Hi there, Gamers and Game Makers!
This week, I'm going to go over the basics of how I come up with and develop on my game ideas. This is by no means a pipeline for developing ideas that will work for everyone as the creative process differs from person to person but, I hope it can help those of you with a basic idea figure out how to develop and expand upon it.
Ok, let's get started. So, you've got an idea for a game and you think it's a pretty great idea. I hate to break it to you but odds are it's not.
If you're anything like me, you'll get multiple ideas throughout any given day that at the time feel like really cool ideas but the reality of it is they're probably not great. At least not yet. As I work on a project, I'll have ideas for future games I'd like to make. So in my case what I like to do is keep a notebook of the ideas I get and that way I can come back to them.
When I get a new idea that I want to develop, I have a little rule I like to follow which I think helps a great deal. The first idea you have is pretty much the idea anyone can come up with. So, when you get your first thought, throw it away and approach it again. I tend to throw away the first three versions on an idea that I have until I'm left with something that feels more unique as a game and also to me.
You'll find that when you throw away the first thoughts that come to you, you'll start to think in a different way. You'll creatively start to push yourself to think outside the box and soon enough you'll get that lightbulb moment when an idea develops into something more in your head.
Once you get to this stage, it's time to start expanding on the idea. I personally like to visualize my ideas on paper. I'll use my notebook to keep track of the ideas and story content but I also like to keep track of things using post-its or memo cards.
I'll write the core idea on a post-it and stick it on the wall then using more post-its, I'll stick branching ideas and gameplay mechanic ideas and story beats around the core idea. This way I can stand back and look at a clear visual representation of my game idea as it develops and I can swap notes in and out as I go.
By this point, I tend to have a visual style of the game in my head. So, what I like to do now is research the visual style by looking up reference images that will help give me a better understanding of the setting my game is going to take place in and looks for characters.
Once I have a good reference base made up, I'll jump straight into concepting some rough art ideas that will help me discover the visual identity of my game.
It's important to note that once I have a good core idea and rough art style for the game that I make prototypes of the gameplay very early on in the idea phase. It's important to find out if the idea you're developing actually translates well into a fun immersive game.
Once you've gotten to this point and after prototyping the game, if it's fun then I think it's safe to say you're on to a good idea!
This is just a pretty basic outline of how I develop on my ideas and it's by no means a set way of developing ideas. Everyone is different in how they create but hopefully it'll help you take what could be a good idea and develop it into something great.
So all that's left for you now is to think of your idea and develop on it!
Rare footage of me coming up with an idea