I have big creativity burnout :/ Do you have any ideas how can I fight with it ??

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    \$\begingroup\$ cancel internet, stay away from pc's and do a job which is far away from IT like gardening, waiter etc. for at least 3 month ... it clears your mind and boosts your interest again, at least it did for me \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Feb 13 '11 at 0:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this really game-dev related? Maybe try programmers.stackexchange.com ? \$\endgroup\$ – Cyclops Feb 13 '11 at 14:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Creativity is not programming specific. Some would argue quite the opposite, in fact. (I am not such a person.) \$\endgroup\$ – Kylotan Feb 13 '11 at 15:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kylotan, and it's clearly not game-development specific either... Based on the generic question, the OP could be an ad-writer burned out after the Superbowl :) . Basically, it's a Boat Question. \$\endgroup\$ – Cyclops Feb 14 '11 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ To be fair, lots of questions could fall into the "not gamedev specific" category. Animation, audio, rendering, networking, pretty much any game development question could equally apply to simulations, or music software, or web apps, or any number of things. This one here is certainly a vague question but it's still very pertinent to most of us - creativity is a far more relevant issue to most game developers than being able to program on a boat is! \$\endgroup\$ – Kylotan Feb 14 '11 at 14:24
  • Force yourself. The best creative works are 5% inspiration, 95% perspiration. If the ideas aren't flowing, still, keep working. Get your mind into the habit of getting work done and that is half the battle right there.
  • Seek out interesting stimuli. If you're making games, stop looking to other games for inspiration: Watch films, visit a museum, read a book, attend a talk.
  • Improve your skills. Often what we call burnout is really frustration, perhaps because we're having trouble fleshing out an idea or implementing a design. If this is true, ask other designers how they overcome problems, or read books such as The Art of Game Design to gain a fresh perspective on your game, or scour a few blogs to gain inspiration from published games.
  • Improve or change your tools. Related to the skills issue is the tools issue. Sometimes you just need to use different tools to see the work in a different light and perhaps discover new ways to make progress. If you normally write linear design docs, try a mind-map, or a Wiki. If you make maps in a 3D editor, try sketching them on paper or using a 2D tile editor. Try a different graphics app, audio app, programming language, game engine or library, or game-maker environment. A subtly different approach can often result in a massively different result.
  • Work with artificial constraints and starting points. Pick 2 random nouns from a dictionary and try to combine them into some sort of gameplay. Go for a walk and try to think of games based around things that you see. Look up a film on IMDB.com and see how you would make a game out of it. Take a game you know well and see if you could rework the essence of its gameplay to work with one button, or two colours, or audio only.
  • Rediscover your original motivation. If you care about burnout, that implies that you feel unable to do something which you really wish to do. Why do you wish to design games? Think back on what originally caught your interest, imagine the context and the possibilities that you saw, and recapture the feeling.
  • Back to the first one - force yourself. If you can follow Chris's suggestion and take 3 months off to recharge your batteries then that is great, but most of the time you can't afford to only work half the time. Get used to making those first marks on an intimidatingly blank canvas, and don't worry about failure - you can revise and improve your work later, as long as you do the work in the first place. Even the greatest novels consist 1/3rd of words like "the", "and", "is", and so on - and there's no reason why that requires inspiration or creativity. Keep designing - you can improve it later.
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the very well thought out answer. I especially like the first part, although you may wish to add 5% suffering and 5% tears... :) \$\endgroup\$ – James Feb 14 '11 at 16:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Very great answer, the only thing I miss is musical inspiration from the second paragraph. Even if it only inspires for 10 minutes, it might just be enough to get you going. \$\endgroup\$ – akaltar Dec 25 '13 at 18:43

Help others with their problems. You will naturally seek creative solutions for them and the juices will start flowing again.


I've found this helpful, and it can also be found in "If you want to write" by Brenda Ueland.

Take a walk.

A long walk. At least 45 minutes. With no specific destination. Don't try to think about anything specific. At some point, things just start to pop in your head.


I've been finding side projects help a lot. I went and got a job at an actual game studio, and somehow, spending forty hours a week plowing through game bugs makes me more productive at home, even discounting the fewer hours I work on my own projects.

If I end up leaving this studio I'll probably contract myself out as an indie game coder. You provide art and design and money, I make your game, and on the side, I make my game.

Another trick I've found is that, if you start getting bored with writing a game, start a different game. You have to be really careful with this one so you don't just leave a trail of abandoned games behind, but as long as you keep going back to them, juggling two or three dev projects can leave you more productive on all of them than you'd be individually.


Another thing to try is tidy your workspace. Clean the whole space from top to bottom. Get rid of everything you don't need - even if that is into a box to deal with later.

You may find that the clearing of space also has a clearing of mind effect.


There is some good tips HERE and more info.

  1. Do Something You Love Doing / Spending Time On Your Hobbies
  2. Take a Break
  3. Spend Time with Others
  4. Change Surroundings
  5. Read Magazines, Books, Websites
  6. Inspirational Websites and Galleries
  7. Browse Portfolios
  8. Visit a Creative Showcase (art, theatre, etc)
  9. Travel
  10. Work Out / Stay Active
  11. Evaluate

Make a strict schedule for your project. Don't spend too much time on a single aspect of a game or you'll end up with filler content that just makes your game harder to make in the long run. Using a role playing game as an example, making a ton of classes means making more equipment and skills, which in turn means more work when balancing the gameplay. This is an example of Parkinson's Law. I'm just getting over game design burnout myself by following this principle.



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