Hey folks! I thought it might be fun to brainstorm some ideas for the 10 shortlisted themes! You may not want to give away THAT special idea, of course, but maybe you have some sharable ideas for other themes?
I'll go first, and I'll fry the brain on my personal favourite of the 10, "Start small":
City-builder type game where you start with a single builder, and one or two types of buildings. Build a small village, attract traders, and eventually get new types of building and make a city. Potentially a game without wars (although maybe criminals), just focussing on building a city.
Instead of a city, you are a tiny tribe, and you must keep moving to harvest new areas and explore the wilderness. Perhaps you'll discover some ancient ruins with mystical powers, or run into the hiding place of a particularly dangerous animal? Or you'll discover a marketplace or even a city, and trade some rare goods that you can then use or trade with others in a different place?
War-game. Perhaps like Risk, or turn-based like Heroes of Might and Magic or even a RTS - start with a few creatures, expand and recruit to take on enemies and unexplored areas. Convince all to yield with your sword and axe.
Some kind of Tower Defense game, potentially as a city where you can add defenses as you defeat invaders and earn more gold. Start with a couple of archers and gradually build stronger and deadlier defenses!
I'll share! No reason for me to be protective of jam prep ideas, we all have our own takes, and I never stick to them anyway. XD
At first, Start small was the only idea I didn't have a rough concept for. Now it's my top choice, and I want to do something about making pancakes on a grill, and stacking them as they cook.
Duel could be interesting for a card game with an AI opponent, but might be overscoping things a bit too much. I'm thinking something like Card City Nights or FF8's Triple Triad for that one, with directional arrows that affect adjacent cards in a shared grid.
Immune is the one that I'm least hyped for right now, as I only have vague ideas of a turn-based tower defense involving white blood cells for it. If the last jam is any indication, this will be the theme that gets picked and surprises me, and I'll come up with something better on the spot. Maybe a Broughlike…
Welcome to Alakajam @dollarone! For your first gamejam I recommend keeping the scope as small as possible - just try and create the most basic game possible. Once you have that working you can work on adding polish if there's time left. Just remember to have fun and if you need any help to ask on the IRC channel or Discord server!
My 2nd favourite theme is "Underground", and my ideas for that one are:
Dungeon crawler. Obvious but fun! Turn based, top-down? Or first-person realtime? M-m-m-multiplayer..?
Explore the basement of your house. Something…is lurking down there? Perhaps it's just grandma?
You are a tiny band looking to break through. Start by playing tiny, underground venues, and make your way up to the big leagues.
Rogue but instead of monsters - puzzles!