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Offline philfrei
« Posted 2015-08-31 00:10:46 »

I thought it might be fun to have a thread where people could post game ideas (silly is okay). Then, when someone asks for an idea for a game, send them to this thread. Also, can tell someone if an idea is already in use, or a near-variant exists.

My most recent idea was inspired by my wife, who is temporarily using a walker while a hip fracture heals.

Create a puzzle game with senior-aged or handicapped avatars, who have to use a variety of walkers, crutches, wheel chairs, stair lifts, etc., to solve various levels.

I also think almost anything with penguins could work. There are some amazing life-events that happen and seem game-worthy. For example, childless penguin adults (eggs didn't hatch for whatever reason) trying to adopt penguin chicks that stray from their parents. A video of the genuinely dangerous mayhem that results from such a pursuit is jaw dropping (see Attenborough's "Frozen Planet").

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Offline LiquidNitrogen
« Reply #1 - Posted 2015-08-31 07:06:20 »

I like the idea of a "deep time" game where your practically immortal character travels around the galaxy at sub-light speed. It may take thousands of years to travel between different locations so the consequences of your actions would play out very differently from how they do in a short time frame game. When you arrive at a destination, you might not even find what you expected since you departed centuries ago. Some quite high level strategic thinking could result.
Offline wessles
« Reply #2 - Posted 2015-08-31 18:51:59 »

A platformer based on magnetic repulsion and attraction, as opposed to jumping. You can reverse your 'polarity' using the jump button. Something like Super Meat Boy in how fast it is, but with this new control scheme. Could be interesting Smiley.
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Offline basil_

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2015-08-31 21:20:05 »

i still dream of a **** horror porn shooter hack 'n slash rpg mmo sandbox action simulator

*edit*

i didn't know we have a profanity filter. good stuff!
Offline SirSoltex

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« Reply #4 - Posted 2015-09-01 02:49:03 »

i use Orteil's game idea generator http://orteil.dashnet.org/gamegen whenever I'm bored. It comes up with some very funny combinations

Are you humans? I don't know.
Offline philfrei
« Reply #5 - Posted 2015-09-01 03:52:07 »

I'd like to see the classic "Snake" game played on a Klein Bottle surface.

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Offline KevinWorkman

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2015-09-01 12:34:55 »

Ideas are great and all, but in my very humble opinion, they aren't actually what people are looking for when they say that they need an idea for a game.

I think people are left with a "well, now what?" feeling after they learn some basics in programming. They know enough to understand the basics, but they don't know enough to take apart a problem and break it down into its individual code components, or to think about how a new mechanic might be programmed.

These people shouldn't try coding up a brand new idea. They should start much smaller- start with Pong. If that sounds boring, good. Trying to take on a new idea (especially somebody else's idea) is a great way to burn out when you realize that you don't actually know what you're shooting for.

Already coded Pong? Good. Now take that Pong and add something interesting to it- add realistic physics, or make it 4 player, or make it turn-based, or make it a spelling game, or add awesome graphics, or make the player control the ball instead of the paddle. When you've done all of that, do the same with Breakout or Space Invaders.

Ideas are cheap. I don't think I'm particularly creative, but just looking around right now I can come up with a million cheap ideas: maybe you control a stapler on a screen with papers bouncing around, and your goal is to staple matching papers together. Maybe you're an ivy plant and you have to climb your way to sunlight. Maybe you're the office coffee fetcher and you have to get everybody's order right by filling up mugs with the right combination of ingredients. Maybe you're a business card designer, and you have to design business cards that compete with other business cards like pokemon.

Ideas are the easy part. The hard part is what comes next: what type of game should each of those ideas be: A platformer? Turn-based rpg? A top-down puzzle game? Something else entirely? How do you code the core mechanic of the game? What data structures do you need?

The only way you can get better at answering those questions is by practicing. Start very small. Very small means not trying to come up with something new. Start with something that seems too easy, and then add something interesting to it.

I think what would really help people is some basic starting code, or at least an outline of how you might begin to program the game you're describing. In writing my own tutorials I've tried to include as many base examples as possible, but this post reminds me that I need to get better at that.

Maybe instead of just posting ideas, try posting software requirements instead?

Or if posting ideas is fun for some reason, just keep doing that!

</$0.02>

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Offline Drenius
« Reply #7 - Posted 2015-09-01 19:40:50 »

@KevinWorkman: Although i think you are right about most of what you are saying, assuming that this is a thread for those asking for ideas because they don't know what they can do, you are probably wrong.

It is nice to have a simple place where we can share game ideas, and that must not be simple keywords as generators such as the one SirSoltex mentioned produce.
I think it is more a place to share ideas that are at least to some point worked out, as in seem actually interesting and can give you some actual ideas on what to make if you know how to do so already.

It sure is possible to come up with a lot of random ideas and pick from them, but it might sometimes be better to pick from an already existing collection of kinda good ideas...
Offline ags1

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2015-09-01 21:31:45 »

@KevinWorkman, good ideas are not cheap. They are rare and precious.

Offline KevinWorkman

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« Reply #9 - Posted 2015-09-01 21:47:41 »

Although i think you are right about most of what you are saying, assuming that this is a thread for those asking for ideas because they don't know what they can do, you are probably wrong.

I'm not trying to dissuade anybody from posting their random ideas here, if that sounds fun to them.

I just think that most people who say they don't have any ideas don't need to be handed "ideas", they need to practice programming. And the only way to practice programming... is by programming.

It is nice to have a simple place where we can share game ideas, and that must not be simple keywords as generators such as the one SirSoltex mentioned produce.

I respectfully disagree with you here. If posting ideas here sounds fun to you, by all means go for it. I just think that people looking for ideas are usually not actually looking for ideas, but for the ability to come up with their own ideas. That comes with practice.

I think it is more a place to share ideas that are at least to some point worked out, as in seem actually interesting and can give you some actual ideas on what to make if you know how to do so already.

Like I said, a thread like this might be useful if the ideas were more specific- post software requirements instead of broad genres. Post an algorithm and data structures, not a fuzzy description of a mechanic that could be interpreted in a million different ways.

It sure is possible to come up with a lot of random ideas and pick from them, but it might sometimes be better to pick from an already existing collection of kinda good ideas...

Threads like this just seem a bit like somebody starting a thread saying "let's post ideas for art here, that way any artists who need an idea can come here and do that art!" and then the thread filling up with "paint a tree" or "make a clay sculpture of a bird". The ideas are too broad to be useful to anybody who actually needs them, and people who are familiar enough with a particular art style (in our case, how to program a particular game type) to actually do the idea don't actually need them.

Again, I'm not trying to be pessimistic or dissuasive. If you want to frame it with more positive language, maybe I should try: "Let's take this thread up a notch! Post software requirements, algorithms, and data structures that you would use to implement your ideas!"

@KevinWorkman, good ideas are not cheap. They are rare and precious.

I respectfully disagree with you. Ideas are cheap. It's actually doing something with an idea that's the hard part.

Maybe I should rephrase: pretend this is a forum about cooking.

This thread is a "post ideas for what to cook for dinner here!" thread. The replies are along the lines of "make spaghetti" or "make sushi".

I'm not telling people to stop posting ideas. I'm suggesting that it might be more useful to post recipes instead, or at least a list of ingredients, along with those ideas.

Expert chefs probably don't need a list of things they could make. And novice chefs don't yet have the experience to make something without a recipe.

If posting random food ideas sounds fun to you, then that's fine, but it's not really a resource for chefs then. It's just a place to showcase your "ideas".

If you just want to post random food ideas, then feel free to ignore me and continue posting your food ideas. But if you're really trying to cultivate a resource for aspiring chefs, then all I'm saying is that including a recipe or a list of ingredients would be more useful than just posting the ideas by themselves.

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Offline Drenius
« Reply #10 - Posted 2015-09-01 23:07:27 »

Yes it is indeed just an idea showcase.
It is also not something where entire games will usually be posted into.

Like I said, a thread like this might be useful if the ideas were more specific- post software requirements instead of broad genres. Post an algorithm and data structures, not a fuzzy description of a mechanic that could be interpreted in a million different ways.
This is not about programming games, this is about game design. Not any game you make is automatically interesting, just because you know how to make it.
We can suggest ideas of mechanics and yes, rarely also genres, which can lead somebody to get a more complete idea for a game.
How you make the game... what does it matter for you? We all have our heavily differing experience in making games, and if you decide to make a game based on an idea you find here, you are probably well aware of how to make it, or at least how to learn how to make it. The question is only what.

Also, @Riven this should better be seperated somehow.
Offline philfrei
« Reply #11 - Posted 2015-09-01 23:07:45 »

@KevinWorkman Thank you for your $0.02.

The food/spaghetti/sushi analogy was faulty, imho. I wasn't asking for random ideas, especially not random lists of things that already exist. Now, if we had a forum thread where someone could suggest making sushi in a way that incorporates spaghetti noodles, that might have been a bit closer to the mark, and possibly an interesting idea for those of us who are fusion foodies and actively experimenting with mixing food traditions.

I am truly interested in the feedback if a suggested idea has already been used. Many eyes are better than one, and no single person has seen all the games there are to see.

Ideas are cheap? So are game engines, apparently, given all the people that work on them instead of actually diving in and making a game. There are an infinite number of ways to dither.

In any event, I did say "silly" was okay, and one of the tactics of successful brainstorming is to go easy on the preconditions and self-censorship.

Best wishes!

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Offline Drenius
« Reply #12 - Posted 2015-09-01 23:10:47 »

In any event, I did say "silly" was okay, and one of the tactics of successful brainstorming is to go easy on the preconditions and self-censorship.
I have to seperate myself from anybody saying "only positive feedback allowed" here though.

But otherwise, basically this post.
Offline philfrei
« Reply #13 - Posted 2015-09-01 23:13:37 »

I have to seperate myself from anybody saying "only positive feedback allowed" here though.

Agreed. Not my intention to do so.

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Offline KevinWorkman

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« Reply #14 - Posted 2015-09-02 01:05:06 »

Yes it is indeed just an idea showcase.

That's fine. My only point was that if your intention is to help out programmers looking for an idea, then it's probably more beneficial to post more than "make a game about flowers". Software requirements, algorithms, data structures, specifics.

This is not about programming games, this is about game design.

I truly do not mean any disrespect, but I haven't seen anybody mention any actual designs in any of their posts so far.

if you decide to make a game based on an idea you find here, you are probably well aware of how to make it, or at least how to learn how to make it. The question is only what.

And I'm putting forth the theory that people who don't have any ideas just need practice. That's not to say they're bad programmers or not creative, just that they haven't practiced in the specific area of game development in order to be able to think of ideas in terms of requirements, algorithms, and data structures.

We see a million "I want to make a game that's a combination of WoW and CoD, how do I start?" posts, and I think having too big of an idea and having no ideas are related. The solution to both problems is to start smaller and practice practice practice. I just don't know how useful it is to tell that person to make 2D platformer game starring a werewolf. Sure the idea might sound fun, but how does it actually help?

Again, if your goal is to just shoot ideas back and forth, that's okay, but I'm only commenting because it was mentioned that this would be a helpful resource. I'm all for creating helpful resources, I'm just saying that there are ways that this resource could be more helpful.

I am truly interested in the feedback if a suggested idea has already been used. Many eyes are better than one, and no single person has seen all the games there are to see.

I think the bigger problem is that the ideas posted are currently much too broad to actually give any feedback on. Similarly, they're way too broad to be useful to people trying to think of a game idea.

All I'm saying is that the ideas would be more useful if they included more specific software requirements (what type of game is it? what are the controls? what is the design of each level?), algorithms (how would you start coding the mechanic?), and data structures (how would you store the game model?).

Ideas are cheap? So are game engines, apparently, given all the people that work on them instead of actually diving in and making a game. There are an infinite number of ways to dither.

Well, yeah. People do tend to spend way too much time on "their game engine" without ever actually creating games. I would put that in a similar category as "having too big an idea" and "not having any ideas" in fact. The solution, again, is practice.

Like I said, I'm not trying to be disparaging. If you want to shoot ideas back and forth, I'm all for it. I just highly doubt that it's going to help anybody. If all you're looking for is a distraction where people list random game ideas they've had, that's cool. But I think if you actually want to curate a resource that will help people, you need to go a little deeper than "make a game about the moon".

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Offline ags1

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« Reply #15 - Posted 2015-09-02 10:21:38 »

It's interesting that I have the complete opposite viewpoint. I have a good idea about once a year. That is, an idea that gets my attention and feels worth devoting considerable effort to it. And then I spend a lot of time thinking about the idea and refining it before I even start coding. And then I carry on coding for years.

Offline KevinWorkman

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« Reply #16 - Posted 2015-09-02 12:04:22 »

Have you ever participated in a game jam? Ludum Dare just happened, but other game jams are happening all the time. If you aren't familiar, a game jam is like a programming competition where you have a limited time (usually 48 hours, sometimes a week) to create a game around a specific theme. Do a few of those, and I'd bet you'd get a lot better at seeing game ideas everywhere you look.

You also might check out the One Game a Month challenge.

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Offline Springrbua
« Reply #17 - Posted 2015-09-02 16:02:28 »

@KevinWorkman But those Jams usualy habe a theme. So you are forced to create an idea arround that theme. Thinking about "what theme can i use?" is allready done for you.
Also as the time is verry limited, you also have to "limit" your idea. If you instead want to create a "big thing", something unique, getting a clear and good idea isn't that easy, IMHO.
Offline thedanisaur

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« Reply #18 - Posted 2015-09-02 16:06:06 »

@wessles Tis a game that was developed at the University of Utah that does this.

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Offline wessles
« Reply #19 - Posted 2015-09-02 16:29:50 »

@thedanisaur link?
Offline KevinWorkman

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« Reply #20 - Posted 2015-09-02 16:30:28 »

@KevinWorkman But those Jams usualy habe a theme. So you are forced to create an idea arround that theme. Thinking about "what theme can i use?" is allready done for you.
Also as the time is verry limited, you also have to "limit" your idea. If you instead want to create a "big thing", something unique, getting a clear and good idea isn't that easy, IMHO.

The theme and the time limit help with creativity, they don't hurt it. "Freedom is the opposite of creativity" and all that.

Tell a person "go make some art" and they'll have no idea what to do. Give a person a piece of paper and a box of crayons and tell them they have 15 minutes, and they'll come up with something great.

I am saying that the "ideas" put forth in this thread are not restrictive enough to be useful for creativity.

The idea is that you should try out a bunch of small ideas: do game jams, make prototypes. That prototype (more accurately, what people think of that prototype) will tell you whether a larger game around your idea is worthwhile or not.

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Offline ags1

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« Reply #21 - Posted 2015-09-02 18:12:58 »

Have you ever participated in a game jam? Ludum Dare just happened, but other game jams are happening all the time. If you aren't familiar, a game jam is like a programming competition where you have a limited time (usually 48 hours, sometimes a week) to create a game around a specific theme. Do a few of those, and I'd bet you'd get a lot better at seeing game ideas everywhere you look.

You also might check out the One Game a Month challenge.

I think you are missing my point. One good idea a year is enough to keep me busy every night. More than enough as I have a backlog of ideas to work on. I get plenty of random ideas, but I'm very critical of them and only select a few.

Offline KevinWorkman

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« Reply #22 - Posted 2015-09-02 18:31:02 »

I understand your point. I just disagree that ideas are rare and precious. Maybe they're rare (once a year) for you, and maybe that's okay with your preferred workflow, so you've got nothing to improve upon.

But since this thread was supposed to be a resource for programmers who think they don't have enough ideas, my advice to them is to practice with much smaller projects until they're better at coming up with ideas of their own. If you're happy with one idea a year, then I was talking to them about game jams, not really you.

I don't think that a general list of "make a platformer game with an armadillo" ideas is very helpful to a programmer trying to think of an idea. I think practice, or at least more specific requirements, is much more helpful.

The reason Pong is useful is because it has a set of obvious requirements. Everybody knows how it should look and behave, so you have a tangible goal to shoot for. That makes it useful for practicing. I think any ideas we list here should be as tangible as Pong is. Otherwise this isn't really a resource for programmers, it's just us shooting random ideas back and forth. And that's okay too. But it doesn't sound like the original goal of the thread.

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Offline Opiop
« Reply #23 - Posted 2015-09-02 18:46:37 »

I took this thread as a way to dump ideas in an attempt to help others start the process of figuring out how to create great ideas. I'll be honest, music is the only real creative thing I do, other than that I am horrible at creativity. Game ideas do not come to me out of the blue all the time, even after 4 years of game development and watching other developers build their own games.

I completely understand your point, but I don't think the argument needs to really be here. I like the idea of this thread just because it gets me thinking about game ideas, and how I could change this idea etc... There are different ways for people to reach the point that you are trying to make, this could definitely be helpful.

As an example; Say you isolate a person from music their entire lives. They have never heard a single song, never played a single note. Then you one day give them a guitar, show them the basics and tell them to write music. Well, how do they start? They have no idea because they have no base to work off of. The only reason music is easy for me is because I've listened to it all my life. I have my preferences, my tastes. I listen to it when I'm not practicing to see what other drummers are doing and see if I can replicate their fills and beats and incorporate them into my own style. Through trial and error for years, I have finally started to develop my own style.

Obviously that was a pretty extreme example, most people are exposed to games before they start game development, but my point still stands (I think). Giving people a base to work off of, letting them choose between ideas and building something helps to create their own style and then figure out what kind of games they like to make. I see this thread as a way for some younger developers who have not developed their own style to get that base. Everyone needs to start somewhere!

Plus, it's just fun to see what you all come up with, I like reading about different ideas and imagining them Smiley
Offline philfrei
« Reply #24 - Posted 2015-09-03 03:25:26 »

I don't think that a general list of "make a platformer game with an armadillo" ideas is very helpful to a programmer trying to think of an idea.
Not my intention to get into this sort of "meta" back and forth on this thread. But some thoughts occur to me.

I don't think that getting more specific, by laying out a mechanic, is necessary or even a good thing. To me, a story is what is going to drive a good game, and a big part of making that story work is trying to figure out how to design or program a mechanic that will support that story. Solving that for a programmer seems almost like writing homework assignments for someone.

I suggested penguins, not armadillos, because of some very compelling footage that can be seen in Attenborough's "Frozen Planet" video. The poor penguin chick fleeing for its very life from dozens of wanna-be mothers that almost
crush and trample it in the pursuit--that struck me as a story/scenario with some juice in it, both comic and violent in a weird way (comedy and violence sure worked on "Angry Birds"). Maybe it resonates, as well, due to sometimes finding myself "running away" from relationships that start to impose onerous time requirements. Whatever. Figuring out a mechanic to program this will require some creativity, but isn't that what programming is about? And when talking about the important of limitations: it seems this story imposes some definite bounds as to what might work or not.

A thread with lots of ideas in it can also maybe show that almost any scenario can be looked at as a game, can be considered for its game potential. Game making and design is to a large extent a way of looking at the world.

@Opiop
Quote
Plus, it's just fun to see what you all come up with, I like reading about different ideas and imagining them  Smiley
Yay!

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Offline BurntPizza

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« Reply #25 - Posted 2015-09-03 03:36:14 »

Now we just need to apply gamification to game design and we can have a game about arguing about game ideas. Now there's an idea!


 Emo  persecutioncomplex
Offline Springrbua
« Reply #26 - Posted 2015-09-03 06:09:05 »


The theme and the time limit help with creativity, they don't hurt it. "Freedom is the opposite of creativity" and all that.

Tell a person "go make some art" and they'll have no idea what to do. Give a person a piece of paper and a box of crayons and tell them they have 15 minutes, and they'll come up with something great.

I am saying that the "ideas" put forth in this thread are not restrictive enough to be useful for creativity.

The idea is that you should try out a bunch of small ideas: do game jams, make prototypes. That prototype (more accurately, what people think of that prototype) will tell you whether a larger game around your idea is worthwhile or not.

Thats what i wanted to say. This competitions allready do a lot of work for you, but getting a good idea outside this limits is hard. 
The timelimit might not limit the creativity, but it limits the possible "size" of the idea. If you want to create a big game, a competition like this won't be a big help.
The ideas here might not be restrictive enough for some people, but they might point anotherone to a great idea.
Offline KevinWorkman

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« Reply #27 - Posted 2015-09-03 12:13:33 »

As an example; Say you isolate a person from music their entire lives. They have never heard a single song, never played a single note. Then you one day give them a guitar, show them the basics and tell them to write music. Well, how do they start? They have no idea because they have no base to work off of. The only reason music is easy for me is because I've listened to it all my life. I have my preferences, my tastes. I listen to it when I'm not practicing to see what other drummers are doing and see if I can replicate their fills and beats and incorporate them into my own style. Through trial and error for years, I have finally started to develop my own style.

I like your music metaphor. But what I'm saying is that we've got a music forum here, and we're compiling a list of "song ideas" that are very generic: make a song with drums in it, or make a song about the sky. I just don't think that's useful for somebody trying to learn how to write their own songs- what that person really needs is some example chords or drum things (I am not a music person) that might be used along with that idea.

Giving people a base to work off of, letting them choose between ideas and building something helps to create their own style and then figure out what kind of games they like to make. I see this thread as a way for some younger developers who have not developed their own style to get that base. Everyone needs to start somewhere!

My issue is that these general ideas don't actually establish a base. They're too general to be any more useful than just pointing to a random object and saying "make a game about that". I'm not sure how helpful that is to somebody trying to figure out their own style. Maybe we're trying to beat the "what did you do today?" thread for the largest number of posts?

Plus, it's just fun to see what you all come up with, I like reading about different ideas and imagining them Smiley

If that's all we're here for, then that's fine. But that's different than saying it'll be useful for people who are trying to think of their own ideas.

Not my intention to get into this sort of "meta" back and forth on this thread.

I didn't mean to hijack your thread. I hope you start a new thread, and I'll keep the meta out of it. I originally intended to leave it at my $0.02, with the hope that people would start posting more specific ideas. If that's not interesting to people, that's okay too.

I don't think that getting more specific, by laying out a mechanic, is necessary or even a good thing. To me, a story is what is going to drive a good game, and a big part of making that story work is trying to figure out how to design or program a mechanic that will support that story. Solving that for a programmer seems almost like writing homework assignments for someone.

I guess we're picturing two different types of people reading this thread. I'm picturing somebody who doesn't quite know how to take apart an idea and make a game out of it. I'm not sure how pointing to random ideas and telling them to pick one helps with that, any more than saying "make a game" does.

Or it's like if somebody eventually wants to be able to build their own vehicle, but doesn't know anything about how vehicles work. The most helpful thing would be to say "if I was going to build a van, here is how I'd start, here are the pieces I would use" or "if I was going to build a truck, this is how it's different from a car". Saying "make a red one" just isn't helpful.

I thought this thread was meant to be a type of educational resource. If all we're doing is trading pictures of cars we like back and forth, that's fun too, it's just not useful to the type of person I'm picturing. I seriously hope you start a new thread.

I suggested penguins, not armadillos

But armadillos can roll into a bulletproof ball!

Oh, and I made a dumb little penguin game a while ago: http://staticvoidgames.com/games/AvalancheRider

A thread with lots of ideas in it can also maybe show that almost any scenario can be looked at as a game, can be considered for its game potential. Game making and design is to a large extent a way of looking at the world.

I agree with you, I just don't know how useful the general "make a game about X" is. I would think it would be way more interesting to post "here is how I got the idea, here is how I'd start the idea, here are some specifics of what I'd do with that idea" instead.

But again, if that's not your intent, let's start a new thread without all this meta back and forth.

Oh, and I meant to say this earlier: but I hope your wife feels better soon.

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Offline thedanisaur

JGO Knight


Medals: 59



« Reply #28 - Posted 2015-09-21 15:29:23 »

@wessles http://www.magneticbynature.com/

Every village needs an idiot Cool
Offline ShadedVertex
« Reply #29 - Posted 2015-10-18 13:52:37 »

You can't force yourself to come up with a great idea. Trust me, don't try to think of an amazing idea just by forcing your mind to work tirelessly to come up with something creative. You can't summon ideas, they can only come to you of their own accord.
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