I cherished enjoying pc video games. In reality, that’s how I first discovered to code: by making easy video games. Although I now not spend a lot time on video games nowadays, I’m nonetheless within the subject.
That’s why I used to be excited when I discovered the memoir of Sid Meier. You may by no means hear of him, however he’s a legendary sport designer! His most well-known creation is the Civilization series which began again in 1991. As we speak, a long time later, the collection remains to be going sturdy.
Civilization is legendary for its addictive high quality. You possibly can see it your self on its Steam page: many reviewers there spent 1,000+ hours on the sport! That’s quite a bit of enjoying time. Its addictiveness and the time it takes are the explanation why I solely play Civilization Revolution nowadays. It’s a simplified model of the sport that takes a lot much less time to complete.
In my view, the memoir is an effective supply to find out about creativity. Sid Meier is unquestionably inventive: apart from Civilization, he developed many different video games in several genres. Lots of them include authentic concepts.
So what’s the key to his creativity? What can we be taught from him about being inventive?
Properly, based mostly on the memoir, I concluded that there are 4 keys:
- Have a range of pursuits.
- Take a distance each every so often.
- Have a superb companion to debate with.
- Be self-sufficient.
Let’s dig into them one after the other.
1. Have a Range of Pursuits
A confirmed method to get contemporary concepts is to cross-pollinate concepts from totally different fields. That requires you to have a range of pursuits. Right here is an excerpt from the e book:
The disadvantage of with the ability to isolate the fascinating a part of any given factor is that you’re consistently interested in each given factor. I routinely discover myself stumbling into new hobbies virtually accidentally, and as with my work life, I appear incapable of doing something halfheartedly.
Together with his breadth of curiosity, he may think about one thing new. A very good instance is a sport he developed referred to as SimGolf:
SimGolf wouldn’t have been nearly as good if I hadn’t maintained an curiosity in music—and wouldn’t have existed in any respect if I hadn’t maintained an curiosity in golf.
He mixed concepts in music, golf, and pc gaming to develop SimGolf. Right here is one other excerpt from the memoir:
A designer who’s solely desirous about video games will discover it very arduous to carry something authentic to the desk, and I’m positive that is true in different fields, too.
2. Take a Distance Each As soon as in a Whereas
Whereas having a range of pursuits is nice, it’s not sufficient. You would be so busy along with your day-to-day routines that it’s tough so that you can think about one thing new. That’s why you’ll want to take a distance each every so often.
In Meier’s case, his most inventive concepts typically got here whereas he was on trip. The change in context gave him the room to get contemporary concepts. He at all times introduced a pc throughout holidays (even earlier than there have been laptops!), so he typically developed prototypes straight away.
In your case, it may not be a trip, however you continue to must take a distance each every so often. Give your self the room to think about one thing new.
3. Have a Good Accomplice to Talk about With
New concepts are sometimes uncooked at first. To refine the concepts till they’re prepared for prime time, you’ll want to have a superb companion to debate with.
In Meier’s case, he mentioned a lot of his concepts with Bruce Shelley, a fellow sport designer. Shelley may carry a unique perspective to the desk as a result of he has a unique background. Whereas Meier’s background is in coding, Shelley’s background is in board sport design. Their expertise complemented one another.
Equally, it’s best to discover a companion(s) to debate your thought with. Ideally, they need to complement your expertise.
4. Be Self-Ample
To carry a inventive thought to fruition, there are two methods: both you develop it your self otherwise you persuade others to develop it with you. The primary possibility requires you to have the totally different expertise wanted to develop the thought. However even with the second possibility, it’s best to nonetheless have the totally different expertise wanted to develop a prototype.
Why is that the case? Properly, as a result of having a working prototype is a a lot better method to persuade others than mere phrases! It’s very true in fields like gaming the place it’s typically tough to get an thought throughout with simply phrases. By enjoying a prototype, others can really feel the enjoyable themselves.
That’s why Sid Meier believes in being self-sufficient. He’s primarily a programmer, however he additionally taught himself graphic designs. He has musical expertise too. With these, he can develop a working prototype with out relying on others.
If you wish to be inventive, be taught to be self-sufficient. Don’t let your creativity be hindered by the supply of others. Educate your self the totally different expertise wanted. You don’t should be an knowledgeable in all of them, however get adequate in them.
These are 4 keys to being inventive that I discovered from the memoir. To recap, you’ll want to have a range of pursuits, take a distance each every so often, have a superb companion to debate with, and be self-sufficient. With these, your creativity will circulate!