As I continue to work in the video/analog industry, I've noted that there are a lot of ideas that are brilliant and there are a lot of ideas that are dumb (relatively speaking).
I say such a bold statement about ideas because ideas don't make a game. It's the implementation of that idea that makes the game. Let me give a few examples:
-Codenames is a party game that's got a lot of strategy and excels in its simplicity. The marketing behind this game was great and the demand is high. This is an example of a brilliant idea implemented brilliantly.
-CandyLand is arguably one of the most popular games of all time. While the gameplay is just...horrible, the sales of this game are just...astronomical. It's considered one of the classic board games up there with Monopoly and Checkers.
-Psychonauts is a video game that was critically reviewed and was revolutionary in its ideas. But bad marketing and planning made this game fail in sales and is only alive among niche audiences.
-Bad games with bad implementations...are everywhere. Usually they reside at the bottom of the failed Kickstarter campaigns.
In order to create games that others will play, we have to think less about the idea itself and concentrate more on working the idea. While a great idea can drive a game, if a great idea isn't implemented properly, then the idea is worthless. Many bad ideas are implemented and are making money, only frustrating our own "brilliant" idea that hasn't been implemented.
But shouldn't the hook be important to a game? Absolutely. But my point is that people hold onto an idea and think so highly of their idea that they believe the idea will push the work. It doesn't and it shouldn't. YOU push the idea, the idea is just a thought. The truth is that same amount of work that makes a bad game successful is THE SAME amount of work that makes a good game successful. The idea may help a game be more successful, but many just fail to see that work is a critical part of the equation.
Does this mean I'm ignoring the idea? Not at all. Have you heard, "I have this great idea that will blow away every other game out there!" (you may have even said this). Many times the idea just goes nowhere because the person that's saying the idea isn't planning on doing the work FOR the idea. That's the difference.
My point is that the work is the key. Thomas Edison said, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." I believe my game is brilliant, but I've been working my butt off to get it out there and I think it's starting to pay off. As you can read from previous blog posts, many places I go to fail to get the results I want. I believe in my product, but I know I have to work for it.
I know I have a long way to go. We all do.
I follow Gary Vaynerchuk and he's known for saying "ideas are crap, execution is everything". And that's 100% true about a board game or anything else in life.
Execute more and don't worry about everything being perfect. Do the best you can do at the time and focus on ACTUALLY CREATING something awesome people can enjoy. :)
I don't understand the statement: 'ideas don't make a game. It's the implementation of that idea that makes the game.'
If there wasn't the 'idea' for the game to begin with - there would be nothing to implement. Everything begins with an idea - except perhaps the apple that supposedly hit Newton in the head. You can't implement something that does't exist ...
Thomas Edison said it best: Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.
Once you have the idea, the road is just beginning, the sad truth is that people think that genius is 99 percent inspiration and 1 percent perspiration.
The idea certainly sets up the path, but you still have to travel the path. You can have a great idea, but if you're not putting in the work, the idea is not worth anything. But there's so many dumb ideas that go places because the people work their butts off to get it going. So yea, the idea is worthless until you put work behind it.
I'm with you on this, but you may want to replace the Candy Land example. The gameplay is "horrible" for adults because there are no decisions to be made. Pick a card, move. Pick a card, move.
But for it's intended audience (5 and under), it's an amazing social experience. This is the game where children learn to take turns, accept what is dealt them, stick with an activity for more than 2 minutes, and lose gracefully.
So, just as we would say Codenames is awesome, a 5yo would get very frustrated very fast.
Perhaps Monopoly would be a better example in that slot. It's meant for adults but has a sloggy midgame and poor purposeful player interaction.