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Build a Game Challenge

A free 6-day game design email workshop

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Play Video
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This challenge is an easy and condensed way for you:

1. Build a playable virtual table top game prototype within 6 days.
2. Directly experience the game design process.
3. Learn fundamental playtesting, feedback collection, and iteration techniques.

Here is how it works ↓

I simplified and restructured the prototyping process into a beginner friendly 6 step format where you’ll get

  1. Guiding frameworks
  2. Plug n’ play templates
  3. Examples to reference how other participants.
  4. Practical exercise(s) that can instill a methodical process to build games.

Notes: 

1. You don’t need any coding or scripting skills to participate.

2. The only requirement to participate is to have a “TableTop Simulator”.  We use it in the challenge to build your game and have other people easily playtest it.

⚠️ DISCLAIMER: TableTop Simulator is $20 paid directly to Steam (we are not affiliated with TTS).

Here is what you'll receive each day:

Includes

Video workshop (on-demand):

  • How to setup the right tools and join the challenge Discord channel?
  • What is a game (the fundamental elements)?
  • How to organize your game idea in a clear and understandable way?

Templates: 

  • Game debrief template

Examples:

  • A triple A game
  • A prototype idea I came up with
  • Examples from former participants

2 action items

Includes

Video workshop (on-demand):

  • How to mold the player experience through the 5 fundamental building blocks of all games?
  • Different types of “fun” experiences players are looking for?
  • How to write rules for your game idea?

Templates: 

  • Game rule book template

Examples:

  • The same example prototype idea I used in the game debrief.
  • Example rule books from former participants

1 action item

Includes

Video workshop (on-demand):

  • How does rapid prototyping work?
  • Example of rapid prototyping in a AAA game.
  • Design constraints for the challenge
  • Demo on how to rapid prototype a virtual board game
    • Using the same game idea as example from the previous 2 days.

Templates: 

  • Loadable TTS files for the example prototype.

Examples:

  • Examples prototypes from previous participants

1 action item

Includes

Video workshop (on-demand):

  • What is solo playtesting and why is it important?
  • What are the 7 common design issues to look out for?
  • Demo of how I solo playtest the game prototype I made.

Templates:

  • Checklist of 7 common issues to lookout for

Examples:

  • Screen share demo is in the video

1 action item

Includes

Video workshop (on-demand):

  • How to playtest your game
  • How to document your playtest sessions
  • What are the 13 type of playtest data to pay attention to

Templates: 

  • Checklist of 13 type of playtest data to pay attention to
  • Spreadsheet template to organize playtest data

Examples:

  • Examples prototypes from previous participants

1 action item

Includes

Video workshop (on-demand):

  • How to distill your playtest feedback into practical implementations?
  • What to do next if
    • You ARE NOT interested in game design, but still want to make a living in the video game industry
    • You ARE inspired to pursue game design as a career

Templates: 

  • Checklist of 15 questions to help you distill your playtest data into impactful updates to your prototype.
  • Spreadsheet template to identify, organize, and prioritize playtest data
  • Recommended resources to help you pursue a game design career
    • Understand what career paths look like for game designers
    • Learn how to get hired

2 action items

If you have completed the challenge (not just watch the video), then I have a 🎁 for you. 

Who is this for?

You play a lot of video games and you had thought of designing games for a living.

You are starting from zero to experience first hand exactly what professional game designers do so you can

  1. Understand the fundamental game making process.
  2. Check if you like doing what game designers do.
  3. Check if you like other core parts of the game dev process: art, programming, production, or QA

You want to get into game design (or other game dev maker positions) professionally.

You know a lot of concepts through consuming Youtube videos and game design posts, but has never built a game or put any concept into practice.

This challenge helps you determine if the game development maker craft is a good fit for your interests and talents and put what you’ve learned into practice.

In the end of the day, game design is a maker’s craft, which means professionally you’re paid to make things.

So if you don’t enjoy making games then this is probably not the profession or hobby you want to invest your time in.

Here are what previous challengers had to say:

GDS playtest challenge testimonial zachary labounty
GDS 21 day challenge testimonial malcolm yeo
GDS playtest challenge testimonial nick oconnell 2
GDS playtest challenge testimonial nick oconnell 1
GDS 21 day challenge testimonial miles butler
GDS 21 day challenge testimonial Leerer

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EXPERIENCE & BACKGROUND:

[STUDIO] Blizzard Entertainment: Content, mechanics, and systems designer

(Creator of Apex Legends & former Creative Director at Respawn)

[GAME] World of Warcraft: MMORPG with 8.5 million average monthly players, won Gamer’s Choice Award – Fan Favorite MMORPG, VGX Award for Best PC Game, Best RPG, and Most Addictive Video Game.

  • Classic:
    • Designed Cosmos UI
    • Designed part of Raid Team for Naxxramas
  • Burning Crusade:
    • Designed the raid bosses Karazhan, Black Temple, Zul’Aman
    • Designed the Outlands content
    • Designed The Underbog including bosses:
      • Hungarfen, Ghaz’an, Swamplord Musel’ik, and The Black Stalker
    • Designed the Hellfire Ramparts final bosses Nazan & Vazruden
    • Designed the Return to Karazhan bosses: Attumen the Huntsman, Big Bad Wolf, Shades of Aran, Netherspite, Nightbane
  • Wrath of the Lich King:
    • Designed quest content, events and PvP areas of Wintergrasp
    • Designed Vehicle system
    • Designed the Death Knight talent trees
    • Designed the Lord Marrowgar raid
  • Cataclysm:
    • Designed quest content
    • Designed Deathwing Overworld encounters
    • Designed Morchok and Rhyolith raid fights
  • Mists of Pandaria: 
    • Overhauled the entire Warlock class – Best player rated version through all expansion packs
    • Designed pet battle combat engine and scripted client scene

[GAME] StarCraft 2: Playtested and provided design feedback during prototyping and development

[GAME] Diablo 3: Playtested and provided design feedback during prototyping and development

[GAME] Overwatch: Playtested and provided design feedback during prototyping and development

[GAME] Hearthstone: Playtested and provided design feedback during prototyping and development

[STUDIO] Riot Games: Systems designer, in-studio game design instructor

(Former Global Communications Lead for League of Legends)
(Former Technical Game Designer at Riot Games)

[GAME] League of Legends: Team-based strategy MOBA with 152 million average active monthly players, won The Game Award for Best Esports Game and BAFTA Best Persistent Game Award.

  • Redesigned Xerath Champion by interfacing with community
  • Reworked the support income system for season 4
  • Redesigned the Ward system
  • Assisted in development of new trinket system
  • Heavily expanded internal tools and features for design team
  • Improved UI indicators to improve clarity of allied behaviour

[OTHER GAMES] Under NDA: Developed multiple unreleased projects in R&D

Game Design Instructor: Coached and mentored associate designers on gameplay and mechanics

[STUDIO] Moon Studios: Senior game designer

(Former Lead Game Designer at Moon Studios)

[GAME] Ori & The Will of The Wisps: 2m total players (423k people finished it) with average 92.8/100 ratings by 23 top game rating sites (including Steam and Nintendo Switch).

  • Designed the weapon and Shard systems
  • Worked on combat balance
  • Designed most of the User Interface

[GAME] Unreleased RPG project

  • Designed core combat
  • High-level design content planning
  • Game systems design
  • Game design documentation
  • Gameplay systems engineering
  • Tools design
  • Photon Quantum implementation of gameplay

[VC FUNDED STARTUP] SnackPass: Social food ordering platform with 500k active users $400m+ valuation

[PROJECT] Tochi: Creative director (hybrid of game design, production and leading the product team)

  • Lead artists, engineers, and animators on the release the gamification system to incentivize long-term customers with social bonds and a shared experience through the app

[CONSULTING] Atomech: Founder / Game Design Consultant

[STUDIOS] Studio Pixanoh + 13 other indie game studios (under NDA):

  • Helped build, train and establish the design teams
  • Established unique combat niche and overall design philosophy
  • Tracked quality, consistency and feedback methods
  • Established company meeting structure and culture

Game Design Keynotes:

(Former Global Head of HR for Wargaming and Riot Games)
  • Tencent Studio
  • Wargaming
  • USC (University of Southern California)
  • RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology)
  • US AFCEA (Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association)
  • UFIEA (University of Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy)
  • West Gaming Foundation
  • Kyoto Computer Gakuin – Kyoto, Japan