How to Write a Game Concept [05.08.14]
- Matt Powers
I'm often asked, "how do you come up with the game ideas?" There are a number of places the initial game idea comes from. Some of these may be:
- A license
This is usually a video game based on a movie or comic book. For example, the Lego series of video games or an Avengers video game.
- New IP (Intellectual Property)
In this case, I am referring to the first time this game/concept has been done. For example, TitanFall is brand new and original.
- Existing IP
This would be a concept/idea that is owned by the publisher or developer. For example this could be Sonic the Hedgehog or Call of Duty.
As producers, we rarely get a lot of choice in this. Often we are given a new project or inherit an existing project. But regardless of where the idea comes from, the projects all start the same way.
Development usually starts with a game concept. The game concept is a very important document. The concept outlines the features of the game, the goals, and the overall game play.
NOTE: if you are an intrepid game developer in the making, then you should spend time writing up your own game concepts.
The concept ensures all parties involved with the game start on the same page. This would include: development team, marketing, licensor, etc...
I thought it would be interesting to examine a game concept together.
There are a lot of resources online that talk about game concepts and game design documents. Examples of templates and outlines are available on the internet. If you do a search for "game design concepts" you'll find plenty of resources.
So instead of retreading used ground, I thought we would try something different. I wrote a game concept for us to examine together. And since I have never produced a mobile game, I thought that would be a good place to start. I didn't necesarily follow any established template for this - I had this idea and wrote it down.