I am often asked where to start game development? The answer to this question is always the same: any game starts with an idea. I think almost everyone knows what the idea of the game is. And for those who don’t know, I’ll clarify: the idea of a game is a game in the form in which you imagine it – the game world, characters, game mechanics, story, and the genre, of course.
- Search for different images
It is considered the easiest to take an already successful idea and create something similar. But here it’s important not only to copy it and “revitalize” on a new platform but to optimize, introduce newness so that it looks in a new way. After choosing a game, carefully examine it, read the forums with reviews to find out what users like and, most importantly, don’t like. Think about which characters/features you can add and get started.
- Combine incompatible
There is an opinion that everything has been invented long ago, and everything new is well forgotten old. Do you perceive with skepticism the possibility of creating an absolutely unique and original project? Then try the way Mark Green of Sony Worldwide Studios shared – mix existing games or genres. Make a list of successful projects and choose two at random. Don’t be afraid to mix games that seem absolutely incompatible at first glance. Go beyond stereotypes. But remember: the idea must be realizable, otherwise, it will remain on paper. It’s sometimes not as easy as finding single women for dating on marrybrides.com.
- Try the mirroring method
You need to take a good, interesting game and make it the opposite. For example, take the escape the room game and make it different, creating a game where the hero needs to plan a series of tricks and lock another character in the room. Some mechanics are difficult for such a reversal, but in other cases, you can get a really interesting project.
- Use filters
It is much easier to look for ideas with the use of “filters” because restrictions help focus on a specific task and find an unexpected solution. In the field of game development, it works like this: choose a genre, identify key features that distinguish it from all the others, then remove one and evaluate the chances of success. Do the trick, sorting through the options, and if none of them works, you can always come up with your own.
- Immerse in the game
Most beginners and experienced developers agree: the more you play, the better. Constantly play games, and it is not necessary to limit yourself to the genre in which you are going to create because the idea may come from an unexpected direction. Get information from any sources: communicate with other developers and any specialists in the gaming industry, read articles, listen to podcasts. I repeat: an idea can come when you are not waiting for it at all.
- Don’t create a plagiarism
It is rather a recommendation based on statistics. Large studios are engaged in “plagiarism”, investing large budgets in it, and as a result, many get dissatisfied. Plagiarism from developers with lower budgets is unlikely to achieve success. Do you want to spend a year of your life boring and unpromising copying someone else’s idea?
- Don’t get ahead of yourself
Always remember your limitations. These include everything that can interfere with your ambitions: starting from your skills and ending with the budget for art and development time. I recommend starting with giving three months for production. Then you can finish the game in six months or a year. And then you can already calculate the timing more adequately.
- Don’t complicate
This partly applies to the previous paragraph because any complications stretch the development. It is necessary to clearly understand, without which the game can’t be interesting and don’t develop any other features until the basic ones are implemented. The secondary ones often include crafting, multiplayer, and especially additional modes.
- Believe in yourself
If it seems to you that everything is going wrong, something is not working out, you are not meeting the deadlines or your team doesn’t work well on the project – don’t despair. With this attitude, you will never earn a million. Look for options, think only about your goal, invest in your project and soon new opportunities will open for you.
- Brainstorming with friends
This is a fun approach. You can come up with the idea of your future game together. Many of the founders with whom I talked got an idea for a startup right at a party or friendly get-togethers. I am sure your views may vary, and this factor will further enrich the general idea. Friends can tell you about their daily problems, a solution for which can be found in the new game. Do you know what the most useful thing about this is? You will immediately have the first few users!