Gamasutra's education-focused sister site GameCareerGuide offers information for game industry students and beginners -- and every three weeks, it also launches a Game Design Challenge that anyone can join in.
While the contest is aimed at beginners, it's a great way for anyone to flex their design muscles and come up with interesting ideas -- and then submit them to for evaluation.
You can see the results from the latest challenge if you want to see what winning ideas look like.
Here's the current challenge:
Design a versus fighter that does NOT feature traditional fighting game mechanics.
With the recent release of Street Figher V, Capcom's flagship one-on-one fighting franchise is once again in the spotlight. While the series is best known for helping to lay the foundation for the fighting game genre, it also spawned Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, a competitive puzzler that swaps out flying fists and feet for tile-matching, combo-chaining puzzle mechanics. Though Capcom never revisited its mechanics for a sequel, Puzzle Fighter is fondly remembered today, and competition remains fierce among veteran players.
For Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, your job is to design a one-on-one fighter that that does NOT feature traditional fighting game mechanics.
You can explore any genre you wish for your entry, but your game must feature physical combat between two characters at its core. It's up to you to determine how the player triggers attacks and counterattacks during gameplay without relying on fighting game mechanics, ala Puzzle Fighter. For example, consider a competitive pinball game where life-draining combos are executed by hitting certain bumpers, or a point-and-click adventure where you solve puzzles to inflict damage on your opponents in a martial arts tournament.
It can be difficult to work within an established genre without relying on its core mechanics, but Puzzle Fighter's unconventional approach to its source material made it a memorable hit. Feel free to get creative with this one, and good luck!
Interested? Head over to GameCareerGuide to get the full details and submit your idea.