A game about making games - Need ideas.

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  • There have been some games similar to this in the past, and right now there's one selling on Steam called 'Game Dev Tycoon'. The original one I recall was called 'Software Star' on the ZX Spectrum.

    I'm putting together something similar but I'm stuck on the most critical aspect of the game, and that's how to make the game development part both fun and relevant to the player's decisions. In SS, it's basically just a case of, the more time the player spends working on the game, the better the final product. It's not very much fun or challenging. GDT is a bit better, with levels for the player's skills in various departments, which is quite good, and a few nice little elements, but it's still not what I'm looking for. I do like the idea of player-skill levels, but what I also want to mix in, is the ability to 'research' levels by playing games (within the game) and reading books about programming (within the game).

    What I can't work out, is how to make this fun in a game. I'm usually quite good with this sort of thing, but for some reason, I can't think of how to mix this together to make a fun game, about making games. Does anybody have any ideas, or have they played anything similar that might give me ideas? I suppose in some ways, it could be similar to construction style games, except here you're constructing a game instead of a building/country/whatever.

  • well, in developing games you are problem-solving... so you could present some graphical puzzles for the player.. maybe some flow charts.. or design "architecture"? For example in all the LEGO title games (specifically LEGO Marvel) how you have to figure out how to "hack" computers by turning a succession of knobs the correct way to get the flow working.

    some other mini-game ideas:

    -make a player do some software "bug fixing".. which you could make into a "wack a mole" game with "bugs"

    -make a "time management" type of mini game where you have to run around an office giving all the members of the dev team support... your programmers demand redbull and sugary treats while they code, your technical directors expect status reports while they sit at their desks "working"....things like that.. and if they don't get what they want the programmers start complaining and write bad code, the directors yell and are unhappy.. and based on the overall morale, it determines the rating of the game they make..which effects it's revenue etc...

    just some ideas..

  • Excellent, thanks for that. I hadn't even been thinking in this direction so this might give me something to work with.

    I'd done quite a bit of work on graphics and controls, but hadn't actually got any math going yet. These ideas might get my brain working in a different direction, I like the idea of some kind of puzzle which needs to be built-up in some way, to complete the game. Nice one

  • Well, if you want funny ideas of what "fictional" games the company could invent, you can make a generator like this maybe:


  • Lol, that's awesome. Not particularly helpful with this project, but it actually comes up with really funny and workable ideas. My next game is definitely going to be a tycoon game about feeding birds until everybody is happy xD

    For my game-making project mentioned above, the idea of mini-games has gotten me back on track, so thanks again to jobel. I'm thinking of having two 'Bejewelled' or 'BIg Money' style boxes which fill with boxes as you play games, then you clear them in the usual style (i.e click when there are 3 of more joined). Clearing box 1 will fill box 2 and clearing box 2 will add to the completed project. Something like that, I'm suddenly bursting with ideas

  • Bam! Your a 14year old sprite in-game with a longing to make video games.

    Question? What in the wold to make? Well, you could :

    Populate a list of game types, which have varying levels of required expertise, allowing you to recruit your next door neighbor, the family cat, or the small part-time cello player down the street. Each of these would offer some (delayed time event? time wait in days in-game) stat's to your finished first game, which the improvements could serve to help appeal to different small-time, beginner production companies nearby (in-game also).

    Maybe as a side-quest :

    You must complete different activities at home or the (levelmap?) (minigames! woo woo), in order to unlock games of the type for creation by your new game studio (in game)

    Events, you could frequent them in-game to help advertise your game, giving it endorsements, adding $$$ with with which to buy better "options" to create your first game, then doubly giving it more stats.

    Apologies, flooded with ideas, hope that came out legible and was on point lol.

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  • Thanks, all useful stuff

    Some of your ideas are similar to mine, for example, it will be played from the perspective of a young kid, trying to forge his way into the software world. And I want the pressures of home/school to get in the way somehow, perhaps wasting your time with silly stuff like homework :p

  • I don't know why exactly, but it reminds me of what would happen if Bully : Scholarship edition (PC/PS game), met Simcity, lol. Of course, without the dimeaning act's, a little added humor and some nice fluffy fun graphic work.

    I think the premise of a young, maybe cartoon/cell shaded sprite, breaking his way into the industry, could be identifiable on a lot of levels for the player. Humor might be a good weapon!

    Great idea, hat's off there, very unique twist. Best of luck with it for sure!

  • Some random events could also spice the game up:

    -Watch the news ticker for any gossip on new console release dates (affects when you decide to make game sequels and etc)

    -Contact corporations to find out their console specifications (and sign contracts not to release details, try to prevent info leaks whether deliberate or accidental)

    -Try to upgrade office equipment to protect from data loss (upgrading storage mediums, cloud backups/off-site storage) and keep up with next-gen console and PC demands

    -Try to make games based on popular brand names and stories (get contracts from companies with famous cartoon characters and etc)

    -If a contract to use characters and etc from other companies is lost, you need to replace much of your game with a new character or decide to scrap the project entirely

    -As your office size grows and decades pass, maybe create a small "trophy room" which shows your past games in glass case displays

    -Maybe a crowd-funding parody/minigame too?

    There's even the areas of community building, advertising, lawyer work to produce EULA and Terms and Conditions that don't upset the modding community, deciding whether to release modding tools, what platforms to release on (target audience studies).

  • Thanks guys, lots of good stuff to be working on and thinking about here. I'm back on track now, so hopefully will have it completed in a month or two

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