Games can be really innovative at times, some even make us feel awe at moments. But coming up with ideas for games can be daunting, especially when you are developing games for a living. Sometimes your head just feels empty and you can feel frustrated for not having a new game idea. As a game developer, I can feel the same pain. In this post, I will cover how to get hundreds of new game ideas using simple steps that I use.
There are many ways to get ideas , let’s see all of them one by one.
1.Game Idea Brainstorming
This process can also be used for any other idea generation, not just game ideas. Let’s get into the steps of idea brainstorming.
Random word generation
Take a pen and paper or a laptop and write down 1000 words that come to your mind without thinking hard. They can be anything from objects to human names. If you think you cannot come up with 1000 words then use a dictionary or any book available and select 1000 meaningful words.
Personally I prefer to think the words as it boosts my mind and makes it fresh. Doing a physical exercise also can help to boost up your thinking capability. Just don’t lie down on your bed or slouch on your couch. A study table or office desk is the best environment.
If you don’t believe me just try this activity in different states. You will feel the difference.
The next step is to assign action to the words you have written down. By action I mean some work related to that work. For example, if the word is wood then action can be throw, burn, cut etc. Yes, you might not be able to relate all words, but list as many as possible. A minimum of 500 words is recommended in this process.
One more thing to note in this process is sometimes you can relate the words with multiple action write them in separate spaces. Now you can delete the words you are not able to relate with any actions. The reason we chose action is because games involve players to take action and this actions are going to be the core mechanics of your game.
Ideas! Game worthy
From the above list select the words and actions that you think can be converted into games. Every-time we try this we end up with hundreds of words and actions. What makes a word or action game worthy is the next question.
See if the word has 2 or more actions added to it. Then see if the actions are programmable and concept art can be made with those. If you are making a story based game then, sees whether the words and actions can be related to a story.
2.Look for game ideas around you.
This might not look like much but when you sit back and look around you can actually see a lot of things going around you. Games like subway surfer, angry birds are just daily activities turned into games. So what exactly you should be looking for?
As said in the previous section, games involve action so you need to be looking for actions around you. Let’s see some examples so you can understand this better. What I see around me now are a few people sitting, some on phone , some walking around, some talking.
So I can make a game casual game where I throw stones at people with phones. To make it more interesting, I can add in a stealth element. I should not get caught throwing stones. If am caught I loose a life. This can be made like an infinite runner game. Start looking around, your next game might be just in front of you.
3.Get Game ideas from the internet
Internet is a place you can learn all kinds of things. There are many forums where people discuss game ideas. I have come across a list of game ideas in a Reddit forum. There is a subreddit for this and almost daily a new idea gets discussed here. Here is another MIT forum where a huge list of game ideas is shared. You can get an almost infinite number of ideas from the internet.
Another forum is Quora. I have seen many people ask questions like “how do I share my ideas with a game developer?”. You can also google to find some game ideas around the internet. Use the google advance search “allintitle” to find articles sharing game ideas.
4.Ask your existing customer, friends and family
Man is always considered a social animal. We tend to think much better in a group than thinking alone. So consider taking advice from your game-playing friends and family. They can sometimes be very creative and it’s also a chance to interact with your family. Don’t forget to write down the ideas that people give you.
If you have developed games before trying to reach out to your customers and ask them what they would like to play next. This is beneficial both ways as your customers feel that their voice is heard and you can get many ideas for your game.
5.Read Books and Watch Movies
Reading books and watching movies can give you a lot of ideas. Don’t try to make the whole book into a game unless you have a big development team with you. Just pick the part that you feel will make a great video game and make a prototype. Don’t get too addicted to movie watching otherwise, you will never start making your game.
You can also join our 10-day game development challenge to brainstorm ideas along with other members.