The Idea Obstacle

Like most other developers I have more half finished projects lying around than unpaired socks. What I have even more of, are unstarted projects. A lot of times I have trouble even beginning a project just because I have cannot come up with an amazing idea (a merely good one just won’t do), so I’ve been thinking I need to find a way to remove “the idea obstacle” and just start coding.

The Innovation Game

There are tons of free game assets to be found online. OpenGameArt and Kenney’s site are a couple of examples. I would often sit in front of the monitor staring at an asset collection and thinking - “How could I take these assets, which were obviously created for a specific game genre, and do something amazingly innovative with them that no one has ever thought of before?”

An RPG about an ancient kingdom where an age old war rages between balls and squares? laamme.

This went on and on. At some point it started feeling like I was making excuses to avoid starting a new project. Either that, or I was simply procrastinating in the guise of looking for something that no one has done before.

The Point

So, what is it? The point that is. What’s my actual goal here?

Well, there are several, all of equal importance:

  • Be a better developer

  • Be a better game designer

  • Make something that people enjoy

And you know what?

Wasting time trying to come up with a brilliant idea isn’t helping me achieve any of these goals.

Ok, this is good, this is progress. I just need to find a way to start with some of the goals instead of all of them at once. I need to remove the obstacles and just start working. This asset collection is obviously meant for a brick physics type of game? Great! I’ll just make just that! This set is clearly a flappy bird clone? Awesome! Flappy bird it is!

Instead of getting stuck in the idea stage, I could use it to learn some new game engine or even a new language that I’ve been meaning to (goal 1). I can make the basic game, and then find what makes its formula good and how I can maybe tweak it and make it better (goal 2). And maybe if I do that, someone might like it and spend a few minutes with it or maybe find the source code useful in some way (goal 3).

So I’m going to start with this “Default Games” idea. I’m going to find game assets and make the game that is depicted in the preview photo. This is a project that has an end in sight, and more importantly, this is a project I can begin now.

This is my very first blog post. Let me know if you enjoyed it and If you have any feedback please share it!