Saturday, 11 February 2012

Tech people forget about the creative when it comes to learning

I run a course on how to make games. About once a week somebody emails me and says something like this "Why can't I just go to Scirra's website and learn how to C2 for free". I have always had trouble with this kind of question. Sure you can go learn how to use it for free but most manuals tell you how to do things and not why.

The "why" is something you learn more in college. So I usually respond with something similar to that effect: "Sure you can learn the technicals of C2 but you won't learn the creative side. You can learn what to do but not why you should do it". Im sure the person on the other end thinks: "Im not paying for why my ideas are amazing and all I need to know is how to do it".

It seems there is a mismatch in ideals here. Most of the courses that revolve around technical subjects just focus on the technical and not the creative. After consuming tons of these tutorials, the tutorials seem to always be lacking in finess or general design knowledge. Luckily, I have a creative degree and I can fill in the gaps. 

But what if somebody doesn't have that knowledge? Where else are they going to learn the concepts of design. The creative part is arguably more important than the technical part. If anything it's the relationship between the two that makes a project shine. People should talk more about the creative side in tech. That's what I am doing with my courses. They aren't just simple "how to" courses they show you the ins and outs of an entire project.

Design is the number one item that makes an indie game bad. Sure the technical stuff is there but it doesn't look or feel good. I can have a platformer with jumping, projectiles, particle effects, animation, in game purchases and more. The game can work but it won't be 'good'. I think that the arrogance to think that your ideas are amazing needs to get shut down as soon as possible. Every time I pitch an idea it changes dramatically with a couple sentences when I test it. 

"Learn the ins and outs of the creative side of tech and you will be way farther ahead than the narrow minded competition"

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