Okay, so I know what you’re thinking: I can think up an original idea off the top of my head!
Yeah, I thought that too. And then I tried it. And then, well, I failed. So, without further ado, let’s discover some tips and strategies I have developed over my few years of development. There is no right or wrong way; there are only suggestions!
Consider Your Audience
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to appeal to everyone’s taste, so you’re going to need to consider whom you are wanting to play your game. What does your audience like? Intricate games or simple ideas? Do they like lots of interaction between players? Competivity? Teamwork? What genre(s) do they like? What is their general age group? Ask yourself what kinds of things these types of people like.
Make Sure You Like the Idea of Your Game
Too many times have I seen developers attempt to make games they themselves would not enjoy because—and, yes, this may counter the above tip a little bit—they were trying too hard to please the audience they were aiming for. They typically failed. Don’t try to make games you wouldn’t play. It won’t do you as much good as if you would enjoy the game!
Edit Others’ Ideas
Sometimes an idea doesn’t have to start from scratch; in fact, you could take a game similar to several others and make it your own! For example, let’s look at a murder game. You know, one murderer, one sheriff, and a lot of innocents (and sometimes characters like in “The Mad Murderer” or “Murder Mystery”)? Maybe you keep that, but you make it so that each character has a set of special abilities with a tree of perks and powers; maybe a chicken-dressed character can turn into an egg and roll around for a few seconds and not be hurt by one knife! Maybe rare/special characters get a special weapon or power instead of a plain knife! I don’t know. Thing is, it’s your imagination. Crazy is good, people! Sometimes making an already-used idea into your own is even better than a completely original game. Not that you can’t make original games—they’re still awesome!
Admit it: You like weird. Weird games are something we can get behind pretty quickly. Go deep into your imagination. Sometimes you have to take fifteen minutes or an hour to think something up, but once you have it, it’s hard to put out that light bulb. It happens—you think of some random word at it gives you the greatest idea ever.
Not all the time, but sometimes! It takes a complex mind to make a simple new idea because they’re usually taken! Examples of great simple games—and by simple, I mean the objective is simple, not the extras—include the following:
- Flood Escape 2
- Wild Revolvers
- Flee the Facility
- Parkour Tag
- Most sandbox Tycoons
- Lucid Dream
- Blocked Out
- Mecha Cubes
- Phantom Forces
- Floppy Swordfish
- Deathrun 1, 2, and 3
- Many more!
All of these games share something in common: They have a simple objective—you don’t have to complete a super long tutorial to get right into it. You can go in and do stuff. You’re thrown into the action right away and know how to play right away!
Complex Can Be Good Too
You’ve got a maze running in your brain. How does one come up with a complex game? It actually sometimes starts with the above tip: start simple! You can come up with a ton of simple ideas that don’t quite make up a game by themselves. Some ingredients you use aren’t going to taste good right away—you have to blend them in with other ingredients! You don’t just eat flour (well, I mean, if you do, I won’t judge). Your idea can be so complex, it takes several paragraphs to explain; however, to not lose the player’s focus, I recommend you introduce instructions along the way of gameplay. It’s pretty hard to make these kinds of games, though; there’s a reason why there aren’t many on Roblox! One good way to make a complex game is to involve a story. Let the player connect with characters and drown them in mystery—the objective is unclear. You keep giving them mini objectives until it all adds up. That twist comes in. With stories, you have the option of having tons of different genres and objectives mixed into one game like a smoothie with three billion different fruits in it.
STOP LAUGHING JUST BECAUSE IT’S BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY!
You don’t have to think of these ideas yourself! Get others to help you create a unique game idea. Imagine what you can do when everyone contributes an idea to one big blob of some crazy something we call a game. It’s like that game people played when they were little—everyone adds one sentence to a story, and what pops up is a fresh story; in fact, let’s try it right now: Right in this thread, make an original game idea with the whole community reading this thread. See what we can come up with. It’ll be absurd, I’ll assure you that.
There Are More Strategies, but I’m Too Lazy To List Them
There are so many strategies out there; creating an idea is the second step—making your strategies are the first!
Yeah, this probably wasn’t a helpful post lol