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Article - 'Thinking clearly' by Stevester

An item about Game Design posted on Jan 14, 2004

Blurb

This artical describes how to ready yourself for making games. Contains a lot of info on how to do your work, and psychological-ness.

Body

This is the master article that explains how you can ready you mind for what you want to do with you game. Also, it can be used in other situations. Hallelujah! Huzzah! Hooray! Jalapeno!

Table of indextry:

Part 1: What to do, depending on your brain mode

Part 2: Thinking clearly, creatively, and mathematically.

Part 3: Readying your mind for making a game


Part 1: What to do, and CONDITIONZ.

I’m basically going to tell you what your best options are, based on how YOU think. No, I’m not a mind-reader, merely a psychologist. ;)
(NOTE: To find out if your right-brained or left-brained see one of my other articles.)

For those of you who are right-brained:

If you find yourself intelligent, you should try to make the game yourself, with only as much help as you need. Graphics, creative storylines and game ideas should be easy for you.

The only possible problem is coding. I suggest, if you do the coding by yourself, to write it on different nights than you do the graphics, or other creative activities. This is because coding is a left-brained activity, and will temporarily make your mind switch to the left side, thus -slightly- hindering your creativeness. This is only if you code for a long period of time.

For those of you who are left-brained:

What is best for left-brained people really depends on a lot of… conditions. If you are a good coder, then you should code. If you’re good at writing plots, then that’s what you do. It’s really as simple as that.

Things I would NOT recommend are making your own graphics (unless you’re good at it) or anything arty. People who are left-brained are usually better at things like coding, or other mathematical thang0rzz. If you do a right-brained activity for an extended period of time, I would recommend that you take a break before you start coding again.

For those of you who are middle-brained:

You can do ANYTHING that you’re good at. Great advice, huh? Since you are middle-brained, you should find most activities relatively easy, if you apply yourself. To get the best results from your game, you should do different activities involving different brain modes at different times. This is because it isn’t good to do a right-brained activity, then switch over to a left brained activity. You just won’t get the same results.

Before I switch to the next part, I would like to point out that RM2K is very, very easy coding. No, I don’t just want to humiliate RM2K coders. I’m writing this because I ALWAYS get a comment saying that the person is right-brained, but they’re still good at coding RM2K. You can usually be right or left brained, and still be pretty good at coding in RM2K; it’s just that easy (compared to other coding methods).

Part 2: Thinking clearly, creatively, and/or mathematically

You can help yourself think clearer just by not working on your game EVERY day. For example, you could work on your game only on weekends, only for one hour a night, and so on. This makes your mind work better when you DO work on it. This is because, as we all know, you can’t stress your mind out for so long and expect to get something great from it, nor can you make a great game straight through without any breaks.

Listening to music can help you when making games. This is because music, excluding Rap or any other type of music that is based on words, helps you switch to your right brain. Rap and music that is based on words aren’t right-brained music, so it won’t help you with thinking creatively. The type of music you’re listening to can also effect how you think. Techno, Classical, New wave, Dark wave, an any kind of (good) synthesized music can make you think more creatively, because of the artistic sense of the music, which should be included if it’s “good”.

Video games, which are a spatial activity, will help you think with the creative side of you brain easier. Other spatial activities include driving (mostly parallel parking), sports, many forms of art and stuff like that. Furthermore, they’re FUN.

EMOSHUNZ can also help you be creative. Most of you probably won’t make yourself sad, and you shouldn’t, but what I’m saying is “allow yo-self ta feel, brotha”. Emotions like sadness (not to the point of depression) and happiness (NOT from drug-use) often make it easier to think when coming up with a story or artwork, because they allow you to use the right side of your brain when making games. When you allow yourself to feel such emotions, you will be more creative, and be able to work with emotions in your game, to a certain extent. For instance, if you want to have someone who is always sad or something, if you’re sad at the moment, you can probably make that person be sad in the game, as an actual person would be.

If you don’t need to think creatively, but mathematically (left brained), then you shouldn’t listen to music or do any of the things listed above while making your game. Instead, you should just do what you need to do.

There are no real activities that anyone would actually want to do to make themselves think with their left brain, just stuff that you should normally be doing if you go to school or college. Mathematics, algebra, and the like should help you think statistically. Other stuff that you can do on your free time that will also help you think mathematically include reading, some writing, coding, and stuff like that.

For more detail on switching the way your mind thinks, I would suggest that you look at one of my other articles concerning the matter (I do have so many psychological articles).

Part 3: Readying your mind, body, and if you’re lucky, spirit!

Since making games is 90% with the mind and the other 10% is clicking and typing, you must ready your mind. There are many ways you can do this: One, you shouldn’t stay up late and wake up late, for all know, “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”. And, although you should go to bed early, it is best to work on your game right before you go to bed. The mind works the most creatively in the latter hours of your day.

Also, wine actually helps you think, since “A glass a day keeps the doctor away”. Ahem. If you eat peppermint, it causes MAJIK in your brain, and helps you think better. Most mints contain peppermint, which is known to help you think, along with sugar that gives you energy. DO NOT drink caffeine for energy. A lot of caffeine or sugar isn’t good for you, and should be taken in small doses, just like cocaine. ;)

And here ends the article. If you are angered by psychology because it confuses you, express it in a non-flaming manner. Thank you. :)