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David.M

Coming Up With Game Ideas (2D)

10 posts in this topic

Hello everybody,

I'm trying to come up with some ideas for 2D games that I will make for Android. However, I'm a programmer and have never viewed myself as being a very creative person. I would much rather work with concrete details and implement ideas and have a difficult time actually coming up with anything. Most often I play a game and think, "Oh, that's a really good game. I'd like to make something like that." But then my ideas are pretty much just clones, nothing really different at all. Do you think I can change that and sort of make myself think more creatively for game ideas? What are your recommendations? Thanks,

David
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Maybe doodle or write a short bit of... something to get you going. Or rather than some sort of doodle, character, story, or random thought, if you can think of just some central mechanic that you'd like to explore. Then try and fit a design around what you have come up with and your programming skills. At least, that's pretty much what I ended up doing with my last project. I had one sprite that I wanted to try and center a game around. I just tried to think of what made sense to go with that one character and the project slowly grew from there.

Other than that there's probably a variety of creativity exercise somewhere on the internet. Edited by kseh
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[quote name='David.M' timestamp='1342814846' post='4961441']
I'm trying to come up with some ideas for 2D games that I will make for Android. However, [I] have never viewed myself as being a very creative person... Do you think I can ... make myself think more creatively for game ideas? [/quote]

It's actually hard to come up with "game ideas" without any sort of guidelines or constraints to work within. So far the only constraints you've set for yourself are "2D" and "Android." You need to narrow it down further, because the whole wide world is much too big to choose from.

What do you like? Do you like jumping on a trampoline? Do you like taking walks along the shore looking for seashells? Do you enjoy getting beat up at seedy bars?
Think about the things you like, and start thinking about how you could make a game based on that. Preferably something that would appeal to Android users (not many of those would want a game about getting beat up at seedy bars).

And I recommend you get hold of anything written by Roger Von Oechs -- he's written some great stuff on how to spark your creativity.
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I would say make a clone of a game you enjoy but change it, add things, remove things, make it your own.

For example, Geometry Wars is just Asteroids really but it's been altered so much it's almost an entirely different game.
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Hey David,

Which of the following is most important to you right now:
- Actually completing a project (even if its not original)
or
- Working on something interesting and new

Also, what kind of games are you referring to? What's the scope you wish to achieve?
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I like games like Pocket Tanks and Neon Wars by [url=http://www.blitwise.com/]BlitWise[/url].
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A vs mode tower defense game could be fun. Player chooses whether to spend gold on extra attackers (types) or defense towers (upgrades, repairs). I'd be happy to animate sprites for a project like this.
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[quote name='Mratthew' timestamp='1342925752' post='4961838']
A vs mode tower defense game could be fun. Player chooses whether to spend gold on extra attackers (types) or defense towers (upgrades, repairs). I'd be happy to animate sprites for a project like this.
[/quote]

That actually sounds really interesting. I think that would be a refreshing change from the standard tower defense games that end up being too repetitive and similar to each other.
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First of all, Angry Bird is essentially a clone of Crush the Castle. A lot of games are based on the ideas of others. It's not a bad thing. It's like scientific discoveries are all based on previous work. Likewise, if you read the book named "Cracking Creativity", the author tells you that a lot of brilliant ideas are just combinations of other ideas. They are not some sparks of wise people.

Having said that, I don't think cloning is a viable road. Great ideas are carefully worked. Especially if you think the game is good, you shouldn't clone it. Take a game you considered average, try and see if you could make the mechanics even better. Then combine it with another theme to get a new game.
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Heshiming is pretty dead on here. I find that art is the practice of hiding your sources of inspiration and design is the practice of clearly representing them. Video games are unique in that they sit in the middle of practical design and construction meeting many different mediums of art, all made digital for ease of presentation. We have to have UI and control systems that people recognize the same way a car engineer has to add a steering wheel instead of a joystick while designing art that could be just as easily viewed in a posh Paris gallery(creative) as it could in a New York coffee shop(accessible). To boot it has to be animated to meet the standards of today's audiences (thanks a heap for setting that bar Pixar) telling stories that mean something.

To make something "new" should be done...carefully.

I think the trick is to find experiences that tickle you and bring them to games you already love. For many of us this will mean combining games, but I think the more designers explore physical/social/cultural experiences and combine them with game designs the better game's will get.
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