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I read at many places how people have this GREAT ideas but are not able to program themselves. I have quite the opposite problem. I have developed game engine, level editor, embedded Lua scripting language, I have even made wrapper for Android and it all works well. But I have no good idea about how to proceed with actual levels; I have no good ideas. The engine itself is very generic and can be used in many game concepts, but I just cannot think of anything useful. Do you have any thoughts on how to proceed? Where should I seek ideas? Who should I ask? I am sorry if this question is a duplicate.

EDIT: Thank you all for your responses. I see now in FAQ that indeed my question was misplaced. I just saw this thread and people were advising that ideas are worthless and execution is what counts. So I wondered where all the "worthless" ideas are, because I cannot seem to find any when I need it.

Yes, the engine was targeted at one particular game, but I always envisioned it like "based on game X with additional features". So I added additional features but now I don't know how to use them in a funny and entertaining way. I could still finish the original game X, but it would only be unoriginal copy of the game X, which is just pointless.

Anyway, thanks again for your responses, wish you happy coding.

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closed as not constructive by John McDonald, Nathan Reed, Byte56, doppelgreener, Tetrad Aug 31 '12 at 23:57

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Hello Thoms, and welcome to Game Development. This question isn't suited for our site, and will likely soon be closed. You can check out the FAQ and see examples of good questions. –  William 'MindWorX' Mariager Aug 31 '12 at 12:21
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Game engine done? Nah, a game engine is never done :) –  Laurent Couvidou Aug 31 '12 at 13:03
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A game engine that has never been used for a real game is especially never done. :) games require so much special genre-specific and even game-specific subsystems and features it's not even funny, which is why so many games are still fully written from scratch rather than using any existing engine. –  Sean Middleditch Sep 1 '12 at 0:30

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Go to LudumDare and see games that got a lot of positive attention in previous competitions. Play them and see which ones you like and simply develop on those ideas. Taking ideas from one game is stealing, taking from two or more is research.

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Make a snake game with it. Make a shooter game with it. Make some simple well known games to start off. Once you've done this, you should be more confident with your engine, and making these games will give you ideas on where to keep going.

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This is one of the classic problems of game engine development - your engine most probably is too generic.

Pick your favorite genre, perhaps even your favorite game - and look at how things work there. Try to copy a thing or two. Make something good, make something bad. Create experiments and problems. Experiments are useful for finding a good direction to take, an unexplored path. Problems have a tendency to keep developers interested for a long time. Pick something you've never done before to make space for both.

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Proceeding with levels seems like a good next step, it can teach you how to create data structures to fit your game, and file input/output.

Also, I would just have tried to build the engine with a set target game in mind. You don't have to be very specific, but say just make the engine for a specific genre that you like. When you know what to make with your engine, you have a better idea of what actually works in your engine and what doesn't. A good engine would have been "battle-tested" already, and usable in real-world cases. I have been making a game around sample framework code- as I added more features to it that the game would definitely use, it became clearer which parts can be re-used for future games.

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I disagree with @William 'MindWorX' Mariager regarding the nature of the question. It's game design and game programming related and belong here.

@Tomas, you created the egg before the chicken. You want your coding to have a purpose first. This is how project and business works. Most game development team will create the game design (most of it)(like a Game Design Document) before starting the programming of the game.

My studio has the inverse problem. We got a large amount of viable ideas, largely documented, and no game engine, modules or programmers to run/code it. I am even considering learning coding myself instead of waiting for the arrival of a miraculous coder.

I remember my first game idea. I was playing a Zynga game on Facebook and I thought: "The game is okay, but it could be more fun" and then: "I could easily create a better game than this". Shortly after, I started creating it. I suggest you think about what game you could improve (without copying or breaching copyrights) and start focusing on this with your game engine.

Also, try using brainstorm technics to stimulate and generate ideas and innovation.

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