One of your best features is how creative you can be. After all, your success as an indie developer relies pretty heavily on your creativity. But there are some days where you’re just not ‘feeling it.’ Perhaps you can’t wait until the weekend or you flat out can’t get it together for one reason or another. Whatever the case may be, you need to trick yourself into getting a spurt of creativity. Below are a few tips to help you achieve exactly that, so let’s get started!
A few days ago, we discussed finding your indie game’s voice (the foundation for your game). If you are having trouble finding that voice, consider roleplaying. For example, if you are having problems crafting dialogue for your protagonist that sounds natural, consider playing the role of the protagonist for a few minutes. Talk, behave, and move around like them, imagine yourself in their situation, and totally immerse yourself in the protagonist’s mind.
This will help you to better understand the character and figure out what makes them tick. It sounds crazy, but it’s a trick I use during my own writing – and it works. And hey – if you feel weird about it, use this as an excuse to get your team together and play some Dungeons and Dragons. Be the protagonist and have your team members play other roles from the game. You will understand the character and possibly (just possibly) figure out new ideas to incorporate into the actual game!
When the film The Wrestler was released a few years ago, director Darren Aronofsky said that he knew the ending for the film before he started writing. This caused him to write the script backwards in a sense. It’s one of his best films so I suppose the trick worked, and if you are having trouble being creative, work backwards. If you know where you want your character to be at a certain point in the game, start thinking about how they get to that point. This very well could kick your brain into gear and force you to start thinking about the situation differently.
Don’t stop yourself from daydreaming
We’ve been taught that daydreaming is a no-no, but it really isn’t. If you find yourself wanting to daydream about something, go with it! There could be answers to your creative woes in your daydreams. At the very least, it could cause your brain to start thinking creatively again, thus making it easier to work on your indie game.
Experience a new genre of work
Sometimes creativity becomes stagnant whenever we stay in our comfort zone for too long. If you need to think creatively but can’t muster the strength to do it, take a break and experience a new genre of something. For example, if you love to read primarily sci-fi, read some 19th century British literature instead. If you mainly watch sitcoms, put on a crime drama you’ve never seen before. Play mostly RPGs? Start playing a city builder instead.
When we go out of our comfort zones and broaden our horizons, it forces our brain to think differently due to the freshness of what we’re experiencing. Give it a shot the next time you can’t think creatively to supercharge your brain. Who knows? It could be the difference between getting that million-dollar idea and never getting it in the first place!