Blog Request: Staying Creative.

I asked you guys what posts you would like to see, and Jessica had two very interesting topics, both of which are quite close to my heart, and to the philosophy thats been behind the development of STASIS.

*how you stay motivated to do so much creative work (after the initial rush of designing the game has faded).

BE OBSESSED!

I’ve mentioned before that, when starting any personal art project, it MUST be something you are extremely passionate about. You need to have a love for EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of the project, or you will start to slip in one area, and in turn other areas will suffer.

The reason that the game has such a heavy ALIEN, and Aliens influence is because I am OBSESSED with those 2 films. Really, its borderline unhealthy. They are my ‘go to’ rainy day movies. Both of them are such different takes on the same subject, but both hit pretty much every aspect of SciFi I love.

SEEK OUT INSPIRATION CONSTANTLY!

I also try to surround myself with inspiration whenever I can. I buy art books, listen to old 1920’s SciFi radio plays,  and read as often as I can.

Here is an older post on Inspiration, and showing my ‘wall of nerd’. And yes…that is a 1:1 Plasma cutter. And yes I do run around my apartment going Pew Pew. Since then I have added a few Avatar sculptures, and 2 scale models from Mass Effect.

http://www.stasisgame.com/inspiration/

VARY WHAT YOU DO. LEARN NEW THINGS.

Something that has also really pushed me is that Im trying to do everything myself. When the scripting side of things gets a little heavy, I move onto the sound design. Once that is done, I can fire up MAX and play around with the graphics. Once all that is done, I can open up FL Studio, and start with some music editing. Having my fingers in so many pies is fantastic, because I always have something to do thats COMPLETELY different from the others.

HAVE A COMPLETE DESIGN DOCUMENT.

But I can honestly say that the biggest driving force has been A COMPLETE DESIGN DOCUMENT.

Having a roadmap that shows not only where you have been, but where you are going has been instrumentally important. Its let me bounce around the game, with full confidence that Im not wasting my time in a certain area. Its also allowed me to create things that will happen early in the game, that link to things much later-and its a satisfying thing to see those elements link up gameplay-wise.

TAKE A BREAK. STEP BACK. BREATH.

Something that’s also very important is to TAKE A BREAK. I would rather have a Stasis Free weekend, than burn out on the project. I get more done when I leave the project for a few days than I do when I work on it solidly. Watch movies, see friends, sleep in. If you arent a full time developer, your game should NOT take over your life. You need to have a separation to make sure that you dont loose that flame of passion for the game. It MUST be something exciting-something you miss doing-something you WANT to sit down for 4 hours with and get that last bit of interaction perfect.

-Chris

Ill be putting together some stuff on the Music and Sound of STASIS soon, as well as my take on why on earth people feel the need to hide their games from the world, and why they really shouldn’t!

Again, if you guys have any requests, pop them in the comments below.

  • Tachyon

    From a spiritual perspective I find more often than not that detaching yourself from whatever you are doing offers greater clarity and fresh ideas. Have you ever noticed late at night how solutions to problems become apparent and new ideas start to emerge? Or how when you wake up you know exactly what to do? This happens to me all the time.

    Working too hard on something creates tunnel vision and stagnation. Just a 10 minute meditation or taking time to sit in silence and have lunch during the day does amazing things for your creativity as well as your health.

  • Nic b

    Hey tachyon,

    I agree 10000000% when I have a programming problem I take a shower, bug my wife or go for a walk and when I come back and sit down and refocus – its amazing how the answer comes, even I’ve been stewing fo hours on a solution.

  • Jessica

    Woohoo I got qouted! my grandchildren will hear of this one day. 😀

    You answered what I wanted to know; which is what YOU do for motivation, altho I was expecting an answer a bit more like Tachyon’s, as I feel like almost everyone is a total fanboy of something (as you mentioned with Alien) but very few are ever able to create something solid out of it like you!

    In fact, funny enough, I would almost think the complete opposite, I know quite a few people in the games industry who does a great job at work on some boring commercialized project but when it comes to that dream project of theirs that they work on their spare-time they can’t get much accomplished on except for the initial design-document/prototype.

  • PuppyLicks

    I only just found out about your game and these blog posts now.
    Thank you.
    I’m designing my own game and to read your posts and see how amazing your game looks already is extremely inspirational and motivating. Can’t wait to see the final product 😀