Our First Design Challenge

10 Dec

This is a site about games right?

In fact game design. So why not do some designing?

On that note we are proudly announcing VancouverGameDesign.com’s first design challenge.

Here’s the idea.

Use the three themes provided to invent a game. You get two hundred words to describe the game in a response to this post. Whether the game is mini or epic, next gen or analog it’s all up to you. If super similar entries are submitted priority will be given to the first submission, so get your ideas in early.

Judging will be done by a celebrity panel: Adrian Crook, Todd Batty and Andrew Laing. (Details about the Judges can be found at the bottom of this post.)

$25 will be awarded via paypal to the winner.

The judges will not be aware of who submitted which entry. The contest will be open for one week which means all entries must be submitted by 11:59pm (PST) Monday December 17th. If your entry is even one word over 200 it will be disqualified.

If this proves successful from our perspectives we’ll start holding larger and larger cash prizes so get the word out.

Here’s the First Themes:

* Apples
* Morocco
* Clouds

Good luck and get designing.

Adrian Crook currently heads up Relic Labs, (an internal division of Relic) where he develops innovative new game concepts utilizing emergent themes such as casual gaming, Web 2.0 and free-to-play business models.
In 2006, Adrian was named Producer of the Year by the Canadian New Media Awards. Also in 2006, The Outfit, which he produced, was awarded Game of the Year by the Canadian Awards for the Electronic and Animated Arts.

Todd Batty most recently worked as Producer/Lead Designer on NBA Street Homecourt, which shipped on PS3 and X360, and is one of the highest-rated games on any next-gen platform. Electronic Gaming Monthly said: “The game bursts with one brilliant design decision after another – including a Gamebreaker power-up system that is, finally, perfect.”
Todd is also the pioneer developer who created the “Freestyle Control” feature that has revolutionized sports gaming.

Andrew went earned a BA in economics from McMaster University and a diploma from Digipen University in the art of videogame design.
Video game design credits include Sega Soccer Slam, Aidyn Chronicles, Rifts: Promise of Power and Detective Brand Golf, which was a finalist in the Independent Games Festival in 2005. Andrew is currently prototyping for a next gen system as well as providing design services to local developers.



(The following is necessary to keep the sight afloat, so please give it a looksee)

Whether we talk about cameras or the new line of laptops or something as subtle as printers, there is always room for a better design. Even car audio systems change their designs.


20 Responses to “Our First Design Challenge”

  1. Brian December 11, 2007 at 4:25 am #

    Great idea!

    Might I suggest having an e-mail to send this to, so people’s ideas aren’t out in the open? It would save most from having the ‘OMG HE STOLE MY IDEA’ syndrome, and it would be better for confidentiality anyway.

    Just a thought.

    Good luck everyone. 🙂

  2. Miko Wilson December 11, 2007 at 8:23 am #

    Which email address are we sending this too. AND, can we include a picture to explain the game? I think that it should be allowed as MANY game ideas can only be shown.

  3. McElroy Flavelle December 11, 2007 at 6:22 pm #


    Glad to see we’ve got some feedback already.

    1- For this design contest you post your ideas as 200 word responses to this blog. (Just like these suggestions.) In the future we will definitely consider moving towards email submissions but for now we’ll stick to this format. Part of the idea is to share ideas and see what kind of neat stuff your fellow designers are coming up with. Remember this means if the same idea is mentioned twice, priority will be given to the first entry so get your ideas in early.

    2- As for pictures- I love the idea but I also don’t think they will fit in the comment section of this blog . So the pictures are a GREAT idea and the first time we use email submissions they will be allowed as part of the idea description. For now, no pictures though.

  4. Pieter Parker December 11, 2007 at 8:00 pm #

    In the game Master of Pan, the player is a master chef that has ascended so highly in the rankings of Moroccan cuisine that the (fictional) deities of Morocco have taken notice of him, and have brought the
    chef before them so that he may cook cuisine for the deities. The game is a cel-shaded rhythm based music game wherein the player must input button sequences at the right time as the chef cooks for the deities in their
    Kingdom of Clouds, and as the player continues to excel at the button inputs more deities start to show up, and leave if the player should start to fail at the song.
    As the player builds a reputation as a chef of the Gods, an ever growing entourage will appear that dances around in the background as he cooks. The game would feature a simplistic control scheme
    as the player aspires to create the head Deity Abubu’s favorite dish, Apple Kebabs. The game would be small in size and designed in Flash as it would be targeted at websites and other portable platforms.

  5. McElroy Flavelle December 11, 2007 at 11:24 pm #

    Nice idea Pieter.

    Our first game is MASTER OF PAN.


  6. Abraham Petrosian December 12, 2007 at 12:15 am #


    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The Earth was formless and empty, so God created man in His own image, Adam and Eve and commands them that they should be fruitful, and fill the Earth. Doing so God knew that they would be tempted by the Devil to eat from the forbidden tree which bears the forbidden fruit: the APPLE.
    Genesis: is a Stealth Action Adventure game where players take the control of MOROCCO a Guardian Angel who has been assigned by God to keep Adam and Eve safe and from not eating the Apple that the Devil wants them to. Adam and Eve also live normal day to day life with different activities that they do: Adam collects food, Eve goes swimming all have their own dangers that Morocco must protect them from.

    To do his job Morocco must not be seen by Adam or Even and has to use the CLOUDS as hiding and lookout places.
    If Morocco is successful he is rewarded with protecting the growing offspring of Adam and Eve. All is not bad for Morocco since he is blessed with new abilities to use to keep them safe.

  7. Mbuso Radebe December 14, 2007 at 9:24 pm #

    The game Orchard is a farm simulation game where you play Aslal, a young apple farmer who has inherited an orchard in Marrakech, Morocco. The point of the game is to run a successful farm and develop a positive and strong relationship with the local townsfolk.

    The primary gameplay would consist of you planting seeds to grow different kinds of apple trees in the spring, summer and autumn. The game would be linked to the consoles online weather browser, so depending on what the coming days cloud cover is like, a player would decide whether or not to plant their desired apple seeds, maintain their planted seeds or tend to the farms other affairs. In winter a player would concentrate on collecting items, making home improvements and building personal relationships with the townsfolk (whom you can get item bargains from).

    The player must also balance their physical resources; if players over-exert themselves or stay outdoors in bad weather, they might not have the energy to perform needed activities, or might even get sick and miss a day of farming.

    The game would be released for the Nintendo Wii and have DS connectivity.

  8. Carlos December 15, 2007 at 4:20 pm #

    Cloudy Johnny

    Johnny is a normal cloud that lives with his cloud family in the northern part of Morocco. This part of Morocco is usually great for clouds, because not a lot of rain happens throughout the year, so they can roam freely without the fear of thunder and water.

    One day, Johnny went to the southern part because he was drawn there by enigmatic winds from the east. When he arrived, a big (And Johnny’s first) storm started. Johnny tried to flee but he couldn’t.

    He awakens in a terrain he doesn’t know, and needs to go back to North Morocco. But there is something. There is a saying among clouds in Morocco, that says “Follow the apples to your home”, and now Johnny must find the apples around Morocco and follow them to his family and home, and in the way, avoid thunderstorms (Enemies).

    The game is a top-down shooter, as Johnny, you can use wind powers (Granted to you by the Wind Morocco God) to clear the way of dark clouds, and you can find clear clouds that are allies and can double your size and wind power. Bosses would be thunderstorms.

  9. Charles Robert Simmons II December 16, 2007 at 3:24 am #

    Azmiya and the Mystical Kafgan

    On Her 12th birthday Princess Azmiya is handed down the Mystical Kafgan that has the power to summon Mystical Clouds. Her Kingdom holds a Scared Apple which allows for an Oasis to exist in even a barren desert. One day this Apple is stolen and her Kingdom turns into a barren wasteland. Azmiya must use her Mystical Kafgan to retrieve the Apple and restore her Kingdom.

    The Mystical Kafgan is a 2D side scrolling Action/Puzzle for the Nintendo DS where Players create “Storm Clouds” using the stylus. The “Storm Cloud” is used fill up rivers so the Player can cross them. If the “Storm Cloud” is shifted to the top screen, it’ll create Hailstorms to hurt enemies or create lightning bolts that will destroy obstacles when selected using the stylus. The Player can also combine multiple “Storm Clouds” to create Tornados by blowing into the DS’ microphone, allowing players to reach higher areas.

    This game is marketed towards Boys and Girls 8 to 14 years of age and be released in North America and European Territories.

  10. McElroy Flavelle December 16, 2007 at 7:03 pm #

    3 Days to go guys. (and girls.)

    Keep them coming- there’s some great ideas already.

    Also stay tuned as when this contest is done we’ll be running a great interview with Sean Smillie, Space Captain at Action Pants.

  11. Nick December 17, 2007 at 8:24 am #

    Flight of the Apple Bandits

    As a maleficent swarm of airborne pests, it is your duty to assault Mr. Morocco’s apple orchard in the hopes of scouring enough succulent fruit to sustain your colony on the move. But Mr. Morocco is no fool – to steal his fruit one must be quick, cunning, and above all must be athirst for the juicy apples that await in the treacherous orchards.

    Flight of the Apple Bandits is a Nintendo DS game wherein the player takes control of a ravenous swarm of insects bent on eating as many apples as possible before being…dealt with. Players control the swarm in a 2D sidescrolling adventure with the stylus, leading the swarm along by making motions on the screen.

    The goal is to capture and devour as many apples as possible by making a circular motion over an apple hanging from a tree; the more apples you manage to grab the bigger your swarm becomes. Dodge nefarious booby traps and bypass rotten apples to avoid losing part of your swarm, and watch out for angry Mr. Morocco chasing behind you with a flyswatter – stop for a second too long and you’re as good as dead!

  12. thecrazedmadman December 17, 2007 at 9:38 pm #


    You play as Billy, a young Moroccan kid that has the talent of being able to throw apples into the sky. Now, the village is having some troubles with their crops due to the weather…so it’s up to you to throw apples at the weather: clouds, rainstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes, all to keep the sun shining as long as possible.

    This game will be on the Wii using a familiar “point and shoot mechanic” at the clouds and other weather elements, only this one will be alot more slower paced…and more of a casual game. The gameplay will involve the player pointing at a point in the sky and clicks the Z button, then with a throwing motion on the wii-mote will define how fast and far it goes, and then it’ll break apart the clouds (or other weather) in various ways.

    This will be a “stay alive as long as possible” type of game….where the longer you play, the higher the score will get, but it will also get harder and more “weather” will try and cover up the sun. The game ends when the sun is covered up for too long and the crops die.

  13. thecrazedmadman December 17, 2007 at 9:39 pm #

    I dont know how to change my name, so that last post (Sunshine) was done by Andrew Myers

  14. doscar December 18, 2007 at 12:31 am #

    Quest of the Golden Seed: Reap what you sow.

    In the ancient world, Morocco is known for one thing and it is their apple sauce. However, the means by which the apple sauce is acquired is a bit “seedy”. The Moroccan Saucing Industry use Appleonians from the distant land of Apples captured in the never-ending Great War.

    An ancient Appleonian prophecy speaks of a girl that shall descend from the heavens on a Nimbus to vanquish the Great Evil with the Golden Seed. The Golden Seed can only be used when all seven seals within have been broken by filling them with the hearts of the Tainted; warriors of the MSI.

    Quest of the Golden Seed is a hack-and-slash for the Wii. Your weapons are the nimbus and your two chains. You battle the Tainted by shaking the Wii-mote back and forth to generate an electrical charge in the nimbus. Once charged; flick the Wii-mote downward to unleash lightning. The lightning will either kill or stun the Tainted. Grab a stunned Tainted and grab their still-beating heart out using your chains. Obtaining enough beating hearts is the only way to fill the Golden Seed and break its inner seals.

  15. doscar December 18, 2007 at 12:39 am #

    Oh by the way the time is WAY off! I submitted my design at 4:31pm not 12:31am.

    Don’t hate the playa’

    PS. Merry Christmas to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Tyler Hitchings December 18, 2007 at 5:38 am #

    ‘The Golden Apple’

    According to Norse mythology, the gods sustained their immortality by feeding on the golden apples that grew from Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life. Although similar life-restoring fruits are mentioned in the mythologies of other cultures, the golden apples have long been regarded as fabrications. However, whispered sightings of a remarkable apple in Casablanca have drawn treasure hunters from all over the world to the Moroccan port city.

    One such ‘entrepreneur’ is Charlie “Thursday” Donner, a no-nonsense gumshoe who is, unbeknownst to most, the modern-day incarnation of the former thunder god, Thor. With his immortality waning, Charlie needs to find the last golden apple before his fellow deposed gods do.

    Players will guide Charlie through the shady streets of Casablanca in a puzzle-laden, point-and-click-style adventure. No longer the unstoppable deity he once was, Charlie must rely on his wits and intellect to concoct inventive uses for the weather-controlling powers of his enchanted sidepiece, Mjolnir. Whether it’s deafening a guard with a well-timed thunder clap, summoning a gust of wind to snatch an out-of-reach item, or creating a concealing fog to sneak about in, players will uncover numerous applications for each of the abilities at Charlie’s disposal.

  17. Tyler Hitchings December 18, 2007 at 6:04 am #

    Yeah, the time on mine is whack, too… submitted it at 9:30pm or so.

    I actually had a couple possible suggestions for future design challenges. First off, instead of selecting 3 themes that everyone has to adhere to, it might be preferable to offer 5-7 possible themes from which everyone could select 2 or 3 to structure their concepts around. This might help some of the concepts feel a little more organic and cohesive and not as though one of the elements was just slipped in there as an afterthought to satisfy the criteria. If we had a bit of leeway on the elements we wanted to include, it might encourage a slightly broader spectrum of concepts that wouldn’t feel as forced.

    I also thought it might be interesting if the winner of one design challenge got to select a few potential themes for the next design challenge (but couldn’t offer any submissions for that challenge). Could be intruiging to see what different people come up with for possible themes, or even what their definition of ‘theme’ would be (maybe instead of places or objects, someone would require certain emotions to be targeted or particular music styles to be integrated). I dunno, could be cool.

    Anyway, glad to see that this is all actually happening. Keep up the good work. And have a sweet break, y’all!

  18. Pamela Livara December 19, 2007 at 8:50 pm #

    Thank you VFS for finally doing this for the Students 🙂

    It’s about time that the program really focused and encouraged students to do more design.

    Keep up the great work everyone,


  19. McElroy Flavelle December 19, 2007 at 9:18 pm #

    Thanks for checking it out Pam.

    We’re looking at how to refine the design challenge rules so it’s an even better experience for everybody in round 2.


  1. Design Challenge Winner « Vancouver Game Design - January 30, 2008

    […] The original posting with all the submissions is here.  […]

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