Stanford Game Design: Game Brainstorms

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Ender's Game

Quake-style first-person shooter. The main objective of the game is to capture nodes for points in a time limit or eliminate all opposing players. Players are equipped with a railgun and a grappling hook as well as a limited rechargeable jetpack. Gameplay proceeds within a set time limit where teams try to employ tactics to capture stars as well as eliminate opponents. Multiple camera modes for flexibility.

  • Grappling hooks
  • Zero gravity
  • Crawling on a node
  • Domination / frag-style
  • Jet packs
  • Movement via teammates (?)
  • Multiple camera modes
  • Ladders on nodes / stars
  • Control nodes
  • Lag time for railguns and grappling hooks

3D Platform Jumper

3D platform game where the player begins with a certain number of creature capture pods and a ninja rope. The objective of the game is for the player to Capture the Creature, some NPC that randomly runs around the 3D world avoiding capture. In order to achieve the goal, the player must use the ninja rope to swing across platforms as well as creature capture pods to collect useful creatures. By using a combination of movement strategy and special benefits from creatures the player (or team) will be able to Capture the Creature.

  • Ninja rope (model as rigid rod)
  • Bag of creatures
  • Networked through different computers
  • Capture-The-Creature mode (CTF)
  • Flying Buzz-saw creature, lava creature, sneeze (propel) creature
  • Spend 1/3rd of time on ground
  • Mouse aiming for rope
  • Exploration + creature collection for use strategically later

First Castle Shooter

Player begins in the Build Phase whereby a certain amount of time is allocated for the user to create a castle. Random amounts of materials may be allocated to switch up the build gameplay and prevent build orders. After the Build Phase, we enter Shooter Phase where the user controls a castle on a mystical animal (turtle, elephant, ...) and attacks other Castles by clicking with the mouse. Weapon groups and abilities are determined through a RTS build strategy of various character classes (archers, engineers, zeppelin, berserker). Shooter Phase concludes with either destruction of the opponent's crystal or through boarding.

  • Mechwarrior-style firing with weapon groups and hit locations
  • Cannons, trebuchets, archers
  • Boarding / utter destruction as end-game (ziplines?)
  • 3D Movement of turtle-castle
  • Paratroopers / zeppelins / hot air balloons
  • Crystal heart / engine
  • Da Vinci war machine style art
  • RTS-style building of troops
  • Troop management (sliders?)
  • Engineers build random objects
  • Custom user-designed castle
  • Build phase -> Attack phase (random materials?)
  • Kiting problem


Multiple players compete on the same screen to find the exit to a maze or collect coins in a time limit. Players are able to choose various character types that have special abilities detailed below. The main objective for players is to manipulate and memorize the labyrinth to assault other players or find the exit. NPC creatures and other events can be added for variety.

  • Random generated levels
  • Top-down perspective, fog of war on the joints
  • All players play on the same screen
  • Objective is to gather a certain number of coins or reach an exit in the labyrinth
  • NPC creatures in maze for added challenge

Character Types

  • Breaker (control Maze walls)
  • Teleporter (drop beacons to teleport yourself or other players around the maze)
  • Illusionist (create fake walls or illusionary joints, vibration)
  • Trapper (drop traps)
  • Stealth Assassin (attacks other players for coins)

Caveman Game

  • 4-player
  • Cavemen
  • Beasts to hunt
  • Comical art style, bright colors


  • Basics
  • Movement
  • Action
  • Grab
  • Fun stuff:
  • Thumbsticks for waving hands (think emote)
  • Noise buttons (roar, bird call, fart)


  • Scatter and search under rocks!

Modes of play

  • Throw spears (run after spear, pick up spear, ...)
  • Hide in trees!
  • Jump down onto animals (or caveman's) back!
  • Set rock traps!
  • Hide behind rocks!


  • Basics
  • - Spear
  • - Boulder
  • - Rock
  • Extra fun:
  • - Cromagnum!


  • - Mammoth
  • - Sabretooth tiger
  • - Ibixes

Humming Bird

  • - Similar to Starfox
  • - With more weapons
  • - and a jousting mechanic when you get close
  • - third person point of view
  • - natural background, rocks/roots and such
  • - fancy graphical effects like lense flare/motion blur/raindrops
  • - mainly multiplayer through networking/split screen

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