Game Design Brainstorming Template

Game Design Brainstorming Template, within the Milanote app

Brainstorm your game ideas

Brainstorming is a classic creative technique that helps you create a variety of ideas in a short amount of time. You can use it to explore visual styles, dream up new characters, worlds, or even the levels you're planning. It’s best thought of as a way to light up your imagination.

This template and the steps below will help you turn your initial game idea into something real. Online brainstorming means you can invite others to contribute ideas wherever they're located.

This template is part of our guide on How to create a modern game design document.

  • Explore ideas
  • Organize visually
  • Collaborate in real-time
  • Gather feedback
  • Export to PDF

How to use this template

Whether you’re a game designer, artist, or programmer, follow this step-by-step guide to learn the modern process of brainstorming game ideas in Milanote, a free tool used by top creatives.

1. Start with an empty template

The Brainstorming template contains empty notes for your ideas and concepts, placeholders for images, video and links.

Game design empty brainstorming template
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Create a new board for your brainstorm.

    Create a new board

    Drag a board out from the toolbar. Give it a name, then double click to open it.

  2. Choose the Brainstorming template.

    Choose a template 

    Each new board gives you the options to start with a beautiful template.

2. Write the central game concept

What's the central idea or concept for your game? This is your starting point. It might be just a rough idea at the moment or a topic that you want to explore, but this process will help you see how far you can take it. Add a note that describes your concept in 1 to 2 sentences to get started.

Game design brainstorming template concept
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Add a note to describe the concept of your game.

    Drag a note card onto your board

    Start typing then use the formatting tools in the left-hand toolbar.

3. Invite people to collaborate

Next, invite others to brainstorm with you. They don’t have to be the people who will execute on the ideas but rather a diverse mix of thinkers. Brainstorming online means they can contribute from anywhere.

Inviting people to brainstorm game ideas
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Invite others to your board.

    Invite editors to your board

    Open the "Editors" menu from the title bar of your board. Add email addresses of the people you'd like to collaborate with—they'll receive an invitation via email.

4. Add the key themes

Next, write out the themes related to your idea. Some starting themes could be characters, story, gameplay, level, or aesthetics but there are no rules about how you do it.

Game design brainstorming template themes
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Type the key themes into the group titles.

5. Add as many ideas as you can

Now it's time to get creative. Start adding any ideas that relate to your initial concept or themes. Don't worry about evaluating your ideas yet, that will come later. Just add as many as you can. Setting a timer for 5 minutes is a great way to create a sense of urgency and prevent people from judging their thoughts.

Game design brainstorming template adding ideas
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Add a note for each idea.

    Drag a note card onto your board

    Start typing then use the formatting tools in the left-hand toolbar.

6. Add inspiring imagery, motion & sound

Sometimes it's easier to communicate an idea with an image or video, especially if it's a mood or style you're trying to express. Gather reference imagery, videos, and sound and add them into the mix. These can become the foundation for a moodboard as your game project evolves.

Game design brainstorming template step05
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Use the built-in image library.

    Use the built-in image library

    Search over 500,000 beautiful photos powered by Unsplash then drag images straight onto your board.

  2. Upload images to your board.

    Upload a file or document  

    Click the "Upload file" button or just drag a file onto your board. You can add images, logos, documents, videos, audio, and much more.

7. Evaluate your ideas

Now’s the time for critique. Run through the ideas again, this time critically evaluating them against the original concept.

Ask each person to choose their favourite ideas and explain why. Be prepared to share your thinking and welcome suggestions and improvements. Encourage constructive debate. If an idea isn't dramatically improving the game, put it aside. You can always return to it later.

Game design brainstorming template step07
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Start a comment thread.

    Start a comment thread

    Drag out a comment from the toolbar on the left and place it on your board. Other editors can reply to your comment.

  2. Mention teammates to get their attention.

    Mention teammates to get their attention

    Type '@' in any text field to mention someone who has access to your board. They'll receive a notification and be able to respond to your comment.

You're done!

Now that your brainstorming session is complete, you have a strong foundation for your game! Remember, just as creativity and inspiration is constantly evolving, so are ideas. Come back and add to the brainstorm when inspiration strikes.

Start Brainstorming

Turn an initial idea into something amazing.