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Creativity Techniques in Game Design


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Slides presented at the third GameSpace workshop, Helsinki 2007. About creativity and creativity techinques in game design and some tentative results of our ideating techniques research.

Published in: Education, Technology

Creativity Techniques in Game Design

  1. 1. Creativity Techniques and Game Idea Generation Thoughts provided by GameSpace-AaKoo
  2. 2. Collected thoughts <ul><ul><li>Creativity is a complex phenomenon involving the operation of multiple influences as we move from initial generation of an idea to delivery of an innovative product (Mumford and Gustafson 1988) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lateral thinking and creativity, lateral thinking as a process that can be learned (deBono 1970) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is need for organisations to have cultures which encourage, reward and respect the free flow of ideas and enquires, where the social environment can influence both the level and frequency of creative behaviour (Amabile 1998, Blum 2000) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creativity occurs when new relationships between existing elements occur and/or when new elements are brought in (Bostrom 1993, Gryskiewicz 1980&1987) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Idea generation as a critical means for achieving competitive advantage (Gordan et al. 1997) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Collected thoughts <ul><ul><li>Brainstorming don’t necessary produce novel and innovative solutions (McFadzean 2000) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantity of ideas will ultimately yield to quality (Osborn 1957) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong relationship between the number of idea generation techniques and the number of successful products (Sowrey 1989, Parnes 1961) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Idea generation should be regarded as a separate activity from idea evaluation (Osborn 1963) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Procedures and methods for idea generation are often based on intuitive belief systems rather than empirically validated theory (Perttula 2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Idea generation is not a random process governed solely by an individual’s personal trait, but a relatively structured process that can be explained (Perttula 2006) </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Creativity at the Workplaces <ul><li>Atmosphere, environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creativity is supported </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environment is enhanced with diverse and inspiring stimuli </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Diverse personnel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When putting different people together, creativity will arise from the collision of different opinions and experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Creativity techniques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creativity on demand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Methodological approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning lateral thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inspiration and atmosphere </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Creativity Techniques <ul><li>Brainstorming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Treated as a synonym to any group ideating </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Others: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative Scenarios, BrainSketching, Brainstorming, Brainwriting, Bunches of Bananas, Causal Mapping, Collective Notebook, DO IT, Delphi, Do Nothing, Exaggeration, Keeping a Dream Diary, Mind Mapping, Morphological Analysis, Random Stimuli, Relaxation, Six Thinking Hats, TRIZ, Think Tank, Why Why Why… and so on… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Different techniques for different purposes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem Def., Idea Select., Idea Implement., Holistic techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Idea Generation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relatively little empirical valid research </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Idea Generation Techniques <ul><li>Ideas should be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Novel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Idea is new or distinctive when comparing to old ideas or existent products </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Idea is suitable for given purposes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Techniques targeting to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When producing vast amount of ideas, you will more probable end up with good idea </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The techniques will produce ideas that are different from each other and not only copying the same thing over and over again. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Predictability/stability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You don’t have to “wait for the good day”, but the techniques really helps you also on some “bad” days as well </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating right atmosphere </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Ideating process <ul><li>User </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expertise, experience, knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Techniques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Structure, stimuli, inspiration, change from the common procedures, forcing “out of the box” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Be crazy, but don’t touch the walls!” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive conflict (novelty and applicability) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Importance of techniques and technique development: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Entrusting the technique providing “mental rubber between the user and the wall”? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Game Ideating Techniques <ul><li>General or specific approach? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of general ideating techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating game generic ideating techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Base on other general techniques </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New approaches to ideating techniques </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating casual, mobile and multiplayer specific techniques?? </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. For what purpose game ideas are for? <ul><li>Fundamental </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good idea can be used as a fundamental basis for the game product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Completeness, applicability, novelty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inspirational </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One idea may inspire another </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Iteration rounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Producing lots of ideas </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. GameSpace Techniques <ul><li>GameSpace studies methodological approach to game design </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideation process, concepting, prototyping, evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workshop I (casual) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>VNA, Emo, MorF, PlayFirst! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workshop II (multiplayer) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brainstorming, GameBrain, It’s a Game!, GameSeeker </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workshop III (mobile) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NoteBooks, Gameboard, PieceBox, It’s a GameSeeker, MorF 2.0, Out-of-the-Office, Mechano, Call Your Mama! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Workshop I <ul><li>VNA, Emo, MorF and PlayFirst! </li></ul><ul><li>Research questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Are ideating techniques useful?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ What is the basis for the game ideating technique: thematic, or mechanical approach?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Even though methods were either with thematic or mechanical approach, the idea descriptions did not differ in the level of completeness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ How to help to produce casual game ideas?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MorF? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Other findings: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PlayFirst! produced clone-a-like ideas </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Workshop II <ul><li>Brainstorming, GameBrain, It’s a Game!, GameSeeker </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Similar group procedures, different stimuli </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Research questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ What is the function of stimuli and group procedure?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All the methods produced similar amount of ideas in time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If there is no specific stimuli, it will be taken from the environment (coffee-mug effect) or existing product is recalled </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some stimuli may “leave you inside the box” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stimuli is not always easy to treat as inspirational/associational or it can have too strong effect </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The balance between associative and structural elements? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Again the game based method (GameBrain) produced mainly variants and mixtures of existent products </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The analysis of the workshop II is not ready </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Workshop III <ul><li>Further developed techniques and some new approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Different documenting techniques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lesson learned from previous workshops: outside factors such as group procedure and documenting techniques are greatly relevant factors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No specific research questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interest in different kind of user experiences </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Techniques: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NoteBooks (SwopBook and MyBook) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Idea can come whenever </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GameBoard (co-op and solo) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How about competition? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mechano </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mechanical approach </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Out-of-the-Office </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Different environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Call Your Mama! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Target group </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PieceBox </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>General game stimuli, close to prototyping </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s a GameSeeker! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>associative & structural </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MorF 2.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Computer aided, base on game analysis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4P documenting technique </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Parallel ideating in the group </li></ul></ul></ul>Workshop III
  15. 15. GameSpace IdeaPackage <ul><li>Workshops provides limited possibilities to study ideating processes </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2007 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of existing techniques, possible new ones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Send your hopes, wishes and developing ideas to: [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Autumn 2007 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Packages sent to the partners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Physical objects, card games, former ideas, computer programs, documenting techniques and instructional material (possibly instructions f2f) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real use, if any use at all </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews, feedback (autumn/winter 2007-08?) </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Let’s make game ideas! Gimme mail! [email_address]
  17. 17. Let’s make game ideas! Gimme mail! [email_address] MOBILE