7 Ways to Get Ideas

Game ideas. We all have them, but where do they come from? Where do you get help if you’re stuck with level design or feature design? Here’s 7 tips where to get some ideas.

[1] Watch cartoons and read comics
Yep. You got that right. I find different cartoons – whether it’s Donald Duck, Jackie Chan or Pokemon to be very useful sources for inspiration. There’s always good ideas to steal borrow from them. And it’s cheap too! Cartoons and comics can bring you ideas about what kind of enemies you could have, what kind of combat systems you could use, what kind of environment and challenges you could encounter in a level.

Besides, it’s good way to spend time with your children.

[2] Play games
Playing several different kind of games is an excellent way to get ideas. Whether it’s health systems, user interface, animations or anything – you can always find nice designs in games. Just make sure you don’t get too addicted into playing.

[3] Go for a walk
Having a break from computer and going out is excellent way to get some air that your brain needs. Go outside, walk for 30 or 60 minutes. Listen to birds (in case you happen to live in the woods like me ;)) and really let your mind get some relaxation.

[4] Read a book
Not game development book, but something totally irrelevant to game making. It can be fiction or anything. I find Terry Pratchett to have great philosophies and fantasy themes in his books. They are sure to give you good ideas when you lack motivation or inspiration.

[5] Investigate religions and myths
Check out ancient myths, or religions. They can give nice ideas and inspiration about different creatures or different game play ideas. Religions can even provide you the gods you might need in your game.

[6] Watch a movie… about anything
Bit similar to what was said earlier – watching movies (totally different from what you usually check) can have tremendous impact on ideas. If you always watch only action movies and make action games, then your mind goes in certain pattern. What if you’d check out an adventure movie or drama or comedy or even some indie movie – and get totally different perspective on producing action games?

[7] Read and surf blogs
You are already doing this, but continue surfing. Check out the blogs at the GameProducer.net side menu, and start checking them out. There’s plenty of interesting information that could give you new ideas on game development.

Bonus tip: Read A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young. It provides a step-by-step technique for getting ideas.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. So far my best idea of those that are transformed to games came to me when I saw (not played) some easy and not good looking game. I saw it and said to myself: “What a great gameplay concept”. And then I started to play and it turned out to be totaly different game that I thought it is. And now we are creating the game I thought I will play.

  2. Dreams. I get mine from dreams. Just last night I dreamt of actually living inside of myself as a smaller version of me. Boy was that weird, but an interesting idea nonetheless.

  3. Wather thin mint sir?

    Anyway, yeah I do these things so that’s cool. As well as going for walks, sitting in your garden (or park if you don’t have one) and just meditating is pretty good. Anything that lets you tune out daily life to tune into the universe, which is the source of all inspiration is good.

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