Creative Block

Creative Block

Nov 22, 2022

In the spirit of full transparency, I'm going to talk about one of the more frustrating parts of working on a long-term project, which is when one inevitably hits a creative block.

I've been experiencing a creative block since around mid-October. For those who check the Roadmap, you may have seen that I'm making progress and chipping away at the outlines for each character's stories, but it's slow-going. There are some days where I hardly touch the stuff because I can't think of anything to put down and I end up getting down on myself because I want to create but my brain just...won't let me. The issue also spreads over into the artistic aspect of the game, too. It doesn't help that I've switched art programs and am still struggling with getting into the groove of working with the new one.

However, it's not just a lack of new ideas that is contributing to the creative block, I feel. I believe there is a level of executive dysfunction in the mix, too. The blank page is probably one of the most intimidating things for me. There's so much possibility that can go there that it's easy to freeze up when considering the potential of it all. I have skills to work through it, to only focus on what's right in front of me (I like to say "what's within render distance"), and just put stuff down to tell myself that I can edit it later. And, usually, that works. For art. Writing is a different beast. Making a game is a different beast. And I'm so passionate about this game and the ideas that I have and the stories I want to tell that I not only want the outlines to be good, I need them to be.

If I don't have a strong foundation for the rest of the story to rest upon, I'm not going to be happy with the product I put out and it's going to be more work for me in the long run when it comes to editing and refining and final polishing. Additionally, it's so frustrating to have the ideas in your head but not be able to convey them on paper accurately, especially when that inability spreads to all of the creative aspects of a project.

I'm not going to deny that a lot of this stems from my own perfectionism. I know this is my first game and that it doesn't need to be perfect, nor will it be upon final release. That notion is what's helping me chip away at the story even when I'm not feeling like the stuff I'm writing down is any good. I do feel like I'm at the tail-end of my writer's block. I was really caught up around Day 5, where I noticed there's a waiting period for a few characters while they get things set up for the Big Date on Day 6 or Day 7. In the very original outlines that I had written before the demo even came out, I just had some small talk with those characters on those days but I feel like that would be extremely boring and I didn't want to just gloss over those days. After talking to my girlfriend about the issue, she helped me figure out a solution that I'm happy with and that's helped me move forward into the other days. It's not specifically tied to the romance of any one character and it expands on the Player's childhood and friendship with Alice, so it is a more meaningful interaction than just small talk or glossing over the entire day.

The art block is still running rampant, though. However, I'm taking some commissions on the side to help my girlfriend pay for her top surgery in April next year, so I'm hoping that drawing things aside from Fluff Crush might allow my brain some room to refill its creative tank. This means that progress is going to be extra slow for a bit, though, just a heads up.

Thanks for reading and I'll see y'all next time.

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