Be like the armadillo

How to get the creative ball rolling

A good way to start any creative endeavour is hierarchically. Starting with broad loose terms give your ideas a place to start & grow.

I like creating statements or phrases containing three important elements.


Genre, Theme & Spin

An alien who adventures from planet to planet collecting weapons and gadgets.

- Brian Hastings    

In this paraphrased statement we can pick out the game's:



The arrow that gives your game a sense of direction.

In the above statement we can pick out the word "adventure". Personally speaking when I think "adventure game" my mind goes to 3D-platfroming. You however, may think of something else.

So, you might want to be specific in your statement when referring to a genre to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Choosing a Genre will help you design purposefully.

Getting into the right mind space is important.



The mask that gives your game an identity.

By grabbing "planet to planet" we can deduce that the theme is sci-fi.

The theme(s) you choose can help when making decisions. From the main character to the enviroments and even all the way down to your move-set.

Theming will help create a cohesive experience.

Word Art(8).png

Word Art(7).png


That special something that makes your game unique.

"Weapons & gadgets": Ratchet & Clank's main draw.

A spin is what makes your game different from all the others, it could be providing the player with the fantasy of being Batman or offering an amazing sanbox experience

Example; Mirror's Edge has parkour while Bioshock has plasmids.

A good spin can, and will, inform your game.

So, once you have decided what will make your game special let it infect the design.


In closing

  • Three magic beans (I talked specifically about coming up with a game concept. However, you can apply this same level of thinking on other projects, a character for example would be: Archetype, Reason & Spin.)
  • Don't be rigid when choosing (Who said you can't choose more than one genre or theme. No one! Just make sure not to muddy your vision with to many (or contradictory) elements.)
  • Have fun (Try and pick things you like, if you are not a horror fan why make a horror game if no one is forcing you?)

The end