Search Unity

  1. Good news ✨ We have more Unite Now videos available for you to watch on-demand! Come check them out and ask our experts any questions!
    Dismiss Notice

How do you get your game ideas?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by derkoi, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. derkoi

    derkoi

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Posts:
    2,050
    Before I started making games I had a lot of ideas for games. When I started making games I realised those ideas were far too ambitious. Now I find myself struggling to come up with viable ideas that are worth pursuing.

    Partly I feel this is because I work alone and as such cannot brainstorm with others.

    Anyone else in the same boat? Those who are not, where do you get your ideas from?
     
  2. MarigoldFleur

    MarigoldFleur

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Posts:
    1,353
    Keep having overambitious ideas and try and find ways to make them work.
     
  3. drewradley

    drewradley

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Posts:
    3,063
    Steal them from people on this forum.
    Kidding.
    I have way too many of my own!
     
  4. dtg108

    dtg108

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Posts:
    1,168
    +1, couldn't agree more. Work with the over-ambitious ideas. Keep at them. Use them.
     
  5. dxcam1

    dxcam1

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Posts:
    477
    they evolve over time in my head.
     
  6. khanstruct

    khanstruct

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Posts:
    2,865
    I did have the same experience. I quickly learned that most of my grandiose ideas actually had a fun little core. I then added other cool ideas on top of that. What I learned to do was boil down all of the extra stuff and just really... REALLY emphasize that one core element. Its a struggle to not add all the cool ideas you have, but if you just give all your attention to that one great idea, you'll have a fun, achievable game.
     
  7. Arowx

    Arowx

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Posts:
    7,547
    I steal them, that's right I have not had one original idea, I am limited by my language and the memes available to me within my experiences within my society.

    Plagiarism and a big mixing pot is the way to go, always has been always will be.

    Or you could learn a new language and go live in a different culture.
     
  8. Seven

    Seven

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    Posts:
    111
    I use word association to come up with ludicrous ideas that I play around with in my head until something sounds fun.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  9. Arowx

    Arowx

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Posts:
    7,547
    To be honest Ideas is the easy part, read lots, watch movies, play games do a random search on Wikipedia.

    The hard part is making a fun game, as in baking you can have a picture of what you would like but you need good ingredients, tools and utensils to turn that into the finished product.
     
  10. Darkjayson

    Darkjayson

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    Posts:
    233
    Find an existing game concept then improve on it, are you looking for ideas or just wondering how people think of them?
     
  11. GiusCo

    GiusCo

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Posts:
    405
    execution is the king of the trade, not idea! :)
     
  12. DallonF

    DallonF

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Posts:
    620
    1. Conversations with friends. My friends are very creative and come up with all sorts of "what-if" scenarios that I promptly write down as game ideas.

    2. Mashups - looking at two genres and games that I like and thinking of how they complement each other in a single game design.

    3. "How can I make this better" - if there's a game that I don't particularly like, but can see a lot of potential in some of the concepts, I'll just lift the parts that I like and fill in the gaps with better ideas.

    4. Conversion - taking a game design that I like and adapting it to a new media, e.g. mobile. What has to be changed to make, say, a real time strategy game work on a tiny little phone?
     
  13. TehWut

    TehWut

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Posts:
    1,577
    they come to me through divine inspiration while in the shower


    -
    edit: possible double post?
     
  14. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Posts:
    2,781
    There is definitely something to coming up with one of those perfectly simple and elegant ideas that make for a great time waster, but I like looking for the big ideas. I play games. That's what keeps me going. I look around and say, "This is what I would have done". That and I also do thought experiments and mix and match concepts and ideas.

    But this is coming from a guy who can't finish anything.

    Oh, and I should share these links:
    http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-7-best-ideas-video-games-that-will-never-get-made/
    http://www.cracked.com/blog/7-amazing-video-games-well-never-get-to-play/
    http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-6-greatest-video-games-well-never-get-to-play/
    http://www.cracked.com/forums/topic/107751/whats-your-brilliant-perfect-tragically-non-existent-game

    A lot of stuff to shovel through, but some good ideas in there.
    EDIT: Oh, and the forum specifically notes that these ideas are up for grabs, free of obligation to the people posting them. 100% free to use.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  15. Darkjayson

    Darkjayson

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    Posts:
    233
    O yea go to the toilet, its a well known fact that the majority of new ideas happen when your on the toilet lol so keep a notepad and pen beside you there. lol I'm not kidding btw.
     
  16. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Posts:
    4,835
    Get high and then right down your ideas.
     
  17. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Posts:
    3,823
    I settle for watching Let's Plays of various games (good and bad), and I ask a few questions:

    1: What makes this game fun?
    2: What feature of this game makes zero sense?
    3: What about this game does the LPer get irritated with?
    4: What seems irritating to me as I'm watching?

    From there, I get overly ambitious ideas.
     
  18. khanstruct

    khanstruct

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Posts:
    2,865
    This is a terrible idea. I tried that once. Apparently, I find wire mesh fences absolutely fascinating while stoned. :/
     
  19. Myhijim

    Myhijim

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Posts:
    1,148
    Just as your about to sleep. Always.

    Keep a notepad so you can jot down that amazing thing you were thinking of at 1am in the morning, because after you sleep, it will be gone.
     
  20. rymack

    rymack

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Posts:
    4
    i have all my ideas from my guides and friends am new to game developer so i always need some ones help .
     
  21. kerafrymm

    kerafrymm

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Posts:
    21
    I struggle with this problem myself. I can easily think of some grandiose universe and story to apply to a game, but I fail when actually considering what makes it a game.

    What I mean is that I find it hard to actually come up with a game ideas that have substance beneath it, or rather mechanics and concepts. Lately I've just been stealing stuff from random websites like http://www.squidi.net/three/index.php. This is a fine line though, and most of this stuff I don't find fun myself ;-;

    Where did my 8 year old self go?
     
  22. Khyrid

    Khyrid

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Posts:
    1,781
    Inspirations mixed with dreams. Actual dreams, not fantasies, real dreams like the kind you get when you sleep.
     
  23. kaiyum

    kaiyum

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Posts:
    622
    Generally rough idea came from personal daily experience.If I go serious about it for games,I meditate for a nice consistent story. I carefully examined existing games for good and bad sides. Then I think myself developing and playing it both. I differentiate the whole function and spot for the reason of entertainment of those media. Then I apply it sometimes directly,sometimes modifying it. Sometime,in very rare case, I create a whole bunch of new systems of entertainment. When everything complete, I go and place it in a nice ms docs file. Rest of the things grow from there.
     
  24. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Posts:
    3,823
    This is a problem I've (started) to find a solution to, at last. Here's how I'm tackling it.

    I usually wind up getting the world concept first much like you. Often, in my case it involves the majestic JRPG and some aspect that is either A) weakly done, B) completely silly and begging to be made fun of, or C) a response to some real-word issue that I have some kind of exposure to (e.g. the conflicts in the Middle East, racism in the United States, etc.)

    Normally, I've fallen into the trap of trying to build a game around that story, then and there. I usually wind up quitting about four weeks into it, because I realize that I have a great story, but no game.

    I avoid this trap, by having a game. I consider the relevant theme I am exploring, and step away from the story. I prototype mechanics (on paper), and watch Lets Play videos of games with similar mechanics, looking specifically for strong points and weak points in the mechanics. When I have a set of mechanics that are fun - I have a reputation for being a nerd for a reason - I then turn around and start marrying the mechanics to the story. Often, the process of binding game and story leads to altering the story; after all, in movies the adage is, 'show, don't tell.' In games, it's 'do, don't show.' Mechanics are how you provide verbs for the player to utilize to advance the narrative.

    Case study: my current mini-project, The Hero's Journey. I started wanting to make fun of the silly villains I've seen in JRPGs (Garland from Final Fantasy I/8-Bit Theater, The Lich King from World of Warcraft). I wound up adding a female villain to act as a foil to these more 'standard' JRPG enemies, who I forsee messing with the player not just with her Evil Castle, but...well, other things too. I want this Dark Chick to be one of the more compelling villains I create, but also one of the more creative villains in gaming. That's a tall order for a newbie designer like me, but without challenge there is no growth.

    I also wanted to mess with the protagonist archetypes. The hero is treated more as an outsider, because he is an outsider; the Princess starts off looking like a standard Damsel in Distress, but by the time you've completed the First Evil Castle, you realize things are much more complex than that (it does help she's a fellow descendant of the original Great Hero.) The King, instead of being a ruler incapable of succeeding at anything, is actually capable and just needs a helping hand to save Aylea, the kingdom this is taking place in. Finally there are some other surprises I have in store, but I don't want to get into them...yet.

    It was at this point I realized, 'OK, I've got a sweet story! This might even be OK. But do I have a game?' The answer was no, so I started consulting my best sources of reference material: Dario8676, H.C. Bailly, Batman9502 (specifically, Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link, Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, Grandia II, respectively.) I realized that Zelda 2 in particular had all kinds of opportunities; it's a side-scrolling swordfighter, that had botched enemy design that added 'difficulty', but not true challenge. I wanted to do something about that, but also, I've grown to think that magic is as overused as the Damsel in Distress trope in JRPGs. Challenge comes from having tools, and having to figure out how best to use those tools in a difficult - but not unfair - situation. Those tools must be useful (a spell 90% of JRPG spells fail, as they work so seldom as to be useless, or not at all in the situations you would want to use them in), and produce counter-play for either the CPU 'player' or human opponents (the counterplay for an instant-death spell involves pulling out resurrection items immediately...which isn't thought-provoking or compelling. It can be annoying or cause an unfair game over, which sucks.)

    This led to enemy design, based on the hero's capabilities. In Zelda 2, the hero can launch upper and lower attacks to either side. Once the player acquires the correct abilities, they can also perform an overthrust (allowing the player to attack entities above him as he's jumping), and an underthrust (same thing, but down.) So, there are six hit areas that have to be respected by enemies: up-left, up-right, down-left, down-right, directly above, directly below. All enemies I am designing emphasize two to three of those regions, depening on relative positioning of the player and the enemy.

    ...See how a small idea led to a (currently partial) game? Mechanics and narrative. Games don't need narrative, but they do need mechanics.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  25. Meltdown

    Meltdown

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Posts:
    5,493
    Just browse the collaboration section on these forums lol
     
  26. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Posts:
    2,981
    It's not ideas that are holding you back. It's practice, which leads to experience. Instead of looking for 'that totally unique new idea', try building a small version of ANY old game you used to play. Build your own version, finish it, ship it! Then start another. And, if ever you feel your idea is getting too big, remember this quote from Will Wright:

    "Your garden is not complete until there's nothing else you can remove."

    Gigi
     
  27. Kinos141

    Kinos141

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Posts:
    969
    I usually play a game, and start to say, "Wouldn't it be cool..." then I proceed to start creating it.
     
  28. Rivendare

    Rivendare

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Posts:
    9
    Often, the hard part is not to have too many ideas.

    There could be literally hundreds of really neat, cool ideas flashing through our minds. The hard part is choosing one, and keeping it as your 'core'. And then the rest of your ideas are to empower it. Usually though, it ends up with too many great things crammed into a half-baked game.

    Pick one. Make it core. Build around it.
     
unityunity