Until 2014, every year the Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) held something called the Game Design Challenge. Competitors would design a game to fit within a “strange and unusual design constraint.” It was a popular part of the conference. This year, in honor of the the 30th anniversary of the conference, GDC has decided to reinstate the challenge.
According to the conference website, the challenge is to “design a game that is meant to be played across 30 years—that’s 11,000 days, or 250,000 hours, or 15 million minutes… A full human generation.” Five game designers have been invited to participate.
The designers are Chris Crawford, the founder of the GDC, Nina Freeman, a level designer at Fullbright (Cibele); Zach Gage, an independent game designer (Sage Solitaire); and Laralyn McWilliams, chief creative office at The Workshop Entertainment (The Evil Within). Eric Zimmerman, independent game designer, professor, author, and Gamelab founder, will host.
This particular challenge was designed because game designers are particularly prone to focus only on current and future technology—and to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the conference.
In 2013, the year of the last Game Design Challenge, designers tackled the theme “the last game humanity will ever play.” The panel where the competitors presented their ideas is in the GDC Vault website.