Project 2 Reflection
I’m going to skip the I did this part of the reflection as it was all included in the original write-up for the project and I don’t want to be redundant.
I had a difficult time ideating for this project as I alluded to in the write-up. I can’t even tell you the number of years it had been since I was responsible for a creative writing project. It had been that long. I think that more than anything, even more than re-learning how challenging writing is, I realized the importance of a well-crafted story. We spent a lot of time talking about different methods for writing and coming up with ideas for a plot. Whether it was mapping or snowflake or rapid ideation, it required a sense of mental flexibility and adaptability that I wasn’t used to. So, I suppose what I’m getting at is that I had the realization that creative writing is not as much of an art or a talent-based discipline as I once thought but rather truly a skill that can be developed over time with the right guidance and tools.
I also learned that the decision-making process for writing is really complex in terms of the number of choices that the author has to make on whether to include details. I always had a hard time deciding on what my character should do, what exactly they should say, what descriptions to include, and so on. These choices that the author has can add an immense amount of color and quality to writing, but overdoing it can make it difficult to read and just generally enjoyable for the end user. I think striking this balance goes along with coming up with a story, where it is not so much a talent but rather a skill that comes from a lot of practice.
In the future, I think there are a couple of things that I would do differently. First, I would start earlier and test more frequently. I think that I had an issue where I was embarrassed to show incremental changes to people, especially the same people. I was also embarrassed to show people the very first draft of most of my writing is initially riddled with grammar and spelling errors. So, for every block of text in the game I would have to rewrite it from the original version to be able to show anyone which produced a huge delay in play-testing. So, as a takeaway from noticing these two pitfalls from this project in the future I will play-test more often and be more intentional with my writing from the beginning so that play-testing is easier and possible. I think that next time I will also do a better job of mapping out my entire story before I start to write a single word. I had the entire story mapped in larger details but I noticed that there were a lot of time pauses where I would be thinking about small details that I could have done in advance of the arduous writing process.
Overall, as I mentioned in the write-up I really enjoyed the process of making my story and loved that I was able to revisit creative writing. It was a little startling to realize how much my writing skills have degraded in the last several years but I really enjoyed the process and I think that the learnings are valuable even outside the scope of this classroom.