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Diodor

Ideas - worthless?!

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The common wisdom seems to be that in game design ideas are worth little if anything at all. I think that although there may be some truth to this idea, it isn't a healthy belief to have. I'll reformulate: there are great ideas and bad ideas - telling the difference between them takes a lot of work.

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People in these forums love saying that ideas are worthless.

One way to interpret such a statement is that ideas have little to no monetary value, which is very true. Nobody is looking to buy ideas, and nobody's going to make money selling them.

Another way to interpret the statement is that ideas have no value whatsoever, which is absolutely false. Ideas are behind every game ever made, and the good ideas are anything but worthless. If ideas were really worthless there wouldn't be so many developers borrowing ideas from successful games (since anything would work just as well).

[edited by - chronos on July 6, 2003 4:44:06 AM]

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I think what most people mean when they say that is this. Ideas are worthless if you cannot come up with a practical way to implement them !
The 'ideas are worthless' comments are usually in reply to "I've got an idea for a game which allows people to plug thier brains directly into the internet! Just like the matrix!! Please help me design hardware that can do this as well as compatible driver software for the human brain" posts.
Ideas are a dime a dozen, however only one in a million ideas are ever implemented becuase very few people are willing or able to work to bring thier ideas to fruition.

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There are two things he who seeks wisdom must understand...
Love... and Wudan!

{EDIT: Formatting}


[edited by - thelurch on July 6, 2003 6:44:18 AM]

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Ideas have an economic value of $0.0083 each. They're a dime a dozen.

Most people that come up with supar leet ideaz 4 teh intarweb are either impossible, stupid, or both. See the above poster's "brain interface" gag (and I've seen that one used). Few if any of them have knowledge of programming.

EDIT: D'oh. Forgot my zeroes.

[edited by - Edward Ropple on July 7, 2003 8:22:43 AM]

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quote:

Original post by chronos

One way to interpret such a statement is that ideas have little to no monetary value, which is very true. Nobody is looking to buy ideas, and nobody''s going to make money selling them.



Yes, of course, an idea doesn''t have much value on it''s own. A single idea can have a significant impact on the commercial success of a product though.

quote:

Original post by thelurch

I think what most people mean when they say that is this. Ideas are worthless if you cannot come up with a practical way to implement them !



Yes, the first thing that makes good ideas good is that they can be easily implemented. Unrealistic ideas (even cool ones) are simply not good.

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Ideas are really the easiest part of the whole process. In fact, I keep coming up with ideas that it turns out have already been used in games I''ve never played. I content myself with knowing that most of the ideas I come up with that have already been done were used in really cool games that sold well, otherwise I might get so frustrated as to try to stop coming up with them. (Which would be flat-out impossible for me, I think too much. )

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quote:
Original post by thelurch
The ''ideas are worthless'' comments are usually in reply to "I''ve got an idea for a game which allows people to plug thier brains directly into the internet! Just like the matrix!! Please help me design hardware that can do this as well as compatible driver software for the human brain" posts.
The proper criticism in those cases is to say that the person''s idea is unrealistic and unimplementable. It does not follow at all from such posts that ideas are worthless, only that this particular idea is worthless.

When I see people here reply that ideas are worthless it''s usually in response to somebody wanting to sell a concept to game companies or to somebody wanting to be hired as a game designer on the merit of his ideas. If we limit the definition of worth to the value in trade of an idea then the criticism is probably appropriate. The problem is that people usually don''t qualify their statements about the worth of ideas, allowing for an interpretation of worth which appears to suggest that ideas are altogether worthless.

Ideas have a profound influence over every good game''s design, and anybody who thinks that "everybody has ideas" somehow implies that "everybody''s ideas are good enough" doesn''t know what he''s talking about.

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Ideas are intangible and unorganized. Its not that they''re worthless, its that they''re unusable until they get structured into a planned course of action that results in a product. Then you can figure out a price. In the business world, in addition to the product, the financiers ALWAYS want a strategy or something that''ll indicated projected costs, milestones, risk management, and whatnot.

So, if you want the ideas to be worth something, you have to turn them into something.

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quote:
Original post by Edward Ropple
Ideas have an economic value of $0.83 each. They''re a dime a dozen.



$0.0083

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Anyone can come up with ideas, that is why they are worthless. It''s supply and demand. I can come up with thousands of ideas in a day. As Inmate2993 said, the only ideas that are worth something are the ones which are turned into more than just an idea.
Usually when someone says "ideas or worthless" they add in that the implementation of ideas is what is actually important.

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