How do you come up with a game idea/concept when you're a single developer?

Serious question,
Often at times when I want to develop a game I have some pretty ambitious ideas. I often want to create cities of different eras. For example, one time I created a Vietnam-war themed city. However, more and more recently I’ve wanted to focus on actually developing a game and not just a place to look at.

I have minimal scripting experience but can always out-source as needed and I think my 3D modeling and building skills can be above average some times. I just don’t know where to begin. I don’t think the problem is not being able to come up with an idea, but the problem is coming up with too many ambitious ideas. Starting one idea, then stopping because I suddenly felt like doing a different idea is another problem I have.

I guess what I am asking is, how do you guys plan out a game in advance? How do you stick with your idea for so long and what do you do to make up for the skills you don’t have?

Examples of work I started then stopped.


Usually I’ll think of a game that I really wanna make, then each time I add something I’ll get my friends to play it with me. They motivate me a lot and make me truly believe that my idea will ensure success, no matter what occurs. Hearing their feedback and ideas also makes me want to keep going.
For planning games, I think of my main idea, then write it down in a .txt document, then once I’ve gotten a bit of the game done I’ll speak to my friends, brainstorm, and write down my new ideas. The idea for my current project would be far more bare-bones without my friends’ feedback.

If I can’t make something the exact way I want to, I’ll think of another way to slightly achieve my goal.
example: I wanted to do something with a GUI, but I failed to implement it, so I instead added two parts to the workspace with .touched events in 'em. I was able to make what I wanted(basically) despite the fact my original idea failed.
Another example would be when I wanted to make a sleeping animation of sort in a horror game(it was first person only), but I just couldn’t get the body to move right(nor implement the specific player’s character into the cutscene)so I compromised and removed the body of the rig, making it just a head.

tl;dr: You don’t need other developers involved to make a good project, you just need anyone willing to give ideas. Just knowing that someone else actually likes your concept, and would like to play a game like yours is a huge motivator.


Maybe you’re just not meant to succeed…
You got the skills, but you don’t want to clutch, what can we say? Your life your decisions

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Single developer

All developers are single

just kidding

Bad jokes aside, here’s something I’d recommend:

Time Constraint

I often find it much better when I have a limited amount of time, for example 10 days or a month. It makes me work much more efficiently.


It’s also really good if you get some sort of reward after completing the game, just like in a game jam.


A good way to gain motivation is to make the game as simple as possible - a small goal that can be achieved within days. You can then show the game to your friends or the devforum and get feedback. This motivation will boost you so you can make the full game.

Too much features

If you’re not experienced enough, or don’t work with a team, don’t create bit tasks for yourself! Never try to remake CoD Warzone in 10 minutes with a 1985 keyboard. It just won’t work out.
Create small goals that you know you can achieve, but always try to do it better than before.


Combining all these different ways together should lead you to successfully complete a game.

For me, it’s really helpful to participate in a game jam and then build on top of that game.

I really hope this helps you and other people


Just think, think, think… and you have wonderful fellow developers here on the forum if you ever need help!

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+1 Accurate and funny statements. Comedian rating 10/10