Sometimes it feels like you’ve either run out of ideas, or you have an idea but you’ve got zero motivation to work on it. This is especially prevalent if you work on a large volume of games – like if you’re participating in #1GAM, or during a game jam.
I think these slumps are normal to the creative process, as long as they don’t stick around for super long. Everyone has an ebb and flow to their creativity and it’s okay to have a dry spell. Here are some places I go if I want some inspiration and motivation.
1. Weird games.
I love looking towards the strange, offbeat “altgames” category when I want to see something inspiring. There’s a lot of cool weird stuff out there to draw ideas from, or just admire and appreciate. Playing a small altgame usually doesn’t take much time (so you can get to work when inspiration hits!) and I love seeing all of the different kinds of ideas people create. It makes me want to work on things even more!
ceMelusine has a great curation page of small, strange works on his itch.io collection.
2. The 1GAM bot, McFunkyPants, GameDevsLikeYou, and many other Twitter gamedevs
Christer Kaitila (McFunkyPants), creator of onegameamonth.com (#1GAM), is like a powerhouse of motivation. Between his own encouraging tweets and the 1GAM bot’s Gamedev Wisdom posts, there’s plenty of “you can do it~!” to be had.
Similarly, Chris DeLeon runs GameDevsLikeYou on Twitter, running occasional gamedev polls, bringing community members together. He also runs a course for beginner game devs, and is all-around very encouraging.
I don’t sit down with a book often enough, but books are one of the best ways I find to both clear my mind and inspire myself to work. Recently I was given The State of Play as a gift, and I have been absolutely loving it. It’s a great insight into games from viewpoints not often expressed, and the perfect book for passing the time in airports. I’m hoping to have a chance to read Embed With Games by Cara Ellison, and the Offworld Collection, which was recently funded on Kickstarter.
So those are a few things that inspire me to work. I’d love to know what yours are!