The Art of Gamestorming: How to run a brainstorming session to develop a great gaming concept

This is the latest post in Ludo’s guide to great brainstorming. With Ludo, you can unleash your creativity and conceive brilliant new ideas using our innovative AI platform. With our new collaborative features, it’s never been easier to work with your team virtually to develop new game concepts. You’ve laid the groundwork for a brainstorm, and now it’s time to dive right in. First, this blog outlines a few tips on how to run a brilliant ‘gamestorming’ session!

Step 1: Facilitation is key

It is important to choose the right person to facilitate the session. This person will set the agenda, record ideas, ensure equal participation amongst all participants, and keep the session on track. The facilitator should be unbiased and have experience in leading brainstorming sessions in your chosen field – in this case, gamestorming!

A good brainstorming facilitator will also know effective methods of helping generate ideas. This can be anything from handing out post-it notes at the beginning of the session, to noting down as many ideas and concepts as possible on a whiteboard. When it comes to a good gamestorm, facilitation is key.

Step 2: Establish the question, and stick to it

In any brainstorming session, it is crucial to define the question you want to answer and then stick to that question. This may have been done beforehand, but can also be established during the session itself. This is particularly true when it comes to the art of gamestorming.

If the topic defined in capital letters on the whiteboard is ‘the next great RPG’, and you leave the room with over 100 puzzle game ideas, while some of them may be incredible, you haven’t resolved your outlined question. As with any brainstorming session – pick a problem and answer it. In the case of gamestorming, pick a genre, find a niche within it, and let your imagination run wild!

Step 3: Quantity first, quality will follow

In his 1953 book Applied Imagination, brainstorming impresario Alex Faickney established four golden rules to running a great brainstorming session. These are: focus on quantity; withhold criticism; welcome unusual ideas; and then combine and improve those ideas. Rules two, three and four mean nothing without that crucial number one. In a gamestorming session, quantity is key. At the beginning it is important to get as many ideas down as possible. A great idea is seldom conceived right away. Your final concept may end up a mixture of different ideas from multiple minds around the room. A high quantity of ideas is crucial to achieve your final great one.

Step 4: Convergent Thinking – Refining Your Ideas

The goal of any gamestorming session is to establish a concept that can be built upon in future meetings. There are two widely accepted thinking strategies when it comes to refining multiple ideas towards the end of a brainstorming session. Divergent thinking and convergent thinking. Both involve the bringing together of multiple ideas to solve a particular problem or answer a particular question. Both have their merits, but it is convergent thinking that is ideally suited to gamestorming. Using this strategy, participants rank their favourite ideas and bring them to the table to be discussed and combined into a final concept.

There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to how best to refine your ideas at the end of a brainstorming session. But when it comes to gamestorming, the more you can combine and refine ideas, the better!

Step 5: Next steps

It’s been an exciting few hours. Post-it notes and board markers litter the workspace around you. Finally you have a concept you can be proud of. But this is only half the story. It is important to establish what’s next for the project before finishing up.

When it comes to a game idea, these next steps can take the form of a multitude of questions. Is it a technically feasible concept, and how can we establish this? What might the costs of such a project be? Where can we position this in the marketplace? Whilst these may not seem like brainstorming considerations, they form a key part of whether your session has been successful. Answering these questions at the end of your gamestorming will make the next steps easier to navigate. Even better, it will give the concept you have created the momentum it deserves.

And there you have it – five steps to running a successful brainstorming session to create that next great game concept! Now you’re clued up on all things gamestorming, you can take advantage of Ludo’s new collaborative features which make it easy to develop exciting and innovative ideas with your team. See you soon!

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