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You're Not Broken: Finding Your Creative Way Through Difficult Times


Laralyn McWilliams (Chief Creative Officer, Skydance Interactive)

Location: Room 2010, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 22

Time: 11:30am - 12:30pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference, GDC Summits, Expo Plus, Expo, Audio Conference + Tutorial, Educators Summit, Indie Games Summit - Get your pass now!

Topic: Advocacy, Vision

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

During times of turmoil, change and grief, it's easy to blame yourself for creative failures. Everyone reacts differently to these sorts of stress but there's one thing everyone has in common: it makes creativity almost impossible. If you're fundamentally broken, your creative work is fundamentally broken too. Making great games means making ourselves whole again. This talk comes from personal experience, going through multiple rounds of cancer now deemed incurable. It provides tools to recognize when you're deep in the well of darkness, and methods to help reclaim your creativity. Whether you're able to make the arduous climb out of the well or you must find beauty in a journey spent largely in darkness, you can move forward. You can create again. But first comes forgiveness.


This talk provides three key takeaways: ways to recognize when your creativity is affected by stress, loss or other derailing emotions; methods for connection and communication with other creatives; emotional and practical tools to begin to reclaim your creativity.

Intended Audience

The intended audience is any game developer (regardless of job title, programming is creative too!) going through a time of turmoil, or supporting other developers in their creative work.