Reflections on rapid ideation


During week 3 of development practice we discuss ideation and prototyping, and I’m briefly reminded of ICEDIP in the previous week:

Inspirationresearch, brainstorm, and generate ideas

Clarification – define and focus on goals

Evaluation – pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses of concept, review your work and learn from it

Distillation – decide what you want to leave in or out

Incubation – give the idea some time, sleep on it (folks tend to rush this bit)

Perspiration – sprint, work determinedly on your best ideas

Source: (GEOFF PETTY, How to be better at creativity, 1997) [accessed 2020-10-06]

I highlight research, because I want to draw attention to “prior art”. The above articles do not talk about this. (Neither does this article.) What I’ve noticed with myself and my peers (during game jams, or other creative periods) is that we want to do something completely original, thereby foregoing a slew of very good ideas in fear of accidentally copying an existing artefact.

During your research phase, you will come across prior art. What to do? The old adage is that “good artists copy; great artists steal” (Quote Investigator, Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal, 2013). This does not mean to plagiarise, but “the golden rule applies: Steal in the way you’d want to be stolen from, with credit, respect, and transformative new ideas” (Adam J. Kurtz, lifehacker, 2017).

We have to realise that “all creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original” (Steal Like An Artist, Austin Kleon, 2012).

So, I shall go forth, and steal like an artist :-)

EDIT 2020-10-14: or you can “re-tell a story” and do a “de-make” of your favourite game :-)


This post is part of my critical reflective journal.

This post was written during week 3 of the module Development Practice.

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