Game Idea Round-Up

Hey! I’m trying something new today and posting a round-up of all the game ideas of written down on my incredible “GAME AND BLOG POST IDEAS” Trello board. I like to think of this board as a greenhouse for my little game idea seedlings. Whenever I get an idea, I put it on the board immediately, and then it germinates in the back of my mind until I’m ready to come back to it.

I’m experimenting with this weekly round-up to keep me accountable to the practice of generating game ideas. Also, maybe I’ll get some insights beyond the initial ideas while writing, or maybe you’ll get some insights while reading! When you do, please let me know ideas make no sense at all or which you want to see become reality right this second!

This week I started reading the incredible “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron. It’s such good “heart advice”. I got a bunch of ideas from just the first couple chapters that I’ve read. Ideas 1-5 are from my reading, and the rest are from everywhere else.

  1. “Lean into the sharp points” (pg xii) & “rather than realize that it takes death for there to be birth, we fight against the fear of death” (18)- That which looks like it’ll break you can end up making you stronger. Unsure about how this game works beyond the initial surprise of “Oh, I thought that would kill me, but it ended up being great!” but I’m intrigued by how to make this concept work in a game. Subverting the player’s expectations of failure and reward. Could be an interesting platformer where you’re trying to take damage in order to grow. Possibly just a mod where you switch the sprites of coins and spikes.
  2. A puzzle that keeps breaking after you put it together. As in, things fall apart. How many times can you reassemble it before giving up? Maybe it slightly changes each time because nothing is ever in a constant state. This one is really intriguing to me as a base for some other action on top of it. Maybe the puzzle is a bridge for some AI lemmings walking over it?
  3. “Dissolve the dualistic tension between us and them, this and that by inviting in what we usually avoid.” (xii) – I’ve already kind of made a game on this theme, but there’s definitely more meat on this bone. Infinite meat, probably. Something involving unifying, expanding, collapsing walls, reaching outwards, smoothing black & white to gray… I’m not quite sure 🙂
  4. “It’s as if you just looked at yourself in the mirror and saw a gorilla. We run like crazy. (17)” instead of running, stay with it. Love yourself no matter what. My notes say “something with a webcam?”
  5. A game where it is literally IMPOSSIBLE to do it all. And then it all falls apart. After your overwhelm, what are you left with? How do you pick up the pieces? Maybe there is a balance / tension between the impossible-to-do action and some other building action? You can’t juggle A, B, and C, all at once, but maybe you can just slowly slowly slowly water your little plant that’s sitting in the corner and nurture it into flowering.
  6. My notes just say “This too shall pass.” I guess this comes from working with the Headspace meditation app on my headaches. One of the metaphors that’s been helpful has been thinking of pain as a slow moving car. If you push against and resist it, it just creates tension in your body. If you just observe it, it changes. It’ll pass.
  7. Jealousy and fear of what others are doing making you forget and lose focus of your own progress. HMMM… WHAT COULD HAVE GIVEN YOU THIS IDEA, SAM? I saw some folks doing similar things I want to do with games on the internet this week, and I had a little freak out. I feel like this game could be about controlling the camera – focus outside yourself on things you can’t control or make sure you’re looking where you’re going so you don’t walk into wall.
  8. A game of non-resistance. Feeling discomfort and sinking into it to find peace beneath it. Also a concept from Headspace and pain management. Possibly the same game as #6.
  9. “And what I want most to say thank you thank you thank you” – Kevin Kling, “The Dog Says How” (prayer) More gratitude games, please. Always.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for reading.