Game Inspiration
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This website will help you get inspiration for your games. Just click on one of these links:

Creatures

When I refer to the word "creatures", I mean an organism that could be used as an enemy, a friendly NPC (Non-Playable Character), a race that your avatar could be, or just some animal moving around in the background of a level.
Here are some tips for getting ideas or inspiration for a creature:
  1. Use observations from nature
  2. For example, in Greek Mythology, there were a race called The Myrmidons. They were ant-people, and were very skilled warriors. The Greeks probably got the inspiration for this creature from the fact that ants march, similar to an army. Ants also have exoskeletons, similar to the armor of the ancient Greeks. These observations are basically just metaphors or similes comparing an animal and something many people know about ("The ants marched like soldiers across a miniature battlefield" is an example of this). You can find many more of these comparisons in poetry.

  3. Click this link
  4. The above link will take you to a random page on the animal wiki, a database of animals. When I want to create a new race, sometimes I will go to this wiki and press the "random page" button.

  5. Use mythology or an ancient civilization
  6. A list of legendary creatures
    If you are going to use these methods, remember not to be offensive to someone else's culture. Do research on any civilization you will base a creature from, or it may appear stereotypical.

  7. Use your own dreams
  8. If you have a dream, you could implement it into a game. You could use this method of inspiration to come up with any aspect of your game.

You may also want to edit your creature even more. If so, think about the role of your creature in the game. Here's an example: I want to create an evil race for enemies in my game. I base them off of bats, but I want to add something to them, something that will really tell gamers, "Look, this is an evil creature!". Think of things that are generally associated with evil. Not terrorist evil, but something more...superstitious. Superstitions cause people to associate darkness, mist or fog, and fangs as creepy or scary, and I want to make my bat creature scary. So here's what I'll do. I'll add fangs to my bat creature, I'll draw mist or fog pouring off of it, like a phantom, and I'll place the enemy in a dark level in my game, like a cave (Which is the bat's habitat at night). Seems like a good villain or enemy character, right?

Locations

When I refer to the word "locations", I mean a level or a group of levels in a game.
Here are some tips for getting ideas or inspiration for a location:
  1. Use your surroundings
  2. If you have trouble designing the layout of a location, use the layout of your house (for a dungeon of a cave) or of your neighborhood (for a bigger location).

  3. Use real life environments
  4. If you're programming a sci-fi game, get ideas from Antarctica (or another place similar to that) to design a planet like Hoth. If you're programming a fantasy game (like World of Warcraft), then get ideas from North America for evergreen forest locations, or from Latin America for tropical locations. You could also get ideas from Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe. Any place on the planet could give you inspiration. Just do research on your target country or continent before modeling a location after it.

  5. Use the theme of the game
  6. If you're programming a sci-fi game, you could use the sci-fi genre to come to with an artificial planet. Do something that relates to sci-fi, like technology, space travel, or extra dimensions/universes. If you're programming a fantasy game, then you should use something that relates to: castles (they were found in Medieval Europe and Japan), barbarians (Mongols, Vikings, Caribs...), Magic, and basically anything that came before The Modern Age.

You may even want to make more changes to your location. If so, then think, "What will I use this location for?". The location's basic layout (and possibly it's theme) should be related to it's role in your game. If it is the final level, it must be harder than normal, and it must relate to the end boss (see the creatures section) of the game. If it is the first level of the game, it should have a tutorial built into it somehow, and it should be easier than normal. For example, if I took the villain that I created in the section about creatures, and I made him the final boss of my game, I should model the final level (in which you kill the end boss) after the bat creature. My plan was that the bat creature was scary and bat-like, so the level should be scary and it should resemble a bat's natural habitat in real life - a cave.

Items

When I refer to the word "items", I mean an object that helps you accomplish a goal in your game.
Here are some tips for getting ideas or inspiration for a location:
  1. Use other games
  2. Here are some examples of items from other games and what they do:

    • Coin (Super Mario) - Keeps track of the player's wealth. Used to get a 1up if you collect 100 of them.
    • Enemies (Kirby)- Kirby can use his inhale ability, which allows him to swallow enemies and gain their powers.
    • Mushrooms/flowers (Super Mario) - Mushrooms are red, ice flowers are blue...do I really have to explain this?
    • Warp pipes (Super Mario) - Transports you to another location. Some of them blast you into the sky, like a cannon.
  3. Think goal-oriented
  4. Think, "What goal do I want this item to help the player accomplish?". The item should look like something that would help you achieve something similar in real life. Example: trampolines help you bounce higher, shovels help you dig into the ground, skateboards help you travel faster...

  5. Use mythology
  6. Remember the one rule when using this method: Don't be offensive to another culture. Examples of this method are:

    • Mjollnir (Norse Mythology) - The god Thor had a mighty hammer called Mjollnir. When he threw it, it came back to him after hitting it's target, like a boomerang.
    • Gungnir (Norse Mythology) - The god Odin had a spear called Gungnir. It would never miss it's target when thrown.
    • Peaches (Chinese/Japanese Mythology) - Peaches are though to provide protection from evil spirits.

Abstraction-Oriented Inspiration

This is perhaps the most commonly used method used in ancient times, but first, i'll have to define "Abstract Entity" to you in my own words. An abstract entity is a thought rather than a tangible object. Some abstract entities are: As you can see, all of the above words are nouns, but they are further classified as ideas rather than people, places, or things. Abstraction-Oriented Inspiration is a method used for creating many mythological creatures, as i noticed while reading about them. Some characteristics of this method is that creatures created in this way usually have some abstract purpose or they represent an Abstract Entity. Here are some examples of mythological creatures that could have been created with this method and what their abstract origin is: