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  • Game Design Challenge: Save the Wii U

    - Danny Cowan
  •'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.

    The Challenge

    Design a system-selling game for Nintendo's Wii U console.

    Assignment Details

    It's no secret that Nintendo's Wii U console is struggling to find an audience. Despite the unique possibilities offered by its unique tablet peripheral, the Wii U has seen low sales since its launch last November, and prominent publishers are abandoning the system in favor of established markets.

    Nintendo itself admits that it has underestimated the difficulty involved in shifting to HD development, and is betting on new entries in its core franchises to shore up sales. Wii U ownership will need to pick up soon, as the system will find itself in direct competition with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One when both consoles launch later this year.

    What would you do if you were put in charge of saving Nintendo's flagging hardware? As part of our latest Game Design Challenge, your job is to design a system-selling game for the Wii U.

    We hosted a previous challenge that focused on the Wii U tablet, but hardware is only part of the equation. Consider Nintendo's strengths -- its franchise characters, its trend-setting software, and the Wii's singular popularity in the casual market. To start, you might wish to build off the success of the Wii's biggest-selling games, such as Wii Fit, Wii Sports, and Super Mario Galaxy.

    Essentially, your task is to design a platform-exclusive game that makes consumers think, "Wow, I need to own this console." You may incorporate Nintendo's franchises and characters in your entry, but your design should feature a unique game (not a sequel) with original mechanics.

    To Submit

    Work on your ideas, figure out your strategy for coming up with a solution, and ask questions on the forums. When your submission is complete, send it to [email protected] with the subject line "Game Design Challenge: Save the Wii U" Please type your answer directly in the email body -- do not submit .pdf or Word documents.

    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, August 7.

    Results will be posted Tuesday, August 13.

    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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