Nathanael Cole / Alliterated Games

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How Do You Handle Design Block?

I’m curious to get your input on this subject. When you have a creative project that steadily gains steam and then suddenly screeches to an inspirational halt, how do you handle (and hopefully overcome) it? Do you step away for a bit and work on other projects? Do you immerse yourself in entertaining distractions, hoping to feel out some new streams of thought fodder from the strata? What methods have you found to effectively jump-start your faltering creative processes?

1 comment

  1. Jonathan Lemer - May 27, 2010 12:31 pm

    When I hit a creative block while working on a project I typically have two responses: Either stop working on the project(the length of time I stop for varies wildly), or consult with another person on how to proceed.

    Sometimes putting some distance between oneself and a project can give you perspective. Perhaps there is an angle that isn’t being considered, but only occurs to you after you have had time to gestate. Maybe something in the media, or something a friend tells you on an unrelated subject sparks a new idea. Perhaps the project cannot move forward, but you find a way to incorporate its ideas into another project.

    Now usually when I stop working on a project, it dies. So that’s why I’d first try consulting with a creative partner. Sometimes this means talking the project through with another game designer, other times I might just discuss it with an inexperienced party so I can get a different perspective.

    Often I find that someone far less involved in the whole game creation scene will have great insights. They tend to have a good grasp of general concepts or feel of a game. However if I am stuck on a more technical level then a fellow game designer is usually more capable of helping me along in the creative process.

    Hope that helps!


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