Lost my spark for envisioning the project

  • Explanation: I used to not be able to develop games without a solid platform, however now that I found Construct, instead I simply don't know what to develop. I had various ideas for games years ago, then dropped it because of various mental problems (and the amount of really hard work required to code an engine), however now that I just worked on a random Mario-like platformer on Construct, I just don't know where to take the project.

    Goal: I've tried looking through games, playing various indie games, googling everything I could think of to help me develop an idea that I want to work on in my head, etc, but none of that helped. So maybe someone else ran into a similar problem? Writer's block, I think it's called in the writing world.

    Anyway, I'm not looking to create something for money, I just enjoy creating things (I used to have vast worlds in my head when I was younger, before my mental problems seriously kicked in), though of course I'd put it on Steam once it's done, as that might help with my serious financial problems.

    I'm looking to use free textures and sounds, as I don't have the capability to create them at the very least even passable for use in a game.

  • I'm looking to use free textures and sounds, as I don't have the capability to create them at the very least even passable for use in a game.

    You don't need to have beefy graphics for a game to be passable. You can make it very simple and still make it work. Im not that good at design so my "thing" is to keep things simple enough and have the concept be the strength. Graphics wont make your game good, its the idea :).

    Again, my games are simple in graphics but thats fine to me and people like that (the ones that play them). You can keep it simple and make great things :D.

  • > I'm looking to use free textures and sounds, as I don't have the capability to create them at the very least even passable for use in a game.

    You don't need to have beefy graphics for a game to be passable. You can make it very simple and still make it work. Im not that good at design so my "thing" is to keep things simple enough and have the concept be the strength. Graphics wont make your game good, its the idea :).

    Again, my games are simple in graphics but thats fine to me and people like that (the ones that play them). You can keep it simple and make great things :D.

    Perhaps you can give me some tips or advice on how to 'regain' my 'spark' again, perhaps with the focus towards lower-end graphics? I've played some really cool indie games now that I think about it, with very simple graphics. My thing right now is, I have no idea where to go from here. I think it has to do with my mental state in general now being that I don't feel like I want to do anything at all (form of heavier depression/bipolar?), so I'm just trying to find something that'd give me proper direction that is in alignment with what I feel I want to do.

    Years ago I wanted to create a platformer, I recall, though now if I'd like it to be noticed at all by someone, it'd have to be something really special, and then - with decent graphics and sounds, something unique. My idea was unique at the time, but it is not anymore. There's a lot of games like that now, maybe 6-8 years later. That could also play a role in me not knowing what to do and develop.

  • Ill give you some tips that is helping me get better and get my "company" grow a bit

    -keep it simple, dont spend a few months on a game, work your way up. The mobile game im making took about 2 weeks to make and Im happy with it

    -Make a checklist to what you want to get done

    -Make a publishing plan, the more places you publish, the more people will see your game. I publish to Newgrounds, Kongregate, Google Play store, scirra (Itch.io and Gamejolt maybe)

    -Maybe watch a movie, play some music or watch youtube while you work on your game, i do it and it helps me

    -Checkout everything you can do in Construct 2, there are some things i didnt know you could do in it

    -Listen to a motivational song or that one song that gives you goosebumps and make a game based of the feeling you have when you listen to your song

  • gameidg

    Check out the videos from Tim Russwick/Game Dev Underground: youtube.com/channel/UC_hwKJdF3KRAy4QIaiCSMgQ

    He's got a lot of videos about motivation and finishing a game, and a couple videos about depression as well. You are not alone in being unable to finish a game from feeling unmotivated and depressed.

    I would also suggest looking at maybe doing a game jam, making a small game in a short period of time based off a given theme. Getting something done, even if a bit rough around the edges, can give a sense of accomplishment that might help regain your spark.

    And if you're looking for free assets, you can't go wrong with Kenney as a good base to start from.

  • Here are some suggestions..

    Pick an existing game that is simple, and copy it. Like Tetris for example. Complete a few small scale projects like that- just copying other simple games. This will provide you an existing structure/design to adhere to so that you don't have to think it all up yourself. You'd have clear objective as to what to implement.

    Or, think about stuff you are interested in, and try to tie that into a game. Look at what you seem to favor in your life, and how that might be implemented in a game. If there is anything you spend a lot of time thinking about or involving yourself with, that may transfer to your game too, so you might focus more there as well if it is combined.

    You sound kind of young, perhaps haven't developed your character much- perhaps you need more life experiences to inspire you and give you things to work with.

  • Ill give you some tips that is helping me get better and get my "company" grow a bit

    -keep it simple, dont spend a few months on a game, work your way up. The mobile game im making took about 2 weeks to make and Im happy with it

    -Make a checklist to what you want to get done

    -Make a publishing plan, the more places you publish, the more people will see your game. I publish to Newgrounds, Kongregate, Google Play store, scirra (Itch.io and Gamejolt maybe)

    -Maybe watch a movie, play some music or watch youtube while you work on your game, i do it and it helps me

    -Checkout everything you can do in Construct 2, there are some things i didnt know you could do in it

    -Listen to a motivational song or that one song that gives you goosebumps and make a game based of the feeling you have when you listen to your song

    Thanks for the tips! I'll comment:

    Keeping it simple might be my culprit, haha! But on the other hand, I don't have fancy graphics (it will probably match another game that's already out there, since I'd be downloading textures with open license for free) and the same applies for sounds. I know you mentioned it earlier (and I know myself that it's true) that graphics can be really simple, such as simple squares. I just doubt that I'd be creating a puzzler or such that would allow such simple graphics. Perhaps I would need an inspiration of sorts, but whenever I think of creating a game, only platformer and tower defense comes to mind, and if I was a professional Unity developer who can afford to hire artists (or something like that), I'd be thinking FPS, action, RPG, MMO, isometric RPG, racing, that kinda thing as well, not only platformers or tower defense... And I know that the spirit of indie development is uniqueness, and I'd jump on an idea if I had it, but I don't at the moment, hence I'm looking for some inspiration or something like that here. :)

    Checklist is something I've been working on, and my game already has too many ideas, haha. Certainly not a 1 month project, I'd probably be working on it for months, haha.

    As for a publishing plan, I think I first need to create my first game, and then think about what to do with it. Thank you for the tip on where I could go see about publishing the game though!

    I usually play music, watching something else is distracting to me, but music can help concentrate.

    How do you suggest I find out those things about Construct 2? I'm already very excited about Construct 2 though, so I already really wanna use it, I just don't know what to use it for, which isn't good as I'm not using my excitement about it while it lasts. :/

    And I will certainly try your song idea. In fact, I'll go listen to some music while paying attention after I type this message. :)

    gameidg

    Check out the videos from Tim Russwick/Game Dev Underground: youtube.com/channel/UC_hwKJdF3KRAy4QIaiCSMgQ

    He's got a lot of videos about motivation and finishing a game, and a couple videos about depression as well. You are not alone in being unable to finish a game from feeling unmotivated and depressed.

    I would also suggest looking at maybe doing a game jam, making a small game in a short period of time based off a given theme. Getting something done, even if a bit rough around the edges, can give a sense of accomplishment that might help regain your spark.

    And if you're looking for free assets, you can't go wrong with Kenney as a good base to start from.

    Thanks, I just bookmarked him!

    And thank you for the advice for a game jam - certainly something I find interesting, though I don't do well at all under stress or pressure. I used to be able to deal with it really well, but now even minor physical or mental stress makes my system go haywire. Usually I just shut down and become unable to function at all.

    Kenney assets I have found and bookmarked, but thank you for the link! Yesterday I downloaded a whole bunch of stuff from his site. Maybe I'll look through the assets and see what game ideas I can come up with, since that's what I'll be working with anyway most likely. It's not so common to find extensive and matched tiles for a game with an open for selling license for free.

    Here are some suggestions..

    Pick an existing game that is simple, and copy it. Like Tetris for example. Complete a few small scale projects like that- just copying other simple games. This will provide you an existing structure/design to adhere to so that you don't have to think it all up yourself. You'd have clear objective as to what to implement.

    Or, think about stuff you are interested in, and try to tie that into a game. Look at what you seem to favor in your life, and how that might be implemented in a game. If there is anything you spend a lot of time thinking about or involving yourself with, that may transfer to your game too, so you might focus more there as well if it is combined.

    You sound kind of young, perhaps haven't developed your character much- perhaps you need more life experiences to inspire you and give you things to work with.

    Thank you for advice! I'm especially excited about the second advice, as it kind of ties together with the one about music. It's something that I can use to discover what I want to create rather than search for something.

    As for life experience, I certainly have plenty of that, whether that's good or bad - who knows. Without my life experience I would probably have a lot fewer mental problems. I'd still like to do something like traveling, but that requires money, and for that I need to be in a better mental state.

  • Dr NetOne here

    you talk about mental issues? I was wondering are u on any medication?

    From experience. If you are on prescription benzos or SRIs (or whatever else “they” are pushing to the kids these days to dull the nervous system), they totally destroy your capacity to feel good about anything, they destroy the imaginative process, the ability to feel inspired about anything, the ability to focus and care enough just to simply push forward when things are tough. Basically they totally rob you of all the mental tools you would need to start and complete , even a simple or mediocre game. First thing to do is get off anything that is dulling your nervous system. (ps don’t go cold turkey, that is a recipe for total insanity (trust me ive tried it! allways taper off slowly.)

    If you are not on meds (and assuming you are not battling any alcohol drug addicitons) then it sounds like you have simply lost your mojo. In that case drop everything you are doing right now, including your attempts at game-making, and go do other things (try to find things that dont involve screens) until you find something, or someone, that re-lights your fire. Then you will find that the creative ideas will start flowing naturally again like when you were younger.

    Good luck sir

    Dr NetOne

  • Dr NetOne here

    you talk about mental issues? I was wondering are u on any medication?

    From experience. If you are on prescription benzos or SRIs (or whatever else “they” are pushing to the kids these days to dull the nervous system), they totally destroy your capacity to feel good about anything, they destroy the imaginative process, the ability to feel inspired about anything, the ability to focus and care enough just to simply push forward when things are tough. Basically they totally rob you of all the mental tools you would need to start and complete , even a simple or mediocre game. First thing to do is get off anything that is dulling your nervous system. (ps don’t go cold turkey, that is a recipe for total insanity (trust me ive tried it! allways taper off slowly.)

    If you are not on meds (and assuming you are not battling any alcohol drug addicitons) then it sounds like you have simply lost your mojo. In that case drop everything you are doing right now, including your attempts at game-making, and go do other things (try to find things that dont involve screens) until you find something, or someone, that re-lights your fire. Then you will find that the creative ideas will start flowing naturally again like when you were younger.

    Good luck sir

    Dr NetOne

    Nope, not on medication and uninsured, but as you wrote later on - most prescription meds are no good when it comes to mental problems. I know plenty about neurotransmitters, endocrinology, and common treatments and causes. The only thing I'd agree to go on is MAOI or dopaminergic ADHD meds, and then only for some time, perhaps until I'd be done with the project, which would hopefully improve my financial situation (that isn't my motivation for creating a game though). Everything else is just pure nearly* permanent damage to your system. *Nearly means that you can restore some or even most of the function if you know how to, but even then it's going to take a long time for your body to heal itself and detox all that crap they mix in the pills.

    [psychology]Anyway, I am not on meds and am not battling addictions or regularly using any drugs except for sugar. However I'm reducing the amount of sugar I eat (it's not nearly as high as that of a regular person though, so it's not nearly as big a problem as it is for most of the population). It is a good advice that you gave, and I have experienced that exact 'reaction' that you mentioned. At this point in my life though, I barely afford food, I have nothing in life that I enjoy (not even stable internet connection), and I have a lot of stress of various kinds on a daily basis. That has not improved but instead worsened over the years, and I've been trying to get out of this state for over a decade now... So unfortunately that isn't going to help at this point. I think the only things that would help me is either producing enough income to support myself without worrying about it or - as cheesy as this sounds - a decent relationship.[/psychology]

    But, thank you for a descriptive post. I can confirm everything that you said, both from experience and theory, so perhaps it can help someone!

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  • It is funny you say that you have nothing you enjoy.

    A few guys I know have said similar to me and they have plenty of money, good jobs, big houses, nice cars, kids, and are in stable relationships.

    I never know what to say to these guys. But (and I know its such a cliché) for sure, having enough money and being in a decent relationship will not guarantee you the type of happiness you desire.

    Ive been homeless and Ive been well off, and for me, without getting too morbid on a games forum, it has always been the realisation that my time on this earth is finite, that drives me, at every moment, to chill a little and just savour and enjoy every little drop of it that I can, in that moment. …….Soooo, back to games, if you are adamant you want to make a game then you know the really cool thing about construct is it is so easy to get prototype ideas up and running in minutes so you can just mess around with ideas, new mechanics, different effects, I don’t think you have to have a world shattering new idea just start something and It will grow and direct you. I mean all platformers are essentially the same game, all Metroidvanias are the same, all shmups are the same , top down rpgs etc, they are all the same and People are still buying and playing the new ones. Just a little spin on a gameplay mechanic, a cool new character, an engrossing story, some awesome graphics and effects. Anyway you think your life is bad. While writing this I am actually stuck in a 5000 seat auditorium at a mandatory all-day coms by my company since 8 AM, listening to the higher levels up congratulating themselves and telling us, how well we’ve done this year but that we will have to do better next year for less money. This will go on till 6PM by which time I will surely have lost the will to live. Bar surfing the construct forum and writing this, I am finding it very hard to squeeze much joy out of this moment… good luck sir....

  • Society these days tries to place people in fast-forward mode. Because of how things are run business-wise, maximize profits while finding ways to produce with cheaper materials and costs, etc. They hire young people with current trending skills, who also are easier to control and manipulate because they've been trained to follow rules and patterns provided through education, etc. There are exceptions of course, but to me it seems like it's the common behavior due to the materialistic state of the world.

    The behavior extends into the psyche of everyone involved or has relation to the system. So while businesses may compromise on their integrity and humanity, likewise people in general do so. They are sold the products and convinced it is normal and good, that the past was worse, etc- the future will be better, etc.. Usually they do this by manipulating numbers, data, language, etc. And since people are trained to believe what they read, through the education system- most people don't question it.

    However, the questioning emerges in other forms, such as .. what is the meaning of all this? What is my purpose? why is my life so dull or uneventful, or repetitive, etc.. These feelings are just the effects of a conflict of interests due to what people naturally are designed to do versus what an artificial manufactured(production/manufacturing,etc) system has enforced through regulations, etc.. Most of what people do is meaningless, people feel it and question their meaningless behavior.. and other organizations come in and say they shouldn't question it- they should fit the system and obey, etc, otherwise you won't survive or make enough money to eat, etc.

    That's their perspective- the hole they've dug out for themselves- however, people have gotten by with a lot less in the past and could do it again if they wanted.

  • It is funny you say that you have nothing you enjoy.

    A few guys I know have said similar to me and they have plenty of money, good jobs, big houses, nice cars, kids, and are in stable relationships.

    I never know what to say to these guys. But (and I know its such a cliché) for sure, having enough money and being in a decent relationship will not guarantee you the type of happiness you desire.

    Ive been homeless and Ive been well off, and for me, without getting too morbid on a games forum, it has always been the realisation that my time on this earth is finite, that drives me, at every moment, to chill a little and just savour and enjoy every little drop of it that I can, in that moment. …….Soooo, back to games, if you are adamant you want to make a game then you know the really cool thing about construct is it is so easy to get prototype ideas up and running in minutes so you can just mess around with ideas, new mechanics, different effects, I don’t think you have to have a world shattering new idea just start something and It will grow and direct you. I mean all platformers are essentially the same game, all Metroidvanias are the same, all shmups are the same , top down rpgs etc, they are all the same and People are still buying and playing the new ones. Just a little spin on a gameplay mechanic, a cool new character, an engrossing story, some awesome graphics and effects. Anyway you think your life is bad. While writing this I am actually stuck in a 5000 seat auditorium at a mandatory all-day coms by my company since 8 AM, listening to the higher levels up congratulating themselves and telling us, how well we’ve done this year but that we will have to do better next year for less money. This will go on till 6PM by which time I will surely have lost the will to live. Bar surfing the construct forum and writing this, I am finding it very hard to squeeze much joy out of this moment… good luck sir....

    Maybe those rich people are doing the same thing over and over again, be it a yacht party or really tasty and healthy meal. They also likely have health problems, which leads to depression and such (as is in my case), not to mention they are usually older, which means that they have a lot more baggage.

    I have been homeless as well, but I have not been well off. Like I said, my life has not been easy and I had a lot of negative experiences, so I know what that's like. I'm glad that you have found something that works for you, even if not always.

    I suppose you're right about just starting to work on an idea. I have came up with a couple potential ideas yesterday, and I will allow them to sit to subconsciously assess if they are worth pursuing. I will also allow my brain to set on something, as I don't want to work on more than one project, as it's not so easy for me to hold attention in the first place, and holding attention on two projects would be even more difficult.

    Hope you survived the auditorium! Haha

    Society these days tries to place people in fast-forward mode. Because of how things are run business-wise, maximize profits while finding ways to produce with cheaper materials and costs, etc. They hire young people with current trending skills, who also are easier to control and manipulate because they've been trained to follow rules and patterns provided through education, etc. There are exceptions of course, but to me it seems like it's the common behavior due to the materialistic state of the world.

    The behavior extends into the psyche of everyone involved or has relation to the system. So while businesses may compromise on their integrity and humanity, likewise people in general do so. They are sold the products and convinced it is normal and good, that the past was worse, etc- the future will be better, etc.. Usually they do this by manipulating numbers, data, language, etc. And since people are trained to believe what they read, through the education system- most people don't question it.

    However, the questioning emerges in other forms, such as .. what is the meaning of all this? What is my purpose? why is my life so dull or uneventful, or repetitive, etc.. These feelings are just the effects of a conflict of interests due to what people naturally are designed to do versus what an artificial manufactured(production/manufacturing,etc) system has enforced through regulations, etc.. Most of what people do is meaningless, people feel it and question their meaningless behavior.. and other organizations come in and say they shouldn't question it- they should fit the system and obey, etc, otherwise you won't survive or make enough money to eat, etc.

    That's their perspective- the hole they've dug out for themselves- however, people have gotten by with a lot less in the past and could do it again if they wanted.

    I do agree with your ideas. If you are the questioning type, most people don't like you very much, especially those in authoritative or serving positions. If you are that type, most places aren't going to hire you unless you are really good at what you do or they cannot find someone else. And if you are born with genetic defects or had really bad developmental years, you have mental problems, if you combine those, you've got yourself a hard life, haha. So yeah, people who don't fit in, they don't fit in, because the majority is trained to be the majority... :/

    Anyway, thanks for sharing, that was a nice read.

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