Idea Generation for Potential Games

At this point, I took Adam’s literal saying of creating 50 game ideas and tried to get as close to this number as possible. To do this, I have a few techniques I’m borrowing from Andy last year.

At the end of this process, I hope to have 3 ideas for some sort of game that could be developed and form my FMP.


To begin with, I created a mind map of randomly selected environments, objects, skills, mechanics and hazards (15 each). I sourced the mechanics, hazards and environments from a book that Andy photocopied some pages of. Once this was complete, starting from one word, I then rolled a virtual 12 sided die/dodecahedron to help make my way around the mind map continuously and match up 1 of each element to a number between 1 and 15 (this was done in ascending order). The video below will help make this clear:




These are the results of the mind map session, along with some alternative ideas:



Ideas Noted on phone – similar idea of compiling a list of elements and then randomly pairing them:

  1. Maze, Ladders and Crawling
  2. A room, Pillows, Jumping
  3. Car Park, Train and Digging
  4. Supermarket, Car and Crafting
  5. Car, Fork and Slow Time
  6. House, Wooden Bat and Super Speed
  7. Clothes Store, Headphones and Telekinesis
  8. Basement, String and Night Vision





Interesting game I came across:

 There is no game- screenshot thumbnail


Longer, adapted version of Game Jam version above:





At some I came across these 3 videos by PsychedSubstance, in all of which Adam is talking about the duality across nature. Real and imaginary, light and dark, good and evil, sane and insane – an idea that formed my GDD for Year 2, Semester 1 of my Games Design & Art university career.


Life as a Game

  • If you are told you are playing a game when you didn’t realise, would you continue to play?
  • Life is a game, but you don’t know you’re playing, you CAN’T know
  • Full belief in what you perceive (Plato’s allegory of the Cave)
  • Real life and no life… Can only exist together
  • Real life and imagination
  • Objective (shared) and subjective (personal) reality
  • Real defines not real, need something to compare to – down and up, left and right, north and south
  • No imagination = No real
  • Nothing creates something
  • We die in the real world (objective) but imaginary still continues (subjective)
  • Is the mind a separate thing to your physical reality? Does it need the physical reality to exist?
  • Is the mind independent to the body?
  • If you have nothing, you also have something, nothing is something because you have to understand what something is in order to have ‘nothing’ – cancels each other out (Quantum Theory link to particles constantly ‘popping in and out’ of existence) – big bang? Constant cycle of life and death? On and Off – like a computer, oscillations, waves, entanglement.
  • If you could ‘step out’, you would
  • The illusion of progress, driven by fear of not fulfilling life, wasting time


Does True EVIL exist?

  • High and low energy actions – killing = low, helping = high
  • Having lows to reach highs
  • Need bad to have good
  • Good and Bad is made up, subjective
  • Can’t please everyone, only majority – ‘most’
  • Everyone wants to be happy, what is happy?
  • How do you know what happiness is without sadness?
  • Everyone innately is good, but we live in a low energy environment (i kind of agree with this but I could also argue that innately we are also bad – ego, natural negativity, negative wants and desires, watching bad things occur, jealousy, lust, etc. – could also be said that the environment makes us this way, constant competition for false wants…)


These ideas combined with the game ‘There is no game’ makes me want to play around with the idea of giving the user pointless tasks to complete, highlighting them as important, only to stop them from completing the task or make life difficult for them. Maybe they’re trying to ‘escape’ – because they’ve ‘woken up’…

Narration would be fun to do so that the user could be guided through the experience, building trust then destroying it… Making the user an enemy of the experience… Is this becoming a bad trip/psychedelic experience – only if the user can’t escape in the end. So maybe I could allow the user to have a ‘good’ ending (having the bad to appreciate the good). The user could also help the narrator – maybe the narrator is the user’s subconscious…? Instead of narration with the pronoun ‘you’, use ‘we’ i.e. “Hey, WE should push this.” – establishing a relationship. Could also be ambiguous with this by making statements such as “I’ve been wondering what would happen if we ever separated” – should hopefully make the user conclude the narrator ‘is a part of them’.

Great example of a game that messes around/subverts the player’s expectations:




Last I went to a Grad show in London and came across ‘Mr Madila’ – an amazing animation that explores similar concepts to those I’ve mentioned above. I remember watching this in awe at the brilliant way it was conceived and presented with comedic elements to it – similar to ‘There is no game’ in that sense. Putting the user in a conversational type of experience seems to be quite engaging, and can allow the creator the freedom of leading and manipulating the user how ever they desire. I remember being sucked into the animation because it was funny, visually exciting and thought provoking. I need to take these elements and think about how I could apply them to my project.



Although I’ve had some interesting thoughts and ideas so far, nothing is really sticking/feels concrete so I’m planning to take a visit to the V&A and check out the Revolution exhibit (10000%) and any other relatable exhibit, although I feel the Revolution exhibit is going to influence me massively so other maybe unnecessary…

I also visited the John Hansard Gallery to see the British Art Show 8 exhibition (down at Highfield campus). Although I didn’t gain any real inspiration from this visit in term of the substance of my project (especially since the revolution exhibit did that for me already), I gained many ideas on how I could display and present my work:

dsc_0608 dsc_0615 dsc_0588 dsc_0589 dsc_0586 dsc_0590



This exhibit in particular really stood out for me, not only because of the fact that it consumes most of the room, due to the fact that there were multiple ways of viewing one thing – multiple perspectives, an idea prevalent in anything Psychedelic related. I took some pictures of the equipment used in case I need them for my own project/experiments:


dsc_0594 dsc_0596 dsc_0601 dsc_0603 dsc_0605


Main Idea at moment (notes from phone):

Been talking to people that have had experiences and they’ve mention designer trips – make your own trip:

The Imaginary World for Adults – Trip Appointment, going to a chemist to get your prescribed trip, set up the trip and then enjoy 👌 Ether One feel/vibe/storytype:


Another idea stuck in my head from personal experience:

In a maze at a festival (or anywhere) and need to make your way out in time in order to not miss the next act (could be for a different reason – whatever is appropriate to the story being told…)

Going to be an environment that I set up, which has augmentations within

E.g. Beach – sand, wave crashing sounds



A talk with Seth really opened my eyes to specific things (I’ve found all of his talks and workshops extremely useful) about how to design things for play, interactivity, fun factor, multiplayer design, being aware of how the user may use what you create in an unexpected way and the ways your product needs to be ready (as much as possible) to handle/combat that:

dsc_0624 dsc_0625

  • “Man only plays when he is in the fullest sense of the word a human being, and he is only fully a human being when he plays”

“To start with the first element, media use may initially look like harmless, disinterested fun. Think of all the creative adaptations of Star Wars (Lucas 1977) on YouTube. It can also, however, become involved in political ends. Think of the Turkish court blocking access to YouTube because it allegedly hosted videos that attacked Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey; the element of make believe refers to the dual nature of media. Like play, our media culture consists of accepting the “as-if-ness of the world” (Silverstone 1999, 59). According to the philosopher Gianni Vattimo, it is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine a single reality, due to the current proliferation of digital media. He therefore reasons that if media cause us to lose our “sense of reality”, this is a liberation rather than a great loss (Vattimo 1992, 8). In line with this, he argues that media realities are just versions of how the world works, subject to the “game of interpretations” (Vattimo 1998, 19). The impact of this debate – is it possible that media show us an objective reality, or do they merely offer versions of this reality – can be witnessed when considering the current reorganisation of news shows within the Dutch public broadcasting system: some shows are assigned the role of broadcasting news from a specific angle or perspective, whereas others such as Nieuwsuur should maintain strict objectivity.” (pp. 104 – 105)

21 For a detailed analysis of the playfulness of digital media, see Cermak-Sassenrath (2010) and the book resulting from the Playful Identities project: Frissen et al. (forthcoming). Also see note 19. 

Click to access rethinking-gamification-raessens-the-ludification-of-culture.pdf




Final Game Ideas:

  • AR with Muse headband/equivalent
  • AR with Heartbeat and Temp sensor
  • AR with all 3 for high immersion

Arduinos x3, EEG headband + Sensors (could use other sensors… depends on what I come up with later on down the line…)

Equipment and Costs:

  • Thermistors – £10 ish for 10pcs
  • Resistors – £5 to £10
  • Arduino Unos – £8/£18 (Brand Price is more expensive)
  • Breadboards – £6
  • Op amps – £2 to £5 (depends on what type)
  • Transistors – £6 for a multipack
  • IR LED Emitter/Detector – £8 to £12/£4
  • Capacitors – up to £17 (depends on the amount)
  • Wire – £5
  • Cable clip – (cost depends on amount bought, better to source singularly)
  • Drill/bits – £35 for dremel tool

Could just get one of these – both contain all the bits and pieces I need:




Eventually it was soon presentation time (after formative feedback) so I decided to combine a lot of different things I had created and researched into a video:



  • Talk with Jaygo
  • I had a chat with a friend and she told me to consider/think more about the following (Research Points): Psychedelics – Is there one in particular I’m drawn to?, Portability (can they play it on their phones, position of player, are they at home), How does the game affect the player?, Everyday game? One time game?, Difficulty?, Target audience and What is it about Psychedelics? Narrow down the idea
  • Something I forgot to include into the video are the sites that Jaygo showed me, interactive design, parameters, changing parameters live to change your experience, Javascript, shapes increasing frequency and speed and size
  • To create an ‘experience’ that provides non drug users with an experience that resembles a drug like state of consciousness – need a new message defining what I’m trying to do and why
  • Will there be a way to potentially include the use of the holo-viewer at some point? Was all that research and invested time all for nothing?
  • Psychedelic experiences are quite personal so how do I make this experience personal to/for the user?


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