360/365 – Meditation Games #360 – Boxing Day Puzzling

Developer: Patrick Flattery

Launcher Quote: “Creation can be a lot like boxing day. At first glance there are so many appealing options, and it can seem overwhelming. If you pursued every avenue you would likely run out of energy, or in this case, cash. On top of that there is the time limit. You just can’t explore every idea in time. If you don’t act fast, the sale is gone, and the idea can become stale.

So, in order to get the most out of your creation, you need to use your energy sparingly, and pursue those few things that you really want, instead of trying to catch every tiny opportunity that may arise. This ability, I believe, is found in momentum. Run with what works and excites you the most, and forget the rest of the “deals” that are just going to bog you down later.”

Overthinking is a big problem sometimes with my own method of trying to create content. I try to think about something that might seem like its appealing, then take a huge amount of time trying to pile ideas on to it, sometimes drafting and re-drafting things that I didn’t find appealing the first time around, and trying to proceed slowly but deliberately. This might work a lot of the time, but for some instances, like trying to determine the best Boxing Day sale item, it’s better, according to the developer, to use natural momentum to try to propel yourself forward, so you don’t get bogged down in a sea of self-doubt and second-guessing.

Having a time limit for picking the different patterns to lead to other choices was definitely anathema to me. I really wanted to take the time to consider things, but the game wouldn’t let me do so, making me move from choice to branching choice without too much time for me to consider what I was doing was right. I struggled quite a bit with this – but in the end I did see the appeal in using momentum and quick choices to come up with something creative. Was it something that I would consider absolutely perfect? Probably not – but perhaps that’s the point, to make sure you end up in a place where you have at least an expression of your creativity or a decision made, and take it from there. I’ve realized that in writing on all these Meditation Games and restricting myself to the same time limit as the developers had for playtime, that I’ve actually forced myself to try to come up with something creative and insightful from a writing perspective for an almost 365-day period. I’ll have plenty of thoughts about that after the year is up, but this game, at the very least, reminded me of the value of using momentum and a time limit in the creative process to make something that was insightful even if it was off the cuff.

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