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Create Groundbreaking Games Using Three Words

Create truly imaginative games using three powerful words: inspiration, iteration, innovation.

Jake Parmley, Blogger

February 3, 2017

2 Min Read

"There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope." - Mark Twain

To create groundbreaking games, we can rely on three powerful words: inspiration, iteration and innovation.

1. Inspiration

Finding genuine inspiration from another game, film, comic, story/character, life event, social issue, etc. is a powerful seed that can spawn incredible visions. I’m not speaking of a simple fondness for something, but instead a profound admiration that energizes your own perceptions of excellence. Finding inspiration(s) serves as a jumping off point and lends clarity to your vision. Inspiration can come from a single source, or many. 

2. Iteration

Next is Iteration. Once your inspiration has been captured, documented and carefully studied - revealing the essence of what makes it special, and why it resonates so strongly with you - you’re responsible for iterating on it. Iteration is the process in which the repetition of a sequence of operations yields results, successively closer to a desired result. The desired result in this case is the vision you’ve defined for yourself, which stems from your inspirations.

In many cases, the process of iteration can lead you on a whirlwind adventure, stretching your initial concepts into new unexplored territories. You may not have reached this new territory without guidance from your inspiration, but now that you approach it, your vision becomes something new entirely. This brings up the final word: Innovation.

3. Innovation

Innovation is the result of iterating on clearly defined inspiration(s). Innovation means introducing concepts that ooze originality and creativity. Innovation would not exist without the clarity provided by leveraging your initial inspiration. An innovation can be defined as something that’s greater than the sum of its parts - meaning it’s better than one would expect from the individual parts, because the way the parts combine is totally unique. Consider Mark Twain’s view on new ideas:

“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.” - Mark Twain

The pieces of colored glass are our inspirations. We endlessly reference them and create curious combinations. If our inspirations are iterated on successfully; we innovate.

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