Friday, October 19, 2012

Locked in the Digital World

Firstly I'm gonna start with the usual sentence: It's been a long time since I posted something here.Had too many reasons. Work,laziness, shifting bases et all.

Anyways, coming back to the topic in hand, I was just wondering how much technology has influenced our life.

Few basic examples:
  • My handwriting has become really bad as nowadays I use the PC to type anything down instead of a paper and pen.
  • It has become harder to spell while trying to recall something in mind. The spell check options in the PC has been taking care of it for quite some time now.
While the advantages have been that things get done faster. The search feature is a blessing!! But it's quite interesting because before the PC addiction came into my life, I was doing perfectly fine without them. And it's just now that I'm used to it, I find it harder without these features.

So then the question comes down to whether technology is bad? Definitely not. We are doing everything to make it easier for the future. And we are at a better place because of the technological advancements in so many areas of life. But somewhere down the line we miss the fun we had before it. I'm particularly focusing on game design.

I've never done a board game prototype or pen-paper prototype officially in my career. Right from the beginning of my career, I have been sucked into the digital world. As my career progressed, I got better with various tools. Someone prefers X someone prefers Y. Depending on who you work with you learn one of it or all. I had to take conscious efforts to improve myself within my field: Game Design!

Even today, I prefer a board game to a video game. The interaction with friends and family sitting around the table playing. One may say that it ain't a fair comparison. But for me, if I've time to spare and these are the choices I'm given, I would take the board game any day.

I remember doing some non-digital challenges with a few game design / game design enthusiast friends. Unfortunately for various reasons, we couldn't really continue with it. But whatever we did, it was fun! 

I feel the basics help me grow as a game designer. Understanding game-play, game balancing, interaction and much more. Nowadays even the simpler digital methods are not enough. You have to be continuously updated. While I have no qualms in doing that, I easily get drawn to simpler methods. Simpler methods are usually the hardest. The more tools you have access to, the more dependent you are on them. While it makes development easier, I would go on to say to keep the simpler methods going on the side.

And I highly recommend the book: Challenges for Game Designers (non-digital exercises for video game designers) - By Brenda Brathwaite and Ian Schreiber.

I hope one day we have a perfect merge of both worlds...