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Conception: A Brainstorming Toolkit for Game Developers

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#1 Deroro


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Posted 01 March 2016 - 08:07 PM

Download Link (Windows only): 


I recently finished up my prototype brainstorming tool, Conception. If you're looking to practice game development and don't really know where to start, this tool might be able to help you out.

Conception starts by providing a randomly generated list of constraints for you to abide by, which you can do by selecting GENERATE!. If you're not really sure what a certain term means, hover your mouse over it to read the description, or refer to the Tool Guide.
Always start with the first constraint. Don't jump down to the 5th or 6th constraint, unless you plan on doing the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th one also. You can start with 3 constraints for your project if you'd like, but it has to be the (1st) topic, (2nd) mechanic, and (3rd) dynamic principle. Again, no jumping around. If you have a difficult time understanding a certain term, doing some research is another great place to start getting some ideas! You'll most likely have to look into the dynamic principles some more if you want to get a good understanding of player psyche. Or if you decide to use a genre as a constraint, you'll want to find some games that fit that genre to get a better idea of what to shoot for.




Conception is a small resource that I originally made last summer as a card game, and I started working on a video game version of it this month for my blog project. If you're not too sure how to use Conception, I'll be using it for my blog by making a new game every week.
If you have any questions about why I designed the game/tool in the way that I did, you can read the dev blog here:http://deroro.com/we...ame-developers/
Thanks, and good luck!
*An important topic that came up in a recent forum: There's an issue that's been coming up about shovelware and making game development much easier. Not sure if those are just the usual gamers or are game devs, but I agree that game dev IS getting easier. It's never been this easy. But at the same time, the quality of games are getting better every year. While more and more terrible games are released by cash-grab devs, there are also great ones who create something new and setting a good example. Conception isn't a tool that creates copycats-- it's to help devs practice with out of the box solutions, by not using pre-existing ones. The more constraints you use, the higher the chance that pre-existing solutions do not work.
I urge to you to give it two minutes if you haven't. I originally made this tool to help myself, but I made it accessible for other devs to use.

Edited by chance, 02 March 2016 - 03:51 PM.
Added second screenshot, as the rules require.

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#2 chance


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Posted 05 March 2016 - 04:01 PM

Interesting idea for a development tool.  It combines a variety of genres, gameplay mechanics, and other attributes in ways you might not think of by simple brainstorming on your own.  So this could be useful for developers who have trouble breaking out of comfortable patterns.


The execution wasn't very pleasing, however.  The small(ish) window with the small font and crowded lines made it hard to read.  And black-white contrast wasn't appealing.  Granted, these features are cosmetic, and not related to the primary function.  But style and readability are still important, and make using a tool more enjoyable.


The other issue I saw was lack of anything beyond broad generality.  The genre and/or main themes were specific, along with some of the attributes.  But many were so general that they didn't really evoke ideas.  Things like "challenge" or "suspense"... and "so and so's Law" weren't as helpful as they could be.


So you might consider adding a few more lists with more specific features and/or mechanics.  Better yet, allow users to assemble and maintain their own lists, that can be expanded over time.  That would allow the tool to be customized and tailored for one's needs.


Lots of possibility here.

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