We know it.
We know that there is more out there than the designs we already have. There is unexplored game ideas waiting to be revealed.
Think of dark matter. It has been calculated that the known universe accounts for only a fraction of the mass out there. The rest is some unknown, dark matter. The analogy I’m trying to make is very simple; our known designs account for a very limited space of ideas. The rest of it is in the dark.
How does one know there’s missing designs when those designs have yet to be revealed? I would point to the “itch.” The itch is a very simple thing. The itch is a want to play something, a specific something. The itch is this craving to enjoy this something. When that itch cannot be scratched by what is currently known–when one craves something more–that is the design in the dark.
There is more to indicate that something is missing in design space, and it can be revealed by simple digging. All one needs to do is tweak and ask. Take a game that is already produced, tweak a design aspect (preferably one that scratches the aforementioned itch), and then ask “Does this design exist yet?” Doing this method will inevitably result in an answer of “no.”
Sometimes in this world of media overload, it seems like everything has been done before and nothing new will appear. Things are not what they seem.
In the dark, somewhere, lies novelty. Hidden gems and veins of design that when refined will result in wondrous materials.
Ultimately, the message of this post for aspiring designers is to never stop exploring. The message for those who consume media is to never think “this is all that’s out there.” If you crave something that isn’t there, know that it is only waiting to be discovered. We can know it.