I Have Created A List Of Game Ideas Covering Every Theme

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
August 19th, 2015 7:55 am

Also, I’m in.

A Map Will Be Useful [Round 1]
Labyrinth [Round 1]
Maze/Dungeon Crawler that does not obey The Grid (ala Metroid II) and requires paper map. I think this game would make me a bad person.

Attraction [Round 1]
Magnets [Round 2]
Top-down game where you have a radius around you that attracts or repulses enemies based on its colour. You can switch your colour and attract/repulse rules with a button press. You need to place these enemies into colour coordinated containers to finish the level without getting clocked by them or other obstacles.

Balance of Power [Round 1]
Limited Capacity [Round 1]
Power Supply [Round 1]
Some kind of sci-fi game where you have to divert limited energy on your ship/mech to different areas (weapons, shields, scanners, etc). Rather than an action game where you’re flinching between allocating all the juice to your current task, maybe something more strategic and calculated where you’re planning these numbers for the upcoming problems. And then on turn two you warp into a sun anyway and have to restart.

Can’t Stop Moving  [Round 1]
Sandra Bullock has a crippling house moving disorder, but oh no, someone has wired a bomb into the speedometer of her removal van.

I’m not sure actually, as this has a lot of overlap with my MLD58 entry: New Super Pong. Before all this I’ll probably have wire a bomb into my own computer that explodes if I make an endless runner.

Chain Reaction  [Round 1]
This is Where We Die [Round 1]
Victory Requires Sacrifice [Round 2]
Destroying Yourself [Round 3]
Destroy to Create [Round 4]
Let’s face it, if one of these themes wins I’m probably going to make a game based on Every Extend. But not Every Extend Extra which was more of an elaborate screen saver.

I’m unhappy this recurring theme did not have the wording “Death Is Useful” because I missed that theme despite having a cool idea for it. It involved a Na’Vi-inspired Death sidekick who enthusiastically offered advice.

Chaos  [Round 1]
Obama chuckled. “You mean the Chaos Emeralds?”

Day and Night  [Round 1]
You are the Monster [Round 2]
I’ve always wanted to do a game based on Werewolves of London, but I’m not sure I could do it justice in two days. A more streamlined version, perhaps. Basic principles are you tail a mark through a fairly open environment during the day and then transform into a monster at night.

Deadline [Round 1]
Teleporting [Round 1]
Misplaced in Time [Round 3]
This is another theme I explored before with 7DFPS. Both Doppelgunner and Fire Escape are games where your gun either shoots you or a clone of you (that you can then control so effectively a teleporter). I think if I were to approach this again I would go with the idea of being able to teleport back to a location you were at a few seconds ago. If it was 2D the clone would just be visible, whereas as a FPS again it would probably have a picture-in-picture display. Lots of platforming that involves time.

The Deadline link is not strong.

Illusion of Choice [Round 1]
One of the games I grew up with was Monty on the Run. And while I love the game for several reasons, including the absolutely amazing Rob Hubbard soundtrack, one aspect that really has not stood the test of time is Monty’s Freedom Kit. At the start of the game you select a bunch of items that can help you overcome obstacles in your path and it’s trial and error to find the right ones.

And I know what you’re thinking… What a great thing to base a game on! Although I’m imagine a much smaller and more readable experience than reaching a dead-end with no feedback. Plus more interesting tools that have some appliance (ex: double jump power-up) – although these would be cut immediately for time reasons. This does have some overlap with my LD28 entry First Hour Superpower.

Wikipedia also tells me MotR had a Japanese sequel called Monty’s Great Heart-pounding Escape (モンティのドキドキ大脱走) where you play as Peter Sutcliffe.

Infection [Round 1]
Genetics [Round 2]
It Spreads! [Round 3]
Mutation [Round 3]
An arena shooter where your secondary fire “infects” a target. Each time an infected unit dies it attempts to transfer itself to other nearby units whenever possible and increases a counter. If multiple infections meet their counters add together.

While this serves as a score multiplier, one of the most exciting things in videogames, it has a gameplay function as well. Larger enemies are characterised by their ability to spawn zako enemies worth zero points, and are adorned with a number. Until you infect them with a counter over this number they cannot be damaged, but when they are they mutate into a boss form. Maybe a bit too similar to LD32’s Weapossession, but I think it could be a fun twist.

Lost in the Forest [Round 1]
Seasons [Round 1]
Abandoned [Round 2]
Dreamscape [Round 3]
Alone in the World [Round 4]
Strange World [Round 3]
Some kind of twee exploration game, although it should not be an environment without purpose. MLD48’s Last Word was one of the more fun Game Jams titles I’ve made, and I like the idea of exploring this environment to solve some kind of riddle without any major action components.

Swarm [Round 1]
Follow the Leader [Round 2]
Shmup where defeating enemies spawns a clone of your ship in their place. You move all these characters at the same time but only need one of them to be surviving to stay in the game. Swarm units cannot move on top of each other, which isn’t usually a problem as they move together, but stops herding them all into a gelatinous blob at the bottom corner of screen. Level format consists of zako enemy swarms and then stronger enemies with bullet patterns set for mass extinction.

The Power of Two [Round 1]
Puzzle game where numbers -16 to +16 fall from the top of the screen into a tiled grid. Upon locking they apply themselves to adjacent blocks and lock into a neutral colour. Multiples of 2 are also highlighted and lining up 3 of them causes them to cancel and apply their value to nearby blocks. Also blocks that fall during this will apply their value. This would probably be awful.

Unexpected Connections [Round 1]
Connections [Round 4]
I’ve always liked the idea of making a game with one of those gigantic book/show/anime relationship charts where the mechanic is you can break/add connections or change how each character feels about another to setup a different scenario. Perhaps for the benefit of a character in the game, or perhaps just as your own personal shipping device. However, this is all sorts of skills I don’t have like writing, and gets a bit creepy if you think about it for more than 5 minutes. I see this as more of a changing the world in a groundhog day setup mechanic, but maybe it could work as a detective game insead.

Beyond the Wall [Round 2]
Harvest [Round 2]
Shelter [Round 4]
Shipwrecked [Round 4]
A survival game where people from different backgrounds are forced together (Beyond the Wall fits because I imagine this referring to an exile rather than a GoT zombie-blocker). Personally not a huge fan of games like Rust and I don’t see you chopping down trees, etc. Probably more of a management game; Dwarf Fortress for idiots like me.

Curiosity [Round 2]
Chip away at a gigantic Peter Molyneux head made of cubes.

Expanding World [Round 2]
A World in the Skies [Round 2]
Islands [Round 2]
An exploration game that is perhaps a bit more action orientated than Lost in the Forest, et al. Would have a focus on radial progression and hopefully through new abilities rather than “keys” that let you expand the play space. Another take on the bottom two is to make an abstract 3D platformer across several floating islands.

Experiment [Round 2]
Imperfect Information [Round 4]
I made a game called Tower of Icarus for the Procedural Death Jam where you had several unidentified potions generated each attempt, that would permanently or temporarily raise or lower statistics. You could see which was which by drinking them, with potentially disastrous consequences, or try them on enemies first, with potentially disastrous consequences. As you go higher you need to make net gains or enemies will become impossible. It’s a nice idea but in practice it has some problems such as a lame-duck-unless-you’re-really-really-dedicated scenario on the final boss. I think focusing more on the potions than the Kid Icarus and allowing mixing, etc. could make for a fun game.

Hidden Information [Round 2]
Multiple Layers [Round 3]
I love games like Coup: The Resistance and Avalon, and yet this seems to be a genre of games that has yet to transition into videogames. You kind of have first person shooters where you backstab each other after a heist with guns, but nothing all about getting into the mind of your opponent. Although, having said all this, this is fundamentally a multiplayer game and not ideal for a Game Jam.

Little Things, Big Changes [Round 2]
Consequences [Round 3]
Parallel Dimension [Round 3]
Some kind of butterfly effect game where you can travel back and forth through time trying to get the right combination of events to trigger in the past. Would be hard to regulate and would need a clear vision.

No Enemies [Round 2]
It Was Not Supposed to Work Like That [Round 3]
No Combat [Round 3]
You are a highly decorated combat robot armed to the vents with all manner of delightful weaponry. However now the war is over you have no more purpose as a military death machine and have been moved into the public sector to help out with all sorts of menial tasks.

One Rule [Round 2]
Something’s Broken [Round 2]
Break the System [Round 4]
Platformer (probably) where each level/room/section has one customisable rule at the top of the screen. For instance “Gravity goes [Down] and has a force of [1G].” Modifying this rule is the key to success. For some of these this might be visually represented as glitching or hacking the game.

Planets [Round 2]
You are the remains of a marooned colony drifting through space. While none of the planets in this solar system are habitable you can send down drones to harvest them for resources while drawing power from the sun. You’re not really concerned with the gameplay of extracting these resources, and it’s more of an Incremental game where you end up with a Dyson Sphere wrapped around several industrialized planets.

I think thematically it might be fun to play with the idea you’re going through several generations of people whose only known experiences are this colony. Maybe there becomes this religious fascination with the Sun and individual planets, temples are erected to increase worker morale, etc. All hail our gaseous savior.

Size Matters [Round 2]
Subvert expectations by actually making a game about penises.

Artificial Intelligence [Round 3]
Indirect Control [Round 4]
This sounds like a fun theme for people who can actually code. For plebs like me without any actual skills this means incorporating this into more of a setting (cyberpunk supercomputer, etc). I really liked Joey/Ken in Beneath the Steel Sky and how you could plug his personality into other devices.

Asymmetric [Round 3]
This is a tricky one. I have an idea for a boardgame inspired game where pieces can choose to change themselves in a way that lock out from an opponent picking the same option… But this is a multiplayer game for a game jam. That’s kind of tricky.

Build Your Way Out [Round 3]
I think I’m going for the obvious one here, but a randomly generated 3D world where you must climb to the top of a megastructure and shift parts of it around to assist your climb. Add checkpoints and falling death so you don’t climb for 10 minutes then fall all the way to the bottom. I was looking to do something like this for SHARECART1000, inspired by BLAME! and ‎Tsutomu Nihei’s artwork of these impossibly big vast, oppressive yet awe-inspiring, environments. But it turns out I’m bad.

Death is Not the End [Round 3]
Castlevania inspired action platformer where Death retains his position as a mere midboss.

Revolution [Round 3]
Overthrow the government by arranging cogs. You play as a wheel.

Shadows [Round 3]
Growing Things [Round 4]
Little But Mighty [Round 4]
Puzzle platformer where your avatar switches between being a cute creature and a terrifying monster depending on whether they are in shadow or not. Puzzles revolve around controlling the light to make a path through the stage possible. Absolutely essentially it starts in an empty room with a flickering light before the exit.

Stick Together [Round 3]
Two Elements [Round 4]
Companion [Round 4]
Work Together [Round 4]
Some potential overlap with the above. Game with two characters that have complementary but different abilities. You can either swap between them or attempt to control at the same time despite their differences.

Unusual Movement [Round 3]
You know in Bomberman when you collect the power up that reverses your controls? Or the confusion status in Persona 4 Arena that means you have to block by holding forwards, but then it runs out halfway through a blockstring? Yeah. Not that.

You are Not Supposed to Be Here [Round 3]
First person shooter/explorer with a No Clip function built into the game mechanics and scenario. Levels (whether linear or working through load zones) would have to be relatively small, and there will be some rules like while travelling outside the world you cannot travel in the y-axis – so there’s some semblance of control and structure. Visually would be nice to have some kind of glitchy effects for when you’re out of bounds.

Everyday Hazards [Round 4]
I’m really at a blank on this one. I’ve been thinking of two ideas but I don’t think I should to either of them (for different reasons). The first is some terrible Pepsiman endless runner, the second is about the difference in “everyday hazards” of, for instance, someone living in London and the Congo. This might be something someone should do, but not me, and probably not rushed out in two days.

Hallucination [Round 4]
First person shooter where looking at enemies affects your sanity. As your sanity slips away you start seeing things that aren’t there (doors, health packs, enemies, etc) and, outside of the hallucination theme, you could become generally less effective. Would probably function better in a scenario with radial progression with a small number of enemies rather than an arcade shooting gallery where you burn through content.

Mind Control [Round 4]
Stealth game where you modify guard behaviour in order to progress. Rather than just taking direct control of guards and making them jump off cliffs to their doom, you can bring up a list of instructions they use for their AI (patrol paths mostly) and tinker with them. Kind of like playing with the Gambit system in FFXII.

Perspective [Round 4]
Travelling convoy made of several different characters. Occasionally the convoy has to make decisions which can benefit or harm its chances of survival with quite clear chances on each outcome. However, the convoy is also made of people and each person requires different resources and has different opinions for each decision you will make. When members get too unhappy with the decisions being made they will leave or disrupt proceedings, but you will also get to boot and recruit new members every now and then as an event. Survival of the convoy is your objective, but this will mean balancing this with everyone’s wants and needs. I imagine this will have a fantasy setting for some more interesting obstacles…

Playing Both Sides [Round 4]
While I don’t think I could create an RTS in the time frame, this could be some kind of wargame where you have a number of secret agents. These allow you to control aspects of the enemy faction as if they’re your own, perhaps to a limited capacity unless they declare themselves to be spies and revert over to your side properly.

Reflection [Round 4]
Your character sits silently on a park bench looking over a pond. Minimalist piano music is playing.

Pluto’s Heart [Round 4]
Does Klefki mean Game Freak are out of ideas or just getting started?

You are Being Hunted [Round 4]
Pretty sure this is already a game.


5 Responses to “I Have Created A List Of Game Ideas Covering Every Theme”

  1. rogual says:

    Your Attraction game sounds really good actually.

  2. You’re crazy man 😀 But I guess that is a good training for creativity!

  3. SomeLad says:

    I like doing this too, but I wait for the final 20.

  4. Suese says:

    I’ll be doing this with pen/paper tomorrow

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