Coming up with an original game concept is quite possibly the most fun and difficult piece of the game design process. Sure, iteration and fine tuning down the road can be riveting as well, but it’s the open ended realm of possibility during the initial brainstorming phases that allow for infinite imagination and creativity.
And of course, as with all open ended endeavors, progress can be daunting, if not paralyzing. With creativity comes great risk. Team brainstorming means allowing others to see what’s inside your head. To discover that perhaps there isn’t much in there after all.
Just as writers happen upon writer’s block every so often, game designers can experience similar droughts, often brought about by that inner critic taking over the creative process. Is my idea good enough? What will other people think? Has it been done before?
Tons of self-help books have been written on this very topic, so I won’t attempt to dissect the creative process and try to provide empty bits of advice on believing in yourself and sticking with it.
Personally, I find the brainstorming process both exciting and stressful. I can almost feel the electrical impulses dancing around my neural synapses, firing up parts of my brain that often lie dormant. I heartily believe that there’s no such thing as a bad idea; just ideas that may not be good yet.
Right now, at the heart of the brainstorming process for our final game design projects, my notebook is quickly filling up with unripe ideas. Ideas itching to be dug up and brought to life.