20 Game Ideas You Should Steal


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Presentation from the Develop Conference 2009, in the Evolve strand.

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20 Game Ideas You Should Steal

  1. 1. 20 Great Innovations in Casual, Social and Mobile Games That You Should Steal<br />Stuart Dredge<br />
  2. 2. Who am I?<br />Journalist since 1998 – new media, games, mobile<br />Blogger since 2005(ish) – gadgets, virtual worlds<br />Twitterer since 2007 – cats, babies, breakfast<br />
  3. 3. What is Pocket Gamer?<br />Consumer mobile games site: J2ME, iPhone, N-Gage, Android<br />PocketGamer.biz – trade site for mobile games industry<br />Printed mags for operators, N-Gage and Zeemote<br />iPhone podcast<br />
  4. 4. What’s all this about?<br />The session title is a big fat lie<br />50 ideas. You may want to steal 20 of them. Maybe.<br /> iPhone, casual and social (but mostly iPhone)<br />Not all of these games are good<br />
  5. 5. MATES<br />
  6. 6. Restaurant City<br />Hire your friends as chefs, waiters, cleaners<br />Viral without feeling like you’re marketing to mates<br />Danger: your mum might get hooked<br />
  7. 7. Tower Bloxx / Bumper Stars<br />See your friends’ scores while you’re beating them<br />Constant competitive carrot to keep playing<br />Back it up with a brag feature<br />
  8. 8. Dr. Awesome<br />Taps into your address book to get friend names<br />You then get to ‘treat’ them<br />No privacy infringement / connectivity<br />
  9. 9. Premier Football<br />Facebook football manager game with your friends<br />More notifications when you pick people<br />Gets around licensing issues<br />
  10. 10. FaceFighter<br />iPhone boxing game from Ready 2 Rumble developers<br />Turn a photo into a fighter<br />Perfect for pub show-offs<br />
  11. 11. Who’s Your Friend / Word Challenge<br />WYF: Facebook game – guess who your pixelly friend is<br />Ranks you against your friends at end of game<br />Word Challenge: mini-game<br />Danger: too many friends?<br />
  12. 12. music<br />
  13. 13. Audiosurf / Phase / Dance Fabulous<br />Use your MP3 collection as basis for rhythm game<br />Racing / Falling notes / Dance<br />Works for PC or iPhone/mobile<br />Danger: can you cope with Napalm Death?<br />
  14. 14. The Sims DJ<br />iPod version of the game lets you DJ with your tunes<br />Lets you listen as well as play – solves issue of competition<br />Danger: Can your game cope with Nap...<br />
  15. 15. Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes<br />Square Enix’s tactics RPG uses songs as warriors (Barcode Battler mechanic)<br />Encourages gamers to delve deep into collections<br />Also promotes sharing and song-swapping<br />
  16. 16. Pole Position Remix<br />Classic Pole Position, but billboards from album covers<br />Incidental to gameplay, but once noticed...<br />Danger: You don’t know what albums they’ve got<br />
  17. 17. BUZZER! Music Quiz<br />iPhone game tests your knowledge of your library<br />Guess the intro / album / artwork / genre / artist<br />Two-player split screen<br />
  18. 18. Sonifi<br />Official app for trance artist BT<br />Bluetooth mixing – one takes beats+bass and one takes melody+harmony<br />No actual game or scoring, but there could be...<br />
  19. 19. Location<br />
  20. 20. Underworld<br />iPhone dealing game – sweets, not hard drugs<br />Turns local map into list of dealing spots<br />Don’t need to actually run around them<br />
  21. 21. JOYity<br />Android platform to make your own LBS challenges<br />Treasure hunts, tag, racing...<br />Gets around the problem of games only working in one city<br />
  22. 22. Gowalla<br />Collecting game – icons, stamps, pins...<br />Only worked in certain cities at the start<br />BUT people could create their own landmarks<br />
  23. 23. Seek’n’Spell<br />iPhone game that DOES make you run around<br />Collect letters and create words with them<br />Works with one friend<br />Not geeky (or not too geeky)<br />
  24. 24. Foursquare<br />Not a game, but a social networking app<br />BUT wraps game-like elements around it – badges etc<br />Just go to your usual places and do your usual things<br />
  25. 25. twitter<br />
  26. 26. Star Defense<br />iPhone Tower Defense game with Twitter feature<br />Brag about your score with a tweet in-game<br />Check out other people’s and challenge them<br />
  27. 27. Spymaster / SNODS / 140 Mafia<br />Not games that use Twitter, but Twitter games<br />Built around Twitter, and tweeting every action<br />Intrusive and annoying? Yes, but early days<br />
  28. 28. TweetBricks<br />Yes, it’s Tetris with tweets<br />BUT those tweets belong to your friends (or you)<br />Twitter’s open API has potential for games<br />(Well, some games)<br />
  29. 29. TweetCraft<br />Twitter plug-in for World of Warcraft<br />Contradicts previous point about fantasy worlds<br />Limited potential? Maybe<br />
  30. 30. Connect<br />
  31. 31. Anytime Pool<br />Pool game for Facebook, iPhone and mobile<br />Key thing: play across all of them seamlessly<br />Asynchronous turn-based gameplay works well for this<br />
  32. 32. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09<br />Complete the mobile game, get bonus in the console game<br />Relied on EA login, but could be done with code<br />Reason for console gamers to bother with mobile<br />
  33. 33. Prototype (trailer)<br />Viewers logged in with Facebook Connect<br />Pulls out profile data and friend photos<br />Shows what’s possible when you start with personal data<br />
  34. 34. My Brute<br />Or, indeed, any mafia game on the iPhone<br />Friend codes with rewards – wolves’n’weapons<br />More viral-ness without feeling like marketing<br />Danger: pyramid scheme?<br />
  35. 35. Leaf Trombone World Stage<br />Not the game (although playing a virtual trombone is kinda cool...)<br />But the X-Factor style judging over the network<br />Also UGC aspect of composing songs for others<br />
  36. 36. NobyNoby Boy<br />Strange but marvellous PS3 download game<br />Stretch NobyNoby Boy as far as you can<br />Cumulative global total to reach GIRL and unlock new levels for the game<br />
  37. 37. VIDEO<br />
  38. 38. Spore Creature Creator<br />Let people Make Stuff, then Show That Stuff Off<br />Even if it’s penises<br />It’s machinima for the masses! Or something.<br />
  39. 39. Real Racing<br />iPhone racing game with own Cloudcell community<br />Auto-uploads replays of best laps to YouTube<br />Web 2.0 equivalent of ‘let’s see that again!’ moment<br />
  40. 40. Poker Face – Don’t Miss a Beat<br />Using YouTube interactivity for Lady GaGa (and other UMG artists)<br />Very simple, but neat<br />Early days for these kinds of games – can fit in with wider ideas<br />
  41. 41. Rethinks<br />
  42. 42. Scrabble Plus<br />Casual take on Scrabble with more solo modes<br />Scrabble Golf, Scrabble Battle and Scrabble Wizard<br />Putting, power-ups and categories make the game fresh<br />
  43. 43. Tetris Pop<br />Turned Tetris into three-minute mini-games<br />Different rules/formats, but kept true to core gameplay<br />(Yes, I did use this one at Develop last year)<br />
  44. 44. Pac-Man Remastered<br />Bluetooth multiplayer where you play as the ghosts<br />Why not make this a solo mode too?<br />Anti Pacman – online Flash game does this too<br />
  45. 45. UEFA Euro 2008<br />Rethinking trad football game controls for new players<br />Sliding bars rather than feverish key presses<br />Still a game of skill, but in a different way<br />Danger: dumbing down?<br />
  46. 46. Bejeweled Blitz<br />Bejeweled on Facebook with one-minute games<br />Same mechanic with one crucial difference<br />(Okay, chess got there first)<br />Followed up with Zuma Web Connect this week<br />
  47. 47. Mash-ups<br />
  48. 48. Puzzle Quest / Aurora Feint<br />Mapping one genre (RPG) onto another (match-three puzzle)<br />Build depth around casual core gameplay – or do you?<br />Why map RPG onto puzzle and not other way around?<br />
  49. 49. Chocolate Shop Frenzy<br />Diner Dash meets Bejeweled<br />But when there’s lots of Diner Dash meets Diner Dash games...<br />Two genres familiar to same audience<br />
  50. 50. Samurai Puzzle Battle<br />Puzzle game meets strategy game meets action game<br />Similar benefits / concerns to Puzzle Quest<br />Rave reviews shows freshness of genre-splicing<br />
  51. 51. Bejeweled / Peggle in WoW<br />Add-On for WoW with two popular casual games<br />Takes advantage of need to kill time while waiting for friends<br />Tradeskill ramps up with skills / roll for loot<br />
  52. 52. Stuff that’s interesting but won’t fit into an easily definable one-word category<br />
  53. 53. Car Jack Streets<br />Top-down GTA-style game for iPhone (and now DSi)<br />Time is the key – make $50,000 every real-life week<br />Push notifications could enhance this feature<br />Danger: players drop out<br />
  54. 54. Spore Origins<br />iPhone version of Spore that uses the camera<br />Design your perfect Spore in a way that suits the platform<br />Camera-enabled feature, NOT a camera-focused game<br />
  55. 55. And before you ask...<br />
  56. 56. iSamurai Bluetooth<br />Two-player sword-fights with your iPhone<br />This year’s iPint/PhoneSaber<br />Difference: putting a game structure around the novelty<br />
  57. 57. Pet Society<br />Poo<br />Golden Poo<br />Rainbow Poo<br />Expect the unexpected<br />
  58. 58. SurrounDEAD<br />iPhone shooter that uses the compass (on 3GS)<br />Takes a non-gaming feature and uses it for a game<br />Novelty – would YOU play it in public?<br />
  59. 59. Galaxy On Fire 2<br />Space adventure/shooter with whizzy 3D graphics<br />Free distribution model – freeplay and then pay<br />Step further – used pirate sites to get the game out there<br />
  60. 60. YoVille<br />Virtual world / game on Facebook<br />Partnership with SPCA in San Francisco – virtual cats and dogs in return for donations<br />$20k in five weeks<br />
  61. 61. WordFu<br />Boggle with attitude – dice and letters/words<br />Martial arts sounds whenever you make a word<br />Comes into its own with two players<br />
  62. 62. Flight Control / DrawRace<br />Not direct control over object, but instead draw its path<br />(PES on Wii – similar idea)<br />FC = juggling, DR = feel<br />
  63. 63. Pocket God<br />The 99-cent game that’s trailblazed episodic content for the iPhone<br />Weekly updates<br />Selling 18k copies a day at its peak – despite (or because) updates were free<br />
  64. 64. Enviro-Bear 2010<br />
  65. 65. Cheers!<br />Me: sdredge@gmail.com<br />Pocket Gamer: spanner@pocketgamer.co.uk<br />PocketGamer.biz: jon@pocketgamer.co.uk<br />Quick plug: www.iphonegamesbulletin.com<br />