How to Build a Game #20 Give Yourself a Challenge

If you are like me (and I think most designers), you have multiple projects going on at one time. In my experience, I get temporarily burnt out on a project and I need to move on to something else for a little while. If I feel really unproductive I will come up with a challenge for myself. I find that these little challenges are good for keeping my head in the game, HEYO!, but giving my brain a break from the grind that can be design. Sometimes I use these challenges as a way to close out the day and sometime I use them as a transition from one project to another.

Example Challenges:

  • Start with 10 standard themes with each theme, add 3 “tweaks” of your own to each
  • Set yourself a list of limits and build a game around them
  • Pick a specific action and use 5 different mechanics to accomplish said action, or as close as possible
  • Pick a theme and brainstorm 4-5 different, what I will call, game seeds from that theme

I never look at these challenges as a way to accomplish anything other than exercising my designer brain with what I consider “light lifting”. I say that because I am not trying to accomplish anything specific. However, that does not mean that I come away from these challenges with no good material.

So think about setting some challenges for yourself when you have the time and see what it does for you. You could come away with new ideas, full games, or just get a break from the design grind.

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If you have any comments or questions, leave a comment here or email Chris at c.renshall.tgik.games@gmail.com

If you have made it this far, would you like to go a little farther? We have a regular Google hangout with other designers. We talk about the games we are working on and share helpful tips and ideas on how to make designing our game easier. We meetup every other Saturday. Either comment here or tweet me or email me and I will add you to the list and send you a link to the Google hangout.

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Posted in How to Build a Game

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