Do you stick to a method to find game ideas ?

trekiros 101 Jan 06, 2013 at 11:38

Hi, this is going to be my first post here (after a few discarded drafts where I decided I was too inexperienced as a game developer to publish, I must say), glad to meet you guys !

So I’m just starting off game designing as a hobby, mainly as a way to try all the cool stuff I learn in college, where I follow maths and IT science courses.

But all the ideas I seem to be getting seem to come up in the same situations : I’m playing a game, and I see something wrong in that game. A design flaw, a bug, or whatever that can be ‘wrong’. Then I try to work a solution, without even thinking about if it would fit the game that had this problem in the first place or not, and I build a completely different game around that solution.
As an example, last time I played Skyrim, I found myself save-scumming a lot, which completely screwed up the immersion. So I created a story about a time traveling spy who uses his powers (aka save-scums a whole lot) to solve puzzles an achieve great stuff. I went from the assumption that save scumming breaks the immersion, to a game where save scumming is the main mechanic, and actually helps the immersion.

And I feel like I can’t really get new ideas with other methods, if that makes any sense. So here’s my question to you : do you also stick to some kind of method when you find ideas, or is your work only driven by hazards of creativity ?

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fireside 141 Jan 06, 2013 at 18:36

I build games from a theme. One game I did was for a contest where the theme was Lovecraft’s book of ideas. Another game was just built of a type of jump I came up with. Another game was designed around a world like Alice in Wonderland, in fact I tried to base it on the book, which I felt was a mistake in the end. Mostly, I like to do story games, so they don’t center as much on mechanics. I think the inspiration has a lot to do with the final product. If you focus on a mechanic, that will create a certain type of game. If you focus on a story element, another type. The game I’m working on now is inspired by a certain type of job, which I don’t want to get into yet.

tyree 102 Jan 10, 2013 at 11:47

you have to decide specifically what type of game it will be. fighting, action, rpg. the core of it will have to be on thing fighting, action, whatever that may be. you can add other elements to it rpg, magic. but those will be added, this keeps the workflow very logical

Stainless 151 Jan 11, 2013 at 10:22

I usually work from the technology backwards.

If I had a Wii development kit, I would be wracking my brains for a way to use the remote in a new way.

I’m now working on AGP, which runs on a huge number of platforms. From mobile phones, through set top boxes and TV’s to laptops.

So I’m working on games that don’t require multiple DVD’s and or a 2 hour download.

There are other key parts of the AGP technology that I have to use as well, like game beaming.

So I work with a list of problems and capabilities and try and come up with a game mechanic that works.

Once I have the mechanic, then I think about the rest.