Where to Get Ideas for Your Advergame

March 22, 2013

Filed under: Branded Games — Simon Walklate

When trying to come up with ideas for a new advergame, it’s always useful to look at other games for inspiration. I’m not suggesting you straight copy another game, that’s never a good idea. But taking inspiration from elements of other games is good. But where to look?

Best to Ignore the Casual Game Market

It’s easy to go for the obvious option and start looking at Flash casual games online to get ideas for your Flash advergame. The problem with this is there is very little innovative design in the casual game market. All you’re likely to see is endless rehashes of whatever happens to be flavour of the month. Currently with Flash games, that appears to be distance games. Trends come and go and you can guarantee whatever is even remotely successful will spawn hundreds of clones (of varying quality). This brings us to the other problem, quality is very hit and miss. Do you really want to go trawling through hundreds of low quality games to get some ideas?

Look at Gaming History

The best thing I can suggest when looking for ideas for your advergame is forget Flash and casual games. Look at gaming systems and games of the past.

Maybe it’s a misspent youth playing the coin-op arcade games of the late 80’s and early 90’s, along with old home games consoles such as Sega Megadrive, SNES and home computers such as the Commodore Amiga. But these are great sources of inspiration.

Because you’re looking at cutting edge games from a bygone era you’ll see some great, relatively simple games that focus on gameplay over fancy graphics. These games didn’t have fancy 3D graphics, but made the most of what they had. Plus there’s definitely a certain charm to these retro games that tends to be missing from a lot of modern games, even casual games.

Most of these gaming systems are pretty hard to come by these days, unless you trawl through eBay listings, in which case you might find a bargain. But there are plenty of retro gaming sites where you can check out info and there’s always YouTube for gameplay videos.

Alternatively Speak to an Expert

The obvious alternative is to use a developer with a vast knowledge of games and gaming for your advergame project. That way you don’t have to go trawling the web to look at all these games. Any good developer should be passionate about games and have a broad enough knowledge of games to draw on to give you plenty of ideas without you having to do the legwork.

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