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  • Game Design Challenge: Inappropriate Title

    - 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

    Take an inappropriate title ... and make an appropriate game.

    Assignment Details

    Some games have titles that describe exactly what you're going to get. The Street Fighter series, for example, always features fighting, and frequently it takes place on the street. Grand Theft Auto not exclusively be about stealing cars, but it's a central part of the game. And there's Japan's current favorite, Monster Hunter.

    Some games, on the other hand, have more conceptual but still appropriate titles. While there are no bayonets in Bayonetta, the title calls to mind a sharp and dangerous woman -- which is what the title character is. There may be no angels in Halo, but it's the nickname for a ring around the planet that's deeply tied into the game's story. And Call of Duty and Medal of Honor are easy enough to understand.

    Then, there are game titles like Vagrant Story -- which is not a story about vagrants. At all. There's Guilty Gear -- a game title that makes some sense if you understand the fighter's convoluted backstory, but sounds like nonsense at first (and second) blush. And while Resident Evil made some sense as the title of a game set in a large mansion full of monsters, it's become increasingly inadequate for a series focused ever more on exploring larger locales.

    So -- here's the challenge, finally. We want you to pick a game title for an already existing game which you feel does not describe the game, and then come up with a game design for one that does. For example, you might pick Vagrant Storyand then do a game about the stories hobos told each other by the fire.

    Get it? Good!

    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: Inappropriate Title." 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, May 19

    Results will be posted Tuesday, May 25

    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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