How to think of game ideas???

After I finished experimenting with a lot of 2d stuff with libgdx stuff I wanted to actually make a real game…but the problem is I really dont know how to think of one…I know this might be a hard question to answer, but do you guys have any methods that help you think of games? I am not exactly too creative so this is somewhat hard for me to do… Thanks in advanced

My method is just making something without knowing what, like just making a background with a moving object, some time later you decide to make the object bouncy and so on. At a certain moment you know what game you’re making.

You can also write some things down like: portal, mirror, laser, space. and make a mix of some words to make the game.


I find playing other games inspiring. Especially if the game is really unique or fun. Although this may foster “cloning” ::slight_smile:

My head turns on as soon as I’m not doing anything in particular. If I have to pass time walking around town, I’ll end up with tons of ideas. The same happens when I’m at work, but eh… Goes to show how interesting my job is. :stuck_out_tongue:

Think about games you like/liked in the past, and about what made them special;
Think about little concepts in your life;
Try to be more observant about everything;
Try different cultures;

Take note of everything. Every little concept.
I, sometimes, have some ideas while sleeping. It’s the best sensation ever - “Hey, i just thought of this thing, and i didn’t even think of it by myself!”, and then i rush to a notepad before it vanishes from my mind.

I have the same problem. No imagination over here, no clue what games I could make :confused:

Do as Sheldon does (big bang theory ;D)
Do a mundane boring task and you will find truth (such as the fractal pattern in a shattered plate).
Or, yeah, just playing other games works too.

blah lol i wish i was creative

Normally, when I think of game ideas, it all starts with this…

“You know what would be cool, if they did [icode]XXX[/icode] in this game.”

So, I’m not really thinking of a new game idea, just an improvement to an old game idea. Then, I just take note of all those moments. If all those moments are enough that it can stand alone as its own game, then I just try making it. If not, then I just try and build an old game with those improvements.

Most game ideas have been implemented already. Majority of the games today you can trace back to a single type of game. The key behind it is doing things within that genre of game that hasn’t been done before, or just outright doing it better than the previous game.

The games I get the most inspiration from are the ones I hate. Instead of throwing the cartridge/CD/DVD across the room, I try and make a mental note of why the games are bad. Then, when I code, I try to see if I can make a game that fixes or improves upon those bad elements. Usually, just trying to fix a bad game idea is all the inspiration I need to keep designing.

But, if you are trying to come up with something original, it is very hard. Usually ideas like that come to you out of thin air. Just don’t forget to write them down when they do. Try listening to your mind wander, you’d be surprised on how much it has to say.

Mine just sort of form in my mind out of nowhere.

  1. Clone
  2. mix genres
  3. wait for random ideas on toilet/bath

Yeah, the shower part helps alot. You just stand there thinking with cold water on, and its really easy to think. :wink:

What I usually do is to take elements of a few game and combine them together. What also works is make a category of genres, and circle random ones, and combine corresponding elements. :slight_smile: You can also take plenty of real-life situations and make a fun game out of it.

Normally when people make games as a hobby, they have ideas before they sit down at their computer.

You don’t think “I’m going to make a game today! As soon as I think of a game to make”.
You should think “I would like to make a game where _____! I’m going to make a game today!”

Programming is about having a goal, and working towards that goal. Having no goal gets you nowhere.

If you work towards goals that other people mention with no plans of your own, creativity dies, and you get bored.


Taking existing successful gameplay and reinventing it in another genre is good. I sometimes try to imagine what the world would be like if one important thing was changed. Or what would the combination of two random ideas look like. Sometimes something inspires me and the whole idea rolls out. Mostly something completely daft and difficult to express though. And somehow one needs to find gameplay for it. That’s usually where I fall down.

I also have my best ideas in the bath, or sometimes just after I wake up.

Try this site. The guy has well over a hundred game ideas for people to use (he’s planning to expand it to 300 eventually). I’m currently working on a game that’s a modified version of one of his ideas. Great source of inspiration, even if you don’t like any of the ideas you see there.

That is quite nice! Peter Molydeux has some great stuff too, although it’s mostly silly.

This what I called “resources”!

Ideas is easiest part of game developing. Everybody and their dogs have plenty of ideas. Thought usually only small percentage is even usable. Making coherent game of that mess is the hard part. Mixing too many ideas is bad. Using just one is boring. Finding the balance and focusing the best ideas is key to win.


When out of ideas, I take an existing game I’d like to make, and during development usually come with new ideas that sometimes can be made into something entirely original.

Instead of trying to come up with an entire game, try thinking of only of a single mechanic to explore instead.

The last game I made explored a mechanic of typing with one hand while keeping a rhythm with the other, and the game before that explored a Dino Run + Line Rider mechanic. My next one is going to explore synesthesia, and the one after that is going to explore a “blend in” mechanic.

Creativity is pretty hard, if not impossible, to teach, but I think it’s about making connections and asking questions from other genres. A painter doesn’t stare at his paint and think “well, what should I paint now” - he goes on walks, looks at people, places, and objects, learns more about them, and THEN paints something based on that mixture. The same can be true of programming. Instead of staring at your code or looking at other games, get away from the genre for a while. Go on a walk. Watch a movie. Go about your day. As you do these things, think about how anything can be turned into a game mechanic, and then you’ve got yourself something to program. If the mechanic works and is fun, expand that into a full game.