3 min read

Story Design Challenge #5: Design a Villain

The challenge this time: Design the coolest villain!

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

The Challenge: Create a Villain

We all know villains are the greatest. Villains steal the show. They’re usually more quirky, more original, and much more freeing to write, see, and play against. Villains are our worst sides released safely. Some villains are fun, some scary, some ridiculous, some divine, and some are literally walking nightmares.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to invent a new and original video game villain. Try to make a villain that would make it an unforgettable experience to play against. At the same time, be original. If you remake a villain we’ve seen before, your entry will not be in the top three. Make the villain yours. Be truly original; it’s fun!

Your entry should be a short description that gives us a pretty clear view of who the villain is, how s/he acts, what s/he wants, how s/he plans to get it, his/her background, and what makes him/her fun to play against.

A Friendly Hint

When we think of designing villains, our first instinct is to look at their villainous side and design a character that is a function of that side. But that attitude creates one-dimensional characters that are boring. Here’s a Story Design Tips article about achieving depth through surprise that gives you a simple tool to achieve depth. Let it help you make a richer, deeper villain.

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, July 17th. This means you have six days to publish your entry (until Monday at midnight).

To Enter:

Please publish your entry in the comments of this Gamasutra article.


It doesn't matter what format you use. If you write clearly enough, and I can understand what you meant, the format doesn't matter.


When you publish your entry, send it 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 evil!

Latest Jobs


Playa Vista, California
Audio Engineer

Digital Extremes

London, Ontario, Canada
Communications Director

High Moon Studios

Carlsbad, California
Senior Producer

Build a Rocket Boy Games

Edinburgh, Scotland
Lead UI Programmer
More Jobs   


Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter


Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Follow us


Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more