说实在的，每一款三消游戏都是相同的。即《宝石迷阵闪电战》，《Candy Crush》，《果冻爆破》和《冰雪奇缘》都是相同的游戏。同样还有所有700多款第一人称射击游戏。从概念上来看，这是Raoh Koster于2013年在他的《Every genre is only one game》中提出的论点。他指出，从系统角度来看我们很难去创造出一款全新的游戏。原因很明显：创造一款真正新颖的游戏是一个巨大的创造性挑战，而创造一个具有商业利益的全新游戏玩法更是难上加难。所以比起科学，创造出全新游戏概念并将其制造出来更像是一门神秘的艺术。
Pixar President和Founder Ed Catmull在《Creativity Inc》中分享了团队成员Pete Docter将创造性过程比作“穿越一条很长的隧道，不知道多久才能走出去，但却相信自己终能走到尽头。”这种关于创造性努力的描述同样也适用于游戏中。是否存在任何方式让我们能够解释清楚开发全新游戏的过程？我们怎么才能知道该进入哪个隧道？如果我们着眼于一些做出了某些新尝试的游戏（即关于系统方面），我们便可以从中获取经验教训去帮助我们面对这一复杂的挑战。以下的四个问题能够提供给你创造全新游戏或者至少是一些主要变量的框架。
我们总是会从自己喜欢的游戏中寻找灵感，但如果我们能够将视线转向其它感兴趣的领域，我们也许便能够发现那些未被开发的游戏机制。我们已经见证了一些成功游戏是从艺术中获取灵感的，如《纪念碑谷》和即将发行的《Manifold Garden》的灵感来源便是MC Escher（游戏邦注：荷兰科学思维版画大师，20世纪画坛中独树一帜的艺术家）的作品。另一方面，学术也是一个鲜少被探索的区域。这里充满许多人们能够尝试去创造的复杂系统。不管何时当作为游戏设计师的你拥有一些复杂的系统，你便能够从中创造出全新且有趣的游戏玩法。为了创新，我们必须跳到核心游戏原则外部去。
有许多特殊的游戏便通过采取这前两个步骤而获得了巨大成功。《模拟城市》始终都是一款最畅销的计算机游戏，它将玩家带进了一个城市规划系统中。Will Wright激发了人们对于城市规划的喜爱并且他通过将Jay Wright Forrester的著作《Urban Dynamics》作为开发模拟游戏的基础而进一步研究了这一主题的相关理论。《坎巴拉太空计划》是一款关于创造并驾驶火箭飞向太空的游戏。玩家将通过学习并发现规律而身处火箭科学系统中。作为玩家的你将想办法去组装火箭并基于每次发射的结果进行调整。Strangeloop Games的《Eco》是一款生存游戏，在游戏中玩家必须在不破坏游戏世界的前提下创造一个文明社会。这款游戏将把玩家带到一个全球生态学系统中。其alpha版本已经放出，开发者也通过Steam的greenlight和Kickstarter发现有许多粉丝期盼着游戏的问世。
当你想出一种基于主题的方法时，答案将始终是yes了。我们都知道自己身处一个拥挤的空间中，在这里所有人都追随着同样的用户，游戏很难突显于此。除此之外这种方法也能帮我们获得一些超级粉丝。对于我们来说，我们能够为《Sleep Furiously》吸引来自社会语言社区的关注。实际上我们的游戏还存在一个角度能够探索乔姆斯基语言学，并且在获取来自传统游戏媒体的关注前，“Colorless green ideas sleep furiously（游戏邦注：乔姆斯基的名句）”便已经为我们吸引了一些媒体的关注并获得了一定的下载量。让我们着眼于另一个例子，即《坎巴拉太空计划》能够吸引那些对太空和科学感兴趣的人的注意。这款游戏还拥有一个教育版本能够用于学校的教程中，这也将进一步扩展游戏市场。
Shedding Light in the Dark Tunnel of Game Innovation
by Jen Helms
Every match-3 game is really all the same game. Bejeweled, Candy Crush, Jelly Splash, and Frozen Free Fall…all the same game. Likewise all of the 700+ (according to Wikipedia) first person shooters. Conceptually, this is the argument put forward by Raph Koster in early 2013 in his piece “Every genre is only one game”. He makes the point that it is incredibly rare for new games, from a systems perspective, to be invented. The reasons are clear: To develop truly novel games is a significant creative challenge and creating commercially successful new gameplay even more so. Coming up with new game concepts and bringing those to life is often equated more to a mysterious art than a science.
Pixar President and Founder Ed Catmull shares in his book Creativity Inc how a member of his team, Pete Docter, compared the creative process to “running through a long tunnel having no idea how long it will last but trusting that he will eventually come out, intact at the other end.” A fitting description of the creative struggle that also exists in games. Is there any way we can shed a little light on the process of developing new games? How can we know what tunnel to run through to begin with? If we look to games that have done something new, at the system level, we can draw lessons that help us approach this difficult challenge. Following is a rubric of four questions that can provide a framework for creating new games, or at least major variants, that also have a good shot at making it through the creative process and finding an audience.
1. What subject area am I inspired by and have or can gain expertise in?
Often where we go to seek inspiration is from the games we love but if instead we look to other areas we are passionate about, we can find new worlds of untapped game mechanics. We have seen some successful games find inspiration from the arts such as from the works of MC Escher which inspired Monument Valley and the soon to be released Manifold Garden. Academia, on the other hand, is an area that has been minimally explored. Academia is full of complex systems that people are trying to formally model. Whenever you have complex systems, there is potential as game designers to figure out new and interesting gameplay. In order to innovate we have to be able to connect dots from outside of our core discipline of games.
“… in order for us to truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these pieces and build new castles.” – Maria Popova
2. Once you have a focus, what system is there to explore? How can the player inhabit that system? How can it be represented and interacted with?
This is also a key question in the framework I present in Bridging the Gap Between Game Design and Educational Games. There are great examples of unique games that found great success with taking these first two steps. Sim City, one of the best selling computer games of all time, is about injecting players into the system of urban planning. Will Wright developed a deep love for urban planning and extensively studied the theories surrounding the subject citing Jay Wright Forrester’s book Urban Dynamics as foundational for developing the simulation. Kerbal Space Program is a game about building and flying rockets into space. Players are playing inside the system of rocket science through a learning and discovery pattern. As a player you put the pieces of a rocket together and adjust your build based on the results from each launch. Strangeloop Games’ Eco is a survival game that takes players into a world in which they have to build a civilization without destroying the world. The game is injecting players into the system of global ecology. The alpha is out and they found a large base of awaiting fans through Steam greenlight and Kickstarter.
3. Does the system lend itself to gameplay that synthesizes what I already know people love?
We might be able to connect dots that give us unique ideas but how can we help ensure that the unique idea we pursue will be highly engaging for players? This question also helps shed a bit of light while in the darkness of the tunnel. Minecraft is one of the most commercially successful games of all time with more than 70 million copies sold. Minecraft took something people love to play with, building blocks, and combined it with the infinite possibility of a procedurally generated world. We could point to Sim City as a game people love for similar reasons. With our game Sleep Furiously we saw fridge magnet sentences as something people are drawn to play around with. If someone is standing near a fridge with word magnets, they will start making silly sentences. We combined that concept with the concept of the well-loved word game.
4. Will this game appeal to a unique audience or can it be extended to create new markets?
When you are coming from a subject based approach, the answer is almost always going to be yes. As we all know, we are in an incredibly crowded space and going after the same audience everyone else is makes it difficult for a game to break through the noise. In addition, this approach can help us find the super fans that Amy Jo Kim has written about. For us, we were able to generate our initial attention for Sleep Furiously from the linguistics community, a community underserved in gaming. The fact that our game had the angle of exploring Chomskyan linguistics and the famous “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously” got us our initial press and downloads before it picked up interest from more traditional gaming press. Looking at another example, Kerbal Space Program is able to reach an extended audience of space and science enthusiasts. The game also has an edu version that is being used extensively in schools, greatly expanding its market.
It is exciting to me how much there is to still explore in game development. There is a huge amount of possibility and I hope this framework can be helpful in setting in motion the development of new gameplay. What’s more, for all of us there is probably an unusual hobby that we already have some expertise in outside of games. A game can be a world where that hobby is seen the way we see it – as something joyful, unique and worth exploring.（source：Gamasutra）