Game Ideas: The Good, The Bad, and the Unreasonable

Every time an idea comes to me I write them down, but just before the end of developing a product we go through an idea round up of sorts. I spend days of creative energy looking for inspiration for game ideas.

Game ideas tend to come from everywhere – particularly from completely unexpected places. That song that my 2 year old insists on playing over and over again contained the words Angel and Pizza. BAM! Game Idea! International Talk Like a Pirate Day? BAM! Game idea. 13 people in the office ask for coffee? BAM! On weeks like these if I don’t have my iPhone or a pad of paper nearby me I miss dozens of opportunities for game ideas. It’s crazy how just thinking about the world as a game inspires so many game ideas. If a telemarketer calls, try making a game of it. It becomes infinitely less annoying (to you, the poor telemarketer not so much on the other hand…)

Not all of these ideas are great or even good. I’ll write them all down but some can be immediately discounted as bad. You’ll know which ones fit here. They’re the ones that make you chuckle at first but then you have difficulty imagining what it will look like beyond that first ‘ha ha’’ moment. A game that doesn’t inspire you certainly won’t inspire players to play!

It’s harder to discount the unreasonable ones because I often feel really inspired by them. If the description starts off as ‘This game is simple, first you start off with a HUGE OPEN world filled with THOUSANDS, no wait, BILLIONS of…’ this game might be too big for you to accomplish. Well, unless you have infinite resources like Ubisoft has. If a game inspires you too much you’ll have to either wait until you have more resources or trim it. Either way, the game as it is can be labelled unreasonable.

The rest have potential. Do your best to fit them in the two previously mentioned categories. If you simply can’t, then you have a good game that you should spend some time working on!

Where do you find inspiration? And how do you pick which ones are best?

Next Week: Sharing your ideas with others

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