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Story Design Challenge #4: Design a World

by Guy Hasson on 05/29/12 09:13:00 am   Expert Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutras community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


The monthly Story Design Challenge is cross-posted on Gamasutra's sister site, GameCareerGuide.

The Challenge: Design a New World

You know how games often have new worlds that are unique and special? Now it’s your turn to create something really special. You can create a magic world, a wondrous world, a paranoid world, a ridiculous world, a quirky world, or… whatever else you can think of. Amaze us with a world you’ve created.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to write a description of your new game world. Tell us what makes it special, and then give us a pretty clear picture of what that world will look like to the players.

Once you write an entry describing your new game world, be sure to send your entry via email to (guyhasson at gmail dot com) and submit it in the comments of the corresponding Gamasutra cross-post. That way, everyone can check out the other entries, and perhaps learn a thing or two from the other participants.

A Friendly Hint

Let your imagination go wild, but at the same time don’t forget to limit yourselves. Here’s a link to the Story Design Tips columns that lay down the rules for good world construction. On the one hand, everything is possible. On the other hand, the players need to believe the rules of the world you create. There are ways to fool the player’s subconscious mind to believe that something new, crazy and even impossible is, indeed, a self-contained world. These articles show you how. Use them to help you.

The Rules:

  • Please don’t use anything anyone owns the rights to, even if you’re the one who owns those rights. Let’s have no variations on existing games, movies, or stories. And nothing you or your company are working on at the moment.
  • Please keep your entry under 1000 words. 1000 words translate roughly to 4 double-spaced pages. That should be more than enough.
  • Winners will be announced in a cross-post like this one, in Gamasutra and GameCareerGuide on Tuesday, June 5th. This means you have six days to publish your entry (until Monday at midnight).
  • Please publish your entry in the comments of this article. If you want to do it anonymously, use Gamasutra’s system to log in anonymously.
  • Format: I don’t care what format you use. If you write clearly enough, and I can understand what you mean, the format doesn’t matter.
  • Important: When you publish your entry, send it to me simultaneously via email (to guyhasson at gmail dot com). That way, you make your entry public (in the comments), while ensuring I have your real email address if you win. Don’t publish the entry at your website or in Dropbox, then link to it. Use the comments so everyone can see.

The prize: The prize that’s mine to give is a free electronic copy of my book, Secret Thoughts. It’s science fiction, recently published by Apex Books. Here’s a link to the publisher’s website, where you can check out the plot and the reviews. When you send your email, please specify the type of file you want (pdf, epub, or mobi). If you’ve already won a Story Design Challenge, all I have to give you is glory.

Good luck to everyone! Go forth and create new worlds!

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