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Game Design School - GAME IDEA TYPES


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GAME IDEA TYPES

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After this page:
  • You have identified what type of game idea you have
  • You have moved from "just copy" or "aquarium" to a more productive idea
  • You can now identify what type your new ideas are

WHAT KIND OF GAME IDEA DO YOU HAVE?

Maybe you have some game idea in mind? Lets start with looking more closely at it.
Each idea can be categorised so let's check it out!

NEW GENRE

NEW GENRE

When Tetris came it was something new and exiting. It's mechanics was cool and fun and the game became a hit.
Inventing something totally new can also be a hinderance - you need to get people to understand it - luckily Tetris is easy to understand.

COPY - JUST A PLAIN COPY

This one has nothing new to it. The background has been changed to an aquarium, therefore I call this "the aquarium approach". In the Tetris below the aquarium, the blocks are replaced with smiles and stars, some of them smile but not all.
Look at the pictures! Why am I not excited about these?
The aquarium is actually a distraction. It makes it hard for you to focus especially if the fish are moving.
In the other one, you wonder do the colours and shapes and smiles have a meaning in the game. Do 3 yellow smileys give more points than 4 reds not smiling ones? Should I match color shape and smile at the same time? Again it's a distraction and actually makes the game worse.

COPY - JUST A PLAIN COPY
COPY WITH IMPROVEMENTS

COPY WITH IMPROVEMENTS

Okay! Here we have something. We have new kind of shapes introduced to the game. One of the basic gameplay elements has been utilised with new shapes.
Have you tried this Tetris? There's a good reason why the original pieces are like they are. These are quite hard to recognise and twist your brain and make you long for the original ones! So, in the end the approach is ok, but the gameplay doesn't actually improve, but gets worse.

SOMETHING NEW, SOMETHING OLD

Now we're talking! This is introducing something new and interesting!
It simply combines Tetris with Scrabble. This gives us maybe not the easiest game, but definitely something new or even unique.
This is now much nicer and simpler to market.
We can now have a slogan "Tetris meets Scrabble" to get people interested!
This one, in addition to the first one, is what I look for!

SOMETHING NEW, SOMETHING OLD


Game Idea Types
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TETRIS SAMPLE Tetris Game Design Examples


When released, Tetris was definitely something unique and new.
If you'd now do and release a Tetris, you'd be creating Just a Copy.
If you modify or add something new and innovative to the core gameplay, then you'd either be creating it with Improvements or you have combined Something Old with Something New.



EXERCISE: IDENTIFY CATEGORY

Game Design School - Exercise xxxTITLExxx
Easy - 20 mins

Define into which category your idea goes to?


Example
Answer will be visible after you provide your answer.