Hi! I wanted to share this idea with you all mainly because sometimes i get stuck on certain design decisions that i would like to change, but don’t know exactly how.  I also really value other people’s opinions and like to see different sides of an idea take shape based on those types of creative collaborations.

The premise here is an old one.  Try and see something new by looking at something you see everyday in a different way.

This new idea could come from nothing and turn into a feature, a story.  It could become the start of a game or conversation.   It’s possibly the start of something nonetheless. It will be original because in this method one thing spawns another, but is made so by your own hand.  By looking at something from different sides, maybe something new can be created. ….so let’s start!

The way i like to begin with this exercise is by coming up with some keywords.

Here for example are the first 2 words i thought of.  —-former bird—-

I am not sure why i thought of those words, but there it is.  So let’s search the web for an image based on those 2 keywords.  Turn safe search on please, because no one likes to pull up cow porn…if they are not into cow porn.

You aren’t looking for anything in particular, in CAN be anything.  But i find that an image with more contrast work best.  It will be easier for you to design from.

I always think of ideas in conjunction with songs I hear, so this is the song I heard when looking through the images.

Snow patrol-shut your eyes

original image

desaturated, overlayLet’s take it further and spin it a couple of more times, putting the image back on itself each time.

Now after doing this i think i am starting to see something…when you do, try to focus on what you see.  To make it clearer let’s give it more contrast.

contrast at maximum

This is very much like seeing the forest for the trees, so in order to help your mind feel out the shapes let’s invert it and see what we see.


Ho!! virtual hand slap here.  I definitely see something in the black shapes.  Although many times things don’t appear in order and take work to mash the order out of it.  Let’s help that out by doing a little work.  Very little actually, let’s slide the left side of the image to the ride side and delete the low bottom portion.  I’ll also boost the contrast to get rid of the grey areas that happened because of the earlier invert.

So what do you think?…hmm nothing?  This process, like all ideas, become personal at some point because each person sees what they want to, because…hey it’s you!  Let me add some of the blanks in as i see them.

filling in the blanksWe all imagine things in one way or another, through one process or another.  Whether we know it or not we stitch our ideas together through our experiences…..probably one of the reasons we say..”from my experience i..blah blah”   This is correct to say of course, but for me creating unique experiences you wouldn’t expect is too thrilling!.  Let me refine the image a bit and add my other ideas in before i explain to you what i see.

putting it all togetherSo i didn’t plan on it, but i thought of some sort of game….want to hear it????? Here it is.

Off the Rails

The first thing I thought of when looking at the image was a railway game.  The player would clear out items in the way of a moving train.  Possibly the player would control 3 characters/train workers.  One train worker is a clearer for the front of the train, clearing rampant moose, ducks, spearheaded horses….etc.  The second train worker is a musician whose instrument attracts birds, planes, and maybe the musician can tie notes to the birds/planes and send those messages off to get supplies. For instance the supplies could be new hooks to replace broken ones for the first train worker. The supplies could be coal, blade cleaners so forth.  The last worker is in the pits(this person works the boiler and coal area).  I imagine that each “train” will have an engine area  with multiple goals to achieve.  Ala maintenance of the train in a fairly interactive fast paced way.  Lots of holes in this i know.

But the outcome of this exercise is that we came up with a 2d, bartapper sort of management game that has possibilities for wild backgrounds, interesting animation, and a myriad of designs based around 3 core characters play packages, as well as the loose boundary of the environment.  From here I would throw this idea out to people and get their input on it, plus run through the motions in my own head to see if ANY of this is cool….I can tell you that before this article I never thought of a half animal train mass where their were 3 “ghost” figures managing my path. :)

Of course there are a considerable amount of problems with this idea, but I feel the inspiration that comes from talking about ideas is good enough to possibly spurn other ideas that are more attainable.

Here is the same image with some quick notes.

When you are down, inspire yourself or better yet challenge yourself to come up with the next part to your story, the next idea you are about to spring on people you have never met, then get to it!!!!!!!

You’ll never run out of ideas……they will not all be good, but one thing leads to another.    :)