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Interesting ways to boost creativity...


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#1 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:23 PM

I'm looking for ways to get people to start thinking more creatively.  Fun activities, typically unrelated to the real work, to get the brains flexing and stretching.

 

At one job I worked at, they took their top devs, put them in a room with a bunch of legos, and said build something that does X, Y and Z.  It was a lot of fun, but honestly, I don't think this was as creative, since we were given legos (tools/building blocks) to accomplish, and we didn't need to think outside the box.  (clarification, they gave us almost the exact legos we needed, so it was more an exercise in following directions)

 

In classes on Game Design I run, when covering brain storming, I do two things commonly.  

 

1) I split students into teams 3, give them a few die, paper and pencil, and tell them to create a game that 3 people can play, with clear rules to figure out who wins and how to play.  I give them 5 minutes.

 

2) Another thing I do, is to write down 3 entirely random things, like "an ogre, a can of asparagus and a tuning fork" (walk into a bar) and tell them to come up with a game idea that involves all three.  

 

 

Do you have anything to add to this list?  Things to help people to start having fun by thinking creatively, before you start a brain storming session or other activity where you want them thinking creatively?


Edited by Dan Violet Sagmiller, 18 February 2013 - 10:06 PM.

Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


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#2 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

I found a few things online, like:

 

1) Create a sentence using 3 random words, like goblin, tooth fairy and marshmallow.

 - compare with others to come up with one everyone things is the funniest or most interesting.

 

2) Create a random list of words, such as donkey, goblin, rock, river and water.  for every word, come up with a logic or reason why the others belong in the same list, but this does not.

 

3) Come up with different off the wall ideas, typically something you don't expect to change, and ask people what the side effects would be, and what else might that cause?

 - E.g. What if birds started eating bricks.  What if cars could fly?  What if sharks sprouted wings and started to fly?  what if people suddenly could see in IR?  What if trees threw fruit at people as weapons? 

 

4) An inventor just created a Vacuum that also makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  You've been hired to market it.  What would your commercial be like and what types of people would you try selling it to?


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#3 powerneg   Members   -  Reputation: 1463

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:09 PM

origami-fortune-teller-400x400.jpg


actually giving them dice when they already have pen and paper, kids nowadays are so spoiled :P

Am i getting it correct that the exercise should purely go about making somebody more creative, not creative about a certain subject(games for example) or something ?
because the example of what the devs had to do seemed pretty reasonable to me, keeping in mind there would be more to the exercise then only being creative.
 

i wanted to write down more but, i realized, i don't realy know what you want, nor what you want to do with it.



#4 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:46 PM

It was focused on creativity in general, not focused on a topic, but I suppose it could be.

 

I realize that my lego comment was left a bit vague.  But in that exercise, the legos essentially came with exactly what we needed, and was more or less just putting it together in the right way.  Creativity gone, more like following directions under the guise of fun and getting paid to play with legos.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#5 Woland   Members   -  Reputation: 372

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:19 AM

Start with this:

 

 

all the creativity-boosting games are forcing people to be creative. True creativity comes from boredom and undisturbed freedom of mind.


Want to learn more about the industry? 

 

games making noob

 

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#6 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:36 AM

all the creativity-boosting games are forcing people to be creative. True creativity comes from boredom and undisturbed freedom of mind.

 

I think you missed the point of this.  Instead of boredom and undisturbed freedom, he gave a very specific break down of a personal creativity session. Most of what he talked about had to do with the fact you need to be in an open mind to be effectively creative.  He gave structured approaches to it.  

 

However, if you wanted to get a bit more specific, he did bring up that it typically takes about 30 minutes to calm your brain down enough to relax and think more freely.  Given that as the case, most of these games wouldn't get you to that stage, unless they took longer than 30 minutes.

 

Another fascinating point he touched on around 22 minutes in, without getting to intense, is the reason for recess in school.  Recess was a play time.  It was a time where for most kids, you didn't have to worry about working and getting things right, and could just go out and experiment, play, have fun, relax.  Then, when the students get back into class they should hopefully have a more open mind again.  

 

at 23 minutes (earlier as well) he is discussing how you can't be afraid of mistakes.  Creativity is about trying things you wouldn't necessarily think are the correct choices at first.  And giving serious thought or time to figure it out.  (By serious, I mean more focused, as apposed to no joking around)

 

There are actually a lot of really interesting points he brings up to help creativity.  The point of the games is to help bring out topics along those lines.


Edited by Dan Violet Sagmiller, 19 February 2013 - 07:39 AM.

Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#7 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:48 AM

Another note is that around 27:40, he starts giving more discussion to not criticizing negatively.  "If there is one person around, who makes you feel defensive, you lose the confidence to play and its goodbye creativity"  He also says "Never say No, or Wrong, or I Don't Like That"  

 

What I like about this part is that I've been teaching the same principals in my classes on game design.  I give pointers on how to host and attend an effective Brain Storming session.  I also have them do a brain storming session on some crazy idea first and then have them brain storm on their group projects.

 

I'm really glad you posted this video.  I just hope you get more out of it the next time you watch it.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#8 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:00 AM

at 30 minutes in, he gets even more clear.  humor and creativity seem to be based on connecting two things that you did not have notable reason to think were connected.  Like a vacuum that makes turkey sandwiches.   

 

He brought up that you could try coming up with obscure random ideas and connecting them to try to find merit in some odd connection.  That is very similar to the word games I posted earlier, about taking random words, like sandwich, skunk and moon and put them into the same sentence trying to make sense or humor out of it.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#9 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3892

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:41 AM

@Woland - Awesome link! I recommend every designer to watch it.

           

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#10 Woland   Members   -  Reputation: 372

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:02 AM

Yeah, Cleese is actually a brilliant business coach, apart from a hilarious guy smile.png

 

 

 

Woland, on 19 Feb 2013 - 10:18, said:
all the creativity-boosting games are forcing people to be creative. True creativity comes from boredom and undisturbed freedom of mind.

I think you missed the point of this. Instead of boredom and undisturbed freedom, he gave a very specific break down of a personal creativity session. Most of what he talked about had to do with the fact you need to be in an open mind to be effectively creative. He gave structured approaches to it.

However, if you wanted to get a bit more specific, he did bring up that it typically takes about 30 minutes to calm your brain down enough to relax and think more freely. Given that as the case, most of these games wouldn't get you to that stage, unless they took longer than 30 minutes.

 

In the second paragraph you yourself explained, that I didn't in fact miss the point. Games that aim at boosting creativity are supposed to be engaging. That's why they are called creativity-boosting games, not creativity-boosting recess. They never last over 30 minutes, as they seem to expect the results instantly.

 

I've done my share of creativity workshops and I admit, that they can produce the results, no doubts there. Still, you can't play creativity games with your team all the time and playing them by yourself doesn't get the job done. Therefore switching your mind off for a while is perfect exercise if you yourself want to wake your creativity up without some external incentive.

 

All in all, you may be right in one thing - I would definetely get more out of this video if I watched it again. Still, the fact is that 2 years after watching it, the thing I remember most is the technique to just get bored in an empty room where nothing distracts you. Maybe it's just a technique that works for me best. I would surely encourage people to experiment with it, but I'd never want them to stop experimenting with other techniques as well.

 

For example, the South Park team seems to be more creatively motivated by a ticking clock - they have a routine of making the episodes in a week just before the airing. The episodes are literally finished a few hours before. They mostly focus on brainstorming between people with sick ideas and it seems to work for them. On the other hand, fans are bitching about the downfall of quality, so maybe a little more extra time to polish the ideas would also do some good here? Still, if they feel comfortable with this kind of creative process and are content with the results then it's a technique just as good as any other.


Edited by Woland, 20 February 2013 - 03:07 AM.

Want to learn more about the industry? 

 

games making noob

 

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#11 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:10 AM

@Woland.  Thanks :) I mistook your original sentences as an attempt to sum up the whole point of the video, not add an extra two cents about part of your take on it.  I can see that you have more insight than your original statement.  The video was awesome.  


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#12 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:11 AM

I would include this though, the lego seminar thing I went to, we had over an hour.  which certainly went past the 30 minute mark.  But I see your point that most are not.  


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#13 Woland   Members   -  Reputation: 372

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:36 AM

I would include this though, the lego seminar thing I went to, we had over an hour.  which certainly went past the 30 minute mark.  But I see your point that most are not.  

 

I envy you - I've never had a chance to see something like that.


Want to learn more about the industry? 

 

games making noob

 

gamedev newbie's peek inside.





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