The latest batch of reader-submitted GameCareerGuide Game Design Challenge results have been posted, with readers tackling the task of innovating on pure stylus-based character gameplay
on the Nintendo DS.
The Challenge question
tasked players with creating a platforming game in the mold of HAL Laboratory's Kirby Canvas Curse
, one of the most inventive and enjoyable DS games ever released.
"Though the Nintendo DS has been out for years and is one of the most successful platforms in the history of gaming, very few games have truly innovated in the standard platforming genre. The system's most popular platformer, New Super Mario Bros. plays it safe with tested 2D gameplay and button input.
"HAL Laboratory's Kirby Canvas Curse, on the other hand, breathes new life into a series otherwise known for being reliable and cute. And it does this with a very DS-centric play mechanic: using the stylus to draw ramps for the ever-moving Kirby to traverse.
"There's much more room for innovation in this genre.
"Your task is to create an innovative, stylus-based platforming game mechanic for the Nintendo DS. You can't use the buttons on the system; just the touch-screen. Bear in mind that you only have to concentrate on the mechanic itself, not the full game design that supports it -- but feel free to elaborate as much or as little as you like.
The results were more ambitious than required, and today, we present three game concepts (and a number of 'honorable mentions') for your perusal:
"Dave Delisle, Generalist, Unibot
Delisle proposes a game in which players indirectly control the actions of a robot using a magnet. The result is a challenging experience that features a surprising amount of flexibility in its controls.
"Elendil 'Shin' Canete, Game Designer, Running Beat
Borrowing elements from the rhythm genre, Canete suggests a momentum-based platformer in which progress is tied to successfully maintaining a steady rhythm. Featuring many of the same elements that drive successful DS releases like Cooking Mama and Elite Beat Agents, Running Beat promises to be a compelling play.
"Vladimir Villanueva, Artist, Haunt's Armor
Villanueva's entry pairs a somber narrative with gameplay that puts players in control of a possessed suit of armor. The mechanics here prove solid enough to support the ambitious concept.
Interested? Read the full feature showcasing the game concepts
, which is live today on Gamasutra's education-focused sister site, GameCareerGuide.com.