Finding a really original concept

Dear all, especially story writers
I plan to make some mobile games but I cannot seem to be able to find a really original concept for it. All my ideas are already created by others to a certain extent.
Thus, I’m asking you to help me out: is there a method or a way of thinking to come up with something new? Or the ideas just pop out of your head all of a sudden?
Thanks in advance.

Pay me, i am full of ideas ^^
Some really fresh groundbreaking inspiration for free, is hard to find.
There are still some threads aka “which game would you like to see in UE4”…

I mean, to an extent, there is no such thing as an original concept when it comes to stories.

Everything has been done in one way or another and can be categorized to fit into some basic types. Is it a “Revenge” story? Is it Heroic Fantasy? is it a Time-Travel Mystery/Drama? Is it a fairy-tale or horror story? The originality comes more from how you arrange the rules of your world and the content you fill it with then hitting upon some mythical original concept.

As for the “writing process”, everyone works differently and advice on the subject is generally useless. Personally I lock myself in a very quite room with a bottle of rum, get to drinking and have conversations with myself like an actor running lines for two different characters if I’m writing dialogue, or if I’m doing more general world-building structural work I’ll just… kind of think about that subject and start going with it.

What works for me won’t do anything for someone else though, so, I can’t recommend my process as being useful to anyone who isn’t basically me.

Hire a concept artist

Thank you all for your help.
Hiring a concept artist seems like the easiest, however I have no means to do so, I wish to make a game all by myself (CG and programming skills more or less provided) and last but not least, most stories I have seen are very far from being original, even if they came from a team of concept artists :frowning:
I was curious about the way of coming up with something new, if there are some footsteps to follow, a pipeline like we model props or build a program.
To Panicintrinsica: that’s what I thought, there are so many games that a truely original concept that has nothing to do with any genres is highly unlikely to come by :frowning: I might just toss around ideas and modify them.
This kind of stuff comes easy when I model or program, but I’m not a great hit when it comes to the concept just yet :smiley:

Start by making a simple game ASAP, so that you can learn to shape stories / concepts around game mechanics.
Watch lots of interviews with designers like Jonathan Blow, to learn how to weave game mechanics into story.
For originality take a short film / scripting course like a night course at a community college etc to push yourself…

Films vs. Video Games:
Taking scenes from films and putting them into video games doesn’t automatically generate gameplay mechanics.
Video game cut-scenes rarely have the same power compared to movies (‘emotioneering’ video games is tricky).

Instead, you usually have to cut the story down to bare bones simple concepts / game mechanics.
For instance, look at the simplicity of a game like Shadow of the Colossus… Or a game like Journey

Writers could create endless screenplays and books of stories underlying both of these games.
But it’d all get thrown out. Listen to the game reviewer struggle to pinpoint what ‘Journey’ is.
In the end they come up with five generic words : Emotion, puzzle, music, art, exploration etc…

There are no original stories left. Anyone that has read any French or Spanish novels from the Middle Ages can tell you that.

All stories boil down to prince, princess, evil vazir, save the world, for a given definition of prince, princess, evil vazi, and save the world.

The best that you can achieve is a unique voice, if you work at it.

I would suggest that you create an interesting character (not impossible for anyone) and proceed from there.

It’s not about the plot. It’s about HOW you tell that plot.

Come of think of it, there was actually a book I read that was more or less on this subject some years back called Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering by David E. Freeman. It’s apparently out of print now, but there are some really cheap used copies on amazon. As with everything, your mileage may vary on it’s usefulness, and some of it’s references are definitely “dated” to a degree, but the basic premises should be the same. He includes some “rules” and “systems” for writing interesting characters and structuring plots specifically for games, as well as writing dialogue and the like. It’s not the same thing as a “pipeline” like you’ll see for other assets, but it does provide some guidance from a semi-academic standpoint.

There was also the Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell](, which IS still in print, though it’s not cheap. It’s vastly more general purpose, but some of it applies to story design as well, though quite a bit less then the first book.

There was a third I kind of read as well about interactive storytelling, but I cant remember it’s name off the top of my head, just that I had some fairly fundamental philosophical differences with it’s author on the subject to the point I’d just toss it down in mild annoyance every time I tried to read it.

Awesme tips, lads/lasses. So it is not about WHAT but HOW, I believe? Of course I always can get ideas from the real life anyway and mod them to my liking :smiley:
Those books, I definitely check them out. That was exactly my question: some golden rules that have been proven. I play a bunch of classical instruments and when one composes a classical music piece there are some unwritten rules to follow so it’ll sound better both for the obligato and the cantus (hope I used them english terms right) and of course a decent melody is helpful, I was looking for the same in story telling and hopefully you all’s advices and those books will be of great use.
Again thank you all for your time and effort.

Think of a game as a variable. A variable is basically a part of a story. The story is what tells you on what that variable is, does, or can do. You are the creator of the horizontal and that variable could be the trigger to turn on or off the screen. Don’t think so hard for a story. Learn what you can do with your pieces and play with them! :smiley: The story will come if you let it. I mean look at that game toast, or surgeon simulator. Or even army men. All games that had fun things in it, and they had fun things to do with it. Its not always about story, its about functionality is the short part of it.