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  • Game Design Challenge: Call Of The Wild

    - 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 in which players control a wild animal.

    Assignment Details

    From speedy hedgehogs to barrel-throwing apes, there’s no shortage of playable animal characters when it comes to video games. And while domesticated critters tend to rule the roost when it comes to virtual pets and animal simulators, developers often turn to wilder creatures for other genres. Some of these titles take a more fantasy-oriented approach, like Ecco the Dolphin or the recent Ape Out, while others like Wolf Quest and Shelter present more realistic depictions of their wild protagonists.

    For Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, your job is to design a game in which players control a wild animal.

    You can explore any gameplay style you wish in your entry, but your game must star a wild, non-domesticated animal (so no cats, dogs, or other creatures commonly kept as pets). Some sample ideas include a real-time-strategy game in which prides of lions compete for hunting grounds in the wild savannah, an action game starring a hungry bear in search of dinner at the local campground, or a puzzle game where you’re an elephant looking to escape your cramped cage at a local zoo. If you're looking for a starting point, try choosing an animal for your design first, and then construct gameplay that suits the creature's strengths. Be creative, and have fun!

    To Submit

    Work on your ideas, figure out your strategy for coming up with a solution, and ask your instructors and fellow students for input. When your submission is complete, send it to [email protected] with the subject line "Game Design Challenge: Call Of The Wild." 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, April 17.

    Results will be posted Tuesday, April 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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