This is another one it’s hard to pin down. I don’t typically look specifically for inspiration, things just sort of emerge from my subconscious at more or less random moments. As a result, most inspiration of mine has no one, fixed thing that spawned it, rather each idea tends to be the result of some percolation of ideas in my mental melting pot.
Consequently, I guess I’ll point out some things that I know have had an influence on various things I’ve done.
Actually, scratch that. I just remembered one instance I can definitively say was my favourite inspiration for a game - in fact, the entire setting of Cybergothika was spawned from it.
It all begins with several tons concrete and a disused swimming pool.
Back while I was still at college, my friend Luke and I got a summer job filling in some guys in-ground swimming pool that he no longer wanted. Due to the design of his house, there was no direct access to the pool from the road, so no heavy lifting equipment could be used. Therefore, teenagers with no money and lots of time made for excellent manual labour, transporting chunks of broken concrete from a wrecking yard from his driveway, through a garage, across a garden to be tipped in a big hole. Of course, the chunks had to be smashed first because they were often too big to allow for good drainage, to lift, or to fit in a wheelbarrow.
Being that manual labour is not particularly interesting, the time was was passed while smashing rocks by talking about random shit. Which super-heroes powers combined would be the strongest? (We decided Hulk + Gambit - the Hulk could energise massive boulders, practically making him able to hurl nukes around at a whim). What was the most complex/weird time paradoxes we could come up with? (You could be your own mother and father, existing purely as a closed paradoxical loop). Lots of discussions were had, but eventually we got to world building because we’re both massive roleplaying geeks. The seeds of Cybergothika were planted.
I forget how many days we spent smashing and moving chunks of concrete, a task of such monumental monotony that the details of it have long since been forgotten. However, so many cool ideas grew out of it, just from the simple gift of having the free time to think and having a friend to talk to.
That’s my favourite inspiration - friends and time. I don’t have a huge amount of either, even less so at the same time, so that will always be one of my fondest memories.