– Game Design Challenge: The Task at Hand

The guys at the have been running a regular challenge in game design. They set a theme and ask readers to come up with and idea for a game based around the theme and to write a brief design summary. This time it is to make a game around a household chore, so I thought I’d give it a go. Here’s what I came up with:


Title: No! This Goes Here!

You play as a teen living at home with his tidiness obsessed parents. You really want to buy the latest video game console but don’t have enough money, fortunately (or unfortunately) your parents are always willing to pay for your help keeping their belongings tidied and organised. Problem is your parents are obsessed with how things are organised, you must keep track of their often contradictory and ever more complicated requirements. You’ve long since given up on making your parents see that they have an unhealthy obsession, that they horde useless junk, or that it really doesn’t matter if tinned food with a blue label sits next to red labelled tins in on the shelf. Neurotic or not, their obsession is the opportunity you need to make some money.

Decide how to use your free time, choose between working for your parents to make money, and spending time socialising and having fun so that you don’t go mad from boredom or lose touch with friends.



Organising items will take up most of the gameplay. You chose a task from one of your parents, considering how long it will take, how much it pays and how difficult it is. You then must complete the task, meeting as many requirements as you can to earn the greatest reward.

The player uses drag and drop mechanics to move, inspect and rotate items in order to arrange them correctly. Player must balance the arrangement of differently shaped objects to make the most of the limited space and organising items to meet the parents requirements. The requirements grow ever more complex and contradictory, the player will be shown the rewards for meeting each requirement at the beginning of the level and must chose which to try and fulfil in order to get the best rewards. There will be tools available to inspect items to learn about their properties.

The player will use the same drag and drop mechanic to solve a number of problems, including:

Organisation focused puzzles for example:

Organise book shelf

  • Keep fiction and non-fiction separate

  • Shelf kept in alphabetical order from left to right

  • Bonus for each shelf filled

Storage and space management

Fill boxes for attic storage

  • Arrange items to fill boxes to at least 90%

  • Fill boxes with similar items

  • Keep total box weight under 5kg


As well as the main puzzles of doing chores for the parents, the player must manage their free time, savings and mood. The player will have a fixed amount of free time, which they can choose to use working, which earns money and gets the player closer to their savings goal. However the more they work the more bored and lonely they become and their relationships break down, meaning the player will have to spend some of their time and money with friends or going on dates, players will receive text messages showing when their friends/dates are happy or upset with them.


That’s my effort, it was a lot of fun and I look forward to taking part again. With luck I might make the top entries…


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