View Full Version : How do you fight lack of inspiration?.

07-20-2009, 02:17 PM
I spent the whole weekend trying to make a level, i made some gadgets and stuff but there was a point where i really couldn't think of anything else to do and my level ended up very short.

07-20-2009, 02:33 PM
Just do something else. Anything not LBP related. No one forces you to make levels, therefor you can take your time and wait until you have a good idea. :)

07-20-2009, 03:25 PM
I've been in a slump too lately. I can't even seem to think up any devices. :[

07-20-2009, 03:25 PM
lol, i know how u feel, i had moments where i just couldn't think of anything to put in my level so i played community levels and story levels, really gave some cool ideas :)

07-20-2009, 04:41 PM
I've not been doing well at all! My habits are that I LOVE to start stuff, but never finish it or just cut it short with a stupid ending. I also think of an idea and make stuff up as I go along, which then turns out to be garbage (See my level, "a hard shooter with no real storyline"). Hopefully something turns up that is an inspiration.

07-20-2009, 05:02 PM
maybe you can try using some plants

07-20-2009, 06:13 PM
Yes, try something else for a while, like drawing or something,

Don't burn yourself out.

07-20-2009, 06:18 PM
I'd agree. Either go play a bunch of levels that can spark creativity by seeing how someone else set up a level. The other thing I do is go watch a movie or listen to music and just free associate stuff. Like if I was going to try and make this movie in LBP how would I make this set or that vechicle. Helps knock out the cobwebs and get the creativity flowing again.

07-20-2009, 06:26 PM
I had a similar thing for about a month recently and I can only agree with everyone else here - don't force it.

To be honest though:

I spent the whole weekend trying to make a level
I think that there is your problem. If you are trying to come up with ideas for a whole level, and implement them, in a single weekend, you are going to be very hard pressed to produce anything significant. Take your time. Creating a whole level will take a while so don't be disheartened.

07-20-2009, 06:59 PM
The three main creative outlets - reading, music and drawing. These things get your creativity running again.
I agree with Morgana 100% in that thinking how things would work in the LBP universe is useful and can easily help you get started again.
But its all about the fun - so don't force anything :)

07-21-2009, 07:59 PM
What I do: Go take a walk outside, watch a movie, listen to music, speak with LBP friends and/or sleep lol :)

07-21-2009, 08:07 PM
I've said it before - music really helps me! Either the story or theme of a song gives me a few ideas. I know you like MUSE, listen closely to the lyrics in for example, Knights of Cydonia and i'm sure you'd get some ideas for a awesome level!

07-22-2009, 08:49 PM
I play a lot of classic games, which are FULL of great gameplay ideas. I've gotten a bunch of inspiration that way.

07-22-2009, 09:23 PM
Take a step back. Breathe in. Breathe out. Now... read a book.

I take inspirations from history to other videogames to even my own imagination. But when I pick up a book, it opens up new ideas for me. Fantasy, Sci-fi, Adventure; the list goes on.

As everyone constantly says: relax. Do stuff that you enjoy. Be happy! LittleBIGPlanet can wait 'til tomorrow. Take a nice walk, watch a movie, play other games... just unwind, and feel at ease. And once you feel ready, just start brainstorming. It'll come to you in a flash. Boom- New ideas just waiting to be set forth into the "LittleBIG" world appear spontaniously. And once you settle on one- maybe even several- start creating. Just keep visualizing the result, how great of a masterpiece it is, how every switch and piston work on command in perfect harmony... and how many people will applaud at your accomplishment. This always helps me...

Or sticking yur head in a bucket of ice water. That helps too. :P

07-26-2009, 11:15 AM
i spin round while running round in a circle while jumping on a trampoline

07-27-2009, 12:01 AM
Hi SrAbsolution. Forgive me for a late reply, as I just saw this thread.:)

You ask a very profound question, as I believe most of us here have experienced this at least once in our lives, even if it was not related to LBP. Many of my lifelong hobbies and interests have revolved around the aspects of art in it's various forms.

So, there are several things that I do, to ward off the ever looming "lack of inspiration". I won't list this below, as some may find it difficult to do, but whenever I'm searching for an idea for any creation, I visualize a blank piece of white paper, or canvas, as I'm trying to fall asleep, and I tell myself I must find an idea to fill the canvas before I wake--a mental management technique that has worked for me.

1. Before I ever start creating a level, I create a brief outline of the level...very easy to accomplish on paper before comitting myself in Create Mode, and I can enjoy a cup of coffee in a quiet setting while doing so. I find a relaxed atmosphere can promote free thinking.
2. If the creative juices begin flowing untapped, I will expound on areas of the outline, adding more details as they present themselves.
3. If all I am able to accomplish in one sitting (or 2 cups of coffee), is the basic outline, then I will typically have enough information to create the structural elements of the level--i.e. buildings, rooms, corridors, etc...the visual elements.
4. I also like to create the main element/object that the level will showcase, and then drop it in place, and often build outward from there.
5. While in Create Mode, I continue referring back to my outline, focusing on one section at a time, sometimes sketching elements I want to include in that section if needed, then making attempts to build the element, and then implement it in the level.
6. And this is more a rule-of-thumb; I never subject myself to a timeline...it induces stress and negatively impacts creativity and free thought. My goal is, ultimately, to create something I enjoy. If I can't derive pleasure from the creating experience, then I don't consider it a worthwhile endeavor, and I would be better off shelving the idea...and possibly have another cup of coffee...in a quiet place...with no distractions.:)

Hope this helps!


07-27-2009, 12:10 AM
yeah i agree with you hehe, play other lvls and get inspiration like i do, look at some creations then get ideas about it and change it a little :)

07-27-2009, 02:59 AM
-Play other people's levels
-Watch various YouTube videos
-Look at stuff around you

For example, Whaaaaaale gave me a level idea and he doesn't even know it. :p

07-29-2009, 03:53 AM
I can partially relate..
If I'm feeling un-inspired, I'll look at someone's stuff, but there's a danger. sometimes I see a solution, or a trick that floors me, and then I can't seem to think about anything besides playing with that solution. It's like getting a great song in your head, and not being able to shake it. lol

07-29-2009, 04:00 AM
-Play other people's levels
-Watch various YouTube videos
-Look at stuff around you

For example, Whaaaaaale gave me a level idea and he doesn't even know it. :p

Now he does. :rolleyes:

Anywho, just do something else, LBP can't be the only game you got, right?
You should play some other game you got, or not play LBP for a while and do some other stuff.
Remember that inspiration is found in the most unexpected places, and only going out there to llok for it will you be able to find it. :)

07-30-2009, 02:16 AM
When I have creator's block, I just surf the web, and play random flash games on newgrounds. This creator's block is SOOOOO ANNOYING!

08-03-2009, 11:17 AM
have some alcohol.

08-10-2009, 11:15 AM
i go for a walk

08-18-2009, 09:54 AM
What I do is try to remember my dream, and start a story driven on this.

It makes no sense but it's fun to do :D

08-31-2009, 12:01 PM
What I do is, I play the story levels to give me a spark of light :)

09-01-2009, 03:28 PM
For LBP-related block, I play a lot of other people's levels. Ironically, the badly-made levels seem to help me with inspiration frustrations.

09-01-2009, 04:18 PM
Yea thats kind of the same for me, although i would end up asking the creator of that level if they want help and then improve upon what they have then send it back to them XD

As for self inspiration?
hmm i dont know to be honest i just start creating whenever i feel like it.

09-04-2009, 12:05 AM
Just read a novel it might spark an idea!

09-05-2009, 10:54 PM
I may regret saying this, but I once looked through a dictionary for ideas, I would find a word, and turn it into something xD

09-08-2009, 07:27 PM
With a sharp knife and a taste for vengeance...

NAH! Just do anything. It helps, trust me!

09-12-2009, 04:58 AM
i know what you feel my levels are all half done and most of them are broken :(

09-12-2009, 07:57 PM
Yeah I see what you mean, I tend to rush levels sometimes and they turn out with big problems even though I swear there was no problems before, or I delete them because of lack of inspiration. But today I decided to see District 9 again, and lo and behold my head was filled with so many ideas for a District 9 level that it would take like.... forever to make! So yeah as other people have said take a little break from building a level and do something else like watch a movie or draw, oh and I am sooo gonna make a District 9 level!

09-12-2009, 09:44 PM
i think i will plan out my levels before making them so i don't get stuck

09-14-2009, 10:36 AM
I'm currently making a 2 player level,
I have been making it all last week and all was going well,
Until the weekend, when I just dont know what to make,
I am also trying to think of a good way for the player to arrive into the level, I dont want a standard stationery checkpoint.
I guess i'll have to do some of the tips mentioned in here, like drawing.

Now, how can i fight my lack of inspiration as to what to draw!?

javi haguse
09-14-2009, 04:04 PM
I would suggest draw stuff related to you level. If you're doing District 9, like someone mentioned, try drawing characters or maybe scenes.. that will help out.
I usually don't draw. It sounds bad, but I usually just wing it. I have a general idea of a a couple a sections that I want to do, and then I kinda build around them. To get inspiration, I usually play some community levels or just ask around. In my last level, JulesyJules actually came up with the ending.. So asking here would be your best bet.

What is hard for me is the expectation. We all want to make a better level than the previous one, and people expect it too. So even though I come up with ideas, I don't think they're on that "next level"... I want to come up with something that will blow people away! That's why I haven't started my new project... and cause I'm lazy..

09-14-2009, 05:31 PM
The level im making is Mining Mayhem 2 player,
It is the same theme as my original mining mayhem level, but with 2 player, although the obstacles are different.

I had been sketching out each stage and making it after but now that I have caught up with my drawings, I just dont know what to draw any more

I did do a random drawing of a gromit model I have (Wallace & gromit) cos I didnt know what to draw! lol but that didnt help.

I think I will get some people to test my level and see what they think. and will play some 2 player levels to get ideas.

If anyone wants to test my level with me, add me as a friend on PSN: DarkHawken

09-16-2009, 07:44 PM
Instead of thinking of neat things that you can do in a level, try coming up with a theme and an atmosphere for your level. Once you have that you would be surprised how things just kind of fall in place.
When I made my level I didn't have a single clue how to make anything. The first level I published was the first thing I ever did. I didn't have any creation ideas in mind other than knowing that I wanted it to be moody, fun and have a certain story line mind. Everything from the start to the end just kind of fell into place. I would make an area, decided it was to plain, so I would add an obstacle, or a fiery path, or something. If your idea's are organic, and stem from a theme rather than from a neat trick or two that you want to use, your level will be much better.

10-01-2009, 01:28 PM
Another method (which I didn't use for LBP so far, since my lack of inspiration was always blown away within a few minutes, but which is pretty cool!):

Cut a piece of paper into small stripes. Put a random word (you can make like 50% LBP-related, 50% completely random) on each stripe. Put them in some sort of bukkit (and defend it with your life!) and mix 'em up.

Take 5 or 6 random stripes out of your bucket or whatever you used and put them on your desk. You'll get a random assembly of words. You can't really lose anything; the worst thing that could happen is that you won't stop laughing of the nonsense you've just randomly put together. But in most cases, you will get some nice inspiration on what you could build. As said, I didn't use this technique on LBP, but for other creative projects, both in school and private.

Some random words to get you started if you don't even know what words you could put on those pesky little stripes:


Point Bubble
Grab and Swing
Fire Hazard

General Theme:

Dream World

Random Words:

Falling Rocks

As said, just write down whatever comes to your mind. Using this list, you could, for example, get

"Grab and Swing", "Creatures", "Factory", "Swamp", "Juice".

So, take your words and make something up. For example:

Somewhere deep in an uncharted swamp, there's an evil factory. Sackboy must swing his way through the dangerous thicket and find the factory to find out what cruel experiments are taking place inside those walls.

Upon entering the factory, the player will see more and more devices and machinery that lead towards the answer: The corporation seems to kidnap all kinds of creatures (for example, you could simulate a creature abduction of a crocodile or some other beasty while swinging through the jungle to give a first hint), for one single purpose: Turning them into tasty creature juice!

This technique costs you some minutes and can deliver some great ideas on what your next level could look like.