Game ideas, darn it

If it would, it would be very unfun.


Then you’ll never reach your goal, because the only way there is to work your way up. Or alternately, have the money to self fund your own company.[/quote]

That’s why I’ve been taking classes in college about programming, and some for drawing. Right now the idea that I’m really liking is a star control2 meets shenmue meets gta meets pirates. In which your given an universe to explore, sci fi setting of course. Your able to buy and customize ships, upgrade you body in three stats. And most importently for me anyway, random universe generator in each new game.

I also wouldn’t mind trying my hand at writing game reviews for magazines, even if at first just to get my name known.

My concern would be signal-to-noise ratio. I think alot of folks that come here are much more interested in what’s actually going on with games than what some fans think would be good games. I’m certainly a bit self-conscious just blathering on about a “neat idea” knowing fully well almost everybody else has ideas as neat, or neater, than mine but don’t feel compelled to waste forum space talking about them.

The reason here is better then there for a forum is because of the community here. We got a lot of devs, x-devs, media people, and seasoned gamers. Also this forum is proabbly a bit higher caliber then, say, IGN or Warcry.

Yeah, I’m all too well aware of the realities… it’s just nice to vent! Hehehe.

My idea combines tycoon elements with elements of an MMO - although without the day-to-day pissing about in an MMO.

Not to rain on the parade here, but (I’m sure I’ve said this before) genuine game design is a process. Games don’t really get “made” from ideas. You have a goal and/or premise, your tools (technology, money, etc.), and then navigate from that to a finished product.

Whenever anyone says “I have this great idea for a game” I tell them that the minimum requirement for being a game designer is having a new great idea for a game every day.

Right now the idea that I’m really liking is a star control2 meets shenmue meets gta meets pirates. In which your given an universe to explore, sci fi setting of course. Your able to buy and customize ships, upgrade you body in three stats. And most importently for me anyway, random universe generator in each new game.

I’d be all over a game like that.

I think said forum should be about game theory, not so much about making games. Just think of it as a forum on philosophy.

I’ve had an idea kicking around my head for a while:

How about a game with a manual that gives some story elements, some background, AND NOTHING ELSE. This would compliment a game that, when loaded into the Playstation/Xbox/GameCube, starts right into a quizical and strange scenario with no info as to what to do. Just drops you right into the world and you have to figure it out for yourself. No loading screens, not company logos, just mystery.

Reminiscent of the old Activision game “Hacker.” Started with “Logon” and nothing else… no hints, manual, etc.

Ideas are cheap, and implementation is hard. If you were to, say, post links to some prototype game you actually built, I’d be all over that.

Game design philosophy is okay too, but again, it doesn’t mean anything until someone acts on it.

  • Alan

Who would the target audience be? What would the marketing look like? What would it be called, “Game”? Who would buy this?

People bought “Hacker,” though that was another era when genres weren’t ossified as they are now. I vaguely recall the ads for it and I think they played up the total lack of guidance/instructions as a positive feature.

I wonder whether the gaming audience circa 1985 parsed Hacker as an adventure game, or if it really appeared to be “outside” genre when it was released. I don’t remember, myself.

By the way, it’s all well and good to ask concrete questions about a given idea, but such an attitude can sometimes kill inspiration too. It reminds me of screenwriting books or classes I have seen that say things like “If you can’t express the central theme of your screenplay in four words or less, crumple it up and toss it in the fire right now!!!” Fact is, the creative process doesn’t always work that way and sometimes it’s ok to run with a wacky idea. Of course sooner or later you have to get down to brass tacks, but a little leeway can be allowed, especially on a discussion forum of all places.

Yeah I’ve been kicking around my sci fi epic game in my head for awhile now, and that’s what I feel I excel at. Coming up with ideas, figuring out how they can work, what I want in, what I don’t, etc.

Without giving away anything concrete, each time you would start a new game all the planets and events would be randomized. There are jobs which relate to the three stats which are different for each planet, which play out somewhat like the minigames in shenmue or pirates. Space combat would be akin to somewhere between realistic and arcade. And there are so many events I came up with which could work. I could probably fill a few page or so with all the stuff I want to add.

“Hacker” came from the era where any serious gamer had to be willing and able to experiment with his autoexec.bat and config.sys files for, sometimes, literally hours before getting a new game to play, with no tech support to speak of. Remembering this fact makes a lot of early “game design” look far more sensible. The entire gaming community were, by definition, “hackers” who would put up with hours of difficulty and frustration in return for small and infrequent rewards.

Hmm, folks aren’t trying to lecture me on game design are they? Considering… you know, I did some when I worked for Codemasters…

I think we all know that the magic game angel isn’t going to descend from heaven and wave a wand, turning our idea into reality.

…But sometimes a guy needs to vent an idea that is lodged. New ones will come along, but sometimes a purge of the old is required.

Hmm… I should probably get involved with Second Life again and build new games in there. The last one made $3,000us after all and there are plenty of keen people to work on ideas with.


Heh. I remember buying that game for the C64. The disks were corrupt, resulting in all the in-game graphics being screwed up. The game was pretty much unplayable.

Except that there were no directions! So I had no idea that the game wasn’t supposed to be like that. It wasn’t until later, when I saw it running on someone else’s Apple II, that I understood why I was completely unable to make any progress.

Amen. Ya’ll are cracking me up with the “Here’s my game design: GTA + Pinball Construction Set + Pooyan!” stuff. That’s not a game design. Besides, unless you can actually make a game they’re as realistic as me meticulously planning what I’m going to wear* when I marry Hugh Laurie in a magical hot air balloon floating over Rivendell. And I can authoritatively say this as a world record holder for “Game Still Not Fucking Done Yet”, right behind Duke Nukem Forever and Grimoire.

[size=2]*A poofy red satin ballgown with a top hat and black Chuck Taylors. The preacher will be a talking purple unicorn, and the Ramones are going to play at the reception (dead ones included, although they will of course be zombies). Cupcakes will be served. Open bar. RSVP.[/size]

I’m getting faint flashbacks from Sundog. I’m tempted to try it in an emulator, but I’m afraid to spoil the good memories. Anyone tried it lately? Does it hold up (in any way)?

How about forgetting about people making your game and just discussing game design ideas for the love of the subject?