Boundaries Breed Creativity

Episode IV: A New Hope.

Continuing to use the EC video as my guide, I see their next few seconds talk about game design as a discipline, as a continual practice. James notes that game design as a discipline means two basic things:

  1. Analyzing a lot of games
  2. Recognizing and respecting the constraints placed on game production (namely, deadlines and budgets).

I’m turning these into two different (though related) categories on this blog in order to differentiate the process improvement-style elements of recognizing your constraints from the skill-development criteria of analyzing games.

And here, I’ve got some clear room for improvement…

I’ve got #2 locked down pretty nicely. My existing experience in my Day Job, and in Writing and Game Design, have given me a lot of experience with the constraints of budgets and deadlines, and a proven ability to deliver excellence within these constraints. Heck, because of these constraints. I know how much a good limitation can drive greatness! I’ve experienced crunch time, I know how much intern labor costs, I have process experience that lets me know that every action has a cost.

#1 I’ve got a bit of, but I could stand to do some more. My EN World Articles served to break down and analyze the Dungeons & Dragons game in significant depth, and I’ve written sporadically on digital design elements and how they’ve crossed streams with tabletop elements before, but I haven’t done much in terms of analyzing video games in any professional or public way. I mean I do it, all the time, but there’s not much of a demonstration of that.

So, I think my next few posts might be about that in a little more depth. It may be time to make a habit of doing this. Tentatively, lets say an article a week?

EC has a few videos about “playing like a designer” I’ll post up next. I’m really stoked to dig into this, because in part, it means I’ll be playing a lot of games!


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