Game Career Guide is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Get the latest Education e-news
  • Game Design Challenge: Your Cheatin' Heart

    - 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 with a cheating mechanic.

    Assignment Details

    While codes and glitches let players cheat their way to victory in single-player games, these methods don't typically give players an unfair advantage over others. Cheating is more of a problem in online games, as many MMOs employ countermeasures against hacking and other subversive activity that upsets game balance.

    In rare cases, though, some games actually encourage cheating. The unreleased Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors features Buzz Bombers, a shoot-em-up minigame in which the first player is given distinct advantages (higher scores, stronger bullets) so that they'll always defeat their opponents. There's even a "Cheaters" version of Monopoly in the works, which has built-in mechanisms to encourage (and also catch) cheating.

    For Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, your job is to design a game with a cheating mechanic.

    You may explore any genre you wish in your entry, as long as you include a way for the player to cheat. You may also want to discuss whether in-game cheating has consequences or penalties if a player is caught. Some example ideas include a VR cooking competition where you can sabotage your competitors, a quiz game with an option to "buy" answers from an unscrupulous host, or a boxing game in which you can throw the match for a big payoff. If you're looking for additional ideas, check out cheating-oriented games like Screencheat and Texas Cheat'Em for inspiration. You're free to tweak a number of established gameplay mechanics for this one, so be creative, and 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: Your Cheatin' Heart." 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, February 21.

    Results will be posted Tuesday, February 27.

    Disclaimer: is not responsible for similarities between the content submitted to the Game Design Challenge and any existing or future products or intellectual property.


comments powered by Disqus