Game design challenge at GDC – March 2022

As part of the free to play summit part of GDC, I took part in the game design challenge for the year.

For many years, the Game Design Challenge was one of the most popular sessions at the GDC. Now, the advisory board of the Free-to-Play Summit is proud to revive this GDC tradition, with a free-to-play focused version of the Challenge. Four free-to-play designers will have been given marching orders, and tasked with designing a game around that given problem. All four will present their idea to the Summit audience, followed by an audience vote. Innovative thinking and lively presentations are in store for all attendees!

The theme of this year’s Challenge is “Designing for Minnows”. Free-to-play games are almost always tuned to extract most of their revenue from “whales” — those super-fans of the game who spend the big bucks, while the other 99.9% of the game’s players spend little or nothing on it. We’ve challenged three free-to-play designers to come up with a design for a game that will extract the vast majority of it’s revenue not from “whales” but from “minnows”… players who, over their entire lifetime, spend $10 or less.

The panel was:

Steve Meretzky (Game Design Consultant, Independent)

Abigail Rindo (Associate Director & Narrative Design, King)

Fawzi Mesmar (Game Designer, Remote)

Shelby Moledina (Co-Founder, COO & Game Director, Double Loop Games)

Amanda Schuckman (Narrative Designer, Double Loop Games)

Pocket gamer also covered the talk with an article that you can find here: