This is probably the most important question for any game designer. I ask myself often, where do I get my inspiration? Follow me as I attempt to answer what makes me tick.
Let me tell you about Feira do Livro de Lisboa (Lisbon Book Fair). It’s an annual event that gathers all of Portugal’s book publishers on one of our best parks, Parque Eduardo VII, and incites people to read more. It’s a perfect getaway in the center of the town, near Marquês de Pombal, a must for sunny days and hot spring nights.
I went there three times this week! The first time, I scoped out the place and had to go to our only decent comic book shop in order to slake my reading needs. The second time, I actually bought 50 euros worth of books at the fair. The third time I went there, I just relaxed.
I purchased books that I know will motivate me to push my own projects further, while serving as visual and written motivation.
I bought these:
They’re the seven volumes of Secret Agent X-9, written by Dashiell Hammett and drawn by Alex Raymond of Flash Gordon fame.
If you know your film noir, Dashiell Hammett wrote The Maltese Falcon. I didn’t even know these comics existed. I’ve read through the first volume and yes, I am very glad I bought them at a cheap price, and in perfect condition too.
I also bought this:
I’ve been meaning to read Will Eisner’s The Spirit for a long time. A great excuse to do so is to buy one of the books, that way I’ll stay interested. This one is entirely dedicated to the femmes fatale, the women who thwarted & dazzled The Spirit.
Finally, I bought the first three volumes of The Metabarons translated into Portuguese. The Metabarons is one of Alejandro Jodorowsky comic book masterpieces. If you think you don’t know who the hell Jodorowsky is, but you have played No More Heroes, then you already know one of Suda 51’s inspirations!
I always get my best ideas while talking with people, be it over lunch, chatting online, or just making small talk. That gives you the ideas.
Afterwards comes research, and proper research of your target theme is a must! If you love games, play them. If you love film noir, watch movies, read books and comics about them.
Third comes the actual work, and it’s very difficult to concentrate, especially during surges of new ideas and second hand research. Just maintain your head clear and organize what you need for the task at hand. Listen to some music, and inspiring music isn’t a genre, it’s the music you like the most.
If you have your ideas and your research in motion, start coding. And then blog about it!
PS: This post is part of #AltDevBlogADay, a group of game developers that share their experiences and want to write better and more often. You can find this post here.