31 October 2015

Game Development Roadblocks: When you feel uninspired

As a game development artist or just an artist in general, there comes a time we feel down in the dumps. Many times have you been calling it a day before you even started. Not in the mood to do creative stuff today. You start to think you lack inspiration or just too lazy. So how do you even begin? What to do to get your daily dose of creative juice.

I myself can't even count how often I've become painfully uninspired. It sucks. Basically it's like a game between you and your other lazy self. The productively artistic side of you should win the game. Not only that you need to draw stuff, there's a hell of programming you need to get a hold of. If I'm in this situation, guess what's the first thing I have in mind? These are the things I've experienced over again but it still work wonders.

COFFEE. You say, whattt?? Really, no joke. Coffee helps me a lot when in the “thinking state.” I don't know the science behind it, but I suddenly get a lot of ideas coming in from all angles as I drink. It's my go-to adrenaline. It boosts my critical thinking. Some people would probably think it's only a placebo effect, but hey, it works for me. Not to mention that I love the taste and aroma too.

Let's say I have a lot of ideas at the moment. The next thing I do is LIST THEM DOWN OR SKETCH THEM. All of them. No matter how impossible or insane it may be, just list or doodle it. I'm kind of traditional so I always bring a small notebook/sketchpad and a pen or pencil with me. Don't waste those ideas and later just become castles in the air. Keep track of them. You may not need it at the moment but trust me, someday, you might. 

Don't you find it boring to be in the same room for years, staring at your monitor all the time or working alone? Try bringing your laptop in a park or maybe a coffee shop (coffee is awesome, right?). At some point, you will realize that simple change of ambiance will refresh you from the current spot you're in. Try going there with friends as well. Misery loves company. Kidding.

Seriously, another thing and will always be a distraction while working is YOUR PHONE. Turn them off once in a while or put it in a drawer where you can't easily reach it. You will notice you can focus without much interruptions.

Check and get ideas from other artists' works. You don't do this to be discouraged. Obviously there are a lot of artists out there that have been in the industry longer than you were. Try not only to admire what they create. Look deeper. What's the artist thinking about why he made this and that? What's the idea behind the art and concept? The first time I visited cgplus.com and drawcrowd.com I was overwhelmed. Like I'm not a part of this league. The more I check artists though, the more I get inspiration from them. You will be surprised that later on you start to use your imagination more and turn it into an original piece. And of course, practice and more practice!

Get enough sleep. Well, as a freelancer, I often work more hours than I should be sleeping in a day, particularly when that freaking deadline is coming in close. I remember working straight for almost a day and my work has suffered quality. Try to get those in-between-naps even just for 30 minutes or so they help a lot. Don't push too much we do get mentally exhausted.

Aaannnddd...because I want to create games, I play other games! There's nothing more fun than playing games you like and get inspiration from them. I remember playing Tiny Toon – Bab's Big Break on Nintendo's Game Boy when I was little and it still amazes me everytime I get to see that again. Classic games are gold. Considering the limited technology and software they had a while back, they managed to make games that are fun and with great storylines and perfect soundtracks. I want something like that for GeekyGnomeGames in the future! Soon baby, soon. :D

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