Warning, This is a philosophical article and extends well beyond game design, programming and technology.
Oh no, Philosophy and some shameless promotion
I’ve been sitting at my computer all morning staring at the Unity 3D screen, adding a fragment to the level here and there, but mostly have gotten nothing done. My biggest achievement today has been getting the 3 star espers Ifrit, Ramah and Shiva in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. It’s my “go-to” mobile game when I’m stuck against a wall and need a quick distraction. I’ve also set up marketing for my other games, Super Panda and Hexa Gems. I forgot how good Hexa Gems really is until this past Thanksgiving when a good friend said her mom still plays it. That was rather flattering and mind opening.
It may shock you, but I SUCK at level design. I know, the featured image looks incredible. Here is another angle of the procedurally generated city.
The best part here is the city will be different with each play session. The hard part is putting in all those random little details to keep it different. Right now, things all look the same. There’s no dirt, no random crates or junk strewn about. It’s a sterile and clean city.
But I’m at my wall. The edge of my knowledge. Going forward will take me to places I’ve never been. Unfamiliar territory. So I sit here seemingly wasting time. But behind the scenes my brain is struggling to push past the barrier. It’s finding solutions. So despite my time wasting on the front of it all, things have been moving forward in the background.
This is where I personally need to sit down, shut off all distractions and get back to work. Push through the wall. Blast through the hurdles and get the job done.
We’re all humans and have limitations to our knowledge. Beyond that is darkness, a scary zone of the unknown. It stops us in our tracks. Sometimes it causes us to stop others, because we’re scared to go forward. There’s a hallway of 1000 closed doors and it’s a daunting task to start opening them to push forward in the task.
Push through it
I’ve been at this apex for far too long. It’s been since the last site update a little more than two weeks ago. Level design is tough when you’ve never done it. Procedural level design is even tougher! Because you now need to generate blocks that all get assembled together when the level is loaded up. That’s terrifying. Thankfully I’m using Dungeon Architect. It is a unity asset that helps with the task. There’s still a ton to do after.
Anyway, If you’re stuck on your own projects or have “writers block” remember it’s just a momentary thing. You are at your knowledge boundary. You have to push into the darkness and start opening doors. Only then will you be able to get past the hump and move forward with your project.