Game ideas, where do they come from, how do you get one, and will mine be good enough? These are just some of the questions you’ll ask yourself as you begin your journey. You make that decision to learn to code and come to terms with the amount of work you’ll need to learn. It’s at that point you wonder what kind of game you’re going to make, and will it be any good?
Take Your First Step Before Conquering the World
There are a lot of games, like a lot. So how do you manage to come up with something new after so many years? First things first, stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Start learning code, start taking your tutorials, just simply get started. My idea for Extra Life came to me as I was finishing the Create Your First 3D Game in Unity at Zenva Academy. The trick is that you don’t know what to plan for until you have some tools for planning. It’s meaningless to come up with an idea for the greatest open-world role-playing game ever if you can’t make your character move forward.
The game idea for Extra Life was pretty simple, move your character, jump and collect coins. Understanding what I learned in the tutorial made it easier to visualize the game I planned to create. Once you have the basic idea you can search for your twist on the genre or game type. For me, it was thinking back to the days of harder to complete but not impossible to master games. Growing up gaming we didn’t always have save points and unlimited lives, that was my concept.
One Day You Have No Ideas, Then You Have Too Many
It didn’t take long to go from no ideas to too many ideas. Every tutorial (ok except the one for the 2D Idle Clicker) came with a new idea. For me, it was just a natural thought process to think about where I could take the tutorial. When you finish a tutorial, you have a direct concept and you’re left with a lot of useful code. Naturally, you start thinking about where you can take it, and that’s what I did. Of course, you can’t take action on every tutorial. As a beginner, if you try to make a game from every tutorial, you’ll likely end up with a bunch of low-quality games. You’ll have to decide what you’re going to focus on and what you’re going to use for other projects.
For me, the goal of these tutorial games and ideas is to get a game made. Sure, I have my idea for Extra Life, but that’s a long-term goal. At some point, you want to have at least a small game under your belt, something to call your own. The old keep it simple method applies heavily here. Of course, at this point, I still haven’t released a game so take my advice with a grain of salt.
Your Big Decision, Your Big Game
I thought Extra Life WAS my big game, it wasn’t. It’s still very much a passion project for me but it’s no longer THE game. Reading through a Facebook group I came across a post with some great advice. Create a game that means something to you. Your game will reach many people in many different ways. If you create a story that builds off of your experiences, you’ll create with emotion. That is when I came up with my big game. Of course, I can’t let the cat out of the bag yet, I’ve got a lot of work to do.
The bottom line is don’t worry about coming up with ideas, they’ll come fast and often. Keep track of them in a journal or a program like OneNote or MilaNote. Find a game or two to get your feet wet then really decide what your big game will be. It doesn’t have to be built in a day, nor should it, but make sure it’s something you’ll be happy spending a great amount of time with. Hopefully in the end so will others!