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Where do you get your inspiration?

6 replies [Last post]
Juzek's picture
Joined: 06/19/2017

Is nature? Economics? Medieval battles?


That pretty much covers everything. Does anyone have a unique perspective?

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
I think there's more...

Science Fiction (Space Battles), Undead (mostly Minis), Pirates and Medieval Merchants (maybe Economics sorta), RPG Fantasy (wider than Medieval Battles)...

Actually if you look under Theme at "The Game Crafter" there's more ... But some of them like your Nature (covers Animals and Farming for example).

As far as inspiration goes... IDK... Like I was watching a "Catan Review" and I got the idea for a Civilization game (obviously my own take on it...) It's one of my benched designs...

I also have a penchant for "Card Games" recently ... And most of my designs use cards.

I don't design from specs or component restriction (my brain doesn't function that way). So I'm not very good with Contests and similar competitions.

I usually get the NAME for what it is that I am designing and then have a good idea about THEME and then work backwards through a prototype ... But it usually takes me a LOT of time to bring a design to life. TradeWorlds took over 5 years.

Like the NAME "Crystal Heroes"... It's about Heroes and Villains. And the goal is to collect "Soul Crystals" left behind by fallen characters. So I got a bit of a THEME going and some background for it... Then it comes to finding out how to play (choice of mechanics) and then tying everything together for a PROTOTYPE.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Random Generators

I use a lot of random generators to help me come up with new ideas. I make video games as well, and have participated in a number of "game jams," which typically provide some kind of theme at the start of it, and an incredibly-condensed period of time in which you make a game. As a result, most of my games make it to a raw and unpolished state, and then I move on. I have yet to develop a published game through my efforts, though that was a much stronger motivator in the past.

Infrequently, I'll be inspired by components or a specific mechanic to develop game ideas. I'll find "vintage" games at a thrift store or some other reseller, and components from those games can sometimes inspire the pursuit of an idea that starts off with game mechanics, and evolves from there.

Recently, I've become interested in leaning on current social and political events to develop game ideas. The goal behind this is to encourage people to discuss these sorts of topics with others more frequently, and act upon their conclusions. Another inspiration of mine is the concept of a "choose your own adventure" book or old-skool gamebook.

Rick-Holzgrafe's picture
Joined: 07/22/2008
Just Anything

There are said to be two ways to start a new game design: an interesting theme, or an interesting mechanism. If you start with a theme, you mine it for ideas for theme-appropriate mechanisms that will make the game challenging and fun. If you start with a mechanism, you look for a theme that will do a good job of making use of that mechanism.

For myself, both methods work. Sometimes I get a theme idea ("Weather Wizards", where players are gods that battle to dominate a continent by controlling and redirecting its weather), sometimes a mechanism idea (a way for players to acquire tiles, that turned into a set-collection game about recruiting officers and crew for a British warship during the Napoleonic Wars).

If you keep your mind open to ideas, you can think of some basic notion like these quite often. Whenever I do, I write it down: usually just a paragraph or two. I file it in my folder of ideas, which now contains dozens of them. And that's as far as most of these ideas go—I never did anything more with "Weather Wizards" than what I described above, for example. But sometimes an idea takes fire; that set-collection game turned into one of my best designs.

I think the important thing is this: ideas are easy to come by, if you're alert for them. Write down every one you get and save it. Most of them will never become games, and that's perfectly okay. From time to time, if you're short of inspiration, go back through your collected ideas, and you may find that suddenly one of them grabs your attention.

Joined: 09/06/2017

I get a lot of ideas by helping others with their games. I will often think that this person has a really neat concept be it mechanism, general idea or theme. If it is a mechanic i think about how I could implement this into a game. If it it is a general idea for a game I think about how I would make a game that would do that. Sometimes I can think of mynown game based on a theme, but I find this the most difficult.

Ocassionally, I look at the design contest as well, but it is difficult for me to develop a game to my satisfaction inside of their time constraints.

evansmind244's picture
Joined: 04/09/2015
From God

I believe God gives me idea's, and expects me to work and grow those idea's as a means for my ultimate purpose. If I don't follow through with the inspiration God gives me I am essentially disobeying my purpose on this earth. With that said, I am inspired to grow my talent while finding my abilities to overcome hardships (my doubts, other peoples doubts, difficulties in design, difficulties in manufacture, and marketing etc... ) while I finish and complete tasks I've set out to complete. For me I have found that I enjoy the Business side of game design and I'd prefer to collaborate with other designers, and bring our idea's to finished products. I would like to become a publisher, and perhaps bring manufacture, and distribution to my company. Obviously that's a long way off.
Two heads are better than one, but traditionally research and development departments don't produce big hits and waste more money than they create. Outside hungry innovators create big hits so I need to find a way to collaborate with other designers where we each stay hungry, and payment is based on results not salary.

tikey's picture
Joined: 03/31/2017
I guess almost anything could

I guess almost anything could be turned into a game. I do get a lot of ideas, it might happen after watching a movie, seeing a random thing on the street, hearing someone's anecdotes. I'm now looking at the possibility of doing a game for my job in relationship to some research I've been doing.
Having ideas is probably the easiest part if you are open minded.
Choosing which idea to pursue is the hard part.

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