Have you ever set arbitrary limits on a design to stimulate your creativity?
One of the problems I've always had in the past was being overwhelmed with ideas and ways to implement and/or expand on them. Long story short, this always resulted in project failure for one reason or another. It wasn't until I set a limit on what I would allow myself to use on a project that I actually was able to finish it.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is not without precedent. Sometimes the limits imposed on a work are what makes it unique. A "Defender" port isn't too impressive, but if the port uses a favicon as the display, that is impressive. Setting a limitation or limitations can leave you with no choice but to innovate.
You can get the "Defender of the Favicon" here: http://db.tigsource.com/games/defender-of-the-favicon
I started writing a simple CYOA story in Twine for the hell of it and had a thousand ideas for it. Within minutes of typing out an design document, I was already confused and burnt out. As a result, the file lay fallow in my Documents folder for weeks gathering digital dust. After some soul-searching related to some other problems in life, I resolved to start the project up again to take my mind off my suffocating financial woes and the looming threat of homelessness.
Before resuming work on "You Awaken" (the working title of "Thank you for your cooperation"), I laid down a limitation on myself and swore to bearded psychopath in the sky that I would stick to that rule no matter what other clever thingies I came up with. And lo and behold, it worked.
Approximately 26,000 words and 99 passages later, I actually finished the damned thing.
You can view "Thank you for your cooperation" here: http://adventurecow.com/stories/726/thank-you-for-your-cooperation
There also is a "Workshop my game" thread for it elsewhere in the forums for discussion.
What I want to ask all of you out there is the following:
- Have you ever been inspired by an externally or internally generated limitations?
- Have you ever had a project fail because of too many options, ideas, etc?
- After reading "Thank you for your cooperation", what do you think the limitation I placed on myself was?
I thank you all in advance for your cooperation...