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Monthly Archives: April 2016

A Letter to Myself: On Creative Skill

Have you felt that feeling when you see someone’s creative work and you are absolutely astounded by their skill? 
What if it’s something that you are aspiring for yourself? Is it a musician or composer? A writer, a painter, a digital artist? 

How do you feel? Awed? Overwhelmed? Discouraged?

It is overwhelming because it all seems like magic. The artist’s skillset is so vast and practiced compared to yours, that it seems impossible to reach their level. It’s difficult to connect how they go from point A to point B. How they can weave through so many layers at once. 

These feelings are, of course, natural. But it is only signaling the beginning of your journey. 

Then, you dive in. You practice and develop a certain skill-set. The next time you revisit your artistic idols, your reaction to them is different. You “see” more. You can follow their practiced methods and the reasoning behind the flow of their work. It makes sense. Now, it isn’t impossible. You see where you need to be, you know where you are now, and it is up to you to hone your skills even further. 

At this point, the envy and rivalry you feel toward other artists transform into admiration and curiosity. You want to share in ideas, and find ideas from others in turn. You want to reach the next step, where you can be a colleague to the people you once admired like gods. You realize that they are people, too, who once struggled as you do now. 

Keep going, because you are one step closer to the start line. 

The world awaits. 

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Posted by on April 19, 2016 in Creativity

 

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I Doff My FEZ

I managed to finally play through FEZ yesterday.

My previous attempt had me at 74% completion, but I was so utterly lost, that I just gave up.

I took care to be more systematic in my approach the second time around, and it was much better. I also didn’t understand that the gold borders around an area in the map menu meant that there was nothing else to be found – that I could safely move on without worrying that I missed something.

With all of that out of the way, the more I played through the levels and puzzles, the more I became impressed with how good the game design is — the clever idea of merging the 2D and 3D spaces, working in the music seamlessly as a part of the game environment, the added “difficulty” level when Space starts to shit on you. And it all just happens organically.

The secret puzzles were the most rewarding. I only managed to solve a couple — the first was a mysterious tablet with a QR code on it. I had just deleted the QR reader from my phone the day before because I NEVER used it! I reinstalled it and used it on my computer screen to find a coded message, which yielded me a prize of another full cube for Gomie (I can call him that, right?)

I came upon another mysterious stone which started shaking my controller as I touched it. At the same time, strange sounds started beeping into my ears. The cool thing was, it was only after completing the QR puzzle did I realize that this was code as well. Beep in the right ear, beep in the left, another beep in the left… wait a minute! It’s a puzzle!

That was probably the highlight of the game for me. There are more that I missed, which I’m sure are clever puzzles as well, but I need to move on. I’ve spent too much time here and other games beckon.

My final impression: It’s been a while where I played a game that felt like a real Puzzle Game, and not just a platformer with some puzzle mechanics.  It’s well worth your time.

P.S. The New Game Plus had some cute little end-game surprises as well. 🙂

 

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2016 in Gaming

 

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