Find Inspiration for your Indie Game Project

If you're looking for ideas to give your indie game concept that extra edge, this page is a compilation of different places and techniques for finding inspiration to tweak your game mechanics.

Releasing an Indie Game: Indie Game Concepts and Ideas.

Here are some resources to help you find ideas for your indie game's concept and features.

Get Ideas and Concepts from Other Games

One of the most popular way to find ideas for indie games is to look at what other games are doing to see if any of their features could be implemented in your game. Even though it may sound wrong to steal ideas from other games, the reality is that all games steal features from other games since the dawn of video games. Here are some links to some sites where you can begin your search for ideas.

Steam Concepts

Aside from the infamous Steam Greenlight program where indie game developers can compete for the votes needed to have their games sold on Steam, there is also a Concepts program where developers can post their indie game concepts in order to get feed back from the public to see if their ideas are worth pursuing. It may be well worth your time to browse through these concepts to see if any of these ideas and concepts could be implemented into your game.

I found this site to be a good place to get innovative ideas for indie games. On indie game developers compete to make the best possible game in only seven days! Browse a variety of game concepts to find ideas to incorporate into your very own indie game.

Prototyping Ideas and Concepts

Create a game concept in its simplest form to test it out and see if its fun. Do this over and over again until you find a concept that you feel is great and don't settle for less. Some prototypes can be made with rudimentary code and block graphics while others can be made simply with cardboard pieces being moved around depending on the idea.

This is an excerpt from the Spelunky book, which is currently in...This is an excerpt from the Spelunky book, which is currently in a StoryBundle featurin​g a number of other great game-related books. Since this excerpt is about the Zelda series, it should be noted that it was written before the latest Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, was shown at E3 (I’m [...]
Posted on 13 July 2016 | 8:36 pm

EXPLORER.GMK: An Excerpt From the Spelunky BookEXPLORER.GMK: An Excerpt From the Spelunky Book: spelunkyworld:Here’​s the second excerpt from the Spelunky book. It’s from a chapter called “EXPLORER.GMK&rdquo​; that discusses the very earliest build of Spelunky, the core elements of the game, the importance of themes, and the rela[...]
Posted on 25 March 2016 | 2:22 am

Spelunky's Journey From Pixel Game To Console ClassicSpelunky's Journey From Pixel Game To Console Classic: spelunkyworld:Kotaku has published an excerpt from the Spelunky book! This is a chapter called “Improv​ements”, about changes made to the original freeware game, why making fan games is so carefree, and how to make monsters [...]
Posted on 22 March 2016 | 4:35 am

spelunkyworld: The Spelunky book is finally here, weighing in...spelunkyworld: The Spelunky book is finally here, weighing in at 222 pages! It’s available both as a physical book (which looks very nice - the editors and printers did a great job), and as an eBook.It’s been a long road - I appreciate the patience of all the backers and my editor,[...]
Posted on 22 March 2016 | 12:46 am

spelunkyworld: I’m excited to announce that I’m writing a book...spelunkyworld: I’m​ excited to announce that I’m writing a book about Spelunky for Boss Fight Books! Boss Fight Books is the publisher of books about video games, and they’ve released six so far: Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, ZZT, Galaga, Super Mario Bros. 2, and Jagged Alliance. Eac[...]
Posted on 22 October 2014 | 2:17 pm

Maturity, Challenge, Art and GamesSome recent online discussions have prompted me to write something short on the above ideas. The first discussion erupted when a Kotaku writer called George Kamitani a “14-year-old boy” for including hypersexualized women in the character line-up for Dragon’s Crown. The second disc[...]
Posted on 21 May 2013 | 8:22 pm

Making it in Indie Games: Starter Guide Every now and then someone will ask me for advice on making it as a professional indie game developer. First, it’s a huge honor to be asked that. So I want to say “Thank you!” Second… damn, if I really want to help out it’s a serious endeavor. Of course, I could alway[...]
Posted on 27 February 2013 | 8:10 pm

Pixel Art TutorialNote: This tutorial was created in 2007 for my personal website. Some small tweaks have been made since then, but nothing too significant.In this 10-step tutorial, I’ll teach you how to create a “sprite”, which is a stand-alone two-dimensional character or object. The term comes fr[...]
Posted on 9 February 2013 | 1:48 am

Before Spelunky I started a simple little roguelike game....Before Spelunky I started a simple little roguelike game. Here’s the tilesheet I made for it - feel free to use these tiles in your own (non-commercial) projects, if you like. No credit necessary, although it would be appreciated![...]
Posted on 23 January 2013 | 4:03 am

How to Tell When You Gave Artists Too Much Control Over Design A half hour into Earthworm Jim on SNES, and three things became painfully clear to Andy (Hull) and me: 1. wow, Earthworm Jim is a worse game than we remembered, 2. Earthworm Jim was designed by visual artists with little experience in game design, and 3. modern studios haven’t learned from Ea[...]
Posted on 1 March 2012 | 11:14 pm

  I hope you had fun building your experimental games for this month’s simple but challenging theme. Let’s take a look at these 10 games:   Verbocity, by Pat Clever but very difficult word game city builder mashup.     Tower of Pixel, by Alan Zucconi Build a tower out[...]
Posted on 31 May 2013 | 9:36 pm

April and May 2013 is… CONSTRUCT
  Explosions, destruction, and tearing things down are common themes in lots of games. But how about we explore the other end of the spectrum. Make some games about assembling, building, and constructing!   Let’s see what kind of games you can build!  [...]
Posted on 3 April 2013 | 5:47 pm

Nerd³ reviews some classic EGP games
Here’s a fun trip down memory lane! Youtuber Nerd³ plays through experimental gameplay classics- Canabalt, Attack of the Killer Swarm and On a Rainy Day. Those last two are now 8 years old! Thanks Nerd³![...]
Posted on 1 April 2013 | 12:53 am

Sifteo Cubes Competition Results! Now with $50,000 in funding prizes!
Results are in! Two months ago, we challenged you to design and build experimental new games for Sifteo Cubes. Of the original 41 games submitted, 6​ finalists moved on to Round 2 to further develop each game on an actual set of physical cubes. The finalists were Squaresville, Cube Cafe, Love Co[...]
Posted on 13 March 2013 | 8:50 pm

Sifteo Cubes Competition Round 2
For Round 2, sets of cubes have been mailed out to each of the finalists from Round 1. If you haven’t already received your set, you can expect it soon! Here is some info to keep in mind for Round 2: The deadline for Round 2 submissions has been extended to Friday, March 8th. Submit […][...]
Posted on 17 February 2013 | 2:45 pm