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Combating the open-endedness of creativity

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by imaginaryhuman, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. Master-Frog


    Jun 22, 2015
    If you want to come up with something creative, unique, weird or different... if you want to just pick something out of the endless everything that you can choose from, it all starts with like Gigi says, with some constraints. You have to make some choices based on your preferences and feelings. Let me walk you through it.

    Say you have no idea what you want to do. But you want to do something. Okay. Narrow it down. You want to do something that will catch people's attention. You want something that feels... crazy, but also fun. Whatever. You have to keep making these choices. So then you decide that you want to work with permanent markers because they're bold and fun. So you need to get some heavy weight paper. Some big paper. And you decide that you want it to be spontaneous so you don't even bother planning ahead and you just start drawing what you feel and you end up with some punk rock gothic babydoll lolita character or something in big, bold black lines. You color it in and it feels good. It feels right. And you're done.

    It all starts by picking the road you want to go down. You will always be choosing a path. There are usually more than one to choose from. Just pick the one that feels good and go down it. If you're really in the zone, you'll just be flowing seamlessly along branching paths making choices as you go, enjoying the whole process thoroughly. Then repeat. Just don't endlessly backtrack and try every path never reaching the end of any of them. Don't be that guy. You can start over at the beginning as many times as you want.

    And that's what you do. Same with anything.

    And then the fun part is regretting the paths you chose. But that's another story for another day.
    GarBenjamin likes this.
  2. Billy4184


    Jul 7, 2014
    I agree with many of the other people here that every creative endeavour has constraints. And not only that, but human emotion (that thing you're trying to work with your game) also has constraints. You have to find where those constraints are. The knowledge of this simple fact is what grounds my artistic side and prevents me from disliking it.

    If you're trying to do something original or new or unusual, try taking a little bit of that and adding it to something that's tried and true. Every great movie or book is just the usual cliches told a little better than usual with a tiny bit of something new (or not) added to it. The best melodies have even fewer notes than usual and those notes are not original. Look for something simple and make it your own. It's really the ability to express the message clearly and cleanly rather than the originality of the idea itself that makes it compelling to people.

    So practice making very simple, very uncomplicated art that tells a clear message. Make a simple, uncomplicated game that conveys one single message that you want to express. Use lowpoly crossy-road style art or whatever makes your life easier, but make sure that whatever you want to express is expressed.

    And I think you have too much reverence for the 'black box' of the human mind. It isn't a black box, it is highly suggestive and people are usually ready and willing to hear a message if you look like you are going to say it clearly, concisely and in a positive context. They'll take their cue from you if you do it properly. Many indie games are the equivalent of rambling and this is why people are not compelled by them, so just don't be like that.
    Gigiwoo, GarBenjamin and Master-Frog like this.
  3. Deleted User

    Deleted User


    Y'know if I've learnt one thing about this whole experience, it has to be just "do it"..

    Whatever it is, I've had to re-iterative things that seemed perfect on paper. Done massive technical scopes, planned out every little step of the process / this that and the other. In the end it doesn't really help, I've seen it from AAA all the way down to indie's, what seemed great on paper rarely pans out the way it was expected..

    The other issue is jumping the mark, a game's like painting a wall (kinda). You strip down the room, paint your first coat and everything looks rubbish. Add another coat, things are looking better and finally add your last coat / décor / lighting. All of a sudden you have a nice space you can be proud of.

    It can be little things that make a game, the music / sound, the atmosphere, a new mechanic that's fun.. Just keep painting away!

    Final note: Creativity = difficulty to me, doesn't mean that's a bad thing. It's deciding whether or not the results are going to equate to something substantial.

    So to surmise, you can't really understand what impact the end result will have until you have something that resembles an end result. Games can be changed like the wind, so it's good to take advantage of that.
    GarBenjamin and Valkrysa_Herja like this.