Reality is a Game

Game thinking from Adam Clare

A Game About Game Ideas

My most recent game is out and you can get it now for iOS and Android! Game Design Improv is all about generating and pitching game ideas!


You can play it as a fun party game or use it to generate game ideas for your own purposes (as in for games you’re making). Inspired partly by Oblique Strategies, the game will help you conquer and creative difficulties you may have! Ok, maybe not all of them – but some. At the very least it can be used to get you out of whatever the equivalent is of a writer’s block for a game designer.

Game Design Improv screen

It’s an evolution of my One Game a Month game of the same name which I made two years ago(!). Indeed you can see the previous version and the most recent version in the screenshots below. It’s obvious the impact good art direction can have, and for that I must thank Samet Choudhury.

Original version of the game idea game

Original version of the game idea game

Game Design Improv screen of game ideas

Game Design Improv

From Wero Creative.

Generate game ideas like never before!

Have fun competing with others to create the best (or just hilarious) game idea! You can also use it on your own for some fun last-minute game jam ideas.

Game Design Improv is a digitized game design exercise which I use to quickly produce ideas for games in all forms. It’s all about quickly creating game ideas based on limited information in a fun way.

Use it to come up with ideas for:
– Video Games
– Escape Games
– Board Games
– Puzzle Games
– Any other games!

The way to play it is to use what’s presented on the screen in a short ~1 minute game pitch. Keep it quick and it works as a fun, quick, useful activity.

This started at Board Game Jam and has evolved into this app you see in front of you now. You really should download it as there is nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Wero Creative wants you to make games! Do whatever you want with the ideas you generate from this app – no restrictions!

Game Design Improv screen of game ideas

Get it now on iOS and Android!

Know How To Pitch Your Game

For any entertainment property knowing how to pitch it is integral to getting funding, backers, and sales.

A few weeks back, Paradox did an hour long stream on how to pitch to them. If you’re thinking of pitching to Paradox then you really need to watch it – or any other studio for that matter. They go into brand building, familiarity with consumers, and they reveal that game studios propose non-strategy games (90% of all pitches get rejected!). Be sure to know what a publisher actually publishes before pitching them!

Paradox takes board games pitches on based on their intellectual property, and of course the best way to do that is to send them a copy of the game. For more on board game pitches check out the panel we did with Bamboozle Brothers at Board Game Jam.

Never just pitch an idea – show something that reveals it!

You have to be really short and concise with you pitch! Panelists on the Pitching Secrets Revealed session at GDC 2013 all agree that you should use the minimum amount of time you need to describe your game, then use any remaining time to go into more details. For example, if you have a 15 minute pitch session you should use the first 5 to deliver your pitch and the rest of the time to answer questions.

Pitch for a card game

Pitch for a card game

Similarly, at GDC Europe in 2014 Rami Ismail (from Vlambeer) gave a talk about how to sell and why it’s important to be able to do pitch well. Basically, if you don’t know how to talk about your game then you can’t sell it. And if you can’t pitch it then you can’t sell it. If you can keep the summary of your game in one sentence then that’s even better.

You can watch his talk on the GDC Vault, he starts talking about pitching at the 14 minute mark.

For creating a good pitch deck (AKA PowerPoint) see this early post about Bubble Gum Interactive’s template.

I’m Speaking About Escape Rooms at Transworld

Speaking at Transworld Escape Conference

Transworld Escape Conference

I’ll be speaking at the Transworld Room Escape Conference later this week! The event starts on Friday and runs through the weekend. If you’re not far from Chicago where it’s happening you should come and check it out!

The nation’s largest dedicated conference for the emerging room escape industry features interactive exhibits & vendors, on-site demos, networking opportunities and dozens of targeted educational seminars presented by escape game industry leaders from both the United States and Canada.

My talk is titled Designing Puzzles for Player Flow and this is what it’s about:

Are your players getting stuck and frustrated? Find out ways to rethink your puzzles as part of a greater system and how to retool them in case they aren’t working how you envisioned. Learn how video game design techniques can be applied to physical rooms, how to troubleshoot design issues, and a template to approach your puzzles in isolation through a holistic lens.

If you cannot make it to Chicago for the conference you can always get my book. With the popularity of escape games of all sorts growing it is likely a matter of time until a conference pops up in your area!

Say hello if you see me there.

Get the Update to my Book: Escape the Game

escape the game sale banner

My popular book on escape rooms, Escape the Game, has been updated and expanded! It’s more useful than before for making your own escape game experience.

The book has more information on how you can make your own escape room or similar game experience. I added an entire chapter about an example puzzle that you can use and modify in your escape room (but do so before everybody else does!). If you’ve already bought the book through Amazon then your edition will be automatically updated. All new purchases will obviously be the updated edition.

Included in the update:

  • Template for your puzzle design!
  • List of documents!
  • Better examples throughout the book!
  • And more!

You can buy the book on multiple sites thanks to Smashwords! I’ll announce when the new sites become available on my Twitter and update the list below.

And of course, you can still get the book on Amazon.

If you have any further questions I do consult on – and make – custom escape game puzzles!

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