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Veteran Member - Level 12
Nothing is new, people simply take others ideas and mutate them. Even the most original story idea started as something more typical before changing into it's more unique form. Whenever there's an interview with a creator, asking what served as inspiration is probably the most illuminating question about whatever they made that could be asked. Knowing the inspirations for a work may actually enhance your experience. For example, to me, Persona 2: Innocent Sin's ending and final boss made much more sense when I considered what I knew about Greek tragedy (I'm no expert in it, please don't cite me as research source), conflict with the father and unavoidable fate. I'm not spoiling it here, but let's say the ending wasn't happy. Atlus, can you please localize Eternal Punishment, I want to know what happens next, stupid ambiguous cliffhanger
Another thing that came to mind is Metroid, obviously it's inspired by Alien, but let's look deeper here. Metroid is not a horror in the same way Alien is (it's not even a horror at all), but the concept was used and executed in a different way to make something different. I remember reading somewhere the art-style was described by the creators as 'Western Comic Book style,' fittingly enough, Metroid is much more loved in the West then in it's home country. But considering the influences for the series came from here, it's not that big of a surprise. And yes, that is why we haven't gotten a new Metroid game, it's not popular in Japan, which is where the series is made, and Other M wasn't that liked in any country apparently.
Okay, how did I forget Persona. Trivia question, what happens when you fuse Shin Megami Tensei with Jungian psychology, Persona. Even the title makes the inspiration clear. It has similarities to other Megaten games, but the Jungian and anime influence set it apart from other games greatly (especially 3 and 4). You have the same Demons as always, but now they're manifestations of the sub-concious. Persona is a great example of fusing together different inspirations to make something unique.
And now let's move on to location inspiration. When coming up with a new idea for a location, it's not that uncommon to use real places as inspiration. For the story idea I'm trying to write, I was having trouble thinking of a setting, then when I heard about the city of Kowloon I had finally found inspiration for a setting. I had never visited it, but hearing about it gave me all the inspiration I needed. So don't feel pressured to travel to a random place in order to find inspiration. And for an example you can actually find, Jet Set Radio has a clearly Japanese setting, so I was shocked to hear New York City was used as inspiration when designing the environments. I now view Tokyo-to as a fusion of Tokyo and New York City, I really need to play that game again.
So in conclusion, creativity is taking other people's ideas and mutating them into something new. Really, creativity all lies in how you combine the different inspirations and execute it. So don't try to treat creativity as something objective or inherently good, because that means you are trying far to hard to be creative. And creativity happens naturally, so please don't try to create a formula for it, it's like creating a formula for what I'm going to write next, even the people who should know don't.