Archive for October, 2009

start with a picture

Use Google images, find a picture which suits or hints at the characters face.

Then to form a character brief, a back story or to help bring someone to life, ask yourself questions like this;

  • What is your name?
  • How old are you?
  • Where are you now?
  • What was life like when you were 5
  • And when you were 10 and 15, 20 …
  • Are you married? in a relationship?
  • Do you have children?
  • What are their names?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What makes you sad, angry?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Who influenced you most?
  • What stories define your life?
  • What stories do you tell?
  • What secrets do you keep?
  • Do you have an incomplete story?
  • Who are your friends
  • Where did you grow up?
  • Where do you live now?
  • Are you rich, poor, healthy, ill?
  • What do you do?
  • Do you have a job
  • Have you had other jobs?
  • Have you travelled? where?
  • How do you stand, walk, gesture etc
  • How do you speak, what accent do you have?
  • What mannerisms do you have?

Ask the questions slowly, with time to ponder, collate and compile a picture of the person in your mind. You don’t need to literally answer every question, and in 5 or 10 minutes you can create a rich and deep background, allowing you to play the character with great depth and personality.


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liquid modernity


"Liquid Modernity" is Bauman’s term for the present condition of the world as contrasted with the "solid" modernity that preceded it.

Individuals have to splice together an unending series of short-term projects and episodes that don’t add up to the kind of sequence to which concepts like "career" and "progress" could be meaningfully applied. Such fragmented lives require individuals to be flexible and adaptable — to be constantly ready and willing to change tactics at short notice, to abandon commitments and loyalties without regret and to pursue opportunities according to their current availability.

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creating feelings is a design task

BMW TV ad, my emphasis.

We are a car company.

But we don’t just make cars.

We make time machines, build Snowploughs, and create works of art.

We inspire fans, and fan clubs.

We are efficient and dynamic.

We even shape the future.

We realized a long time ago that what you make people feel is just as important … as what you make.

And at BMW we make Joy.

BMWs may create joy in their owner, they have a darker side and can also create superiority and arrogance on the road.

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Seth Godin on publishing

  • It’s a souvenir business – sell stuff as a reminder of a great experience
  • Only asset you can build on the internet is permission
    – Start the conversation, and get permission to keep it going
  • Find words for the readers not find readers for your words
  • Drip ideas in to blog… to spread ideas and start conversations
    Who is having the conversation?
    – Author to customer rather than publisher?
    – Niche/special interest publishers have a reason to have a conversation.
    – … start to sell souvenirs quickly once idea is out there
  • Do it to create experiences/share ideas (not to sell books/stuff)

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me, me, me… you say

Acquired Situational Narcissism

“We are all born selfish, but by the age of 4 most of us have come to terms with the fact that we are not the centre of the universe and that other people (siblings, for example) exist.

Where normal narcissists think that they are legends in their own times, acquired situational narcissists are told they are by their publicists, groupies, bodyguards, company minions and partners. Many celebrities suffer from some degree of ASN.”

More on narcissism generally

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150 friends?

“The average person on Facebook has 150 friends ”

Socialnomics by Erik Qualman

How many could the average person list if you had to write them down from memory?

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designing for the experience or for the business?

The challenge of creating a great experience within the frame work of the business model, may be getting harder.

“In a fixed-cost world, the designer can focus on just one thing: making the player’s experience as engaging and interesting and fun as possible.

For a F2P game, however, designers have to balance making free content fun enough to engage first-time players but not so much fun that they would not yearn for something more, something that could be turned into a transaction sometime in the future.
Every design decision must be made with a mind towards how it affects the balance between free and paid content. Thus, the true cost of piracy is that the line between game business and game design has become very blurry.”

Soren Johnson

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