Coming up with an idea for a flash game is tough work, but it’s even tougher to come up with an idea that hasn’t been done before.

So many games have been released, that it seems like everything has been done. But sometimes all it takes is a little tweaking on an old idea to create a new one.

Image of Spinning Tops

Problem: There are thousands of flash games out on the web and it’s tough to create a game that stands out from the rest.

Solution: Make your game unique.

Before I get into the meat of this post, I’d like to say I’m glad to be writing again. The last few months of summer were spent researching in the environmental science field. Flash was put aside as I immersed myself into something new. But I’ve been drawn back into the Flash community temporarily, and expect to pop up again from time to time. Without further introduction, let’s get into a few ways to put a new spin on an old genre.

1. Reverse Roles

If you’re looking for an easy way to make your game unique, try putting the player into a new, unconventional role.

In my game Whack A Mole: Revenge, I had gamers playing as the moles, trying to avoid the computer’s incoming hammers. It was a simple idea, but it made my game stand out. You could apply this concept to nearly any genre. In a tower defense game, have the player send waves of enemies instead of defending with towers. In an adventure game, have the player build a map that will stop the adventurer.

Here are some common role reversal ideas:

  • Side-kick/Hero
  • Player/Enemy
  • Good/Evil
  • Follower/Leader
  • Player/Level Builder

Those are just a few ideas to get you started. Be creative with it!

2. Mix Genres

As high school chemistry teaches us, a great way to make something new is to mix two different things together.

The same concept can be applied to your game development. Mix up the objectives of one genre with the gameplay elements of another. Or perhaps mix the time period of one genre with the time period of another.

3. Introduce a New Game Element

While our the first two suggestions can completely change the way a game is played, this third suggestion merely adds upon the genre. Think of it like the toppings on your ice cream. You don’t need them to enjoy the ice cream, but they can make it better.

A new gameplay element could be anything from a simple mini-game (a fighting mode in a football game, i.e. Blitz) to a complex chat system which allows you to control your squadmates in a shooting/strategy game.

4. When in Doubt, Add Features

If you went through all these tips and still can’t think of any new game ideas you’re excited about, don’t fret just yet. Perhaps there are some features you can add to make your game more unique than the rest.

For example, most pong games are too simple to have an upgrades store. Maybe you could add upgrades and achievements into your pong game to make it something new and interesting. Or maybe you want to make a shooting game. How about adding a custom gun creator, complete with design elements, shot type, damage and more?

Wrapping it up

There are many ways to take an old genre’s gameplay and turn it into a game that is new and interesting. It takes creativity though, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Get messy if you have to. Just don’t forget to get feedback before you start developing. Sometimes what’s awesome to you might be completely wacky to others.

When have you developed a game that was unique and different? Tell us about it in the comments.

Photo Credit: thephotographymuse

Related posts:

  1. Remaking an Old Concept
  2. 3 Ideas for your First Flash Game
  3. Getting Game Ideas