and blended elements of older-style games with its forward-thinking gameplay. In that specific example, what would you keep, and what would you change?

    Pick a game that didn't get the recognition it deserved at the time -- but make sure its one whose core ideas will work in 2010! You can update any and every aspect of the gameplay, graphics, sound, and more -- but stick closest to what's important, design-wise, in your submission.

    Remember, the key to this challenge is not just picking a good, old game. It's specifically about picking out a game that had ideas that were too advanced for the audience or technology that was available at the time, and as a consequence, didn't quite succeed from a gameplay perspective. 

    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: A New Vision." 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, February 17

    Results will be posted Tuesday, February 23

    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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