Making THE OCTOBER GAME: Resisting Distraction
I have so many ideas, it’s hard to focus long enough to actually finish one.
Result: Nothing gets done.
To counteract this, I capture and store all non-project ideas. This could be in the form of sketches, camera snapshots and plain text files.
Since these ideas usually come to me when I’m away from my computer, I capture them with the Notes app on my iPhone, which is always on me.
The current version will automatically sync over the cloud to my email account. Neat.
Now that I’m working on THE OCTOBER GAME, the most distracting ideas are for games, art and apps.
Games, I capture in my iPhone Application Sketchbook*. I can lay down the main screen, the core game mechanic, storytelling notes as well as a few working titles. It takes five or ten minutes at most. Later I can go back and develop the concept.
For app ideas, I keep a set of cheap Moleskine workbooks** with gridded pages. The type is squared, large, kraft. They come in 3-packs. Don’t pay more than 15 bucks.
I also use the workbooks to store concepts:
That I later render as images:
I usually don’t bother scanning in sketches, since the camera on the iPhone is good enough. I’ll shoot the image with the Photos app and transfer it to my desktop with the spectacularly useful Pastebot*** (seriously, buy it now, it’s freaking magic).
The workbooks also serve as a nice form of journal. I date every page and later I can see how my thinking has changed as I develop as a programmer.
All this may seem like a lot of effort but no step takes more than a few minutes at a time. Once the the idea is out of my head, it loses most of its power to distract. Then I can get back to work.
* iPhone App Sketch Book (slightly different from mine)