7 Plans for Getting Further With Your Game Idea

The earlier post showed 3 pitfalls to avoid when you have a game idea. In this post I suggest 7 different plans for what you can do with your game idea.

Plan #1 – Let it rest for 1-2 weeks
If your game idea is something really great, then you might consider letting the idea rest for a while. Take a week off (or so) and don’t give a single thought to your idea. If after one or two weeks you still think your grand idea is worth doing – then go ahead. By letting the idea rest for a while you’ll eliminate the possibility of getting a peak of inspiration that fades right away.

Plan #2 – Prototype it
I’ve suggested prototyping earlier, and I suggest it again. Prototyping basically means that you make a really simple mini-game that doesn’t necessarily have fancy graphics, but the core game idea is represented there. Prototyping can also be done using physical items (such as playing cards or dice) – you don’t necessarily have to prototype using computer. I also suggest checking out earlier post about how to create your first game – it will give you plenty of tips on how to get going with your game idea.

Plan #3 – Make a MOD
It just might be so that your game idea could be bring to life by doing a MOD. Modding basically means that you use some existing video game to program your game – and to meet the requirements of your game idea. There’s plenty of resources about modding in the Internet, so do a search for “modding games” and I’m sure you’ll find lots of information on how to create a MOD.

Plan #4 – Present it to publishers
If you think you have a hit game idea in your hands, and don’t want to prototype or make a MOD out of it then you can approach publishers. If you choose this route, then I suggest doing a proper business plan and a proper design document that will explain how well your game can sell and describe how great idea it is. You may approach big companies (ranging from JoWood to Big Fish Games) and simply ask them.

Plan #5 – Do a marketing research
If you think you have an unique idea, then getting some information about the market and competitors could be a good idea. You want to know if you really have an unique idea, and can proceed by doing a research. I’ve covered steps on doing a marketing research that should help you getting going.

Plan #6 – Submit your idea to idea contest
There are business plan idea contests arranged here and there. If you can, then you might want to make a business plan and send your idea to these contests. One example in Finland is Venture Cup where people are free to submit their ideas. Perhaps your country and city offers some similar place to submit.

Plan #7 – Create a pen & paper RPG
If you love design games rather than coding them, then you might want to try create a pen & paper RPG game. While they are different from video games, I still think there are something similar in the production process – and it might be fun.

Whatever plan you choose to take (or whether you want to try something else), the most important thing to remember is: to do something. Game ideas are worth zero unless you take action and actually do something to get the game from idea to a finished piece of art.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. What if I have what I think is a great game idea, would love for the game to exist so I could play it, am not particularly interested in seeing any money as a result of a game being created from my idea, have no resources for creating the game myself and no skills to back it up, but want to put the idea out there for someone else to use IF they think it has merit or that they can do something with it?

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  3. I completely agree with #1 and #2. I always let game ideas simmer for a few weeks before acting on them. I’ve rejected a lot of bad game ideas (that initially sounded good) this way! It’s too easy to get caught up in the excitement of an idea and overlook some fatal flaw. Even if it isn’t flawed, there’s no point working on something that you’ll get tired of within a few weeks (or less), so you need to make sure you’ll remain interested for the long haul. I’ve broken this rule in the past, and ended up only working on the project for one day before tiring of it!

    Once I’ve left it alone for a few weeks, then I prototype it. There’s no better way to refine mechanics (and to observe gameplay exploits!) than to see them in action.

    ZeHa: I would show your prototype to some trusted friends and make them promise not to tell anyone about it. That has its own pitfalls, though, since your friends might not be honest with you if they don’t like it, and (constructive) negative comments are very important in the prototype stage.

    It is possible to be too over-protective of an idea. Don’t let your desire for secrecy cause you other problems. :-)

  4. We recently had a unique idea (and I’m pretty sure it is unique ;) and we started doing a little prototype, but at the moment, we froze the project since we’re working on something else already. And somehow, I’m pretty unsure if the gameplay is really cool, so I’d like to present our prototype to some folks… but then again, I fear that someone might take the idea and then be the first one who gets the game out, since we can’t finish it off quickly at the moment.
    What would you do? I thought about presenting it to some non-developers (friends), but of course the opinions of some developers would still be interesting.

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