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GCG's Game Design Challenge Crowns 'Fresh Horror' Winners

Gamasutra sister site GameCareerGuide has posted the results of its 'Fresh Horror' game design challenge, with readers conceptualizing alternative approaches to the ho
Gamasutra sister site GameCareerGuide has posted the results of its 'Fresh Horror' game design challenge, with readers conceptualizing alternative approaches to the horror game genre, from "a game in which the environment itself is the antagonist" to a title that "forces players to form an uneasy alliance with a creature that serves as both savior and executioner." As the introduction to the article, which includes a total of ten winning game design explanations, outlines: "GameCareerGuide challenged its readers to come up with a game design concept that explored horror in a fresh way. Though the proposed game could feature many of the same elements that made the genre successful, entrants were encouraged to avoid the more cliched concepts. Many of the entries focused on creating an experience themed around a tried-and-true nemesis: the zombie. While the undead have been featured in numerous titles, a few entries remained fresh enough to be compelling despite the zombie's recurring presence in modern horror games. Other entries featured a strong emphasis on psychological terror, and exploited many common themes. Designers crafted worlds that were similar to our reality, but were warped in unexpected ways. Some responses relied on nightmarish imagery, and exploited human fears regarding friends or family members who had suddenly gone missing...or worse. In some cases, the player's senses would impede gameplay -- the threat of blindness was a common element. Significantly, nearly all entries expressed a common sentiment regarding combat: firearms in survival horror games often provide a sense of safety that ruins the intended mood. The solution proposed by many designers centered around melee-based combat, or the omission of combat entirely. What follows are the best and most original entries we received." Interested readers can now read the full GameCareerGuide.com story revealing the winners - and the site will be setting a new Game Design Challenge starting tomorrow, Wednesday.

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