What are the Different Ways to Come Up With Unique Game Ideas?


If you are a beginner, you might not know how to come up with unique game ideas on your own. You may get fascinated by the popularity of games like PUBG and Candy Crush and wonder what clicked for them. In most cases, it’s the uniqueness of the idea that makes the game stand out.

A game ideation process is personal but important for the game development process. Different people have their own methods of getting good game ideas. The ideation method of one person may not work for another one.

To help you find out your ideation method, below we list the different methods that game designers and developers commonly use to get unique game ideas for every project.

What is a Game concept or idea?

Simply put, game ideas are the initial vision you have about the game. The storyline, character action, setting of the game environment, subplots, and goal of the game are all part of the game idea. The game concept includes more technical aspects like the initial draft of the development process, art style, game mechanics, monetization strategies, and marketing plan. But none of these are possible unless you have a unique and catchy game idea that will appeal to the masses.

What comprises of Game idea?

The game ideation comprises several stages starting from coming up with the core idea to elaborating how the game plots and levels unfold. The following are the stages of coming up with the game idea:

  • The core idea of the game gets conceptualized first. This also includes determining the game genre you wish to work with as well as researching the type of games that are the most popular and profitable at the moment.
  • Next comes the detailing of the core idea. This includes elaborating on the different characters and NCPs in the game and their roles, the setting of the game story, or simply planning the progression of level difficulty and the different game mechanics to make it more gripping.
  • Decide on the game art style that suits the game best. The art style must complement the game story- only then it will enhance the game and make it more engaging.
  • The next stages involve coming up with a development plan and the marketing strategy for the game. Put everything down on paper to make sure all the people involved in the process can check the document when required.

Do you have unique game ideas.

Do you have unique game ideas.

Unique ways to devise game ideas that will surely bring success.

Top Ways to Come Up With Unique Game Ideas

Coming up with unique game ideas is not all about brainstorming. Inspiration can come from anywhere and anything. The following are different ways in which you can come up with unique game ideas:

Brainstorm For Ideas

Brainstorming is a common method used to come up with not just game ideas, but ideas as a whole. You may already be familiar with brainstorming if you’ve used it in school. There are two ways you can brainstorm game ideas: individually or as a group.

To brainstorm individually, pick a pen and paper and write down various ideas in your head as they come to you. Do not worry if the ideas are good or unique. Just note them down. After you do this for a while, you may eventually get a game idea that is unique and good.

When you brainstorm as a group, everyone in your group should come up with their game ideas. As you get these ideas in numbers, you may eventually land on one or more good game ideas.

Use different coloured inks while you brainstorm. Use one for noting down the ideas as they come. Use a different colour to highlight the ones that specifically feel appealing to you. This would later help with quickly finding the ideas from your notes.

Another factor to note is brainstorming cannot happen in a rush. So make sure you have enough time and are sitting in a quiet corner where you can relax and think freely. Take your time and make sure you do not get drained from the rush.

Try to Find Something New In a Familiar Genre

You unleash your creativity when you put constraints on yourself. Constraints force you to think out of the box. And eventually, you get novel ideas.

Under this method, you pick a single game genre, for instance, puzzle, and come up with new ideas you can use for the genre. You might eventually discover a unique puzzle game idea like a new puzzle game mechanic or a new art style no one has tried before.

Occasionally different game ideas for specific genres have already been explored by different game development service providers. Hence, finding something unique gets tricky. But when you mix the elements from different genres together, it can give rise to new game mechanics that have not been explored before. However, this is done subtly and only a few elements overlap.

This is perhaps the idea behind games like Golf’s Story, Alpha Protocol, and Total War: Attila which blends different types of unlikely game genres to create one game.

Combine Elements from Two Wildly Different Games

Under this method, you combine two entirely different game ideas to form a single game idea. A prominent example would be combining the creature-based gameplay of Pokemon GO with the shooting mechanics of Doom.

When you combine such different ideas, it will give rise to completely new types of game genres. The result of such combinations is new genres like fitness/RPG, Time-travel/RTS, Satirical Murder-Mystery RPG, and so on.

To do this, play different genres of games and critically analyze the games as you are playing them. Imagine how the gameplay experience would be if you added elements from another wildly different game into it.

Use the Real-World for Inspiration

Most players use games in one of two ways:
1) to escape the real world, or
2) to experience things in the real world in a better way. You can take inspiration from the real world to get ideas that can cater to either of them.

To get game ideas for the first group, find things people cannot do in their real lives but would love to do in a virtual world. Things like beating up 15 people at the same time or fighting a fire-breathing dragon, while wielding a magical sword.

To get ideas for the second one, look for the mundane in the real world, which you can make exciting in a virtual one. Things like parking a vehicle or running a farm.

Don’t Try

The last method is unlike any of the other ones. It is this: don’t try to come up with new game ideas. This may seem counterintuitive. But many people get their best ideas when they are doing nothing in particular, like in the shower or during a walk.

So regularly find time to relax. Engage in something relaxing and let your mind wander. The right ideas may come to you.

Play games from different genres

Playing different games is a fun way to seek inspiration for the game. Video games can transport us to a different world while challenging us in new ways. To get new ideas, try out the various games that are released in the market. This means, not only playing games from genres you enjoy but also trying out new genres you are unfamiliar with or do not enjoy as much. You never know, inspiration may be lurking within the least likely games. Moreover, playing new games would help you get ideas about new mechanics, colour schemes, art styles, and even music that stand out. Try out games from reputable game development companies as well as indie developers.

Be active in the gaming community

There are various gaming communities available online. They can be dedicated to specific game titles or gaming in general. These forums not only discuss cheat codes but the various message boards may have inspirational ideas hidden in the comment threads. Often there are questions posted by other game developers that instigate discussions that lead to the cultivation of new ideas. Here you can find various resources, about new technologies, and trending games, and even seek feedback from experts on your ideas.


Color Switch which earned 150M downloads to date was created by David Reichelt. He credited the SCAMPER method from the book Thikertoys by Michael Michalko for his ideas behind the game. Instead of simply brainstorming for the new idea, nine specific stages are used to reinvent the concept. Each letter is an acronym representing the ideas. To use the SCAMPER method you need to analyze the idea and ask yourself if you can Substitute, Combine, Add, Modify/Magnify, Put to other use, Eliminate, Reverse/Rearrange, or SCAMPER in short.

Begin with a character

Often you may not have a plot in mind but just the idea of a character. This can be good enough to weave the game’s plot. Start with sketching out the character in detail. This includes its appearance, outfit, personality, powers, weapons, and so on. It need not always be a person but can also be a creature, object, or even the environment. Once you have determined the character, think of the possible scenarios that can fit around the specific character. This includes determining how the environment and characters would interact. Also come up with alternate themes, storylines, and challenges to make the game more engaging.

Focus on a theme

Selecting the theme or the themes you wish to combine is the key to staying focused in the process of innovative game development. Choose a theme that interests you and is simultaneously profitable. This would help you come up with ideas easily and also design a profitable application. Mobile game design companies, specifically focus on themes to create their games after carefully analyzing the genre and types of games trending at present.

Inspiration from different mediums

Coming up with unique game ideas need not be limited to checking out other games or forums. Books, TV shows, movies, art, and even music can become an inspiration for video games. You may find the plot for a game from a TV show or a movie. You can find different elements from such mediums. It can be anything ranging from the basic foundation of the game to small elements like a specific character that seems good enough as a game’s protagonist. Movies and TV shows can be an inspiration for events as well as inspiration to choreograph specific fight scenes as witnessed on TV.

Take a break

Sometimes the best move is to take a break entirely from the ideation process. It is important to let the mind relax and not go into overdrive. There will be times when brainstorming constantly can become frustrating. In such a situation, you are unlikely to come up with new ideas at that moment. Hence, it is wiser to give your brain the time to rest. It can be anything- from taking a power nap to watching a movie or listening to music.

Game idea generator

When you are out of ideas, a game idea generator can come to the rescue. It is not recommended to use these every time or take the results at face value. These idea generators can occasionally come up with extremely outlandish ideas. However, you can take the ideas and tweak them to be more realistic and feasible. These tools are fun to use and help overcome creativity blockage but it is wise not to make using the tools a habit.

Maintain an idea log

Keep a diary, notebook, or simply digital note of the ideas that come to you. Whenever you get an idea, make a written note of it so that you can quickly check it out whenever you want. Whenever you see a game or a movie and get an idea, simply make a note of it. Eventually, this idea log would come in handy when you need to come up with game ideas on short notice. There are a variety of apps that are useful to maintain such a log. You never know which idea become a random hit someday.

Start mind-mapping the idea

Mind mapping is a way to visualize an idea using words, images, and colours to connect the dots around the topic. This technique with help to quickly come up with new ideas by branching the original idea. Take up some colorful pens, and paper to chalk out the chart about the game. Write down the genre of the game at the center of the page. Next, jot down the primary ideas and connect them using lines with the central theme. You can even use doodles and images to elaborate the ideas further.


Coming up with game ideas is difficult. And although there are several ways to come up with game ideas, only a few of them may work for you.

However, it pays to discover your right method through trial and error. As a start, try each method listed above for a fixed time, and see what game ideas you can come up with each. Compare the ideas and you may discover a game development process or a specific method that is the better approach.

Juego Studios is a game design company. We develop games end-to-end, from the ideation phase all the way to release game. We can develop games of any genre for any platform of your choosing, using notable game engines like Unity, Unreal, and Cocos2d-X


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