Chapter 2. IDEAS

Let's talk about making video games. To most people, making a video game is a mystery. The average party conversation goes like this:

IDEAS

At this point in the conversation I then tell people that games are made by elves. All I have to do is leave a game design idea in the middle of the room overnight and in the morning the elves have made the game[28].

OK, this is not entirely true.

You have to leave a good idea out for the elves to make into a game. Which begs the question: "Where do good ideas come from?"

IDEAS: WHERE TO GET THEM AND WHERE TO STICK THEM

Every good idea borders on the stupid.

Michel Gondry[29]

I like this quote because many game ideas often sound stupid. Try these on for size:

  • A yellow creature eats dots while being chased by ghost monsters.

  • A plumber jumps on the heads of mushrooms to find his girlfriend.

  • A prince rebuilds stars by rolling balls of junk into bigger balls of junk.

All of those stupid-sounding ideas ended up being games that made lots and lots of money. I guess they aren't so stupid after all. To me, the lesson is, never dismiss a game idea, even if it does sound stupid.

So, where do I get my own stupid ideas to turn into video games? The traditional way to get an idea is to get inspired. The good news is that a good game idea can come from anywhere. Here is a list of things I do to get inspired. I suggest you try them yourself the next time you ...

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