A couple nights ago I decided to go through some of my old note books. I was cleaning the office when I realized “I don’t have all my game dev note books in one place.” Worst case scenario I lose a book or it gets damaged. Wouldn’t wish that fate upon any creative or designer, let alone anyone else. So here’s what I did.
Since a lot of my notes are in notebooks and loose leaf sheets, index cards and scraps I figured scanning them on my flatbed scanner would be a chore. Enter TinyScan Pro. This app for Android is a PDF scanner and document builder all in one. After collecting all my notebooks and associated scraps of paper I sat down and started organizing them by date. I had most of my notes date, which was a life saver, so everything that wasn’t dated quickly found a spot among their peers. I sat down that evening with a mountain of notebooks, binders and folders ready to history to flood my mind. Going back to the dream of the game that started it all again for me, I found the whole experience enlightening, reliving my success and failures and seeing my progression. I had a few good ideas… and a load of shite ones. Looking at how fast I would work through problems, iterations and reworking of mechanisms, drafting designs and scribbling notes I realized how much I’ve grown in such a short period of time. Making sense of the wonderworld in my head. Now it’s like second nature and I can’t turn it off. It’s brilliant!
For obvious reason, all hand written notes should be archived in some format. Either photocopies or scans, getting them into a digital or duplicate format is ideal so that, God-forbid, the worst happens. You could lose them to mold, water damage, dog or cat or rabbit, little siblings or cousins, fast-handed mother or wive, liquid beverage (hot or cold), or the timeless classic – “Shit! Where did I put that damn thing” – GONE FOREVER!
I’ve also had a opportunity to confirm somewhat buried game ideas. Working those mechanics in other games (if at all possible) has been a way to preserve at least some of the joy I spent putting the ideas together. Other games I’ve skipped over after an initial design session have been noted and may be visited again in the not so near future. Well, that’s about it for now. Keep moving forward I say. My future awaits.