Paint chip matching

November 24, 2012
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The trim of a 3DS and the sketchbook cover of a roommate’s sister, both collected while I was at her house over the break.


07 Creativity Exercise

November 10, 2012
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(Open the image in a new tab to fix the squished-ness.)


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The backwards day

November 3, 2012
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It all started when I woke up early.  On purpose.

Well, not too early.  But when my roommate got up for her 9:00 class Thursday morning, I dragged myself out of bed and into the shower, as opposed to catching a few more hours of sleep.

Breakfast actually happened.  Instead of the usual scarfing of a doughnut while I ran off to work, or simple putting off of meal until it could only reasonably be called lunch, I made myself some pasta.  I couldn’t eat too much, though.  Though I love pasta, I simply wasn’t that hungry.  No matter, it’s something that can easily be saved for another meal.

At a loss for things to do until my 330 class, and with no deadlines that felt immediate enough to force me to urbn, I went to the nearby park to do some people watching.  It didn’t last too long — I don’t like the cold — but it was interesting to see the sudden rushes of people between classes, and the comparative quietness between them.  Also how quiet the people were in general, as they shuffled through the morning.

I was in before lunch, which was just some of the pasta.  I got caught up on my various online sites, and I changed another habit by pulling together some extra credit for the class later that day.  We were all dressing up (even though it was November 1st), and I pulled together the clothing I had to make a fallen angel costume.

I made it to class (by walking, using any sort of transportation between my apartment and urbn would just be silly and a waste of money).

Afterwards, I went grocery shopping with a friend.  We went to the Fresh Grocer.  Though I’d been there once before, this gave me a better chance to compare their selection and prices to the places I knew.  I’ll definitely be going there again soon.

After that we went to his house (where I’d also never been before) and watched a movie.  This was also interesting, and covered in a previous Brain Bank.

As for the mix of new experiences, they were a mixed bag.

I liked the Fresh Grocer and the movie was interesting.  The extra credit was fun, and certainly helpful.  People watching was fun for a bit, but won’t really be a thing I’ll jump to do again.

Waking up in the morning, though.  I’m not really functional and it isn’t fun or useful to me.  Also a big breakfast simply isn’t my thing.  I much prefer my usual slower mornings, letting my brain wake up and get to speed properly.

The perfect world

November 3, 2012
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My perfect world would be a complex thing.

  • No observers.

I would certainly want to work without people standing over my shoulders.  But I wouldn’t want to work completely alone.  In an ideal situation my work would be solitary until such time when I reached trouble, at which point there would be trusted individuals I could reach out to for advice.

  • All the time in the world.

This would actually be something of a problem for me.  I found lots of my work ends up in the floating realm of “someday,” put into a later day that doesn’t come.  Deadlines motivate me to move.  Sometimes I misjudge and the final project suffers, but putting out something is better than nothing.  The best deadlines are the step by step ones, rather than lumping everything together with a distant date.

  • Your only goal is to try new things.

This is, at times, paralyzing in its simplicity.  Though sometimes inspiration strikes, prompts and guides have been very helpful in the past to develop ideas I would not have otherwise.

  • No fear of failure.

Though it’s a nice ideal, it’s something I fear is impossible for me.

  • No obligation other than to try.

Unlike the previous ides that I have amended, this is something that I simply need.  Adding obligations and promises, especially to other people, simply stresses me out.

Though I’ve never achieved the truly ideal situation, I’ve learned to work around problems such as people, and my own personal fear.

Still, I’m pretty far off from achieving my perfect world.

Creativity Exercise 04

October 27, 2012
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Define The Problem

  • What are you trying to say & why?

I wish to establish myself in the game creating community by creating a simple game with an interesting plot that is also fun to play.

  • Who are you talking to & why?

I am talking to my peers (both DIGM and CS students), as well as people in groups such as DGDG.

  • What can you say that the competition can’t & why

I put a focus on meaning and plot which is uncommon.

  • What is your reason for being?

To create something that reflects a truth of the universe.

Restructure Your Problem

  • Make it more global

I create a game that reflects some universal human thing like eating.

  • Make it more specific

I create a game that reflects the idea of growing up as a teenager in a small valley.

The 5 Whys

Who, What, When, Why, Where, How

  • Who: define the individuals/groups involved

Me, and the others I enlist for advice (all friends/peers)

  • What: define the objects involved

My laptop, with photoshop, maya, and whatever game engine I use.

  • When: define the timeline

I want to finish the game by the end of winter term.

  • Why: define the reason for the basic objective

Because making a game gets valuable experience and gets my name into the community.

  • Where: define the places/locations

My computer and the internet, with game sites like notdoppler and kongregate.

  • How: define how the situation developed, actions occuring, steps to be taken

I decided in sophomore year I wanted to make games, and here I am now.  I need to develop an idea, find a good engine, decide on a style, and then actually make the game.

Rephrase the Problem

  • Change the Words by turning nouns into verbs

Gamers should be interested in me.

  • Change the Words by turning verbs into nouns

Gaming by me.

Create a word chain

Game – play – sport – strategy – war – fight – win – triumph – flag – raise – plant

Make it a positive action statement

  • Remove all negative words or convert them to make the statement positive.

A game made by me will be fun and interesting.

  • The Action: The thing you want to do.

Make a game

  • The Object: A thing you want to change.

The non-existence of a game made by me

  • The Qualifier: The kind of change you want.

Something interesting

  • The End Result: The result you expect to follow

A fun and interesting game.

Switch perspective

  • look for polar opposites and imagine it from that perspective

Games are worthless and meaningless and there’s no point in making them.

DaVinci’s Multiple Perspectives

  • Define the problem from your point of view

I want to make a fun and interesting game

  • Write the statement from the perspective of at least two other people who are involved

Cassie makes a really interesting game and I help her to learn the code to do so.

  • Synthesize all into a single all-inclusive statement

Cassie makes a game and I tell her how to improve it.

Use questions

Isolate the challenge and dissect in in as many different ways as possible.

  • Why is it necessary?

Because I want to establish myself.

  • What is unknown?

What platform or style to use.

  • What do you not understand about it?

How to use different engines and what would be most appealing and interesting to people

  • What info do you have? Is it sufficient/redundant?

I have a year’s worth of classes and a little knowledge about some engines.

  • Can you draw the problem as a diagram?

not really

  • What are the boundaries?

my time and resources are low.  I don’t have much money

  • Have you seen the problem before? or something similar?

A bunch of people want to make games and a bunch of games aren’t successful.

  • What are the best/worst/predictible scenarios?

Best: unexpected hit darling that gets linked all over the internet.

Worst: never completed or ignored

Predictable: medeocre

Think of the problem as:

  • A living creature. What would it look like? Draw it.

It’s a shadowy beastie with claws that’s also somewhat cute in a way.

  • Being edible. What would it taste like?

A little bitter, a little meaty.

  • Being the top of something. What is underneath it?

hours of work and determination

  • Being a color. What color would it be and why?

a  greyish green

  • Being a sound. How would it sound? Loud or quiet?

the whirring of a computer

  • Being a texture. Describe it

A little rough, but in a good way

  • Define something beautiful about it.

It makes other people smile.

Chapter 15 — Transpacific Airline

October 13, 2012
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(Or: Chapter 15 — The Great Transpacific Airline and Storm Door Company.)

What is our business?

  • Our business is games, games that make people think.


  • Computer games — physical copy
  • Computer games — download only
  • Console games — physical
  • Console games — download


  • like-minded gamers
  • other developers
  • schools?


  • entertainment
  • fostering thought
  • fostering discussion
  • teaching
  • advancing the ways games are used in our culture


  • Visuals
  • Audio
  • New mechanics


  • Insider information for customers
  • Forums to foster discussion
  • Conferences to discuss and promote

So our thinkertoys are supposed to be more about problems that are affecting us now, but I saw this and really liked it, and wanted to use it for my future career.  This meant I had to split it up in some interesting things, and have given me some things to think about.  Particularly the services and functions section.

My Creative Biology

October 13, 2012
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  • What was the first creative moment you remember?

I remember my mother reading to me — a book called Gwinna.  It was about a girl with wings, and the idea fascinated me.  I started drawing people with wings, and thinking about it a lot.

  • Did anyone see it?

Not really, I pretty much kept it to myself.

  • What was your best idea?

My best idea was to participate in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.  It’s a challenge issued to the world, to write 50,000 words of a new novel in the month of November.

  • What made it great?

It inspired me to think about writing in a way I had never before, and challenge myself to fully create and execute stories.  It also taught me a lot about my own storytelling process.

  • What was your dumbest idea?

Touching a car cigarette lighter to see if it actually worked.  It didn’t look hot.  It was hot.

  • What made it stupid?

It left a burn on my finger that lasted for days.  To be fair, I was around 12 when I did this.

  • What is your creative ambition?

To create a fictional universe with universal truths in it, so that people who play my games can understand a bit more about themselves and the world.

  • What are your creative obstacles?

I still don’t have many life experiences, so I’m not yet able to impart truths honestly.

  • What are the vital steps to achieving this ambition?

Better understanding emotion and human interaction.

  • How do you begin your day?

Slowly.  The best possible days begin with me lounging around in bed for at least a half hour, until my brain has woken up and given me engaging things to do.

  • What are your habits?

Picking at my nails, cracking my joints, checking the time, stretching.

  • Do you have patterns?

I like schedules, and knowing what I am doing in advance.  So if I get a routine that works I will stick to it.

  • Which artist do you most admire, and why?

Vincent can Gogh, for his amazing use of color and prolific amounts of work, despite personal setbacks.

  • What do you and this artist have in common?

I, too, enjoy sunflowers and wearing hats.  Other than that, there isn’t much, but I try to draw inspiration from the way he uses color to set the feeling of the environment.

  • Who in your life regularly inspire you? How?

It may be a cliche, but my mother.  She’s helped me through some of the worst times of my life by being amazing and strong, and I know she’s supporting me 100% though my path is unorthodox.

  • When confronted with superior intelligence/talent, how do you respond?

I get intimidated, but I also look for elements I like, and think about how I could try them out.

  • When confronted with stupidity/laziness, how do you respond?

I get frustrated, and try to work around it.  This sometimes means taking on more of a burden than I should, just for the sake of making sure it is done correctly.

  • When you work do you love the process or the result?

I get settled in to the process, finding a groove that I can just coast in for hours.  I’m never quite satisfied with the product, and sometimes have to self-impose deadlines to ensure that I turn out something in the end.

  • What is your ideal creative activity?

Developing the things that create the feel of a game — way back at the start of the pre-production pipeline.  Deciding what questions I want the game to ask the player, what impression I want the game to leave them with.

Though if possible, I want my fingers in every aspect — helping a little with story and some more with art, brainstorming mechanics.

  • What is your greatest fear.

That I’ll never finish a product good enough for other people.

  • What is the likelihood of the answers to the two previous questions happening?

I’m getting better at finishing things, but there are a lot of people who want to make games who just aren’t good enough.  I’m scared but I’m still going to try.

  • Which of your answers would you most like to change?

I hope my greatest fear changes to “I’m worried my next project won’t live up to my last”.

  • What is your idea of mastery?

People telling me that my product really means something to them, and has helped to shape or define their world.

  • What is your greatest dream?

To get a comfortable job working with people that I like, and living with people that I love.

  • What else defines your “Creative Biology?”

My desire to challenge and my desire to make games their own kind of art.

Problems to fix

October 6, 2012
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  • I want to improve my art
  • I want to meet more people in the gaming industry
  • I want to develop a simple game
  • I want to search out co-ops on the west coast
  • I want to get something so my bed isn’t just a mattress on the floor
  • I want to try new drawing styles
  • I want to make an awesome portfolio website
  • My backpack is too heavy all the time
  • I want to get my name out in the artistic world
  • I want to make more money so I can have more things
  • I want a awesome story for my animation final
  • I want to write a book

An ode to a lonely lunch.

October 6, 2012
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It sits, abandoned under a computer desk

Purpose filled, empty wrappers spill from it as if it was trying to push itself away

Oh lonely lunch, there’s nothing to fear.  Someone is better for your loss.

Furthest away is a juice box, the blue of a man-made concoction.  Its twin, equally crumpled, is purple.  Straws have spilled out, laying in pools of dripped that are surely sticky.

Then a few wrappers.  Wrappers from crackers, cheeze spread likely stiff from the air

Poking out of the bag is an apple core — someone was hungry.  It’s eaten closely, a seed is visible.  What little skin I can see around the brown stem is bright green.

Finally, some empty ziploc bags.  They are a mystery to me, save for the crumbs trapped in one.

My best guess is a sandwich, but who knows?  Breadsticks from some long-ago pizza run?  Bread baked fresh?

The whole mess — the literal mess, comes only to my ankle.  The tired, plastic bag from 7-11 bag has folded in on itself in defeat.

Oh lonely lunch, your purpose is filled but your place is wrong.  I send a thought to the person before me.

Throw away your trash, dammit.

A smelly smell that smells… smelly

October 1, 2012
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It’s a warm smell, one that manages to get through the entire house.  Warm and fresh with a tinge of something a little sharp.  Depending on the type, the smell could have a range of types.  Rasins’ll make it sweet, apples a friuty tart.  But my favorite hails from San Fransisco, a sharper bite, a sour dough that makes me think of cracked crab and melted butter.

Yes, baking bread is a wonderful smell.

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