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Discussion Bumbling stock

I have met a stumbling block.

This isn't really a question as such.

I'm struggling at the moment with a horrid combination of lack of inspiration and writer's block. I keep re-writing things but not really getting anywhere. I have an idea of what I want to achieve 'a modern version of lazy jones'. But I'm not getting anywhere.

The problem is every time I try to recode something I learn something new, which in turn justifies my re-writing of it. However this does not produce any results that other people would appreciate.

I'm not a designer which doesn't help.

Does anyone else have writer's block and what form does yous take?


I don't know if it's a "writers block" but sometimes, I spend hours working on art thinking "Wow this is my best piece yet!" and then I step back and see that it looks BAD. And I spend another hour polishing it but it still looks bad. Sometimes, I end up making it look even worse. Then I work on it again the next day, and I do something that improves it. It then sparks off a chain reaction in my mind, and fresh ideas gush in and I figure out how to improve it.

Sometimes, my "writers block" results from me failing to achieve the look of the art style I was going for. I've basically confined myself to that one art reference I liked. I keep checking if my work matches up to my art reference and when it doesn't, I feel like I'm not getting it done because I have a mental block. But when I begin to view the art references as a starting point (and not an iron rule that I must follow), I feel freer and make progress.

The temptation to improve and polish the art does creep in from time to time. But I remind myself that polishing game art can be a never ending process, and it's very impractical to do when there are more important things to work on. Also, re-doing work undoes hours or even days of work; it literally erases ALL the effort and time that went into creating the previous version. I don't like that. So I've decided to be more practical and just go with what I have for the most part.
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Also, re-doing work undoes hours or even days of work; it literally erases ALL the effort and time that went into creating the previous version.
I get what you're saying, but don't necessarily think this is true; each iteration benefits from lessons learned in previous failures, so you're losing time obviously, but it wasn't all for nothing.

I definitely agree with the previous sentence though. There are usually priorities being avoided by focusing on excessive polishing too early in the project.

EDIT: @Daniel Mallett I highly recommend participating in a game jam. Check itch.io's jam section. I decided to do a bunch of them a couple of years ago, and while the games themselves were very small in scope, that's really the whole point. To just take the theme you're given and start making something, and see it to completion.
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I may well have a go at the next jam. I agree with what you say about re-writing. Every time I do It I generally learn something new. It's when you re-write 1000's of lines of code and doesn't achieve much is when you need to stop. However it's much quicker the second time around and even quicker the third.

A jam would probably be good for me as I won't have time to be anal. I think being anal is spoiling my enjoyment with game maker. I do need to stop this.

Thanks, guys.

Edit: Sorry I have to ask this it's unpleasant to have to ask but I genuinely can't locate the jam rules, topic, deadline, etc. I see the forum thread but there is no obvious this is the start end date this is what it's about this is where you post it this is how to post it. Sorry :(
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For the GMC jam? I've never participated in it before, but the stickied thread's first post seems pretty comprehensive:



Can I suggest you go to a library and take inspiration from books there.
Perhaps see how they write ?
I'm currently reading a book for story inspiration(it's fun) but while reading I'm also learning how the author wrote his book, which in turn might help me write stories for games in the future(atleast better).

It really is different than just reading a book to follow the story, you read the book, take note of how the author describes the world, can you picture it ? what of the scene is being described, how are the characters referred to, how do they talk, how much time is spent in a scenario.. fun stuff that might be motivational.
It's different appreciating and understanding art than it is to actually do it. I've wasted about two weeks playing hearthstone at this point.


Often we have to change our question in order to find the answer, from having a question with no imaginable answer.

I wonder if there's a book on game dev psychology, no not on how to write, code, draw etc.. but mental barriers and how to over come them when writing, coding and drawing.
I'm reminded of my CSGO days, I'd chat in the casual matches, then head over to comp and few rounds in I'll notice the scoreboard, things are looking good, then I start talking again. And it's like when my brain switches over from engaging with intent, to interacting as a sort of viewer where I'm focused on conversation I actually start losing. And this is interesting because in a competitive match the goal is victory.

Perhaps when the goal becomes a blur, we lose focus ? Which could explain why we spend time here looking for validation or just to feel relevant as indie devs and side track..

I can imagine if you set your hands on fire, since our minds are closely linked to our input from our bodies, the goal becomes very clear. Remove the pain, take out the fire.
But there's no fire under game developers unless you do it for a living, unless tomorrow you don't eat without progress.
Sure you'll see people in poverty, and so on and think well they're doing really bad from my perspective and being there would be a fire under me, but they haven't done anything so is a fire really going to make a difference ?

Since the thread is asking about individual roadblocks or barriers towards progress, I would say find your fire.
When you can clearly imagine your back against the wall, and the only way is forward, will the solutions come to you ?

Also, a lot of people have got by without even reading this, makes sense to me, without applying certain methods..time passed and they somehow came out and reached the goal. Perhaps tomorrow you realize you only had to uninstall hearthstone, or perhaps you had to achieve the goal that you're going for in heartstone in order to put it down and come back to your story, because as they say "it's the journey that counts, not the destination" you enjoyed the heartstone journey more than the game dev one.. or your heartstone vision was more clear.

Tomorrow I could work on what I should work on, without a single mental issue.. it'll go smoothly, I'll crunch the relevant problems with joy..
Or just not and go with the wind instead. Have I lost sight of my fire. ;P