Generating Ideas - Where do they come from? How to nuture the
spark before you kill it?
Why do you love a game? What is the one thing you think is cool about
your ten favorite games?
Keeping your ideas-
- index cards
- memo recorder
- cel phone
- get it down before it goes away!!
You must train yourself to brainstorm. You must be in a continual
state of brainstorming. The more you do it, the easier it gets,
like a physical task.
Create a system or methodology for documenting, sorting
out and re-associating ideas. Ideas need to be stored and titled
for retrieval. Consider a database program. Transcribe from your
portable documents to a permanent ideabase.
Going back to notebook or journal always will suprise
you about what you were thinking back when you wrote something down.
Perhaps even create a direct link to the idea you are
Finding a formalized system for brainstorming: Where do you begin?
What do you love? Where is your passion? What are your
fantasies? What did you love to play as a child, that captured
your imagination over and over?
There is no one solution. Find a balance between stimulation
- Making Lists
- Idea Cards - index cards
- Idea tree - white board
- Group verbalization - mad rambling
- Stream of consciousness - write everything down for 10 minutes; read
- Randomization - page in the dictionary; magazine; Oblique Strategies;
dice; playing cards; I Ching
- Research - internet searches; random subject surfing
- Extreme change of perspective; a new sport or hobby,
environment, experience, uncomfortable situations
- Computer programs - number generators, word generators, idea
generators, music generators, fractal generators
print your own set out:
Each new experience generates a new reaction or idea.
Identify it! This is harder than it sounds!
A nurturing environment:
Do not edit or censor yourself or others during the process.
Promote a nonjudgmental attitude. Be messy, absurd, make mistakes.
Put it on the white board:
- alternatives to the computer
- the physical sensation of pen and paper
- cards, scraps or Post-its
- butcher paper taped to the walls
- getting up and moving around
- mind mapping (like idea trees; radiating out from core ideas)
- numbering ideas for documentation later and measuring output
Manage your expectations:
Don't go on too long. Take big, regular break
Working in Teams
- brainstorming as a collaborative process
- seek like partners to brainstorm with
Rules for TeamStorming
1. state a purpose; a statement; a slogan
2. no idea is bad; don't criticize
3. encourage multiple perspectives; different views and angles
4. use a variety of techniques and methods; experiment!
5. BIG quantity of ideas; 100 ideas an hour; edit later...
Here comes the hard part: Editing and Refining
- get some time between brainstorming and editing
- brainstorming is over! edit what you have.
- rank the ideas best to worst
- identify the top 10 ideas
- don't bash; discuss relative strengths
- narrow down ideas from 10 to 3
- develop one paragraph for each idea
- expand top ideas to a page treatment
- stay fluid; don't lock down too early
Turning the IDEAS into GAMES
- don't always rely on past ideas!
- remember the role of the player
- remember the goal; the mechanics should come from the core idea
How should the ideas become:
- formal elements:
- - players
- - objectives
- - procedures
- - rules
- - resources
- - conflict
- - boundaries
- - outcome
- dramatic elements
- - challenge
- - play
- - premise
- - character
- - story
Thinking Critically (the brainstorming is over!)
- taking notes as you play/run-through
- what works?
- how to improve?
- why doesn't it work?
- avoid mistakes
- create your own rules for construction
- keep practicing the technique/methodology
Focusing on the formal sturcture
- fleshing it out
- fill in the elements one at a time
- question each of the formal elements
- define each of the formal elements; players, action, procedures, rules,
Practice your technique
List what inspires you most
Write down everything that you think of
Build sample ideabase; with 100 ideas in 30 categories
Build idea trees
Do your homework: prior art?
Do the brainstorm
Describe your game
Writing a treatment
- Where ideas come from
- Brainstorming Techniques
- Team Branstorming
- Editing and Refining
- Turning Ideas into a Game
- Chapter 6 - Conceptualization