Message Board


Message Board > Malarkey > inspiration and the death of creativity

April 2, 2013, 23:47
DTM
Earthling!
815 posts

Hey.

Has anyone else experienced a decline in creativity as they age?

I remember as a child/teenager, I had so many ideas and projects I worked on.

But now it seems I view everything through the lense of how will this earn money.

I used to make stupid little half finished games, and it was fun. But now, if I start to plan a game, I have to think of all the necessary polish that would be required to make something that was sellable, and it just gets boring. (And from experience, I found achieving that level of polish - or even coming close to it - sucked all the fun out of game making).

And also - just *small* things were fun when I was younger. Making some simple 3D maze game, with blood splatters that appeared on the wall when you shoot. That was cool. But now I just look at AAA games and see everything has already been done (and done better) and can't be bothered to do it myself.

Just a little while ago, I tried to force myself to stop for a time focussing on money, and spend some time on the sort of project I thought would be purely interesting, with no particular likelihood of profit; something to do with machine vision and AI. I spent about 3 days on it then my enthusiasm just petered out and died.

The saddest thing of all, is that I now actually have the necessary technical skills to do so many things I couldn't have before when I was younger. But now I have no desire; I just don't seem to enjoy it any more.

Maybe this is just a normal part of getting old, with earning money being such a necessity? Or maybe I'm getting depressed or burnt out? Or it's just laziness?

How do I find my inner child, my creative spark!?

:what:

(I think part of this soul searching has been inspired by reading Rincewind's blog. That's some deep stuff...)
____________
:o
#
April 3, 2013, 01:02
Rincewind
programmer
1516 posts

I agree it's hard to compete with big budget titles these days. I have been working on the same strategy game since 2005, just to create something of commercial quality. However, considering I'm nowhere near finishing, I now realize I tried to make a game that's really too big for a single person. So I decided to use the game's engine and make a much smaller game. This way, at least I can finish it. Because it's so much smaller it's much more unlikely that I'll ever be able to make money with it, but at least I'll have a game finished. I'll try to keep future projects small as well.

Small games can be popular too, especially on mobile devices. Mobile devices are a blessing - they allow us to make games that are simple and you can still make money with it.

While it's much more unlikely that I'll make money with my current game project, I think I'll still try to make it a commercial game. I think I like the money-drive. To me making money is really a game I am not very good at, but want to get better at. The only thing I ever tried making money with was my blog (with Google Adsense), but I failed miserably, I only made 6.60 euros over two years. Now I'm trying again, with a new Adsense website, but this time with an url that consists of strong keywords, and Google ranks urls first that match search keywords, so hopefully I'll get enough traffic this time.

You yourself have tried to make money too with websites, right? I remember your Vocaroo service. Did all of your money making projects fail? I think you should stay at it, and keep refining your ideas to make money, until you're on the money.
____________
Personal website: http://www.loijson.com
#
April 3, 2013, 16:15
Dennis
どこかにいる
2050 posts

I really can't say for myself because I don't make games professionally. What I DO feel is a decrease in "pep" ever since I got employed.

How is your work-life balance? Surely, it is ideal that your hobby is your job, but I felt as my job being a programmer, that I find little amusement in creating standalone projects in my leisure. :S You see it as work and not as a hobby anymore. Maybe that's why you think of factors like budgets and profits. The view of a child is much simpler.

You could force yourself to take off a few weeks for a holiday and book a Center Parcs or something for the first weekend or week and force yourself not to think about work or money. Go with someone who hates ICT subjects.

You could also go from self-employed to employee. You'll lose some responsibilities and control, but you might still earn satisfactorily and feel more secure about your job and salary, that way you'll stop worrying about money... Then again, it's hard to combine programming a game and programming at work, because it is basically almost the same.

It has nothing to do with age though it makes me think of that story about the kid who wants to become a fireman or police officer but eventually turns into a boring paper pusher.

I think you might need to succumb to the generators and the pre-built engines (Unity?). For what is programming becoming? Clicking and dragging in a SAP environment or Sharepoint. Programming is used to tweak it or bend it, but programs aren't purely made from code anymore you download some shit and start messing with it.

When my employer asks me to build a web shop, I'm not going to program it. I'm going to find a package like Magento and start messing with it.

That's how things are now... I guess. BUT, you can still do it the old-skool way to learn coding as a hobby, but the results will not be that incredible. :)

Then again, the simple games are still popular! Take CurveFever for instance; you're a friggin' dot that turns left or right.
____________
Kwakkel
#
April 3, 2013, 17:40
Zomg
None
641 posts
Yeah, I am experiencing it too.

The key ingredients for re-ignition of your creativity.. yes, that is a tough one. It requires a thorough psychological analysis.
This is not a very easy issue to figure out and I will probably not be able to figure out your problem just now, but I can tell you my thoughts.

You are experiencing what is known as 'perceived obsolescence'. Your little games only seem older because the other ones are supposedly 'newer' and 'better'. 'newer' is the keyword here. Do not be fooled by that word. Do what you want and ignore the big players. Put them out of the picture. Ignore competition. Think of the world as you thought of it back when you were 14 years old. You had a computer and the public library and you couldn't wait to discover the world. Start developing your game for fun and for passion!

If it is any consolation, you get smarter as you get older. I definitely feel this, especially with mathematics. This increase in intelligence makes me feel vibrant and happy as is the case with young creativity. What helps me drive that creative spark.. let's see:

- brainstorm and draw things out (fun!)
- make enough progress (slowing down tends to make me feel lazy)
- work together with someone and have good laughs and good times about developing (fun!)

To quote on Dennis' reference about the kid who wanted to become a fireman and became a paper pusher: I have another similar story:
This kid wanted to become a fireman ever since he was 6 years old. 12 years later, he still wanted to become a fireman. Now, his teachers started to object on that. That's right. "You don't need to do that horrible job, you are so smart. You can do anything." The kid didn't listen to their depressing speech and he pursued a career in firefighting! That's right, he became a fireman. :) Later, he told everyone how much he loves doing his job, how he enjoys saving lives and how people are thankful to him. He feels like a worthy human being, as opposed to being a paper pusher who feels like his job is an endless, mindless chore.
Like a classmate of mine said: "Your job should be an enjoyment, not an endurance.". Improper career choice is one of the major causes of happiness declination.

I also ran a kwerrie on Google about this: http://www.wikihow.com/Embrace-Your-Inner-Child
Looks like the general message is to stop obsessing about petty details. Look at your cute little funny avatar. Here's what I recommend doing: start drawing more of those funny characters on a paper, color them and then show them to us.

Some more links:
http://shankman.com/how-to-fin … ost-creativity/

Another piece of advice I read is: "take your time". :o

I hope this helps so far.

p.s.: I am super creative! :P So.. I might be able to help you.

//Edit1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v … 3F6B87A214E9482 Should watch that. =)
Watch some Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes for inspiration. Real childish stuff. =P

[Edited on April 3, 2013 by Zomg]
____________
#
April 3, 2013, 23:01
DTM
Earthling!
815 posts

Vocaroo has been somewhat successful. Over several years it has been slowly growing and now makes me a (small) wage. Which is nice, since it mostly runs itself (maybe I spend a day a week maintaining it and replying to support emails), and I guess I should be very grateful for that since it has allowed me to avoid getting a "real" job and working in an office type environment or for other people, which I hate the idea of. (I'm just a very unsociable person :F ).

But still, I need/want more. And I don't feel I can rely on Vocaroo in long term, since tech changes - Flash Player doesn't work on most mobile devices, and HTML5 audio recording is not widely supported yet. Google or some other large player could easily bring out an audio sharing service and crush me overnight.

To treat money making as a game, that's an interesting idea. Now where are the cheat codes? Everything that seems to have a possibility of earning money just seems boring. (All my game projects pretty much failed commercially, so I guess I'm not really a game developer as a profession.)

I think possibly my work-life balance is indeed a bit screwed up. Maybe I need a holiday indeed.

I might take a look at Unity again, yeah. I had a brief experiment with Panda3D, which uses Python, certainly better than C++. Using C++ was I think the biggest mistake I made, productivity wise. (Though I probably learnt a lot).

Quote:
Do what you want and ignore the big players. Put them out of the picture. Ignore competition. Think of the world as you thought of it back when you were 14 years old.
...
Look at your cute little funny avatar. Here's what I recommend doing: start drawing more of those funny characters on a paper


you know, I might just do (attempt..) that. I actually bought a course/book thing on how to sketch properly some months ago. Maybe I'll take a break and learn some drawing skills. Hmmmmmm!

I guess there's the age-old idea of the starving artist. Creativity and money making don't easily go hand in hand. Anything fun to do, everyone is doing it, so the quality levels are insanely high (see: game development).

...eh, well, it's nice to have a quarter or third-life crisis I guess...

It's been nice to hear you guys stories too :)
____________
:o
#
April 4, 2013, 00:01
Rincewind
programmer
1516 posts

Vocaroo makes you a small wage? That's great! If you don't mind sharing, how much money do you make each day, on average?
____________
Personal website: http://www.loijson.com
#
April 4, 2013, 01:28
raverdave
Don't Give A F*CK
154 posts

What you may be experiencing is a thing called 'sour grapes' as we english call it. you will probably experience this several times in your life, facts are everyone are young at some point, and we all had that.. don't give a f*ck attitude, and any advice that is directed to us by 'older' people goes into one ear and out of the other, taking that advice would've saved years of wasting your life, but just like you,me, my father even.. probably his father also.. the list is endless, had that unfortunate 'know it all f*ck the rest' attitude, hell I still have mine, but just as I type right now I am trying to appreciate time and use every minute of it as fulfilling and productive as possible. Probably within the last few weeks I started to put more effort into things and never gave up, if I couldn't do something before I would give up, now I ask for help until my problem is resolved, my progress shows. And even though I am tempted right now to end this with a totally mental rant like I normally would, I would like to present myself as pretty f'ing serious about this subject.

[Edited on April 4, 2013 by raverdave]
____________
Gimme my toetag already...
#
April 4, 2013, 10:38
Zomg
None
641 posts
Quoting raverdave:
any advice that is directed to us by 'older' people goes into one ear and out of the other

I never had that disrespectful mindset. O.o I always respected what my parents and older people told me. In fact, it has gotten me on the good path in life. =)
____________
#
April 4, 2013, 14:04
Zomg
None
641 posts
Dear DTM

I would like to help you by showing you my creativity. =)

See enclosed image:



I am studying for my XML course and I do not understand it very well. What did I do? I started sketching out what I am reading on paper. What does it mean? What am I reading? I brainstormed about it.

I hope it helps. =)
____________
#
April 4, 2013, 16:30
raverdave
Don't Give A F*CK
154 posts

hmmm, looks pretty disorganised,perhaps flow charts are the thing, like this: http://wizard4j.org/pc?action=flowcharts
____________
Gimme my toetag already...
#
April 4, 2013, 16:56
Zomg
None
641 posts
raverdave, organization is the cause of loss of creativity.
Being a boring pencil pusher and to think inside the box is the fault at this. Be liberal, be creative! Draw all over the place! Banish structure!

I have a creative mind. <3

Watch the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watchv= … 3F6B87A214E9482

p.s.: FLOWCHARTS ARE BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

//Edit: my blood pressure is so high it's driving me nuts. 16/8 ROFL

[Edited on April 4, 2013 by Zomg]
____________
#
April 4, 2013, 23:42
DTM
Earthling!
815 posts

Rincewind,

Hmmmm.. Some rough numbers: Maybe ~50 (~60 EUR) / day on average, though it varies, it could be +/- 20 either way. With 7 days a week this is a little over UK minimum wage.

RPM (revenue per thousand impressions) of 0.69 (~0.80 EUR) according to adsense.

This is from ~100,000 pageviews a day.

I think if you have a text/informational content based website, you might hopefully get higher RPM, perhaps by several times, since relevant ads and affiliate stuff can be served (e.g. you write about some kind of computer hardware, and affiliate sell the associated item). Vocaroo does not have such text content, most users just come briefy to listen to a message and leave, so the RPM is a lot lower than some sites.

tip: don't be afraid of big large ads that get in the way :) My revenues went up by 2 - 3 times when I changed from a single small banner ad to having two very large and prominent skyscaper ads as well. That was quite a fun moment, when it went from hobby project to something that might actually sustain me.

...

yay, raverdave is here to kick me in the ass. It's probably what's needed really. Just getting started on something is half the battle.

...

> What does it mean? What am I reading?

I know this feeling a lot.

> Watch the video

that did not seem to work for me. 404.

...

I feel a little better now anyway, it's good to let off some steam now and then.

Think I may try just making a little pointless 3D something, with no purpose at all.. :what:

[Edited on April 4, 2013 by DTM]
____________
:o
#
April 5, 2013, 01:26
raverdave
Don't Give A F*CK
154 posts

If you care to follow my blog: http://davidjohnwheeler.blogspot.co.uk/

I hope to project some inspiration from somebody who is notorious for being lazy and not caring a damn (me)!

Progress is slow atm though as the kids are off school and are raping my pc as I type!! f*ckers....

But I remain with a good attitude and cant wait to code the rest in, I will not bow down to laziness and have created a personal battle with myself to make sure things are finished before they never become finished.

Good luck with your future projects ;)

and really Zomg, I think I would choose simplicity over liberalness any day of the week, hell if you make diagrams that are just all over the place, then one night of getting steaming drunk or even after as long holiday, you will come back to that and it will look like .. well actually you wouldn't understand shit about it so...
____________
Gimme my toetag already...
#
April 5, 2013, 10:38
Zomg
None
641 posts
I would still understand it, Dave. I recommend thinking outside of the box.

Just for the record, they actually did that in real life. A boss told his employees to get steaming drunk after they jot down their project on paper. Later after hours of fun and drunkness they produced A BETTER QUALITY PROJECT than the ones who were sober and had been working all day stressy on it. Humanity is a cautious species. ;) You think you know how we humans work, but you don't know it at all.

DTM, go on Youtube and use the search terms: "RSA Animate changing education paradigms". That's the video.
____________
#
April 5, 2013, 12:40
raverdave
Don't Give A F*CK
154 posts

I know humans enough to make a pretty good judgement for 99% of the population. Yeh the drunk thing might not have been a good example, but a week or 2 holidays would surely yield different results, or how about even longer, how about writing some software that needed updating to allow for new hardware years down the line, how would that scribble look then?? OR perhaps YOU die in a plane crash and some other software engineer has to look at that crap! I think the words.. WTF! would ebb out of his mouth as sure as your ass produces brown logs.

[Edited on April 5, 2013 by raverdave]
____________
Gimme my toetag already...
#
April 5, 2013, 12:51
Zomg
None
641 posts
99% of the population? That is hilarious. Anyway, I know what I'm saying.
____________
#
April 5, 2013, 13:39
raverdave
Don't Give A F*CK
154 posts

Well I ain't laughing.. I have lived longer than you anyhow..
Lets just say as an example, you see a guy drop a 20 pound note, he doesn't notice and walks off.. how many out of 100 people do you think would shout him and point to the 20 pound note, versus those that wouldn't shout shit,walk near the 20 pound note, pretend to bend down and tie their shoe laces, and silently pocket the 20 pound note walking off feeling lucky and joyous.. well??? f*cker.. gimme more lies!!

[Edited on April 5, 2013 by raverdave]
____________
Gimme my toetag already...
#
April 5, 2013, 13:43
raverdave
Don't Give A F*CK
154 posts

ah b*llux,you made me start swearing! anyhow live another 25 years before you can put claim on what you know.. have a family,have kids.. then gimme your f*ckedup opinion Mr f*cking youth boy.. suck my balls! boy i am glad i don't come on here much, i was just trying to help..

[Edited on April 5, 2013 by raverdave]
____________
Gimme my toetag already...
#
April 5, 2013, 18:58
Rincewind
programmer
1516 posts

Quoting DTM:
Rincewind,

Hmmmm.. Some rough numbers: Maybe ~50 (~60 EUR) / day on average, though it varies, it could be +/- 20 either way. With 7 days a week this is a little over UK minimum wage.

That's very nice. I recently looked up the wages for jobs on a list of jobs, and it seemed most wages stay close to the minimum wage. Even jobs for which a university education is required. So that means you got yourself a passive income here that equals a full time job. Now you don't have to get a job after university! What are your plans for after university?

Quoting DTM:
RPM (revenue per thousand impressions) of 0.69 (~0.80 EUR) according to adsense.

This is from ~100,000 pageviews a day.

100,000 pageviews a day is an incredible lot. I just checked, and your site is ranked #1 on Google for the search terms "voice recording", "voice recorder" and "online voice recorder", and that's quite an achievement. I can only dream of one of my websites reaching such a number of visitors.

Quote:
I think if you have a text/informational content based website, you might hopefully get higher RPM, perhaps by several times, since relevant ads and affiliate stuff can be served (e.g. you write about some kind of computer hardware, and affiliate sell the associated item). Vocaroo does not have such text content, most users just come briefy to listen to a message and leave, so the RPM is a lot lower than some sites.

tip: don't be afraid of big large ads that get in the way :) My revenues went up by 2 - 3 times when I changed from a single small banner ad to having two very large and prominent skyscaper ads as well. That was quite a fun moment, when it went from hobby project to something that might actually sustain me.


I am right now experimenting with a large 160x600 skyscraper ad on my new website. However it's ugly and distracting, so I'm not sure if it's such a good idea to have. I assume I have to experiment with it too. I just hope that I'll get enough visitors to experiment with the ads.
____________
Personal website: http://www.loijson.com
#
April 5, 2013, 19:32
Zomg
None
641 posts
Quoting raverdave:
Well I ain't laughing.. I have lived longer than you anyhow..
Lets just say as an example, you see a guy drop a 20 pound note, he doesn't notice and walks off.. how many out of 100 people do you think would shout him and point to the 20 pound note, versus those that wouldn't shout shit,walk near the 20 pound note, pretend to bend down and tie their shoe laces, and silently pocket the 20 pound note walking off feeling lucky and joyous.. well??? f*cker.. gimme more lies!!

You have no idea how old I am.
____________
#
April 5, 2013, 19:34
Zomg
None
641 posts
Rincewind: minimum wage? Then you haven't worked for Google/Microsoft yet.
____________
#
April 5, 2013, 21:11
Mezzmer
Square-theorist
781 posts

It's been a while since I posted, but here it is...

Recently I've been trying to develop a portfolio of game prototypes/demos using Unity3d whilst searching for that dream games developer job.

I think it /is/ about making money. What we're going to be teenaged bedroom coders forever?

You'd be damn lucky to work as a game developer or somehow manage to make money from it... which really involves working with others, which in turn means being hired by some games company. A steady job, or "career".

Of course. But that's not easy at first.

Though I live near London and Brighton, I've managed to get two interviews in my stead, and been turned down for both - really because of lack of commercial experience. I've been told by the game recruitment agencies this is the reason I'm not put forward to interview very often.

I have been told a finished game (with bells and whistles on) is the only way to get recognised. Or something in the Apple app store they keep saying. Yeah nice one. Like I can even afford Unity3d iOS license...

Anyway I'm still plugging away (currently commisioned to develop a board game for someone in Unity3d) if I do that well I'm sure it counts as a product.

Still doing my own things on the side... my answer to this thread:

I've found games I've wanted to make my whole life have been on my mind in one way or another and this is feeding my creative flow. Along with just starting out and writing a game development document, sketching, noting and making sure you get the bloody idea out of your head and onto paper - is a great thing.

I know DTM it's not as "exciting" as when we were young but we'll cope with finding the second half of emotional rewards in finishing and achieving.
____________
#
April 5, 2013, 23:03
Zomg
None
641 posts
I do not think it is about money. You should enjoy doing your job. What, are you going to be a depressed rut for the rest of your life, feeling sorry for coming to work every day? Shouldn't be like that man.

Happiness is more important than money. A few big shot bankers have quit their job as a CEO to go work as regular employees. Remark that. Strange, isn't it? Well, it isn't strange at all. These people are trying to find happiness. And you don't find happiness in money. That is just materialism.

Happiness is living in a shed in Switserland without electricity or water.

And what's wrong with being teenaged bedroom coders forever? I will damn well feel happy staying young! I am not an old boring bag. Experience.. what about internship? When you don't have experience, you say: "but I studied at an important and innovative university that brings me advantages that other coders don't have. That is the advantage of being up to date on coding and using recent technologies, which is priceless and crucial in today's ICT world. It will cost you more to educate an old employer than to hire a new one that already has the current technical baggage. You need to learn to work around their sleazy "you don't have experience" comments. Or other comments.

There is this 14 year old programmer on Youtube and he has made 15 apps that are on Apple store. I guess he's rich.
Do you really want to be a game developer? I personally want to step away from the boring ICT world. I want to find something that really inspires me, like.. physics, sciences. Though I will work on my ICT degree first.

What do you mean "when we were young"? LoL. I am young. =P
____________
#
April 6, 2013, 08:17
Mezzmer
Square-theorist
781 posts

My comment about not being a bedroom coder forever had reasons:

1) Your girlfriend/wife & kids may not appreciate you spending 6-7 hours a day at the computer.
2) It doesn't pay the bills and isn't constructive unless you're earning money from it.
3) You may not have positive direction or an end-goal for your efforts.

So I'd suggest to all of us "games hobbyists", at least looking for an up-to-date platform and programming language for developing games.

I was counting up reasons to do what I want as a career, and yes I do want to be a game developer I've discussed ways and means that I will do this.

You do unfortunately (in nearly all cases) need commercial experience to be hired in the games industry, you can work around the recruiters or apply directly but they will want extremely good evidence that you can do the job or a very good finished product.

Internships don't grow on trees and are rare enough when you're finishing a degree. I did not finish my degree, but I'm keeping my eyes open.

Thanks for the bit of encouragement. My post did nonetheless make a lot of sense, did you read it properly Zomg?
____________
#
April 6, 2013, 08:20
Mezzmer
Square-theorist
781 posts

Quoting Zomg:
Happiness is living in a shed in Switserland without electricity or water.

It is until you get cold or need to take a shit. NOTE: Forget about being a bedroom coder in this case.

[Edited on April 6, 2013 by Mezzmer]
____________
#

Page 1 , 2


Message Board > Malarkey > inspiration and the death of creativity

Quick reply


You must log in or register to post.
Copyright 2005 Booleansoup.com
Questions? Comments? Bug reports? Contact us!