28 Sep

The Opposite of Fear is Curiosity

Fear is the seed of regret Bob Mayer quote

Fear is the seed of regret Bob Mayer quoteI’m a scaredy-cat.

I don’t like to be put in situations where people can yell at me, where I can be in the wrong, where I can be blamed for failure. I don’t like to lie, to cheat or to up-sell. I’m a lousy salesman.

Quite simply, I’m too scared.

Everyone understands fear. If only we weren’t so afraid we’d sky jump, get married or sell our sofa and go live in a tiny monastery in Tibet where bald monks would teach us how to kill a man with our pinky toes.

If only we had the courage. If only we’d be fearless then we’d go, do, learn, live.

Sorry to burst your bubble, kiddo. Being fearless does diddly squat. Read More

18 Sep

What Kills Your Dreams or The Dreaded Plateau

Do the work Douglas Smith quote

Do the work Douglas Smith quoteFor quite some time I was heading straight up. My writing became steadily better, my game designs were continuously more interesting. I liked where I was going.

Then I failed.

See, no rising curve lasts forever, no breakthrough is endless. At some point you will come to the dreaded plateau.

What happens is that as you start in on something your skills will rapidly increase. You’ll be learning new things by the simple method of never having experienced them before. The difference between never having been fishing and casting that lure into the water for the first time is huge. But then you cast it and cast it and cast it and you don’t catch anything. You curse and spit and decide to go home. You’ve plateaued. And you’ll never catch that fish. Read More

14 Sep

What’s Stopping You?

Work on it, James Altucher quote

Work on it, James Altucher quoteI’ve got a friend who designs games and his games are good. I don’t mean good as in “hey, dude, good game”. I mean GOOD. I like his games and I’m not even close to their target audience. If I were I’d be drooling at the opportunity to play again. And yet…

And yet my friend doesn’t do anything with his games. He pulls them out occasionally on game nights. He tinkers with them, making small changes that he sometimes reverts. Sure, he’d like to have his games published but…

Maybe he doesn’t know how. Maybe he doesn’t know anything about the business side of game design and he’s scared to find out. Maybe he doesn’t even know where to start finding out.

Perhaps he’s afraid that he’ll be rejected (that’s a given, everyone, even brilliant designers with brilliant designs, get rejected). Perhaps he’s got bad experiences with money, or authority figures or showcasing his work. Whatever it is, it’s stopping him from moving on.

Me, I’ve moved on. Read More

11 Sep

3 Effective Ways to Get Started

Shut up and write, Kevin J. Anderson quote

Shut up and write, Kevin J. Anderson quoteI have a great idea. I think it over, twist and turn it in my mind. It’s good. No, it’s brilliant, it’s freaking amazing! It’s something that could actually take off, go somewhere. People would enjoy it. I should totally do this.

I think about it. I jot down notes. I look for free slots of time when I could do this.

And I don’t.

My name is Filip and I’ve got procrastinitis*. I’ve got trouble getting started. Once I get going I can crank out a thousand words no problem. I can whip up a game prototype in no time flat. I can transcribe interviews, sort notes, fold laundry, anything and everything.

If I get started. Read More

07 Sep

Do. Create. Live.

Believe in yourself - Kris Rush quote

Believe in yourself - Kris Rush quoteWhen was the last time you sat down to write and came to, night turning the first shades of dawn, and you still in front of your computer, doing what you love?

When was the last time you sat down to work and came to, realizing that no matter what you did it wouldn’t matter?

When was the last time you followed your passion to create, to make something new, to live what you love? Read More

04 Sep

How Ignoring the News Made Me Happy

Undisturbed by violence quote

Undisturbed by violence quoteWhen I was 20 I went to Amsterdam. They had an exhibit in the Science Center Nemo where there was a machine that flashed images on a screen. There were calm images (a beautiful flower, a still lake, a pair of bunnies) and mixed in amongst them were disturbing images – a decapitated chicken, a pair of naked men, a hunter pointing his rifle at you. You’d put your fingers into a pair of electrosensitive cups and the machine told you how disturbed you were by the various images. My reactions were right on track for all images. All images except one.

I didn’t show any reaction to the man pointing a rifle at my head. No reaction at all. Read More

03 Aug

To Publish You Need to Give Up Control

Control your attitude Brian Tracy quote

Control your attitude Brian Tracy quoteRight now I’ve four games and nine short stories under review, that is, a publisher has them on her desk and is considering whether to publish them. Or more accurately: a publisher has them in her slush pile and hasn’t taken the time to go through it yet.

It’s not much but I’m a traditional one-submission-at-a-time kind of guy (that’s suboptimal, but I’ll can of worms that topic for later). I know writers who’ve got literally dozens of submissions out. I know game designers who have tens (game design tends to have a somewhat lower turnover and longer lead times). But numbers aren’t the point. The point is that every writer or game designer, including me, had to do one thing in order to get their works into the hands of publishers:

Accepting a loss of control. Read More

24 Jul

There’s No Such Thing as a Perfect Game

Perfection in Art quote

Perfection in Art quoteThere’s no such thing as the perfect novel. Perfection in art is unequivocally subjective. What one reader hails as perfection, another will throw across the room in disgust. As readers, our preferred reading experiences span the gamut from cuddly, reaffirming romances to gritty, life-challenging noir. And that’s awesome. A world without variety would leave authors with very little of interest to write about.
Because the perfect novel will never exist, authors have lots of room in which to play around and find their niches. Therefore the question isn’t so much “how to write the perfect novel” as it is “how to write your perfect novel”.

– K.M. Weiland

There is no such thing as a perfect game. No matter what genre, what theme, what mechanics you choose to limit yourself to, there is no such thing as a perfect game. No matter how good your game is there will always be someone who doesn’t like it, someone who thinks it’s stupid, or slow, or boring or just plain bad.

This is great news.

Because if there is no such thing as a perfect game there is no such thing as a universally terrible game. No matter what weird mixture of genre, theme and mechanics you choose to brew, someone will always find it fun, challenging and inspiring. Someone will always be willing to play it. There is no such thing as a universally terrible game.

Your job as a designer isn’t to create the perfect game. Your job is to create a game you are satisfied with and then find the audience who likes it. Just don’t expect anyone to like it. And don’t expect anyone to hate it. Read More

06 Jul

Be the Star of the YOU-show

Winning is not quitting quote

Winning is not quitting quoteImagine that you’re the star of your very own reality show. It’s a tasteful show, more of a dramatic documentary, really. It’s about how an average person overcame their problems and became a superstar. Everything you see, every opportunity you encounter, every possible action you can take is put there for that specific reason.

That cute guy on the corner? Potential love interest. The new boss? A fresh ear for your improvement ideas. That accident you suffered? Just enough pain to give depth to your creative streak. Everything you see, everything you do, has been put there by the show’s producers in order to give you the highest chances at becoming as great as you can in every area of your life. And yeah, you’re not supposed to know. But you’ve figured it out.

Imagine what would happen. Imagine what you’d do if you knew that, no matter what happened, it was put there to be an educational, interesting step on your way to your heart’s desire. All you needed is to begin and you will succeed. Not immediately, that would make for poor TV, but with some, in hindsight, dramatically correct obstacles.

Knowing that you’ll succeed, would you be more willing to try? Would you be more willing to do more, risk more, achieve more? Would you start? Start right now? Read More