Today I wanted to share some tips on how I come up with inspiration to build Dimensions. This is in no way meant to be a ruleset or list of the only ways to get inspiration, it’s just my opinion on how I’ve come up with creativity when I’ve needed a place to start or I’ve been in a creative slump.
Tip #1: From The Heart
I’ve been building dimensions for just over three years and I love it. When I created my first dimension I just wanted to make a nice sitting area to take in the views of the dimension key I had. At the time I had no idea how to build anything or even what you could possibly do with all these items I just acquired from a quest. So I just did what came naturally to me, I started to build from the heart. I created this little sitting area, and while it may not look like much, it meant a lot to me at that time because I had just discovered something amazing… RIFT’s Dimensions and I was enamored with it, I can’t even describe how delighted I was when I realized the potential of what my imagination could create!
Jumping forward to 2017 I’ve managed to build about 30 dimensions and each one was made with that same feeling and intent as the first one, from the heart. Now you might be wondering, why does that matter? It matters because I made it for myself. I didn’t copy someone else’s work or feel that I had to compete with another players creations to express what I felt compelled to express. The first tip I offer here is, find happiness in what you want to create, build for yourself, and the inspiration will come naturally.
Tip #2: Let Go of Negativity
Along my path of creating these dimensions I’ve had the pleasure to meet other like minded people. I’ve invited them into my dimensions and heard some of the most kind comments, I was happy to share what I had made with others. Then there were the not-so kind comments.. “This dimension makes my dimension look like sh**” and “I won’t give you a +1 one because it’s too good” and “I’m going to steal this” and “I hate you” and “I wish I had come up with this idea first”. Now, my initial reaction to all of these comments was to feel sad or disgusted that someone would be compelled to say such things, but then I realized it’s not me, it’s how they are perceiving the whole situation in their own experience.
So in my second tip I say, don’t let others negative opinions or feelings hinder your unique inspiration and creativity. Make what YOU want to, don’t worry about the negative comments or how other players dimensions look differently than yours. When you perceive building dimensions in the way that your own is not good enough you create a competition in your own mind and then you stop creating for yourself.
Tip #3: Music For The Soul
Music can evoke emotions and spark creativity. Find some music that fits your building mood or the theme you are working on. There are many ways to put together a playlist of music for free online. I’ve built entire dimensions around songs, when I created Mystics Dream I just happened to be listening to Loreena McKennit at that time and the creativity was flowing, so I just let my imagination go along with the music and that provoked thoughts of lore elements from the game to bring into my theme as well. Seek out music that inspires you to build.
Tip #4: Art To Inspire Focus
Art comes in many forms but for this tip I am referring to paintings, photography, and literature. For practical purposes I use Google Images and Bing Images to find relative topics for designs. If I am building a house, sometimes I will search for specific words such as “woodland cottage” or “contemporary homes” and then I like to add more words to those phrases, like “tiny woodland cottage” or “pink contemporary home interiors.” Try to be as specific as possible when you search, you will find some great images to inspire you.
When I created my first cottage, I didn’t know where to begin. So I searched out some cottage images and I found this one. I used this image as inspiration, as you can see in the results I came up with my own design by using these images as fuel and focus for the mood I wanted to create.
It is also very helpful looking at images to find details on objects and structures that you may not be familiar with. For instance if I want to make a house with a gable roof, I could run this search and reference the images for details, you can do this for anything really, the skies the limit!
Tip #5: Sketching
An empty dimension can be quite intimidating, set some limitations. Start off by making some sketches of your ideas on paper. Think about all the areas of the dimension and where you want to build. Draw out rough ideas of what you want to accomplish, then research the items in game. Open a WIP dimension where you can test build designs and look more closely at items. Put your items into a storage dimension so you can see what you have to work with, often times just looking at an item can inspire new ideas for builds.
Tip #6: Focus On One Item
Design an entire dimensions theme around one item or scene. When I made Infinity Terrace I started with a few Storm Legion items, and then built my color scheme and mood around those few items. Find items that appeal to you or tell a story and build a dimension around them.
Tip #7: Build For Another
Make a dimension for your friend, your partner, your family or another special reason. I’ve known several players who have built dimensions for other people or special occasions. Make something special for a friend who has done something nice for you, or something to celebrate a special event in your life, or a memorial to remember someone. It’s a great way to express your feelings and the inspiration is going to flow pretty freely when you take yourself out of the equation and think of someone else.
Tip #8: Clear Your Mind
Taking a walk, driving through a city, or a ride around the game world will often clear your mind and promote inspiration. If you are in a slump, take a break from building, play the game and soon you will find inspiration to build again.
Tip #9: Don’t Tour For Ideas
Yes, I just said it. Don’t tour for ideas. If you are going to visit other players dimensions, do so for the enjoyment and pleasure of seeing others creations. Taking ideas from another players dimension may only cause you grief and frustration. Over the years I have come across copies of other peoples dimensions and I can’t tell if the player just stole the idea or was given permission. Either way, I always notice it and frankly many players in this community don’t appreciate it when people steal from other people. Be the better person and make your own designs.
Yes, sometimes it happens where people make the very same thing, and that is going to happen… I mean, sinks are sinks and doors are doors. But a well thought out structure or art piece, etc is unique and more often than not you will find that the person who made the item is somewhat attached to their little creations, please be mindful and respectful of that.
Tip #10: Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
This is my final tip and the most important one. Don’t be afraid to fail!
Try building whatever you can dream up, whatever makes you happy. Houses might be the top built theme in dimensions but if you just aren’t into it, build something else. You don’t have to make what everyone else is making. It’s your time and money spent, spend it as you enjoy it. Make whatever you want and above all things don’t be afraid to fail, this is a part of the learning process.
Build often and your skills will continue to grow. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new building dimensions and that’s the beauty of it, the fun is endless.
I hope you find these little tips I’ve learned along my way of dimension building to be of use. Feel free to share your special ways to get inspired for dimensions below. Happy Building!