Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Too many ideas

I had, I thought, pretty much decided what game I was going to do after I release my expansion pack for Gratuitous Tank Battles. it’s the third idea I had for a new game. And then, there I was watching a TV show which is (in some ways) relevant to one of my other ideas, and I was musing over doing that one instead, and then lo! believe it or not, a TV ad appears which reminded me of the other idea.
One idea is a sequel. One is very marketable to geeks and gamers. One is a bit obscure and a bit indulgent, and very hard to explain or market to gamers.
None of them have any competition whatsoever.

It does amaze me the way so many people make really formulaic clone games. There are a whole lot of ideas that haven’t been used yet, and life is much easier from a marketing POV when there are not obvious competing games.

(Yes i refer to GTB as tower defense, but play it for 10 minutes and you will see how radically different it plays from other TD games. I probably make a mistake using the TD term to market the game…)

19 thoughts on Too many ideas

  1. If you really can’t decide which one to do, you could let us help you! ;)
    You could set up a poll on the forums outlining your ideas and see what the community thinks is the best one (and if you really don’t like the outcome, just do your prefered idea).

  2. I’d vote for the obscure and indulgent idea, just because that’s how I am… plus you made me curious, describing it that way, about what that idea really is.

  3. You know which game I would like to see? Democracy combined with Sim City. That would be mighty awesome!

  4. Hate it when that happens loads of ideas but so little time.

    I’m just doing a simple 3D TD game myself and to be honest it’s just a style of game I would like to make because I enjoy playing TD games.

    But aren’t TD games just cut down RTS games, single player (mostly) take away movement and resource extraction and Starcraft becomes a TD.

    What ever you do have fun and keep up the good work.

    PS haven’t you considered setting up a little studio, or hiring, then you can work on all of your game ideas! ;o)

  5. I’d been assuming that the next game would be “Gratuitous Underwater Battles”.
    After GSB and GTB, I thought GUB was the logical next step!

    I’d probably stear you away from the sequel.. but it’s one of those things where a popular sequel could provide more funds to make your other ideas even bigger and better!
    Anyway, can’t tell you which one to go for, I’m sure you’ll end up making something worth buying anyway :)

  6. We all hope you’re doing well enough off GSB and GTB to afford to be indulgent… unless the sequel is Star Miner II. Then you should totally do that.

  7. “None of them have any competition whatsoever.”

    Do indie dev’s actually have “competition”? It doesn’t appear to be like EA using BattleField3 to try and divert sales away from CoD. Or is it? Do players really define themselves by playing one indie game purposely refuting another?

    Devoid of corporate overlords, doing something “bit obscure and a bit indulgent” does somewhat appear to the reason behind being devoid of said corporate overlords in the first place … though I guess that the risk of not making back the time investment ( = money) you put in is the only thing to stay your hand from “obscure” and “indulgent”.

  8. The obscure and indulgent thing is tempting, but it means its something a little bit more experimental and thus may or may not actually work as a game. That could be a long time spent on a project just to abandon it. There is always the downside that whatever game I make, it puts back making the other two…

  9. ‘Do indie dev’s actually have “competition”?’

    That’s a strange question. Of course there is competition in a free market. What Cliffski meant is that there are no games with a similar genre out there (at the moment). For example Sim City 4 has no competition in it’s genre because there is no (real) contestor. But there is a competition none the less because I could always buy another game…

  10. “One idea is a sequel. One is very marketable to geeks and gamers.”

    Speculatively reading between those lines, I’ll volunteer that I am *definitely* interested in a sequel to Gratuitous Space Battles.

  11. Gratuitous underwater battles was pretty funny. (not necessarily a bad idea either with enough good graphics). How unique of an idea is this mystery idea? Is it really unique? if it may be then perhaps it’s worth sharing with a few. Perhaps a broad audience is the way to go.

  12. :) Actually, the gentleman that mentioned “Gratuitous Underwater Battles” doesn’t have a half bad idea. I mean space, then tanks, then navy? Ships and underwater might be very cool, with places to hide, in caverns or behind seaweed, or sunken wrecks? Have destroyers on top using mines and depth charges and the subs trying to get torpedoes off to sink them. :) The more i think about it, actually the more i think it is a pretty cool idea and would be a lot of fun to play and fits in with your ‘Gratuitous X Battles’ brand very well. :)


  13. just a quick p.s.
    But like you have the attackers and the defenders now in GTB, you could have attackers (destroyers and battleships of various types with modules attatched for various functions) and defenders (the subs, also with various defensive modules that help them avoid detection or straight on damage by deflecting or armoring or minimizing it somehow. :)

    just some ideas, you can probably think of more and better ones than me, but just wanted to throw my two cents in for a vote for the GUB idea. :)


  14. Glad that GUB has some appeal :)
    Might be something that would lend to having multiple layers on the battlefield, an underwater layer and a surface layer, with you able to switch between the two, and some units able to move between the two… maybe even have ships sunk on the surface fall onto units underneath?
    Since I’m guessing you wouldn’t want to repeat the same gameplay mechanics that you used in either of the other G*B games – I guess there would be a lot of options available for different play mechanics there.

    Had also been thinking about what could follow that, though the options for V seem a little more limited… Gratuitous Viking Battles was the best I could come up with ;)

  15. @Teal_Blue: I read that as Gratuituous Underwear Battles o_O

    And voting for Democracy 3, erm, I mean sequel :>

  16. Gratuituous Underworld Battles: dwarves go mano-a-mano with gnomes for ultimate rule over the world beneath the surface! Build your perfect cave complex, then plunk it down next to your rival and start tunneling into their base trying to undermine their operations while repelling their attempts to do the same to you!

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