Inspiration comes to us in a multitude of forms as game designers. Of course, it comes to most people in all of these forms as well, but fewer professionals actually have to understand and pull from all of these mediums to make a product of their own.
I tried writing about inspiration a few hours ago just listening to this song:
Needless to say, it didn’t really work. I ended up with a few hundred words of rabble that tried too hard to be artistic and poetic. Silly me.
Then, I attempted to write an article while watching this movie:
I then ended up with a blog post that was a mixture of crude jokes, partially racial jokes, and 90’s TV star references. No joke.
I finally found a medium though when I realized that to write about video games, I needed a little bit of everything. So, I turned up some Cage the Elephant (if you haven’t heard “shake me down” you have a whole in your heart) while watching a playlist of old hockey clips. Audio and video were my sources now. That was almost not enough though… so I started playing some League of Legends and wrote the rest of this article in the middle of matches and whenever I died in-game.
As is stated in the title, this is about inspiration. As I already mentioned as well, inspiration for game design is much more broad than that for writers, or musicians, or actors, or any other sort of artistic or passionate profession. We end up with very staggered and multi-faceted products that never reach their full potential if we don’t have consistent inspiration throughout the process. You can always tell what a designers inspirations are if you take a close enough look at their products.
Even good designers can’t avoid this, and it’s admirable to try. Even through valiant efforts though some games and stories are obviously taken or inspired by other works, and there’s no shame in it. Also, as much as the wild and ridiculous games of developers like The Behemoth (if you don’t know them… shame on you, look them up) to say they have no inspiration, their ideas definitely spring from some other demented product of another industry or designer.
This is due to the multitude of games and products of other mediums that exist in our day; it’s impossible to really create something original that springs from your head as solely yours. This is something game designers have to understand almost immediately, because you have to always understand that an idea is just that, an idea. Until it takes feasible shape and course an idea is useless, and almost never original.
This leads me to my next topic that I hope to address soon, Innovation: The Best 10 Percent.