Rhino

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Hey guys, since it's really easy to get burned out when making a game, I thought it'd be nice if we had a support thread for help and inspiration!

Post your tips and tricks on how you stay motivated, fight a creative block or show off some improvement to inspire others! The tips can be as general as you'd like, or focus specifically on writing/art/music etc.

If you'd like, feel free to talk specifically about a time you struggled with your game, and how you overcame it.

---

So here are some of my tips on staying motivated!
  • Get an action plan together. Post about your goals in the (month) Goals and Progress Thread (in General Discussion), now that you've publicly committed, the pressure is on to not disappoint! Take your goals and split each task into a tick list. Add as many baby steps as you'd like, so you can tick it off as you go and remember that you are progressing achieving things, even if you've only added one new event- it still counts!
  • Jump around, don't just do all your favourite parts first, or try to cram in days of doing the things you don't enjoy as much to get it over with, you'll just make yourself miserable. Do a bit of what you don't like, then relax and reward yourself with something you do. Keep shaking up your schedule to keep things interesting.
  • Talk to other people about your game. Having someone else who is hyped and excited for your game will inspire you to keep going, plus when you're feeling down they'll hopefully be able to give you a pep talk and get you back on your feet!
And some improvement on my sprites and maps from 2015-2017!
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2015:
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2017:
tumblr_osnxlii3z11w6i3udo3_540.png
 

Lantiz

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This kind of stuff often happens to me when I'm out of ideas. Let's say, I added everything I wanted to the game and at some point I'm like "ok, what now?".
And when this happens it's like I need to create something plot-related, or I need to add some text, dialogs, characters, etc...

Anyway, we can see a certain pattern in there: it always happens when I most need to be creative, which means, I didn't plan things well enough.

So my advice is actually something that I usually avoid, but at the same time I'm fully aware of: I need it all planned (but I never do it).
By having a plan, you can just stick to it. You'll (mostly) need to be creative only once.
If at some point you get lost again, stop for a while and have different experiences. You'll end up living something that will trigger that great idea you're waiting for, and get excited do make it happen.

And I also agree with OP about having someone else to talk. Even if you have a cool idea, things can (almost) always be improved.

EDIT: I know some parts of my text is obvious as it's creativity related, but I did write it all thinking about motivation, not exactly creative block (judge me :x)
 

Webby

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I don't have much problem with the block but I'm just somewhat lazy with putting my ideas. I could literally plan ahead of time by 3 1/2 months if I just get rid of this laziness. Just a couple of days ago, I thought up of an cutscene for a future character even though that character is not yet implemented yet...

My advice is that try out the waters; don't be afraid to try your idea. Who knows, one of your ideas might match what you are trying to do. Another one is try to expand what you are trying to do, i.e:

"A piece of wood." and "A solid block of atoms known as wood."

It's the same thing but it's just longer; here is another one:

"A flying plane" and "A mechanical device known as Plane is hovering above of what's usually limited to humans; one could say that it mimics the ability of flight of the known aviary species.".

It is basically same but paraphrased and that's why it's a bit entertaining that a little line can branch off to a much more complex phrase. You don't know what to do, think or write? Just take a look at your past work, branch off that, and find what you are looking for and maybe find a clue on what to do next...

Hope that helps...
 

Nathyn171

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A wise man called Jazza taught me that when you have creative block, just make something. Anything. Even if it's just scribbles or random lines, you have to start somewhere. Starting is the hardest part to anything. But once you get going, it gets much easier. :)
 

zimzim

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When I got creative block from writing the story, I shut off my lil editor (yes, that editor a.k.a. inner voices who, when grumpy, says that you can't do this and you can't do that and you suck at life etc. etc.). This is the most important step! Then I:
  • force myself to write down anything without editing. I don't care if it doesn't make sense, or my theory, spelling and grammar is wrong. I just write. Sometimes I pick a random picture from flickr for inspiration and starts writing a fiction based on the picture. If English is not your native language, just write in your local language. Worry about translation later.
  • play a "What-if" game. Go out, observe your surroundings and create a "fictionalised" version of your reality. Say, you saw a girl crossing down the street. What if this girl is trying to run away from a kidnapper? Say, you saw a man sitting alone on a bench. What if he just lost his wife yesterday? Say, you saw lightning across the sky. What if a big storm is coming and the next hour is the end of the world? Go crazy with your fiction. The crazier the better.
  • play a forced association. Look around you and grab whatever that holds your interest. Let's say you grabbed a red marker. Now, force yourself to associate that red marker with the story you are writing. The red color could mean danger? Is there any danger occurring in the game? The body looks like a missile? Means bomb and explosion, thus massive genocide?
  • read books that are related to the story I'm writing.
 

Stanley

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Whenever I face this sorta thing, I stop working on my project and do something else instead. Like reading, playing video games, watch movies or dramas, read comics or mangas, to recharge my creative juice:kaohi:
 

Rhino

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@Stanley I definitely second this :kaoblush:I tried to push myself for months on something that I wasn't really feeling, took a break and promised myself not to think about anything, without a deadline to return, and then resumed it when I was ready. I was nervous about taking time off because it felt like I had to work constantly to ever hope to finish, but when I got back I realised that actually, my original idea wasn't making me happy, and finishing it probably wouldn't have even felt that good.

With a break, you relax your mind and refresh your viewpoint. It helps you to see things you couldn't before, and which way you need to go next. And even better if you're spending the time on someone else's creation (like a book or game) because you can pick up inspiration from them and get some new ideas.

There's some really good advice here, so thanks everyone for your comments so far :kaoluv: I hope it's motivating to write as well as to read! (I find that talking about it helps me get hyped up, but maybe I'm just weird :guffaw:)
 

Stanley

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@Rhino Amen Rhin.:kaohi: Taking a break gives us more clarity. It's like we enchanted at first sight of something, but once we break away from it we are able to see things more clearly, before going back to that something. You're welcome, Rhin!:kaoblush:
 

Rhino

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SA51K_SHADER_IDLE.gifZombie is not the only thing people turned into in this town. There is also something else here. Something has many different names in history, the plague, the black oil, the purity, the filth. And now, it's called the shade.
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anyway, i just recovered from Covid.
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