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  • Game Design Challenge: Public Domain Inspiration

    - 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 month, 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 game based on a property in the public domain.

    Assignment Details

    The public domain is one of the richest cultural libraries available. Many examples of classic literature, art, and music are in the public domain, either due to age or failure to renew the works' original copyright. Several popular video games have since pulled ideas from the public domain, from Castlevania's use of classic horror monsters (including Bram Stoker's Dracula) to the Greek mythology and literature featured in Sony's God Of War series.

    For Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, your job is to design a game based on works from the public domain.

    Any style of gameplay is fine for the purpose of this contest, as long as your entry is based on a freely available property from the public domain. To confirm that your chosen work belongs to the public domain, check Project Gutenberg, Openflix, and The Internet Archive.

    For entry ideas, consider a zombie FPS based on Night of The Living Dead, a point-and-click adventure inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, or a War of the Worlds arcade-style shooter. You should also read up on Yannick Elahee's experience creating similar works for the Public Domain Jam. You have a lot of options for this one - have fun!

    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: Public Domain Inspiration." 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, January 17.

    Results will be posted Tuesday, January 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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