I've been making board games for quite a while now. I've made, to a stage of playability, three games. But I've had many more ideas for ones than that, maybe about ten times as many ideas for games. Some I've tried, and they haven't worked out, some are just waiting for elaboration.
Honestly, coming up with ideas for games is not the hard part about making games. The hard part is the design, the execution, the rules, the drawing, and so on.
If coming up with ideas seem hard, it is most often because one tries to stick with just one, and it feels a little dangerous to come up with more. But here's the thing; ideas combine and multiply! And to prove this; here are fifty game ideas I've just made up, created in preparation for the upcoming game making game Dreams, by media molecule. You are all welcome to copy and make these games, without asking me for permission, or being inspired to make something similar? Why? Because I can easily make 50 more.
Gameplay is in cursive script. Some games are conceived as VR experiences, and are marked VR.
Vignettes and Single Player
1. A man is shot into space for a 1 year mission. Immediately when he is on the way up, earth is hit with a huge meteor, turning it into a huge ball of lava. Gameplay: You take up a piece a paper, and have to compose a poem as an elegy for the world, using stock phrases you get to choose from.
2. You are a camper sleeping in a tent. You are woken up by a forest fire, and need to escape to a river. You are running, and jumping over/ under logs on fire. On the way you see a deer. Then you reach the river and dive in. You are dragged under, and wake up on the bank. You need to drag yourself up onto the shore. Your leg is horribly mangled and broken, but the deer comes, shows himself to be a god, and mends your wound.
3. You are on the inside of a plain crash. You must put on the mask and life west with smoke in your eyes, screaming kids, crying parents and lack of air. VR
4. You play a lady living with her husband on the outskirts of a small fishing village in Iceland. There is a horrible winter storm, and the lights go out. Your husband asks you to go into the cellar to get the candles. When you open the door, you see that the cellar is flooded with freezing water. Just then your husband pushes you in. He laughs in your face, and says that this is finally the accident that will free him of you, and closes the door. Your task now is to escape. Through a puzzly combination, you manage to open the cellar window. You are now in a winter storm, and understand that you won't make it to the next house without freezing to death. Your only option is to sneak in and kill your husband, or it's back in the cellar again. You must now sneak into the house, get a kitchen knife, and slit his throat while he is watching tv.
5. You play a man that shoots a house robber in the middle of the night. He starts screaming in agony, and begging you to help him. You must call 911, and provide emergency services until the ambulance arrives.
6. You play a woman having a psychotic break. The room is disintegrating around her. She sees her angst nemesis in the mirror, and when it shatters she is in it's world. She must defeat it with the sword of hope.
7. You play a mouse sneaking home in the night while being hunted by an owl. You need to sneak in the shadows and avoid noise objects. Or else the owl is coming for you!
8. You are a bird learning to fly. You must flap your wings in unison to gain lift, and angle them well to fly.
9. You are an undertaker preparing a body for burial. The disco music is blaring, and your only way to move is dance moves. Points for style.
10. You are in a cafe scene with many guests. By possessing everyone you can hear what they are thinking.
11. A spelling bee competition where you must face the pride or disappointment of your parents afterwards.
12. You play as Archimedes as he get's his eureka idea, while in the bath. Unfortunately he is old an senile, and need to run home as fast as he can before he forgets it. He is only wearing a barrel.
13. A small video from the epic of Gilgamesh, when Enkidu is dead, and Gilgamesh discovers a worm that drops out of his nose, and is stricken with fear of death. VR
14. A cooperative recreation of the whole of "The Phantom of the Opera."
15. A race to the bottom. You are a cloud. To proceed you possess the elefant on the ground. Then you must find and possess a mouse. Then you must find and possess a louse, then a bacterium, then a virus, then a molecule and an atom. VR.
16. You play a murder robot the size of a gnat. You are crawling inside your victims nose, through his sinuses and towards his brain through where the nerves from the eye are entering the skul. As you crawl, you get to listen to his last conversations with his secretary, planning on cheating on his wife. "My god, If she finds out, she'll kill me - haha!" When you reach his frontal lobe, you self detonate. VR
17. You investigate a murder mystery on a fishing boat just come in. You must search, interrogate and do paper work.
18. You must avoid the lazer beams to get the treasure. You only have five poses to creep under, sideways and so on. so it's a bit like tetris where you are the piece.
19. You play as the weather over a farm. Your mind is really slow, so you are always lagging behind; but you must, to the best of your ability, change your weather to help the crop grow below. VR
20. You play as the Pied Piper through the story.
21. You play a bowman on the stage during a piano recital. You job is to shoot anyone who coughs, farts or snivels. VR
22. You are driving through a sweedish forest trying not to fall asleep. You weak up as you crash into a moose. You must now crawl out of the car, and over to the moose, and the two of you share your dying breaths. VR.
23. You play as a ghost in your own funeral. You'r task is to tickle the congregation happy, and fill them with good memories.
24. For context; at one point of his life Sartre had taken some acid, and for a time was chased around by crabs. Game; You play as Sartre in Paris, trying to order a coffee while kicking away the crabs with your feet. If they get to close, they pinch you, and Sartre howls OOO, like a wolf. The waitress thinks you are making a rude advance and blows you off. Three tries or you lose!
25. You crawl out of the grave as a skeleton. The devil is here, and he says that if you only do as he says, you will get your life back. You are working in and around a church. As you complete small menial tasks, your body gets replenished. Muscles, kidneys and other body parts come back to you from the beyond. At last you are in the church by the altar, and a priest steps in to pray. He does not see you. Finally, the devil asks you to drop the chandelier, or something like this, to kill the priest. You must then choose to kill, or choose to live.
26. You are a giant towering over the trees in a forest. Trying to pick up animals to eat. VR.
27. You are in a prison cell. What do you write on the wall for the next prisoner to see? VR.
28. You are walking home in London in 1430. You are robbed and fatally stabbed. You drag yourself to a tavern, where you are surrounded by guests. They ask you who did it, and you must choose between a few dialogue options that describe the person that robbed you. Succeed, and you get to see him hang. Don't, and it's a lonely grave.
29. You are a chicken, hatching out of the egg. VR
30. You are sailing a raft in an archipelago, discovering different islands.
31. You are an eagle gliding on updrafts in the alps, trying to spot carrion, or a rabbit. Stamina meeter for good flying, food refills it.
32. A sequence based on the Adventure Time episode "Food Chain".
33. A "Creature Comforts" kind of illustrated conversation.
34. Bat and Moth. One person plays the bat trying to catch the moth. The other person plays the moth trying to escape. A timer is ticking up, and will stop when the moth is eaten. Then the player changes roles, and the one that get's the higher time as a moth wins!
35. A sausage eating competition, complete with chew button mashing and choke meeter. VR
36. You play chess against death. 2 player. When one wins, put the king of the opponent in the box. The player who's king stands on the board get's the power to banish death, or to reap a soul, depending on a side. Death has the black pieces. VR
37. You are playing as a bull in Pamplona, trying to stomp attendants.
38. You sit in the living room with a water gun and a smartphone, together with your whole family. The object of the game is to look as much as possible at the smartphone before it is water damaged. Points based scoring. VR
39. Early-bird: You each play a bird, staring in a nest with chicks. Who can catch worms the fastest in the field to feed the young?
40. Four player game. You are all playing white blood cells in the bloodstream, eating bacteria. 10 points each!
41. Multiplayer rolle playing. You are playing through a Shakespeare scene with your buddies. You don't get to see the dialogue, only the emotions angry, happy, disappointed and surprised. You must select the appropriate response, based on the dialogue coming before you. Points for the best choices!
42. Shark- Rafting: Sit inside a shark-canoe. Race down the stream, and eat your friends!
43. Dart trowing. You are standing opposite your opponent. Each of you is wearing a target t-shirt, and you have a hundred health points. You must frantically throw darts on the other persons target t-shirt to reduce his health to zero, before he does the same to you.
44. Asteroid racing. You play one of four astronauts jumping from astroid to astroid. You are a multinational team on a space walk as WWIII breaks out. First one home gets to close the vacuum door.
45. A race to mow the lawn! You play against your neighbour.
46. Fly swatting competition. VR
47. Fruit is coming down the conveyor belt. You must stack it in a crate. First piece of fruit that falls to the ground looses you the game. You can play against up to four players.
48. Object hiding. You take turns hiding a golden mushroom in a forest, and then play competitively to find each other's thing first!
49. A points based version of tag.
50. Sheep herding. You either play as the dog, or the person. As a dog your sight is bad, so you need the calls of the person to call the shots of where to chase.
51. Toss-a-nuke. You play as one of two human colonies on Europa or Ganymede. You have a nuke and a missile defence system. The task is you catch the opponents nukes and throw them back. The player who misses dies. A bit like tennis.
52. You play as a prison guard in a guard tower with a search light swooping around in the night. The other players are trying to escape and hide from the search light. If they are seen they are shot. First one out gets three point, second one two, and last person one. Rolle switches four times until the final score is tallied.
53. Chicken race towards a canyon. VR.
54. Insect collection: Play a louse dodging the louse comb in someone's hair. Play a fly looking for ham, dodging the news paper swooshing around.
55. TinyTown Kids Games. There is a small toy house like town, with small streets, and tiny trees. You play a series of mini games in which you either; A. Drive a fire truck and put out fires. B. Run after a bank robber. C. Drive an ambulance to pick someone up.