Creative Coding

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People often put creativity and logic at odds. This seems rather silly to me, an unnecessary and limiting binary. You have to be very creative to solve problems with logic, and creative efforts often demand a applied and determined logic. Creating a plot that keeps your reader engaged requires creating an internally consistent set of rules for your setting and applying them. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that they found it odd that I loved both creative writing and mathematics, but honestly I love systems. When I started coding I found a wonderful blend of the creative creation of systems, and the analytic study of those systems. Plus, it makes me feel like a sorcerer.

I think that when you empower the player to experience and enjoy those systems and if you make powerful code you give designers the feeling of directly making the action. But there will always be a gap between design and code implementations. I cannot give a designer a tool that codes for them, and even the most detailed instructions are ultimately interpreted or else your map is as big as your world. And that is why as a new game designer I felt it was imperative to learn to code and to dive as deeply into that part of our field as I could. It’s wonderful to get to input values into a publicly available variable and change how high a character can jump, but I wanted to create how the character jumped. Does it use physics, or translate its motion across spaces? Is it pulled by an invisible game object, or are the motions one to one with animation? As a writer, I wanted to create stories to put in my games, but I wanted even more to lay the narrative in the foundations of the actions and logic that created meaning for the player moment to moment. I want to give the player the best tools to make their most meaningful stories within the worlds where they play.

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