Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Reference Points

If ever you find yourself lost, one of the most sensible things you can remember (apart from which mushrooms you really should not eat) is that it's incredibly important to find a point of reference. Game designers have known this for a long time, look up in most well constructed open worlds and it is not unusual to find a tower looming in the near distance. Landmarks helps lend a sense of context and purpose to exploration that can otherwise be missing.

Unfortunately this is a principle I haven't paid enough attention to as I work on this blog.

Everyone has things in their life they struggle with but know they need to press on with all the same, for me one of those things is writing. I've always thought it important to get better at expressing my viewpoint in writing but it's certainly not something that comes naturally to me. What often happens is I'll write a draft post then spend a lot of time either feeling I'm not in the correct mood to focus on the task or constantly trying revising it hoping to find some way of reaching a standard I'm happy to publish. This all while my attention does it's upmost to wander off in search of something new & shinny .

Getting lost like this is for rather obvious reasons is not a way I want to keep working if I ever want to get anywhere. I need to find beacons to draw me forward at times when I might otherwise get distracted by something on the side of the road.

The obvious answer is to look to others for inspiration, to take a article that made me think, and attempt to expand or to respond to it. The trick is to do this without being confrontational, this is easier said than done when like me you are not someone who can easily express the nuance of disagreeing with a concept but respect viewpoint of the person who wrote it. All while remembering cognisant that their level of craft far exceeds you own, that sometimes you will seem very silly to someone who's opinion you value.

Nevertheless it's something I feel I need to do if I'm ever going to make a habit of this so after getting my games of 2013 up I'm going to try and keep a bi-weekly schedule based around the works of my peers.

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