Week 3 — 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

(All the above links (Petty 1997))

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.

Copying an 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” (O’Toole 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” (Douglas and Kurtz 2017).

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

Therefore, I shall go forth, and steal like an artist, or perhaps “re-tell a story” and do a “de-make” (Evans-Thirlwell 2020) of my favourite game.


  1. DOUGLAS, Nick and Adam J. KURTZ. 2017. “An Artist Explains What ‘Great Artists Steal’ Really Means.” Lifehacker. Available at: https://lifehacker.com/an-artist-explains-what-great-artists-steal-really-me-1818808264 [accessed 6 Oct 2020].
  2. EVANS-THIRLWELL, Edwin. 2020. “Demaking in the Year of next Gen.” Eurogamer. Available at: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-10-02-the-power-of-demakes-in-the-year-of-next-gen [accessed 6 Oct 2020].
  3. KLEON, Austin. 2012. Steal like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative. New York: Workman Pub. Co. Available at: https://austinkleon.com/steal/.
  4. O’TOOLE, Garson. 2013. “Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal.” Quote Investigator - Tracing Quotations. Available at: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/03/06/artists-steal/ [accessed 6 Oct 2020].
  5. PETTY, Geoff. 1997. “Creativity.” How to be better at creativity. Available at: http://geoffpetty.com/creativity/ [accessed 6 Oct 2020].

This post is part of my critical reflective journal and was written during week 3 of the module development practice.

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