Game Ideas

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”).

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.

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 :).

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


i didn’t know we have a profanity filter. good stuff!

i use Orteil’s game idea generator whenever I’m bored. It comes up with some very funny combinations

I’d like to see the classic “Snake” game played on a Klein Bottle surface.

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!


@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…

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

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.

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.

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.

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!”

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.

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

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.

@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!

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

But otherwise, basically this post.

Agreed. Not my intention to do so.

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.

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

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 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?).

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”.

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.

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.

@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.

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

@thedanisaur link?