Eggys Games

Limitations Can Breed Creativity

Posted on by Eggy

Have you ever looked down at a white piece of paper, or stared at a white blank screen and thought.... what the hell do I draw or make? Well you're not alone in that thought. 

What's interesting is that sometimes having no bounds to break out off gives us no inspiration. The thing that drives the human brain to creativity is actually limitations imposed on it. By giving us rules we have to follow, all of a sudden we want to break those rules. Sometimes having complete freedom is the worst thing for creativity. To think of new ideas and great ideas, you sometimes need to box yourself in to force yourself to want to break those rules.

I remember back in school when we had free choice for an assignment I would struggle to think of something, but when we were told you have to do an article on "plants" all of a sudden I had ideas on making it different like branching out and saying lets explore only "bug eating plants" or can I flip the topic and make it about "plants we can survive eating only" etc.

Sometimes instead of starting with a white blank paper, give yourself a few stupid rules you have to follow and you may find yourself coming up with more ideas.

In the olden day of game making with atari etc, they had huge limitations on what they could make, they had to work with a very small amount of memory. By doing so, it actually is half the reason we have the games we lose. Sometimes forcing the developers to come up with creative work arounds made them come up with interesting design choices. Like a common example is that the old atari tv player could only mirror both sides, meaning you had to design a level that was identical on both sides. Which resulted in games like pacman having a mirror'd map. 

Don't be afraid of constraints, use them to your advantage by seeing them as a problem to break out of.