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GCG’s Game Design Challenge: Achievement and Insomnia

GCG’s Game Design Challenge: Achievement and Insomnia

November 21, 2008 | By Jill Duffy

GameCareerGuide has recently posted its next Game Design Challenge: design a card game that incorporates the theme ‘insomnia.’ Will students and aspiring game designers figure out how to suggest ‘insomnia’ representatively through an abstract system?

The site has also posted the top three submissions to a recently closed design challenge in which readers invented a new Xbox Achievement for an existing game.

The contests are judged by game designer Manveer Heir (Raven Software) and staff of, who look for how well each submission meets the criteria of each challenge, originality, clarity in the written submission, and a sense of understanding the unique restrictions of each challenge if it were actually taken to purpose in a real game development studio.

For the Xbox Achievement challenge, the best submissions considered ways to promote unique or different gameplay or styles of play, rather than reward players for things they would normally do. Another trick to the challenge, as Manveer Heir states in the brief article that accompanies the top three submissions, was choosing the right game. Some games, he says, lend themselves to more variety and vast options in achievement design.

The top three entries were from Will Armstrong IV, who would create an achievement for playing through Grand Theft Auto IV without killing any innocent bystanders; Alfred Beyer, a software engineer, who wanted to give an achievement to any Fallout 3 player who was able to swing from a very low karma level to one greater than 250; and Michael Havis, a student at ITT Technical Institute, who wanted to recreate great moments of drama in sports history by having a player in EA Sports Madden NFL 09 win a game with less than three seconds on the clock.

Professional game developers are welcomed to participate in the challenge, or to visit the GameCareerGuide forum, where readers are discussing their method for how to approach the next challenge about designing a card game based on the theme insomnia.

For more information for beginners about game development and careers in the industry, visit the Getting Started section on

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