Every day, several new ideas pop into my head. Many of them are incomplete, or frivolous and not very good. Occasionaly – let’s say once or twice a week – something genuinely fun, useful or with potential turns up. However, most ideas go to waste or are merely jotted down in a journal or a text document.
There is an overflow of ideas, to the point where even good ones are sometimes forgotten.
You probably get a lot of ideas too. Maybe it’s a business you want to start, a hobby you might pick up, a book you could write, a party you want to throw or a series of videos you could put on YouTube. Ideas come at us constantly whether we welcome them or not (in fact, they seem to come more easily when we are not looking for them, but that’s another topic).
The point is that ideas on their own have very little value.
It’s only when we act on our ideas, that their value increases. Whether you measure value in potential income, happiness or what-have-you, an idea by itself is fleeting; just a thought or a scribble. Actions make ideas real, give them substance and depth.
Since there are only have 24 hours in a day, and most of us have limited resources, the trick is to analyze your ideas, and determine which ones to act on, which to scrap, and which ones might be better off in someone else’s hands. This takes practice, which is sometimes referred to as “failure”.
Sharing ideas is not a bad thing. When you share ideas, you inspire others to get involved, to help you make it real or to develop their own ideas. Creative thinking is contagious, you see.
Too many people guard their ideas for no good reason. Secrecy can be necessary or helpful if you’re in the process of creating something for a competitive market (this is why we have NDAs). However, one reason I’ve heard over and over goes along the lines of: “I keep my idea a secret in case I want to make it real some day, so no one beats me to it.”
If that is your only reason to sit on an idea, you are not doing anyone any favors. Set it and yourself free, and go with an idea you can make real right now, rather than “some day”.
This post was inspired by an idea I had earlier today. This was for a video adventure game made for mobile devices. After writing down my initial thoughts, I read through them and realized this would be “some day” project. Mostly because it is too much work for me to do by myself, and I don’t have a team of developers, artists and writers standing by. So I decided to share the idea instead.
Maybe someone will make it happen, which I would love, whether I am involved in the process or not. I don’t think my idea is revolutionary, but it could be a solid, fun and potentially profitable game – if executed right.
Copy of the original note:
Mobile adventure game idea:
You are a lone, wandering sellsword, seeking adventure where ever you can find it. Each of these adventures is like a “episode” in the game. You go through a series of scenes (aka levels) that tell a story. Along the way you solve puzzles, make moral decisions, defeat enemies, build influence and collect treasure.
When there are no more adventures to be had in a specific location, you wander on to the next place…
The idea is that the character will grow according to the players’ choices. She levels up in multiple ways as she completes adventures. Weapons and other items found in one adventure will carry over to the next one, but because the wanderer is just that, there is a limit to how much gear she can carry (investing in a mule will let her bring more stuff). Surplus items can be sold for gold in town, which in turn can be spent on other items, repairs or, in some adventures, even bribes and gambles.
Apart from equipment, the character has reputations and a few stats to improve, such as combat skills, health and charm.
Each adventure is designed in such a way, that the difficulty adjusts to the strength of the character. Thus a “hard” adventure will be hard no matter how strong you are.
Every adventure contains choices that impact the character’s reputation with one or more factions, as well as puzzles, dialogue and combat. Each adventure should have at least two possible outcomes/endings, beyond simply winning or getting killed.
Adventures should offer at least 20-30 minutes of entertainment each.
Via factions and reputation, the character’s story will evolve through choices made by the player. High reputation scores unlock further adventures and locations (both free and availability as in-app purchases), tied to the specific factions. This adds both replay value and a sense of playing an actual campaign.
When a character dies, she will get penalized in some way (eg. damaged items, loss of gold) and will have to restart the adventure, she was currently on. Longer adventures will have “save points” along the way, from whence the character will start upon respawn.
The game comes with one or two locations and a handful of adventures. Further locations and adventures are unlocked as rewards or in-app purchases.
Gold and exclusive gear can also be bought as in-app purchases. The pack mule, for bringing more stuff on adventures, a bank account (gold stored here is unaffected by penalties for dying) or a house, for storing items in specific locations, could all be examples of in-app purchases.