What Do You First Ask Yourself When Starting a New Game Design?

I just heard one guy saying: I ask, “how can I add zombies to this?”


Besides that, I think much about “what kind of game I want to experience?”


Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Mikushi: that’s something I also think when watching movies. My brain just keeps telling me how “this could make a cool game!”

  2. At the risk of sounding smart: I don’t. I don’t ask myself anything, and I don’t start a new gamedesign.

    The way gamedesign works for me is that the idea comes to me. I see or hear something, get inspired and come up with an idea. That can happen any time of the day, though it usually is in the middle of the night (3 in the morning or something like that).

    I always have a little booklet and a pen with me, so I can write down an idea. It’s not uncommon for me to think of so much that I forgot half of it by the time I get home and want to write it down. Not to mention that remembering stuff you thought of in the middle of the night isn’t the easiest thing to do.

  3. “how i can turn this into a game?”

    Usually happens when i’m watching a movie/video/tv show or reading a book, and my brain catches on a small (or not) details, and immediately starts thinking on how to turn it into a game.
    example: In the movie “9” (the animated movie), there is a part in the movie (like 30sec), where you see the character climbing through ruins with a grappler (?), i was in the theater, and for the rest of the movie i couldn’t stop thinking on how to make a fun game out of this.

  4. #1 is always: “How can I provide a unique experience to a player?”

    #2 would then be: “How can I simplify this design idea so that it is something that can be completed in a reasonable amount of time with the resources available?”

  5. Ahhhh, the famous “project” hopping. The best way to ruin your game designer life in no time.
    For the sake of everything you love, never…never…NEVER ever start another project as a small-team indy!!!!!
    You need a break from gamedevelopedia? Fine, turn the time sucker machine off and leave the room. Do something you cant do on the computer and take your brake.
    Once recharged, go back and work on your project again.
    Do not youtube, do not mail, do not newsfeed and most important: do not start something new.
    New is always exciting. “new” are the sirens that tease you to change your course. Dont listen to them!

    what i do when i start a new gd?
    Make a list of all features i would love to have in my new game. Then i pick the ones i really want to have and for every picked one i delete another one from the list.
    This way i make sure that only the features i really care about survive.

    step two on the first day of work: get out and get drunk and get laid!

    next day: start to work

  6. I think everyone experiences the stage in serious game development when it’s not fun anymore, you just have to push forward day by dat to get to some progress.

    Then you should start a new and small game project in between which is fun, where programming is fun, and all rules are fun too.

    While your main project will be fun and challenging for the player, the making of it is not always fun. The small sideproject is fun for both, but it wouldn’t work if it was a too big project, so keep it small and fun.

    In the end both games are something you and others want to experience, but the way they are made are completely different. In the end, a game must be fun to play, that’s all what counts.

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