We game designers are creative people, often to the point that we have WAY too many ideas to be able to see them all become reality. So, why not share a few? In this post, I’m giving you a list of a few brand new game design ideas, and I’m inviting you to develop any of these ideas you wish.
But this is a game, and games have rules.
1) If you read this piece, you have to give back, by posting at least one game design idea below in the comments. Your idea can be short and sweet, or fleshed-out with details.
2) If you manage to build something interesting from an idea you find here, make sure to keep us posted on how it progresses!
3) Don’t tear down the ideas of others. You may think that an idea presented might be mundane or boring, or that it’s been done a hundred times before, but to someone else, that same idea may be an inspiration.
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Steal these Ideas:
- 1) Build a polylaurus game This is not a coop, not a team game, but a game where any number of players can win and any number can lose. This would be a game in which the goals of individual players may converge, diverge, and intersect through gameplay, but no two players are trying to accomplish the exact same goals.
- 2) Build a variation on worker placement such as: Each turn you place one worker, then remove a different worker. For a list of several other worker placement ideas see this article.
- 3) Design a drafting game where you draft cards for another player. Maybe after drafting, it is randomly determined whether players will keep the cards they drafted, or whether all players will pass to the left, or right. You’d need to draft considering the prospect that you might be playing with those cards, or you might be playing against them!
- 4) Design a game where you draft tiles to build your city/castle/whatever, but every tile you take is removed from a functional central area. In other words, you’re cannibalizing one functional structure to build another, forcing you to balance your personal benefits with the collective costs that impact all players. Building games usually take from some kind of supply, and removing resources or tiles from the supply has no effect. In this game, every choice will have both a cost and a benefit.
- 5) Design a sophisticated market game. Make your game have dynamic valuation that is determined by supply and demand. Have commodities that vary in price through semi-predictable trends. Some becoming more scarce, others becoming more abundant. See if you can include the roles of labor, taxation, and public infrastructure on the effectiveness of your markets.
- 6) Make a game with “Anthropology” or “Paleontology” as your theme. You are uncovering bones, tools, and artifacts of ancient people.
- 7) Build a Prohibition-themed game that can be used as a drinking game.
- 8) Build a game that only uses cubes and meeples as components. No cards, boards, or dice.
- 9) Build a “Downsizing” game. Possibly area control and/or deck building: Begin with a grotesquely bloated corporation that you need to downsize into a lean, efficient, money-making machine, while laying off tons of workers in the process! Rather than building your engine and focusing on acquisitions, you’ll be trying to thin out your holdings in the most efficient way possible.
- 10) Design a game that focuses on one, clean, core mechanic – that’s brand new. You know, that one mechanic that you have designed, but it never fits in your other games…
Now it’s your turn to give back. Share your ideas below!
Game designer by night, and middle school science and pre-engineering teacher by day. He lives in Santa Maria California with his amazing wife and two unrealistically well-behaved children.
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