Getting an idea for a game

In the last month I focused mainly on working on my deferred renderer. At this point I could continue to improve the code base further or implement different techniques… But my goal is to make a game at some point. I think it would be better to at least have an idea of what type of game it will be. Any advice to get an idea for a game? I also considered working in a small team, because as you all know it is a lot of work to make games :slight_smile:
What would be interesting also, on what projects you guys work at the moment.

Can you tell us about few games you loved playing and what you liked about them?

Unless your goal is making money and you view it as a business (doesn’t sound like the case) I think you should focus on something you personally love. So let’s start narrowing down by games you liked.

Regardless of the genre, I’d go with something that’s single player (usually much easier), and if possible with randomly generated content (will save endless hours of level design and potentially create long playtime).

Also, can you do graphics? Are you relaying on public domain stuff? Or buying content?

I’m currently finishing ThrobaxTD… only 6 more levels to go and then some optimizations… 4 years-project of mine. If you (or anyone else reading this) is interested in a key, just PM me.
Full ack on GeonBits comment.

I can help with a lot of stuff though my time is very limited… usually prefer to stay behind the scenes and help when people are thoroughly stuck :).
Been following your progress on your engine and I’m eager to find out what kind of game you choose to make.
Looking forward to your decision.

I have the opposite problem. I have tons of game ideas and get new ones all the time but I haven’t started any of them because I’m learning haha. I suppose I’ll learn by just starting one.

One small tip though is to keep a notebook or document with just a simple list of ideas. When something comes to you, even something small, write it down. This is why I have plenty of game ideas for a long time to come lol and I still think of more. Usually it’s just things I enjoy, like, or I’m interested in.

Sure, here is an uncomplete list of some games that I played:

Quake 3 Arnea

Unreal Tournament

Mario Kart 64

Goldeneye 64

SSX on Tour

Kung Fu Chaos


Secret of Mana

Seiken Densetsu 3

Super Street Fighter 2

Diddy Kong Racing

Mario 64

Secrets of Grindea



Batman Returns

GTA San Andreas


Max Payne 2

Sonic the Hedgehog


Mario Paint

Double Dragon 2

Snoopy Magic Show

Yoshi’s Island

No, in the first place I just want to make a game. At the moment I am not thinking about making money with it.

Yeah, good point. I also think it should be a relatively simple game because I will probably work alone on the project.

Mainly I would rely on public domain stuff. If the project gets to some point where it makes sense, I could replace some or all content with bought content. Making the content myself would be difficult as I have no experience in making content.

Very nice project! :slight_smile:

Yeah, I think when making an actual game, it would be helpful to get some advice for different things like loading different levels for example, implementing a main menu or other stuff that needs to be done apart from actual gameplay.

I am curious myself, if I will get an idea for a game :slight_smile:

Pick something very easy would be my advice. So it gets more likely that you can finish the project. Even for a simple game it could easily take a year or years to finish it. Let us know when you started something! :slight_smile:

I will keep it in mind. Sounds like a good thing.

Woha I was expecting 2 or 3 examples, not this crazy list :joy:. anyway here’s my suggestion, find a game you like that fall under these conditions:

  • Single player.
  • Simple 2d graphics (just to be clear - sonic, worms, Seiken Densetsu etc are not something I consider as simple, Seiken Densetsu might be though if you find a good source for tilesets and characters).
  • Something that you can generate levels randomly in oppose to writing a story and design levels.
  • Something that you can get very fast from zero to first “playable demo” (playable demo might be a single level with few enemies you can move around and slash or whatever).
  • Something that doesn’t require too much physics.

In other words, think lazy. :slight_smile: At least for first projects, that you want to learn from. From all the games you posted only the Snoopy one answer all the conditions but there are plenty of cool games you can check out, like Gladiator (the old one, pic related), bomberman, maybe some top-down dungeon crawlers or top down tank game… lots of possibilities.

When I wanted to learn mobile game dev with Unity I made a game that’s like a mix between Sky Roads and Temple Run (I even got some downloads :slight_smile: ). It was in 3d but still a pretty easy project. Just throwing another idea in the bunch.

I have a ton of ideas too, but not much time thanks to a full time job :wink:

One idea I had for a long time: a Shining Force game with multiplayer support. With updated graphics. But my artist’s skills are too low for that.

In my opinion your 3d engine is impressive, so making a 2d game would be a waste.

My suggestion is:

  • Find a capable 3D artist.
  • Ask him to write down some ideas for a few hours of games he/she 'd like to do.
  • With the 2 or 3 hundred ideas he/she emailed to you:
  • Discard those that start with “A MMORPG that”
  • Discard those that start with “A game like GTA that”
  • Discard all the ideas which take more than 10 people working 3 years full time.
  • Discard those that due to coding errors the AI could take over the world.
  • Now you’re down to 4 or 5 ideas.
  • Discard really stupid ideas like running cockroach simulators or guys that populate over the surface of a gigantic teapot only to find out the that west side of the teapot is an evil side.
  • Realize you made a mistake asking the artist and make a flappy birds clone like every coder without graphics out there :joy:

sorry, I couldn’t resist :joy:

p.s. Only truth in this email is that your 3d engine looks great. And maybe some of the bullet points. 8 at least.


These don’t sound stupid at all :stuck_out_tongue: Especially the teapot idea!

And this is only an excerpt :innocent:

There are cases where it might be more easy to add multiplayer functionality. I will see what makes sense.

Even with a tileset, I think there would be quite some heavy development sessions necessary :sweat_smile:

This is an option but I think I like it more, when everything is like designed :slight_smile:

That would be nice. It allows maybe to better decide on what things “work” and which things should be thrown away.

Why? :slight_smile:

Could you post some media of the mentioned games? Preferably Youtube videos.

Thank you. Motivates me to continue working on it and post some images. :slight_smile:

I will try to figure out which ones :joy:

Same fate here except the ton of ideas part :slight_smile:

Could you post a Youtube video showing the game? Maybe you can invent your own style. :smiley:

For peer-to-peer or two people playing on a single pc multiplayer - I agree it can be super easy. But for anything that require having a main server, that introduce a whole world of pain, much of it is not even related to game-dev or dev at all (setting up server, db, etc. while amazon aws do a wonderful job simplifying most of it, it is still a steep learning curve).

Whatever gives you more juice to work on the project :slight_smile: If you don’t like randomly-generated stuff drop it, you’ll need motivation.

Just to chop off another bug chunk of dev. If you already have experience with physics engine you know and trust, use it, but if not I’d consider doing something that don’t require complicated physics or non at all. Not that learning physics is that hard, but its another big chunk of dev you can skip.

For gladiator I actually couldn’t find any vids :joy: but I added a pic in previous msg.


And here’s a random top-down tanks thing that looks fairly easy to make (I don’t know this game tbh just randomly found it):

And here’s a game that’s “simple” to make (easy graphics, no real physics, simple mechanisms) yet it has lots of content and feels rich and full:

Anyway I feel like I need to explain myself a little because maybe I’m giving you wrong advice lol.

From what I understand, you made this really awesome deferred engine (I followed your other threads - really cool stuff), so you seem to know a lot about 3D graphics. However, from this thread I got the feeling like you lack experience in making a whole game (correct me if I’m wrong :slight_smile: )

Making a full 3D game is a huge project - getting models is hard (even if you scavenger for public domain stuff - finding good models that look good together is not trivial), animating, 3d physics, etc takes some time to learn, and in general, making a game have a lot of dirty work in it you might not know yet (even trivial stuff like UI menus, saving progress and levels state, creating an editor if you want designed levels, enemies AI etc etc.)

So what I’m trying to push you into is finding a game that’s really easy to make, like a few months project, that will get you through the whole process of making a game from A to Z, while still skipping most of the pitfalls and hard parts.

Then you could jump into a more serious project with the experience of completing a game dev and knowing the whole process.

If I totally missed your purpose and / or level of experience (eg you already made few full games) my advice may be irrelevant.

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The original one (was really good at that time on genesis)

They did a 3d version on SegaSaturn, but it was really not as good as the 2 previous episodes on genesys.

An up to date engine with some nice models would revive the myth (with the real world’s scale respected, not as seen on the screenshot: a character is as tall as a tree tile or a hill^^)

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Thank you! I made one game so far… :slight_smile:

Yes, it is really challenging to make a game, even a relatively simple one!

I have already done this. But this doesn’t mean the next project must be super complex. Also since free time got less due to full time work, which wasn’t the case when I made my first game.

Any advice is helpful at the moment, since I find it a bit difficult to come up with an idea for a game.