shawn's blog

Staying in game mode

Posted in Other by Shawn on January 9, 2012

So, this week, my laptop is in for repair (hopefully for less than a week!). This means that I can’t really work on my game (directly), and I’ll also be harder to contact via email after 6:00 pm. So, what shall I do this week?

Well, I could take a break from everything, and think about someone other than any sort of game. But why would I do that? Technically, there is no reason for me to stop working on my game, just because I don’t have my computer. What should I do this week?

One thing I can do is read. I have been making time to read about things related to the games that I want to make, or the code that I’m currently using to create this game. Reading can assist in helping me think about new ways about tackling a problem. But I hopefully will not stop at programming books. I enjoy reading Philosophy, so that’s something I definitely plan to be reading more so during this time away from my laptop. And believe it or not, reading philosophy is extremely helpful when developing games. At least, it has been for me. It all may depend on the type of game you are making, (it’s easier to find the philosophical messages in the Metal Gear Solid series as opposed to Angry Birds), but nevertheless, it can be helpful. To that extent, reading things that seemingly are not related to game development can be more beneficial than most may assume, but that can be an entirely different topic.

Drawing is something else that can keep me going in game mode. I’m not a good artist. My masterpieces would look like a 3 yr-old’s scribbles, and that’s me trying to not insult the 3 yr-old by comparing their skills to mine. But, one thing that I can do is try and interpret my drawings from scribbles into things that are interesting. Random scribbles can turn into something that looks like a robot with hamburgers for hands. The hamburgers can turn into ice cream, and the robot can turn into a dog with a cone on its head. I  now have a game about a dog with a cone on his head, who wants to try and eat the ice cream paws. However, with each step he takes, the amount of ice cream decreases. The goal is, find a way to eat the ice cream while taking the least amount of steps. Too many steps, and your ice cream will be gone!

….In other words, drawing can also spark ideas.

Playing games, of course, can provide tons of inspiration. For some, it may be easy to jump from game development mode to just “I’m playing a game mode”, but regardless of the case, a notebook should always be close by.

This week, I plan to ‘go to town’ on my whiteboard, and try and involve myself in the other activities which I mentioned. Are there other things that I can do? There are a billion other things, but these are first that I can think of at the moment.

But that’s it for now. Time to start this laptop-less week. At least I’ll have less internet distractions.

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