The Art of Incremental Journaling and the Battle of Game Directors

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Sep 20, 2023

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The Art of Incremental Journaling and the Battle of Game Directors

Introduction:

Journaling and game directing may seem like two unrelated topics, but they share a common theme of navigating uncertainty and finding ways to overcome challenges. In this article, we will explore the concept of incremental journaling and its benefits, as well as delve into the struggles and strategies of game directors in creating successful games. By connecting these seemingly different topics, we can uncover valuable insights and actionable advice that can be applied in various aspects of life and work.

The Power of Incremental Journaling:

Incremental journaling, also known as interstitial journaling, is a method that involves noting down the start of tasks and documenting one's thoughts and feelings throughout the day. This practice increases self-awareness and helps the brain stay focused, ultimately enhancing productivity. By adopting this approach, individuals who have previously struggled with journaling can find a method that works for them. The key is to not overthink it and write freely without the need for structure. It's about capturing the present moment and acknowledging one's emotions and experiences.

The Battle of Game Directors:

Game directing is a profession filled with uncertainty and the need to make decisions amidst constant failures and setbacks. Unlike the common perception of directors as decision-makers who plan and execute strategies flawlessly, the reality is quite different. Game directors face the challenge of exploring the essence of fun while managing the trade-off between creativity and anxiety. They must lead their teams through the fog of uncertainty, constantly adapting and making decisions that may not always guarantee success.

Dealing with Uncertainty:

To combat anxiety and make progress in game development, directors often resort to being adaptable and embracing the unknown. It requires creating an environment where team members feel secure, even in the face of failure. However, this poses a significant challenge, especially in cultures like Japan, where people are prone to anxiety. The director's role becomes even more critical in reassuring team members and maintaining their trust, despite the inevitable doubts that arise when plans go awry.

The Essence of Game Design:

The MDA (Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics) framework is essential in evaluating, analyzing, and researching game design. By breaking down games into mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics, designers can articulate and model the fundamental components that contribute to the player experience. Creating an engaging game often requires multiple iterations, but excessive changes can destabilize the team and jeopardize the project. Striking a balance between exploration and stability becomes crucial in the pursuit of fun and success.

Finding Solutions in the Face of Challenges:

As a game director, making tough decisions becomes inevitable. Whether it's abandoning a groundbreaking invention or sacrificing pre-existing designs, directors must navigate through difficult choices. These decisions may not always be well-received by the design team or external collaborators, but there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Even renowned companies like Disney and Pixar face challenges and must make choices that may seem counterintuitive. The key lies in embracing the reality and finding ways to collaborate effectively as a team.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace incremental journaling: Start incorporating the practice of documenting your thoughts and feelings throughout the day. This will help increase self-awareness and improve productivity.
  • 2. Foster a resilient team: Create an environment where team members feel safe to experiment and make mistakes. Encourage open discussions and decision-making in the face of uncertainty.
  • 3. Embrace the essence of your work: Whether it's game design or any other creative endeavor, be prepared to let go of ideas and designs that do not contribute to the overall vision. Focus on the core elements that bring value and create an engaging experience.

Conclusion:

In this article, we explored the concept of incremental journaling and its benefits, as well as the challenges faced by game directors in creating successful games. By connecting these seemingly unrelated topics, we discovered valuable insights that can be applied to various aspects of life and work. By embracing incremental journaling, fostering a resilient team, and focusing on the essence of our work, we can navigate uncertainty and overcome challenges to achieve our goals. Remember, the path to success is often paved with failures and difficult decisions, but it is in these moments that true growth and innovation occur.

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