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  • Game Design Challenge: Time For Change

    - 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

    Profoundly change a game's main character.

    Assignment Details

    Recently two interesting examples of modifying an existing game character's gender came to light. Artist David Stonecipher recently drew a series of gender-swapped game characters, both male and female. This was done just for fun.

    On GameCareerGuide, on the other hand, SMU Guildhall masters student Shaylynn Hamm shared a more robust look at the same idea, in her project The Aesthetics of Unique Video Game Characters.

    The aim of the project was to examine how female characters are created for games, what purpose they serve, and how they could be designed to stay true to the spirit of an exisiting character while offering a new experience that might appeal to a broader audience, and making sense in a real-world context.

    Hamm examined existing female characters in games, conducted a survey of gamers, and then devised a scheme to meaningfully adapt two of Team Fortress 2's characters from male to female.

    How would profoundly changing the main character of a game change the adventure? As designers, your job is not to work on the visual design of the characters in a game world, but on how that world works from a gameplay and story perspective. What challenges would a female Kratos face that the God of War hero wouldn't otherwise? It would change the story of the original game -- maybe make parts of it impossible.

    Your submission can be tongue-in-cheek or serious -- but should fully and plausibly examine how a gender change effects the gameplay of the game you choose.

    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 [email protected] with the subject line "Design Challenge: Time For Change." 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, June 9

    Results will be posted Tuesday, June 15

    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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