I'm sure that game devs know plenty about this topic. Prototyping... Testing out your new baby of a game idea before you plunge into the mud with both feet. Before you can really get into the core designing phases of game development, you have start somewhere, and in most cases, you have to start small. Ideas and inspiration for a new video game concept can come from anywhere as I have mentioned in a past blog entry, but what motivates someone to develop the ideas and the inspiration? Usually it's any combination of what I will list below...
- Having a Genuine Interest In a Hobby (Sports, Games, Activities, etc.)
- Being a Fan of Certain Media (TV shows, Movies, Books, Sports, Games, etc.)
- "You just want to think outside the box"
- Past Gaming Experiences
Just testing out an idea of yours can make a whole world of difference. You won't exactly know what you have until you test it out. 9 times out of 10 you will need to make revisions to your idea, so be prepared to make revisions. Sometimes in the past I have had interesting ideas that were executed in the most lousiest ways. In these cases, I had game ideas that had promise but there was always something missing in these ideas. Once I realized that there were many flaws in my initial ideas, I got "brain freeze" and just dumped these ideas altogether. That's what I often did years ago.
That would be another subject of interest. Just because you have an idea that you know has plenty of holes in it doesn't mean that you should give up working on your idea. It takes time to cement your game idea and make it into something that's really cool, understandable and playable. I've had to make countless revisions to some of my custom projects, some of which were painful to do away with, but I had to make these key revisions to keep the flow of my custom game scripts and ideas flowing.
As many people say, you have to start somewhere. You have to test out your prototype version of your game idea and you have to make any necessary adjustments to it. Above everything else, though, is that this prototyping process should be fun. You should get a big kick out of all the good --and possibly hilariously bad-- events that occur while prototyping. It will all be worth it in the end.