Gamasutra's sister educational website GameCareerGuide
has posted the results of its free-to-play Game Design Challenge
, about free to play game design.
It's als just started up a new competition
-- to get designers thinking about reinvigorating a game that was 'ahead of its time' when first released.
Free To Play
In its most recent completed Game Design Challenge, GCG asked for a game design for an original, and workable, free-to-play game:
"The free-to-play, pay-for-items model has become more and more prevalent. While it doesn't seem set to supplant the traditional model, there's an increasing demand for designers who know the ins and outs of this market.
"Game Career Guide challenged its readers to create a successful free-to-play online game. This challenge left readers open to experiment with genre and gameplay to arrive at the best and most interesting way to implement free-to-play."
The best entries, as selected by GameCareerGuide staff, are as follows:
"Loic Ramboanasolo, Comp Sci Student at Universite de Montreal, Unethical iContract
Unethical iContract lives up to its name, punishing losing players by deducting real-world cash from their bank accounts. The lure of valuable prizes is bound to promote heated competition, ensuring a steady, if ill-gotten, stream of income for the game's publisher.
"Nacho Pintos. Student at UOC Post-Graduate Program of Game Development, Extinction: Imminent
Extinction: Imminent is a violent, fiercely competitive game in which players must exterminate every living thing within the game world...including themselves. There's an odd sort of balance to be found in the midst of the chaos, however, and microtransactions provide both gameplay advantages and a cash incentive for each round's winner.
"Stavros Kokkineas, Student at the Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Fair Play
Stavros Kokkineas describes an alternate take on the sports team management genre in which players pay for clothing, stadiums, and better players for a virtual soccer team. The cooperation mechanic (also supported by microtransactions) encourages players to maintain a strong community -- a vital component for many free-to-play games."
You can read them all
, and the runners up, at GameCareerGuide now.
A New Vision
GameCareerGuide has also launched its latest Game Design Challenge
, one that asks its readers to envision a game that was ahead of its time, inspired by remarks made by Keiji Inafune, Capcom's head of R&D:
Mega Man Legends] was a bit too early for its days. Ever since then, people started saying that 'Inafune's ideas are seven or eight years too early.' It was a sandbox style of game, kind of like
Grand Theft Auto. One has Yakuzas and the other has robots, but it's kind of like the same. If we made it at the present time in modern quality, I believe that it would have sold a lot better."
That said, the competition is based on these criteria -- "Pick a game that didn't get the recognition it deserved at the time -- but make sure its one whose core ideas will work in 2010! You can update any and every aspect of the gameplay, graphics, sound, and more -- but stick closest to what's important, design-wise, in your submission."
For full details, including how to submit, and due dates, visit the challenge
at Gamasutra's education-focused sister site, GameCareerGuide.