About creativity

I have just completed Einlanzer a few weeks ago. I am now hiring playtesters, doing legal stuff, website building, and other necessary steps to releasing the game that are not actually working directly on the game. I figured I’d write about what it was like making an entire RPG video game while it is still fresh in my head.

I’ve been working on Einlanzer most nights for a year-and-a-half now. It was a bizarre, almost life-change when it was completed. For a few days after it was done and I was waiting for info from my playtesters, I had nothing to do on the game. For the first time since about April of 2014, I had nothing to do. No new dungeons to create, no new logic problems to figure out on RPG Maker VX Ace, no new story elements that had to be ironed out… nothing.

My Myers-Briggs personality typing tells me and everyone that I like to start projects but never complete them. Einlanzer was such a fun, involving, dream-fulfilling project that that was never an issue, but I am proud of myself none-the-less. I have also completed a fantasy book that was my first major writing endeavor and helped me prepare for writing the story for Einlanzer. (No, you can’t read it. It’s not very good.) When I found myself with nothing to do on Einlanzer for a few days, I honestly felt lost. I have plenty of other things I love to do (spend time with my amazing girlfriend, paint, build violins, write, play music), but not having a creative project in the works was very strange for me.

My brother and I talk about how we each have a creative pressure seal that can only build up so much before we have to do something creative. It can be writing, painting, building something, making a worksheet (I’m a teacher), or making a whole freakin’ video game. I have learned that part of who I am is creating. It is as much a part of who I am as my name, being a musician, being blond, or being a nerdy RPG lover.

So why do I have this need to create that is so fundamental to who I am? Most people are not like this. If everyone had the need to create like I do, there would be the equivalent of 9 billion Einlanzers out there. There is no room for that. Why do some need to create and others don’t?

Do my creative projects have worth if they are not appreciated by others? I value my creative output such as Einlanzer, but the big idea is others enjoying/experiencing it. If they do not, is it worth putting 900+ hours into something like Einlanzer if I’m the only one to enjoy it? Hopefully many more do play and enjoy it (including you!), but if the end product is not valued or viable, was it worth it. Was the enjoyment I had making it only based on the expectation of people playing it and enjoying it?