This Simple Test Will Help You Know Which Of Your Game Ideas Will Fail — Or Succeed

You’re about to discover a simple test you can do right now to help you decide which game idea you should commit to.

And at the end of this article, you’ll KNOW which of your game ideas are worth putting months or years of your time, money, and energy into.

And if you follow the steps I’m about to show you, you’ll avoid spending years on a game idea that has low probability of success.

So, if you’re a small game devs who wants to make a living developing games, then here’s what you need to know…

The “Profitable Game Test”

Use my “Profitable Game Test” to filter out each of your game ideas. How it works is simple — but it’s very powerful because it will show you which ideas are worth pursuing.

What you do is, there will be three questions. And your answer will be either YES or NO.

If you get three YES answers, then that idea is worth taking to the next stage.

But if an idea gets two or less YES answers, then keep tweaking your idea until you get three YES answers.

And, remember, if your goal is to make a living developing games, then you have to take this seriously. And the more time you put into this, the more you’ll get out.

But if you’re doing game dev as a hobby, then spending on hour on this system will at least give you some direction.

Anyway, here’s your first step…

“Profitable Game Test” — A Step-By-Step System

Here’s your action plan to filter out your bad game ideas — and find the one that will be most profitable or fun for players to play:

Step 1: Do Players Have An URGENT Passion For Your Potential Genre?

YES or NO?

The more passion there is in your genre, the better chance your idea will succeed. BUT there’s a catch. It’s also harder to get attention because of the competition.

So, to help you answer this question, I’m going to show you how I would figure out if there is urgent passion for my chosen genre.

I’m going to pick one of the HARDEST genre to make a profitable game in because it’s so saturated with competition: puzzle games.

So, what kind of puzzle game? Well, I came up with three puzzle types:

  • Sudoku puzzle
  • Sokoban puzzle
  • Block puzzle

Out of those three, which do you think has more PASSION behind it? Which sub-genre would have players waiting urgently to play?

To help me and you answer this, I always start with Google Trends:

I use Google Trends to eliminate the least popular ideas. So, here’s the search terms I used to compare…

  • Sudoku puzzle game
  • Sokoban puzzle game
  • Block puzzle game

Also, I picked “United States” as my region. And my date range is from 2004 – present. And here’s the results I got:

I honestly thought Sudoku puzzle games (blue) would be the most popular. Sokoban puzzle games (red) are pretty flat — but I didn’t think that they’d be that flat. But Block puzzle games (yellow) was a surprise. I knew they were popular, but didn’t know their popularity has been rising.

So, right away, Sudoku and Sokoban are out. There is not enough passion behind those games.

But a Block puzzle game is worth looking into more. There’s a lot of interest. And the popularity is slightly rising.

If I were to pick a Sudoku puzzle game to pursue, I would have a very hard time trying to market that game. It just doesn’t seem to be that much interest or passion for Sudoku type video games.

Anyway, this is my FIRST clue. I would give Block puzzle games a YES. Yes, there is passion for Block puzzle games.

Ok, now onto my next clue… and that is in step two…

Step 2: Is Your Player Looking For Solutions In Your Potential Genre?

YES or NO?

Ok, so far I’ve picked a Block style puzzle game. Block puzzle games are more popular than Sudoku or Sokoban style puzzle games.

That’s great. But I’m not done!

There are a lot of Block puzzle games being released everyday. If I right now I go ahead and spend the next year developing a Block puzzle game, then my game will just get lost in the void.

I need to find something unique about my game that people WANT but are not getting.

So to find what players want that they’re not getting, start with finding out their BIGGEST frustrations they have in your genre.

Why?

Because people are motivated to solve problems. These players are so motivated that they are getting off their “butts” and activity looking for NEW games.

And people desire OLD things done in NEW ways. They don’t want to play the same old Block puzzler. But they would play a Block puzzle game that gives them the old experience but in a NEW way.

THIS is your target market: highly motivated players who have a problem they want solved, or want old things done in NEW ways.

So, to find out what people want but aren’t getting, I’ll search “block puzzle” on Reddit and Twitter. There will be A LOT of self-promotion posts from game devs. So try to ignore those. What you’re looking for is what PLAYERS are saying.

On Reddit, I would search in “Comments”, and filter by “New”. Like so…

For Twitter, I’d filter the search by Latest. Like so…

Then I’d go on Steam (or whatever platform you’re going to put your game on), and search for the same thing. I’d sort by “User Reviews” to find the most popular games ones. Like so..

I’ll go through the first 10 games or so, and read user reviews. Again, looking for any problems, issues, challenges players had. I’d open a Google doc and copy/paste the words and phrases that stick out to me.

I’d also find UNPOPULAR Block puzzle games on Steam, and read those reviews. Chances are, somebody has the same idea I had. By reading what they did wrong, I would avoid doing that. So… scroll down to the bottom, and you’ll find the games that had the worst reviews. Like so…

I’d go through the bottom 10 games, and read those reviews.

So, what are you doing here again? You’re going through what players are saying. And what I want you to watch out for is…

  • Problems
  • Frustrations
  • Unmet needs

By reading about what players want and don’t want you’ll discover “gems”. These “gems” will give you ideas on game features and mechanics that people WANT and arn’t getting.

And by looking at unpopular games, you’ll find out very quickly what features people DON’T want. And chances are, you probably thought of adding those features in your game, too. By looking at unpopular games, you’ll avoid making the same mistakes they did.

I’m not talking about pandering, and slapping together a bunch of features that people seem to like.

I’m talking about making sure 100% that the game you’re going to make is something they WANT and that they are not getting.

Anyway, in my example, I would give it a YES. Yes, I found some problems and frustrations people have with this genre. I found something players want but aren’t getting.

I’ll share that with you in the next step, which is…

Step 3: Does My Player Have No Other Options?

YES or NO?

As I went through Reddit, Twitter, and Steam, I started noticing something…

After my research, I had a feeling that players have A LOT of options when it comes to Block puzzle games.

There was a lot of Block puzzle games. And there was a lot of games with unique twists or features.

And since this genre is SO saturated, being unique isn’t enough. Players have TOO many options. There’s too much competition for attention. Even if my game — or your game — has a very unique feature, that won’t be enough to grab attention.

It would be hard to market.

So my answer here would be NO. No, players DO have A LOT of options. I’m not the only one here.

But I’m not done! My little research gave me an idea I would have never thought of!

Better To Find Out Your Idea Sucks NOW Than It Is One Year Into Development!

So during my my process in answering the questions, I got two YES answers and one NO. No, my player DOES have a lot of game options.

If I were to develop a Block puzzle game… and even if it had a unique twist… or had cool art… or had new features… that would not be enough to grab attention. That’s because players have a lot of options. There’s too much competition.

But! I noticed something very interesting. And you will too when you go through this process.

Here’s my discovery…

Most of the complaints about Block puzzle games were about difficulty. A common theme kept coming up: people had fun… but once the difficulty spiked, they dropped out.

Also, I noticed on reddit people asking for Block puzzle games for retired people. Weird. But that stood out to me.

So because I took the time to see what players were saying, and noticed a few things, this came to me:

“What about a CASUAL Block puzzle game for the Steam Deck?!?”

PC players don’t play casual puzzle games… they rather play them on mobile.

But what about the Steam Deck? What if I made a Block puzzle game specifically for the Steam Deck, and there was no difficulty spike, and it was more of a casual fun game?

Now THAT is worth actually testing further. I would spend a week making a very simple, prototype. And test it at a VERY small scale with my target audience.

Quick note — If you’re having any trouble with all this, and would like to get more advanced tips and techniques… then follow this link:

Free Workshop: How To Start A Game Company

If You Can’t Decide Which Game Idea To Pursue Then Do This RIGHT NOW:

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do Players Have An URGENT Passion For Your Potential Genre?
  • Is Your Player Looking For Solutions In Your Potential Genre?
  • Does My Player Have No Other Options?

YES or NO?

Go use the tools I showed you above to help you answer the questions.

Did you get three YES answers?

Great!

If not, go back, and refine your idea. Evolve your idea. Spend more time reading, listening to what players are saying.

I’m not saying you have to compromise your game and make something you wouldn’t play yourself.

I’m saying look for little “gems” where players have an unmet need that no other game is filling. And then bridge what YOU want with what PLAYERS want.

So, go through this process because it’ll help you weed out bad ideas, and find good ideas.

You’ll be surprised how your original idea will evolve into something more specific that gamers WANT but no other game is making.

And remember… if players have options, that means there is competition. So refine your idea until you find a sub-genre that is in demand but has very few games in it.

And the only way to find out if your sub-genre has few competitors but has a lot of demand for, is to take your time and go though the “Profitable Game Test”. And answer those three questions.

And if you have a winning idea, and want to learn more advanced game market research tips, then get more free, advanced help then you’ll like this free offer…

if Your Game Launches In A Few Weeks And You Only Have 129 Wishlists, Here’s What To Do To Grow Your Audience and Have A Successful Launch…

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  • What your player wants so that way you can create content that grab’s their attention
  • Optimize your Steam Store page so that more people wishlist your game
  • How to drive MORE traffic to your Steam page using attention-grabbing content
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This is a FREE 6 week course. Each week you’ll get an insight that is easy to understand. And you’ll get a step-by-step guide showing you how how to execute that insight. And after 6 weeks, the goal is to help you grow your wishlist.

Start NOW. Click the button on the right to download your free copy of the “Wishlist Workshop”, and start growing your audience!

Thanks! And looking forward to helping you find players!

Later,

Dariusz Konrad
Port Stanley, Ontario
Canada