Ideas?

How do you get your game ideas?
I personally come down with an idea,
i like it, i get my mind around it,
and then i do a simple app store or google search and i find hundreds of finished polished good games with the same concept...
and there is where i stop thinking about that specific idea and i am trying to get a new one...

Every think i can think off is already made, it is made good, with 1000 of sales so if i were the buyer i would throw my money on an established game instead of a new one...
 

BB Scary

Member
Search inspiration in other source. Not only from games. Fantasy, scifi, horror films, music video clips. Nature walking. Change style of established matters. example: for improvements character dont use experience points, but souls, orbs, sand particles... etc.
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
Originality doesn't necessarily mean "new ideas", style is also important (i.e. look at how Persona 5 has menus so cool that people cosplay as them)
Screenshot from 2021-03-24 17-25-16.png

If you can't come up with an unqiue game idea, focus on developing an unique asset style.
 

woods

Member
everything has been done to death already...
break down your basic platformer

blue box moves right
platforms and spikes along the way
bullet hell
flag at the end of level

there are bagillions ways to flesh this out to make it original

own that sheT! make it yours ;o)
 

NightFrost

Member
All the basic game ideas were largely covered decades ago already. You put your own style and twist on them to make your game distinct. Platformers were one of the oldest ideas yet they're still popular today. Likewise, when the original Doom was released, the rest of the game industry did not go "all right chaps, that's done and dusted, no point in reinventing the wheel with another 3D First Person Shooter".
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
The way to "original(as possible)" games these days IMO is about combinations of ideas in my opinion. It is about turning that FPS into an RPG in an original universe. Turn that platformer into an RPG. My Jam entry was a combination platformer-puzzler(as bad a game as it turned out anyway). I've seen somebody's game here in the forum be like pong shooting stars back and forth, but the "paddle" is an actual character with platform controls. Someone once made an arkanoid with mario and luigi platforming moving the paddle around. Note that when I say RPG, I mean some elements of them, like levelling, inventory, etc...

Another thing that can change combinations up is with these genre combinations, instead of trying to combine them perfectly, lean one way or the other. Like my Jam entry was more about the puzzler part(and the platforming was extremely forgiving). I could have made a whole different game by adding more platforming elements and possibly making the puzzle parts easier. It would have been similar but played completely different.

You can also combine genres with elements not normally seen with them. Most FPS games are based in modern(present day to relatively close past) war times, or sci-fi(or future) and the like. What about instead an FPS that is all about slinging magic? I've seen multiple. Even back in the mid-90s there was one called Magic Carpet. It was unique for the time in multiple ways. It plays similar to an FPS, but movement is on a flying carpet so is slightly different. You are shooting magic instead of guns. And the gameplay is based around capturing mana from destroyed enemies, while rival wizards do the same. So it isn't just FPS kill things, rather you have to claim mana and possibly even guard it while your castle collects it. You can also raid rival castles, and sometimes have to if there isn't enough unclaimed mana around. On top of all that, it had voxel terrain, and a couple spells that directly modify said terrain(though fireballs would scorch it as well).
 

Schtipadoo

Member
my best passtime is making simple game concepts and tryna expand upon them
per say a platformer game, but mixed it up with an rpg?

i also observe other games and take small concepts i enjoy and try to build more upon them
 

otterZ

Member
One method I use to think up fresh concepts/ideas in general in life is to grab a dictionary, turn to a random page and write down 2 nouns, then turn to another page and write down a verb, then randomly open the dictionary at yet another page and write down an adjective.

Then do this 10 times in a row, so that you now have around 40 words. After this cut up the paper so that each word is on a separate piece of paper. Following this turn each slip of paper upside down.

Grab a cup of tea and select randomly 2, 3 or 4 pieces of paper and mull over that concept.

Example: I just got Laos, wedding and mystical . . . doesn't seem like there would be an idea in this . . . but is there? Perhaps a game character wants adventure travelling to Asia, ends up in Laos and finds a wedding ring, then somehow begins a journey back in time to a mystical era in which a bride disappeared on her wedding day? Perhaps he discovers he is a reincarnation of the guy who was destined to marry her as a nice twist ending?

But how did the ring trigger the character to go back in time? Okay, I will use this method again . . . This time I got supermarket, defuse and build . . . not ideal, but maybe we could change the supermarket to a pawn shop where the main character goes to pawn the ring, as maybe he is poor and down on his luck. The ring tends to glow when he holds it, but when he goes farther away from the ring tension starts to show up in nature around him . . . birds start circling overhead, a storm gathers, dogs start barking and flying ants begin emerging from under the pavement etc . . . To defuse the tension a tunnel in time and space opens up before him . . . and so on.

I am interested to know just why the character was down on his luck and perhaps homeless? What happened? Time to select some more random words and find out . . .

With this method I can get so many ideas. Some are duff, some okay, and the odd one turns out great.

I used to use this method to win tiebreaker slogan competitions back when I lived in the UK and won so many competitions as a result of using this.

Hope this helps :)
 

Rob

Member
Do you need an original idea to make a game in the first place?
I dunno about you but I am definitely in my learning phase.
I have no idea how to make a fun game that other people will play so I mostly go with the ideas that I'm passionate about and try and make a game that I want to play.
I try and apply the things that I've learned and that's it.
It's fun to me to see things come alive and work the way they're supposed to and hopefully I'm improving as I go so that maybe, one day, other people will want to pay me to play too!
 

Toque

Member
One method I use to think up fresh concepts/ideas in general in life is to grab a dictionary, turn to a random page and write down 2 nouns, then turn to another page and write down a verb, then randomly open the dictionary at yet another page and write down an adjective.

Then do this 10 times in a row, so that you now have around 40 words. After this cut up the paper so that each word is on a separate piece of paper. Following this turn each slip of paper upside down.

Grab a cup of tea and select randomly 2, 3 or 4 pieces of paper and mull over that concept.

Example: I just got Laos, wedding and mystical . . . doesn't seem like there would be an idea in this . . . but is there? Perhaps a game character wants adventure travelling to Asia, ends up in Laos and finds a wedding ring, then somehow begins a journey back in time to a mystical era in which a bride disappeared on her wedding day? Perhaps he discovers he is a reincarnation of the guy who was destined to marry her as a nice twist ending?

But how did the ring trigger the character to go back in time? Okay, I will use this method again . . . This time I got supermarket, defuse and build . . . not ideal, but maybe we could change the supermarket to a pawn shop where the main character goes to pawn the ring, as maybe he is poor and down on his luck. The ring tends to glow when he holds it, but when he goes farther away from the ring tension starts to show up in nature around him . . . birds start circling overhead, a storm gathers, dogs start barking and flying ants begin emerging from under the pavement etc . . . To defuse the tension a tunnel in time and space opens up before him . . . and so on.

I am interested to know just why the character was down on his luck and perhaps homeless? What happened? Time to select some more random words and find out . . .

With this method I can get so many ideas. Some are duff, some okay, and the odd one turns out great.

I used to use this method to win tiebreaker slogan competitions back when I lived in the UK and won so many competitions as a result of using this.

Hope this helps :)
That’s kind of what I have done. Take two random things and relate them some how.

sometimes I will just make a game idea from news stories.

or take two news stories and relate them to a game.

or game jam themes and a news story.

but I like silly game ideas...........

the game forum is a creative bunch and helpful resource.........

pm me if you want to throw some ideas around.
 

otterZ

Member
That’s kind of what I have done. Take two random things and relate them some how.

sometimes I will just make a game idea from news stories.

or take two news stories and relate them to a game.

or game jam themes and a news story.

but I like silly game ideas...........

the game forum is a creative bunch and helpful resource.........

pm me if you want to throw some ideas around.
Thanks Toque, throwing ideas around is so much fun and you have given me the idea to create a forum game which I will put up soon just for fun on this theme.

I love the way you encourage newbies to GM, as I recently once was, and the way you enthusiastically also give people support for their new project/game releases. You seem selfless, which is a rare quality these days. That is a rare commodity in these computerised, economically self-centred times. I like that.
 

Joe Ellis

Member
Most of the best ideas I've had have been dreams. When I was a kid I had 2 really vivid dreams that were games and ended up designing the whole of them afterwards. And the game I'm making now is like a compilation of all the weird dreams I've had. I'd say some examples but they're that original that I don't want anyone to steal them lol.
Maybe try eating cheese every night before you go to bed and make your dreams a reality.
I agree with the other suggestions here, there are a lot of ways to get inspiration and it's fun to mix different styles and concepts together, and trying to find a combination that hasn't been done before in that exact way. (Which gets harder as time goes on)
Also "making what you want to play" is something I always keep in mind. It'd be great if you want to play something that doesn't exist in that exact way. Then you'd have to make it to be able to enjoy a game like that, which is a good source of motivation.
Also maybe try not worrying too much about how original it is. If you make it exactly how you want it to be and love it I'm sure a lot of other people will. Plus it will probably end up getting a lot of your personal style during making it, and sometimes that's the thing that makes it original, even if the type of game it is isn't, like Earthworm Jim or Rayman.
 

Toque

Member
Thanks Toque, throwing ideas around is so much fun and you have given me the idea to create a forum game which I will put up soon just for fun on this theme.

I love the way you encourage newbies to GM, as I recently once was, and the way you enthusiastically also give people support for their new project/game releases. You seem selfless, which is a rare quality these days. That is a rare commodity in these computerised, economically self-centred times. I like that.
Haha. I’m old and technical skills are minimal. So I can’t help people with code. But I can contribute to the community by encouraging people.

can you explain a bit about your project? I’m not quite sure what your up to. It’s a forum game for generating ideas??

You can pm and chat too. Anytime

I was thinking another idea. Take two movies. Squish them together and see what game pops out..........

Was thinking of that this morning and got some interesting crazy ideas.

Going to try that in the next Jam. Theme and a movie.
 
Watch cartoons, movies, play board games, dice games, card games, read books, talk to people...
Inspiration and ideas are everywhere, you just have to be in the proper state of mind to see it pass by you.
 

otterZ

Member
Thanks for asking Toque, I was thinking about a forum game where people try to make a game concept/idea out of a given set of words - say 5 words. The five words players will be assigned will depend on what day of the month their birthday falls on.
For example if a player is born on the 5th his/her words might be submarine, case, miracle, ascending and tunnel. So that person would have to make the best game idea/plot/outline they can using those words. Just for fun.
I will randomly open the dictionary and put the forum game post together right now.
 

nicognito

Member
I got my (crazy) game idea years ago while brushing my teeth... I just started working seriously on it with GM 2 weeks ago, and it’s not even about brushing teeth... it’s a truly simple unique (and stupid) idea but I’ll have to mix in other existing ideas to make it more interesting to the players; hope I can show it to the community here when It’s presentable 😊

Just my opinion, but I think you shouldn’t try to look too hard for ideas, like “I want to make an amazing game, now I need to find a cool idea, I’ll do some brainstorming...”. Maybe just live your daily life, do mundane stuffs, don’t think about game ideas too hard... and inspiration/ideas will naturally come to you :)

I’d suggest looking for Jonathan Blow videos on Youtube about his process, and what he calls “deep game” (he created Braid and the Witness, which are two of my favorite games). He suggested.... to take showers. Based on my own experience, it basically confirms that the hidden world of ideas, as described by ancient Greeks, is located in your bathroom :D

If the idea already exists, just make it better, more fun and delightful to the players. Work backward, from the player perspective. Doesn’t matter if the ideas already exist (as long as there’s no plagiarism or legal infringements), just enjoy what you’re doing, tell your story, your rules, and let the players live and enjoy them.
 
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