John Evans' Blog

Tag: creativity

What to do after you solve a problem.

by on Jun.03, 2007, under Uncategorized

Prof. Gian-Carlo Rota once told a joke in an 18.03 class. As near I can recall, it went like this.

“How does an engineer move a pot from the stove to the counter? He picks it up and carries it to the counter. How does a mathematician move a pot from the stove to the counter? The same way. How does an engineer move a pot from the floor to the counter? He picks it up from the floor and puts it on the counter. How does a mathematician move a pot from the floor to the counter? He picks it up and puts it on the stove…and the previous problem was already solved!”

I’ve noticed that I have this same tendency to lose interest in things once I figure them out…some of my web-based games, for example. It’s much easier for me to start new projects than develop the ones I already have…because the new ones have new challenges. For a lot of the old ones, I need to do tedious work or create more content…

I don’t really know what the solution to this is, I just wanted to get my thoughts on ‘paper’.

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Experience

by on Feb.27, 2007, under Uncategorized

I think it’s important for any creative person to realize that what they’re actually attempting to craft is an experience. For computer game designers, certainly, this should be uppermost in their minds…however, I think it can apply to novelists, TV show writers, whatever. It’s not that you’re creating a physical thing, it’s that you’re creating something that will enable your viewer/reader/player to have an interesting experience.

Well, this is my theory, anyway. I just had this kind of epiphany today and I thought I’d write it down. I suppose it may not be news to many people, but I’ve never quite thought of it before. Fortunately, I think it’s somewhat instinctive…especially in my more ambitious game designs, I think to myself, “Okay, I want the player to have a moment where they feel like THIS”…

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What I want

by on Dec.24, 2005, under Uncategorized

Well, every year around this time my family exchanges gifts. I thought I’d take Ed Wasser’s advice and think about what I want. Sure, there are things I would enjoy receiving, like books or DVDs…(Yeah, most of my “possessions” nowadays are really just interesting bits of information.) But what do I really want? What do I really want?

Well, one thing I really want is to able to express some of the ideas I have in my head. To be able to get past my creative blocks and think of things I can do in my various game projects…think of things that will help evoke the half-formed experiences I have rattling around in my head. Because I truly believe I have ideas which are innovative. Perhaps not earthshaking or mindboggling, but things that will make people take notice and think in new directions.

That’s what I want. Is that selfish? Probably less selfish than a DVD, I think, but either way I feel entitled to a certain amount of selfishness in this regard.

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