Inspiration is a fickle thing. When you’re actively searching for inspiration it’s almost nowhere to be found, but when your sitting on the couch eating Cheetos it can strike like a bolt out of the blue. When it comes to my ideas, I seem to fall into the latter case more often than not. I cannot think of a single time where I sat down and said, “I’m going to write about idea X,” and then proceed to build around that. Most of my ideas have come to me when I just let my mind wander and do its own thing. This was especially true in the case of Lost In the Labyrinth.
The idea for Lost In the Labyrinth came about while I was driving to work. I get bored easily while I’m driving so I like listening to music. On this particular day I was listening to a CD that contained this song. I had listened to the song dozens of times before, but I was always actively listening/singing along whereas this time I was only half listening and let my mind wander. While listening to the song my mind began to form images of people dancing, with the “scene” being focused around a man and a women who are obviously lovers. The people dancing were being watched over by a large, rotund man on a balcony who takes offense at the two young lovers because the women is his wife/lover/concubine. No longer able to stand the scene unraveling on the dance floor, the large man orders the young one with his women taken prisoner.
I knew this idea that I had inadvertently come up with had potential. My initial plan was to simply create a short film centered around the idea. After mulling it around in my head I decided to switch mediums and expand upon the idea slightly and turn into a game. Lost In the Labyrinth pics up right where the scene finishes, with the imprisonment of the man who was dancing. The rotund man throws the hero into his labyrinth and the hero must escape.
My love of history and architecture helped to shape the scene as it unraveled in my mind. I pictured the dance floor as the centerpiece of a grand Victorian ballroom, so lavishly decorated that it would put the palaces in Europe to shame. From the high vaulted ceiling hangs multiple large crystal chandeliers that reflect the light to make the dance floor appear like a starfield. The labyrinth was inspired by the old Greek legends of Daedalus and labyrinth he designed to house the Minotaur.
This is typical for my creative process: I will be doing something relatively mundane and I’ll let my mind wander. During these mental wanderings I’ll create a thought/idea/concept that I think has potential for further development. When this is the case, I’ll write the idea down in my notebook of game ideas and expand upon it every once in a while when the mood strikes me. Lost In the Labyrinth was one of my simpler concepts that I felt could easily be developed by a single person in a reasonable amount of time, which is why I chose it for my personal project.