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Josuke

Here's the main problem I run into when designing a map

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Well actually, it's two. Clickbait???

 

Anyways, the first problem I have is I come up with a solid design, but I always try to one-up myself with something "better" that ends up looking bad, and it's demotivating to say the least. Second, I always feel as if I could do better, especially with some recent standards being set a bit higher. Sadly, I'm the best at attention to detail, which is what ALSO demotivates me.

 

I have a solution to the first problem, and that happens to be sticking with the original design/theme and seeing how it goes. I think it's a lot better than trying to one up myself all the time, in hopes that I'll somehow create something super amazing and well made.

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Posted (edited)

I have a similar feeling. A lot of my maps end just due to exhaustion of ideas but ideally I'd like to make them 30% larger. I just refuse to pad them out with low level crap just to bloat it up.

 

What I do for original content is I keep a pad of paper with me. I don't go out of my way to have ideas but let them come to me. Each time, something unique I've never seen in Doom before. Once I've got enough ideas I just do a map that has them all. Each idea is usually a room or set of rooms that can be put into any map. Doom has that thing where not everything has to be slavishly adherent to the plot. There is room to experiment.

 

I found that trying to stick to a single theme is exhausting. E.g. if everything had to be an alien world, I'd quickly run out of ideas. So, I have no central theme, or have a central theme that doesn't dictate design (like, you're put through a random set of tests, etc).

 

So, basically I think the solution is to collect ideas as you go about your life. For example, I recently thought, wouldn't it be cool to have a Dr Who Tardis in the game. Bigger on the inside than the outside and find a way to make it seem real in the game. There's also a robot construction factory I remember from another game. Would be fun to show the different stages of construction, power it up with a Megasphere then have the thing go haywire and attack you. These ideas are just on paper at the moment. Once the urge to make them real gets too great to ignore, I'll sit down and make a level out of them.

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I wonder how many books would have never been written if their authors waited for the words to come to them. Waiting for creativity over pursuing creative excercises has got to be one of the most lazy and ineffective ways to get work done, but it's ok; as long as you never release your maps nobody will know how much shit you're full of ;D

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For an answer to the OP: if you find yourself struggling with creativity, Google "creative excercises" (maybe combined with "writing" or something similar) or "help with writers block." Most points transfer over. As an example, this is an amazing article I just looked up; I'd highly recommend it to everybody interested in creative pursuits to read:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/blog.ghost.org/10-minute-writing-workouts/amp/

 

Some great take-aways, mostly in no coherent order:

 

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Although some people try to find the science in it, writing is really an art. Which means it's hard to study precisely, and it's hard for us to know exactly what we can do to get better at it.

 

But most great writers agree there are two main ways to become a better writer: write a lot, and read a lot.

 

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the idea of free writing can be beneficial. Personally, I'm not a fan of spending time writing when I know I'll throw away the results. I've learned to maximise the efficiency of the time I spend writing, and to treasure every word I squeeze out.

If you're like me, and you think it's a waste of time—even for 10 minutes—to waffle on about your breakfast (see what I did there?) in a journal every morning, here's what free writing could do for you that you're missing:

It teaches you to write on cue.

If you're a writer, you know how useful this could be. How many times have you sat, staring at a blank page, willing the words to come? Often it's not for lack of inspiration that I can't write—I just can't find the right mood to get me going.

Wouldn't you give up 10 minutes a day to stop wasting hours staring at a blank page?

See, writing works like a muscle. The more you work it, the better you get at it. And the cool thing is, you can train it to work how you want. So if you sit down at the same time every day for 10 minutes to write, it'll start coming more easily as your brain gets used to that schedule. You're training yourself to be able to write on cue.

 

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You could also relate this exercise to your work by writing about marketing opportunities for your business, for instance, or challenging yourself to write about your company's ideal customer. When I was writing every morning at 6am, I would always choose a topic to work on the night before so all I had to do in the morning was write.

 

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I'd do one for a few minutes before digging into an article or review, and it actually seemed to help me jumpstart my creativity... just having some randomly different creative thing to write for no good reason first, and making myself just keep typing before switching gears to work seemed to help.

 

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If you're doing great at getting words on the page but you think your finished product could be tightened up more, you might want to practise editing rather than free-writing style exercises.

One way I've found to get better at editing my own work is to edit other people's work. Sometimes it's hard to step back from your own writing and see how it's changed over time and where you can improve. Getting feedback is always useful, but seeing concrete examples of how to improve writing that's not so emotionally connected to you can also work wonders.

 

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Perhaps fretting over the little details is less important than sharing interesting ideas on a regular basis year after year.

 

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[Re: editing other's work]

...at first, I tended to try and rewrite things the way I would normally write them myself. What surprised me was how quickly I found myself repeating the same things over and over again: sentence structure, vocabulary, etc...

 

When I stepped back and tried to edit it as a reader rather than a writer (e.g., "how can I make this article more useful for me?", versus "how can I make this article sound more like me?"), I began to focus on edits that truly improved clarity and effectiveness, and that's where I began to get real value from the exercise. I didn't just get practice finding weak spots and improving them, but I began to pick up on strong spots and internalize different ways that other writers make strong points. Later, I found myself incorporating some of those techniques in my own writing.

 

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A big part of creativity—and in particular, having new ideas—is finding new ways to connect old things. As the saying goes, everything is a remix.

So it pays to improve your ability to see new connections between existing ideas.

 

If you struggle with the critical side of things, it may be helpful for you to just ignore those thoughts for the "first draft" and bring them out only on revision.

 

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... the critical side of my brain kept kicking on and evaluating the viability of topics before they even got on the paper. If I could have ignored that part of my brain, I would have finished with more ideas,...

 

The biggest thing with creative pursuits is just getting something, anything, down on paper (or in this case, in-editor); you can always review, and edit, or remake it later. There is something to be said about sleeping on an idea, but it should be heavily noted that is only after getting something down first.

 

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In the video above, John [Cleese] tells a story that illustrates this process perfectly (it starts at 2:30). He wrote a script one day that he really liked, but ended up losing the script later. Since he couldn't find it anywhere but was so happy with the original, he forced himself to write it out again from memory. Yep, a total rewrite from scratch.

 

Later on, John found the original and was curious enough to compare the two. He found that the second version was actually noticeably better than the original. Somehow, John's subconscious had continued to work on his ideas without him realising, so when he wrote the script the second time he did a better job.

 

The extra time (and sleep) in-between drafting and rewriting is key here. This is when your brain gets to work on the ideas subconsciously so you can improve your writing the next day.

 

If you sit forever waiting for creativity to come you'll produce nothing fast.

 

Hopefully this is helpful to you, but the biggest thing to take away from this is that you need to get something down first; a rough draft. From there you can do many things with your creativity, but without lines in the editor you'll forever be looking at: "plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines."

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23 minutes ago, alowe said:

Fonze, stop being a dick.

Come on man, he was probably joking around a little. No need to start anything.

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1 hour ago, AbsorbedHatch said:

Come on man, he was probably joking around a little. No need to start anything.

My mistake. I thought he was just being a dick for his e-peenies. I take it back ;P

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1 hour ago, DILDOMASTER666 said:

 

AlexJonesReptilian-1.jpg

 

1 hour ago, AbsorbedHatch said:

Come on man, he was probably joking around a little. No need to start anything.

 

19 minutes ago, alowe said:

My mistake. I thought he was just being a dick for his e-peenies. I take it back ;P

 

I'm glad this situation seems to have been defused. I was afraid the thread was going to head down a dark rabbit hole.

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