Hey Gamers and Game Makers!
In this week's blog, I'm going to be talking you through five tips to help you refine your game idea. When we first get an idea for a game, our minds can be all over the place with ideas for design, mechanics, art, sound and more. It can be very hard to get a handle on the overall idea and keep track of what exactly it is you have in mind. For me, I use a few simple tricks that help me better layout my games idea and refine it into a core game idea that I can then begin building on.
Tip #1 Brain Dump
When you get that first spark of an idea fora new game, your mind is soon to be swimming with countless thoughts about the game and what it could be. Keeping all these ideas in your head is just not practical. The best thing to do is to get all the ideas and thoughts out of your head. Just start writing them down on paper or in a digital document. It's also best to keep this organized in some way. Use folders or headings. This way you can quickly sort through and update ideas as they change over time. The main objective with this is to get all our ideas out and recorded so it frees up your mind allowing you to form more structured ideas based on what you've already dumped.
Tip #2 Make Note Of Key Ideas
As your dumping all your ideas or later on, you'll likely have those moments when a great or key idea for the game hits you. Take note of these ideas by jotting them down be it on paper or on your phone or whatever is at hand.You can then later add this idea to your brain dump folder and see how this new key idea changes the overall game idea.
Tip #3 Find the Root Of Your Inspiration
No matter how creative or new an idea feels, what we make is a product of our own experiences and inspirations. Look at your idea and try to identify what the inspiration behind it is. If it's a game or games, you can look at what you liked and disliked about those games. If you can identify what worked for that game and what didn't work, that information can be valuable to you when improving your own idea.
Tip #4 Sit On It
That original burst of ideas you have tend to be quite raw and are likely going to change quite a lot or evolve in some way. Rushing into any kind of actual development at this point would do more harm than good to your game. So, just sit on the idea for a while. Be it a few days or a couple of weeks. You'll find that if you just sit on an idea for a while, it tends to form a much better structure in your head. Not having to force yourself to think about it all the time is funny enough the best time for ideas to come.
Tip #5 Make The Hard Cuts
The idea stage of a game is always the most fun but it can create more problems down the line if you don't learn what ideas you should cut. Look closely at all of your brain dump ideas after a few days. You should be able to see more clearly what at the time you thought was a perfect game mechanic or design may not be as great as you thought and doesn't really benefit the games core design. The more willing you are to kill your babies at this stage, the better your games scope will be. Keeping a realistic scope to your game is key!