View Full Version : The Infamous "post-release editor's block"

22-08-09, 22:35
Scroll down to the ' ** ' if you want to get to the point of the thread.

Yup.. It's that time of the year again. Quite simply, I find it really exhausting to build new project after new project because of a creator's block. I'm sure for those that have released levels, you're not really that eager to jump back onto the Conestoga wagon of TRLE, or if you are, you're sure as hell not going to build with the same textures and objects any time soon. Well, I'm experiencing that.

I've already been through a few projects so far, like the Gothic Castle/Cathedral and my BtB styled level. What's exhausting is that sometimes you have good ideas but they don't really materialize into what you envision into a playable level. Now I don't even want to build either level because of this and my imagination fuel is used up (for the most part)

At least for me, it's extremely restricting. I can never seem to build outdoor areas for the **** of me. I'm not sure if I'm impatient but I can't build anything at all :(
I'm deafeningly sick of small enclosed temples or rooms that I have built and it's even worse trying to build them.

**So, what do you guys do in order to get over your creativity blocks? And how do you guys approach the subject of large vast natural areas?


22-08-09, 22:52
don't get me started on creativity block:O

I have had that since before the summer...it is a son of a ***** when ti comes to level editing...it can destroy a whole level(it has many times for me)

I am currently waiting for BTB to start, because I work best when given a set of objects and texures I cannot change and must build for a finish date:)

but I'd suggest thinking of stuff you have never done before:)

outdoor areas don't always have to be big:)

think large though, nice big temple strucutres and ruins...also some little caves and water streams..this is something that can be fun and interesting for you to build and for the player to explore:)

the LE is a a pain in the but when it comes to outdoor areas...:)

so bascally I use a normal inside sized rom and stack another on top(and another if I need and try to build up as much as I build out:)

....when I remember more of what I did I will post it...but it seems I have writers block now as well as LE block:(

22-08-09, 23:06
Yeah, same.

I doubt I will make another level. I dont have any ideas for one either, except for the "Greek Isles" but my Isles look like Peru :o.

22-08-09, 23:08
I can recommend you to play games..a lot of them. Not only custom levels or Tombraider games. All kinds of games..and keep your eyes and ears open for ideas. Sometimes it works and sometimws not. Sometimes you just need a break for it all to come back hehe.

During my 3.5 years of building E&B2 I played tons of games. Especially during the "block" periods. POP, Resident evil, RPG games, Silent hill..All kinds of stuff. It works for me at least.

22-08-09, 23:36
LE block
Erm... I've never had an LE block...
Whenever I was getting close to finishing one level(set) I would already get ideas for the next one.

I don't know what will happen towards the end of the production of Mists of Avalon though. I'll have to wait and see.

Sometimes during the building process I get a bit of an LE block regarding a certain area in the level. What the objects should look like for example.
But then I look at my TO DO list and I usually find something on there that triggers my imagination again, so then I switch from the "blocked" area to this other area.
This means that in the case of my manor I work on all parts at the same time. Then here, then there. Like with painting a picture. I don't focus on one corner but try to see the whole picture and work all over the picture.

However, it is hard for me to work on different levels if those levels are quite different from each other. Like I can work on all parts of the manor (same theme), but I won't start the next level, which is themed differently, untill the manor is finished. Only in the later stages of finetuning stuff can I work on different levels.

So I've never had a real LE block so far.

Vast natural environments?
I start with a basic idea of what it should look like and then I start building one room at the time. Patience is the key word here I think, since it takes a lot of time to make an area look natural, especially if that area is going to be big.
At the same time I'm thinking of what gameplay I want to put into it. If it will involve quite a bit of jumping and climbing, then this will effect the way the area looks.
I also test it ingame a lot. To see if the textures are right, if they fit together well enough, if they are rotated correctly, etc. And also to see if the lighting is good. It is quite hard to light large areas... at least for me...
And ofcourse to test if Lara can indeed jump from one ledge to another, like I had planned. :D

22-08-09, 23:51
I get a block when I run out ideas of where to put stuff in levels or when I create my rooms and I sometimes dont notice its too big... then I start resizing and the editor crashes and i start all over again! :mad:

23-08-09, 01:27
Ergh... I have creator's blocks all the time... One day, I wake up and I think: "Yes! Today's the day I'm gonna build this gigantic pyramid!!!" And then I run to my computer and end up building a small pile of dirt... and then it goes to the busiest place in my desktop: the garbage bin.

Hopefully, someday I'l be able to actually finish something... :o

23-08-09, 01:28
I guess it is related to how you build too. Same as with writers. If you have a huge plan already set, with TO DO lists, maps etc, I don't think there will be the same kind of block. But if you are building like me, in a fog and have no idea how it will end (or start!) you depend more on the inspiration you get while building. The ideas come while you are building (or not)

23-08-09, 01:32
Well I won't be building for a while because of this stupid block. Now I gathered all those Legend sound effects for nothing :(

God Horus
23-08-09, 01:54
It never really happened to me after I released my game because while I was building it I still had huge ideas for my next game and I knew what I was going to do and stuff.

I've had many blocks while building, I'll just build a massive room and then afterwords have no idea what to do with it or what to do to my level and just delete a huge chunk and take a break and then start over.

23-08-09, 07:21
I get LE Blocks daily...Lately its been more like hourly..
When i get a LE Block i do the best thing to jog your imagination...Read.
Read a book about Castles or ruins or egypt!
Inspirations everywhere you just have to know where to look :).
I understand that the LE Blocks is a painful thing to work with and like QRS said if you have everything mapped out and orginized it wont happen. but if you dont have it mapped out you build with your imagination.
Some people are better with orginized situations, like Titak, She uses her TO DO list to help her. I live off my imagination when it comes to the LE. And when i cant get get my imagination going i play custom levels, like if im working on a egypt level, i play an egyptian level to help my brain think straight.

Hope this help :o.

!Lara Croft!
23-08-09, 08:22
Yes the LE block.

Ive experienced it alot. Infact im in one at the moment, though its reaching the end of its effect, my process of building is this...

1) Get some great idea's for levels and build alot in a short time.
2) Building slows as i run out of idea's.
3) Building stops and i dont feel like using the editor, so i entertain myself in other ways, making outfits, writing stories, drawing pictures.
4) Something triggers the ideas to come flowing in, it can be pictures, music, trips that i go on. (im at this stage at the moment)
5) Back to one to repeat the whole process again.

23-08-09, 08:52
And if I don't have a TO DO list, I look through pictures in books or on the internet or I play some custom levels. And if I get inspired by something I'll write down the idea, make a little sketch if needed, for later reference, in case I do get an LE block. :D

23-08-09, 11:00
The only cure i've found for 'foggy' LE builders it to leave the LE alone. Just, dont think about it, or accsess anything to do with trle. I found that after I did this I started having some new ideas again. :)

23-08-09, 11:12
What clears my mind are watching several Animes from DVD collection in Japanese, watch some of stuff on YouTube or play distracting video games other than Tomb Raider. The Sims is a good example of one of those distracting games and it keeps the flow of patients through my brain as I have my Sims live they're own life.

23-08-09, 11:33
Ergh... I have creator's blocks all the time... One day, I wake up and I think: "Yes! Today's the day I'm gonna build this gigantic pyramid!!!" And then I run to my computer and end up building a small pile of dirt... and then it goes to the busiest place in my desktop: the garbage bin.

Story of my life. :tea:

I suppose there's no easy way to get rid of block - everyone has their own way after all (proven by the fact that some solve it by completely avoiding LE, while others solve it by smothering their faces in history books and meticulous level plans and whatnot :p ).

What's exhausting is that sometimes you have good ideas but they don't really materialize into what you envision into a playable level.

Same here - I do have some ideas I want to work on, but the limitations of LE are still putting me off somewhat. I mainly get annoyed with stuff that will probably never be dealt with in the near future - such as the chunky grid geometry and unimpressive lighting system. Sure, there's always Meta to sort out the former, but we all know how wonderfully "detached" from the environment custom objects can be at times (decent object lighting and collision for meshes that aren't straight-edged has and likely always will be an issue, when it acts as a replacement to the base geometry).

23-08-09, 12:30
I just avoid the LE when I'm lacking ideas or motivation. Then now and then an idea comes to me at random moments of my life and I write them down. But yes the limitations or the LE are an annoying factor, particularly for me the lighting system it just makes what I really want to do impossible.

23-08-09, 12:39
i have NGLE block :D

23-08-09, 13:46
Ohh damn blocks :p
my level is stopped because of this... and I've already rebuild it 5 times :/
but yeah, play others games and read books are my best fonts of "inspiration" :rolleyes:
since where I live there are not many "very beautiful natural places", I have to read or play games... or google! :D
sometimes even dreams can be helpfull... I do have a small note book in my room, so I can register interesting dreams there and see how I can turn into LE blocks :) (Yeah, LE is driving me crazy, I do even dream about it lol)
Well, this is it :D

23-08-09, 19:46
If i have LE block i always browsing the internet for some inspiration, playing both original and custom TR games but i can get ideas from other games too (PoP, Indiana Jones, etc.)
I also have a book for making notes and sketches...this is what i usualy make:D

23-08-09, 20:04
cure for Level editor's block: Do a remake :whi: J/K

try doing some of your other strengths until you think of something. make some textures in the mean time and better those skills before you do something else. or learn a new skill. I hear animation 101 is always open! :p

23-08-09, 20:06
i have NGLE block :D

At least Titia doesnt her manors gorgeous!
What project are you working on geckokid?

23-08-09, 20:32
At least Titia doesnt her manors gorgeous!
What project are you working on geckokid?
is it just me or i have no idea what you just said?

God Horus
23-08-09, 20:37
I get what he said? :confused:

We shall slap it out of you (slap the NGLE block out of you)

At least Titia doesn't (doesn't have a builders block) Her manor is gorgeous!

23-08-09, 20:39
I get what he said? :confused:

'cause you're a genius... I would never have guessed D:

23-08-09, 22:09
'cause you're a genius... I would never have guessed D:

I think he doesn't get that you have the TRNGLE Glitch. I got that too with vista. Pain in a butt. Remember you can fix the slowness in settings but that white stuff is vista in the utherus. Basically hes saying to you:

We'll find a way to help you get NGLE working again and at least Titia is not going through trouble what to build and shes building a beautiful manor ;)

23-08-09, 23:32
At least Titia doesnt her manors gorgeous!
What project are you working on geckokid?

He's referring to a literal block. His NGLE won't work.

23-08-09, 23:55
:( noes! :o
I think he doesn't get that you have the TRNGLE Glitch.

yes i didnt know he was referring to the actual glitch My bad :(

30-08-09, 16:16
Umm.. sorry for bumping.. :o

The Level Editor Block:
This is natural actually, anyone CAN get this, but me, well whenever I play a game, it gives me ideas! Lots of ideas actually! Especially Tomb Raider Origins! Same with Underworld and Beneath the Ashes! All these things give me inspiration to build!

And not to forget levels from others too! Its pretty much easy to get LE Block! whenever you run out of inspiration or ideas, just stop for a couple of days! And you will get many ideas in your head again!

Creating Vast Natural Environments:
Well.. I just pretty much go on google and find some reference photos of Ruins/Jungles/Cities...etc.. Then I combine many of these images in my head and sketch it down on paper! Then I open TRNG and start to work! It is hard to create a wonderfull, open environment! But its worth it! Just think about it, sketch it on paper! And also not to forget, Classic Tomb Raider Games!
I know many of you think I hate them, I really dont, I just hate the Manor :p.. I combine many locations from Classics and make them into one!

Hope I was helpfull! :o

30-08-09, 16:38
OMG!!! you bumped a thread!!! just kidding :D

I just love reading long posts :)