1. [Guest] Development of Ideas

      written by Ray Benefield
      Today's post is brought to you by Noklu, a regular member around RP and a good friend of mine. This is a very powerful theory that I have always used, but never actually thought about it and analyzed it until Noklu brought it up as a theory. I think you guys can really improve through this theory and I plan on taking this theory and dissecting it and integrating it into the Forge Lessons. This is how I have always innovated and came up with new ideas for new gametypes and new maps. At the end you will find two links to sources that Noklu has given us that re-enforces these ideas. They are both worth checking out when you are done reading this. If you have your own theories that you would like to have posted on RP all you have to do is write it down in a similar format to my blog posts and email it to me @ GodlyPerfection@ReachingPerfection.com. Basically an intro paragraph, and 3-5 sections of one paragraph each to keep it short and bite-sized. Take a look at some of the other Guest Author posts. Enjoy today's post and discuss it cuz I think this is one of the more important theories out there.

      Development of Ideas

      By: Noklu/IKIR

      Ideas are funny little things. They might be tiny little things that seem to have no consequence, but you develop off of them into new realms of ideas previously only dreamt of. Some of you, no doubt, struggle endlessly for the perfect idea and never realise that you already have what you need. And now the first controversial thought: Ideas are not original. Think about it. Every idea that you have dreamt up had its basis in some prior experience or thought. This is the adjacent possible.

      The Adjacent Possible

      “The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.”
      –Steven Johnson

      That is the purest definition of the adjacent possible, but you must remember only certain future actions are feasible. For example, having barely placed any geometry, you would not attempt to place a spawn point, would you? The same applies to ideas, man could not have developed the printing press until paper and ink had both existed. Often “original” ideas appear as common sense, something blindingly obvious, yet they open up entire new ways of thinking. This is not to say that originality is impossible, rather that originality is the ability to spot these adjacent possible ideas and develop further past into fresh ideas. Again from Steven Johnson: “The strange and beautiful truth about the adjacent possible is that its boundaries grow as you explore them. Each new idea opens up the possibility of other new ideas.” So, as a designer, follow each minuscule idea until they coalesce into something brilliant.

      Experience the World…

      …and join the navy. Well, not really. But to get these little nubs of ideas rolling, look outwards. Pay attention to what goes on. Who knows, that chance comment or graffiti-ed wall may provide the next inspiration for a mini-game or an amazing structure. I myself have taken to reading an architecture periodical showcasing brilliant structures to broaden my horizons. Find places like these and learn. Take a break from the struggle for ideas and just drive or cycle around. The sub-conscious mind will work on your problem for you, and if it sees something worthwhile, it will take notice and that will be reflected in the future. Basically, if you want an idea to form, don’t struggle for it; slide sideways into it.

      When Ideas have Sex…

      ...they make baby ideas. This is the secret to human success: we recycle ideas to generate new baby ideas. Ideas are combinations of pre-existing concepts and it is this combinatorial power you want to harness. In a nutshell, the method to develop ideas is to take existing concepts and combine them to get results. You will experience failure, but that is a part of creation. And it doesn’t have to be a solo battle; other people can help you out. People offer the richest source for developing new ideas, so discuss your latest progress and struggles with others. They might pick up on that adjacent possible idea and point it out. It isn’t even required to talk about design itself; random conversations can produce the wackiest ideas. And wacky ideas might just be the next Conquest. And that’s what you want, right?


      Practically Efficient
      Matt Ridley: When Ideas have Sex


      Schnitzel said...

      I have a tendency to limit the ideas I follow through on to being within my particular niche of forging. While there as good ones I've had for BTB and Invasion, I prefer the game styles of MLG Arenas. I try to look for fresh ideas in the presentation of geometry and how a map flows, something that makes my creations stand apart from the sea of "grey mlg maps" that players tend to expect in the genre.

      As for when inspiration strikes... It does just that, it strikes. One can not chase and idea into existence, one must merely open the doors for an idea to come along. Its a matter of being in a state in which inspiration flows most freely rather than trying to force it. Its often times easy to read or look at a piece of work that was forced and feel that it lacks something like a soul. There's a warming aura that comes from a passionately designed work.

      Anonymous said...

      If you are open to having a guest blog poster please reply and let me know. I will provide you with unique content for your blog, thanks.