Game Dev Diary: Finding my concept

By X-51 | Game Dev Diary | 16 May 2020

The idea that actually kicked off this journey proved to be far too ambitious, with potentially years of development to make it happen, but I'm not ready to sign up for that length of commitment, or go that long without something to show for my work. So I need to find another idea.

Thus while I've been looking for assets and evaluating the different tech I could use, I've been rattling some ideas around my head too (and given I am running on 3-5h sleep most nights, I really do feel like something is rattling around in my skull right now 😅).


If I had to pick my one biggest strength in all of this, it is my constant inspiration for new ideas.... which is also a huge flaw, because my ideas keep growing, changing, evolving, and even simple concepts soon become huge.

For example, since I started this idea of creating a game I have come up with around 15 individual ideas:

  • The overly ambitious post-apocalyptic turn-based strategy/RPG
  • An orthographic dark fantasy action RPG similar in style to Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen
  • A dark fantasy action platformer with some RPG elements
  • A Lovecraftian period horror/mystery similar to a point-and-click adventure, but isometric graphics and a less linear storyline
  • An orthographic horror/mystery RPG (a bit like the Lovecraftian one but modern, and with more varied story matter)
  • A turn-based strategy based off one of my own board game designs
  • 6!! different puzzle platformers with mechanics similar to The Lost Vikings - two sci-fi, one modern, two modern fantasy, one medieval fantasy
  • And a few others that are less solid in my mind


So I'm looking for something I can break down far enough to make a standalone chapter without taking years to make (which knocks out my initial post-apocalyptic idea).

I want a solid concept with some established ideas already in my mind, so that drops the extras, plus 3 of the puzzle platformers which are still only semi-ideas.

Then I have to take into consideration my biggest weakness in this project - digital art. There is no point me picking a concept that has an appropriate amount and difficulty of programming & writing if I have no assets for it, and then either have to pay someone to make them, or try to make them myself (which will just be a mess). This drops a few idea from the running, like my board game concept since it would require almost 100% custom assets, and the rest of the puzzle platformers since I have only partial assets for those (I have quite a few platformer tilesets, but I can't find characters with all the animations I need).

I also need to consider limitations on other resources like recorded dialog - I can do a bit myself, sure - I have a great microphone and have done a little acting before. But sourcing other people without spending big on it is harder, since most of the people I can access here have a very different accent to me and not all of them speak English to a level that would make passable game dialog. So in my opinion that knocks out the Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen homage, as a large part of the drama of the game would be down to recorded dialog.

For music I am happy to try writing it myself, and I know there is a wealth of free stuff I can fall back on if I need.


That brings me down to just 3 ideas left, all of which have a wealth of assets I've already seen, so in comes some personal preference....

I don't feel like making the action platformer. Not sure why, but I'm happy to leave it go for now.

I also prefer the style of the assets I found for the period Lovecraftian game over the assets for the modern horror/mystery - the assets for the modern horror are JRPG style whereas the Lovecraftian assets are more realistic. While the Lovecraftian game might lose a bit in not having recorded dialog, hopefully my storytelling can make up for that.



So, I have a winner!

Now it is time to finalize some story elements, make my final tech choice between GDevelop and Phaser, plus handle some real-world issues like the need for a job and a new apartment 😅

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Software developer, musician, photographer, traveler, crypto enthusiast

Game Dev Diary
Game Dev Diary

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