• Fighting Fires or Lighting Fires?

    On: January 27, 2015
    In: culture, people
    Views: 259
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    This flew by my eyes yesterday (HT Mark Storm)

    fightong vs lighting

    The bit I’m most drawn to is the pithiness of definition – it’s by Kenneth Mikkelsen:

    If Management is about Fighting Fires, Leadership is about Lighting Fires

    It’s so easy to get drawn into fighting fires. The machinations of the organisation around us make it easier for you get involved in the urgent thing that must be solved. It sucks the time, the energy, the impetus to do anything but focus on the problem at hand.

    But if you work that way, if you battle to extinguish every fire in the business, it’s probably at the moment just after you put out the last one that you realise there’s no more fires to be fought, because the company has run out of things to burn. There’s nothing left to do.

    Remember to light more fires, folks.

    NB.

    Of course, I have a track record in natty turns of phrases involving firey metaphors. I never use that one at all anymore, but somewhat unbelievably it’s five and a half years old. Where did the time go, eh?

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  • Computer, remember this…

    On: January 26, 2015
    In: making, media, technology
    Views: 278
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    I’ve been retelling an anecdote from IBM’s speech-to-text experiments recently, and couldn’t remember where I’d got it… and indeed, I couldn’t remember if it was even true, as happens when you retell teh same story again and again…

    Searching for combinations of things like “speech-recognition”, “IBM”, “faked test” and so on wasn’t getting me anywhere. But I’ve finally found a source: Jeremy Clark’s Pretotyping@Work eBook.

    I’m posting the main bit of the anecdote here for two reasons. Firstly, I think you might find it interesting, and perhaps useful. Secondly, now that I’ve put it on my own site, using the aforementioned search terms which are the ones I clearly use to look for it, I’ll find it easier to find in future, hopefully…

    “In the 1980’s, IBM was in discussions with several important customers about a radical product idea: hardware and software that could turn spoken words into a text on a screen. The fundamentals of the technology were still years away, yet customers seemed very enthusiastic: many declared they would pay generously for such a solution.
    Traditionally, IBM would have launched an R&D effort to develop the algorithms and electronics necessary to demonstrate a prototype. In the case of the Speech-To-Text idea, however, a team member had an intriguing alternative suggestion: they should pretend to have the solution, to see how customers actually reacted to the capability.
    What the team did was to create a movie-set like testing lab, in the form of a typical office space of the day. Customer subjects would be briefed on the Speech-to-Text solution, then seated in the space. The subject would speak into a microphone, dictating a variety of office correspondence, and would almost immediately see their words appear on the screen on the desk in front of them. What the subjects didn’t know was that the electronic output was being produced by a typist in a nearby room, listening to the dictation through headphones.
    What the IBM team learned was that, in practice, customers didn’t like the solution, not because of flaws in the product (the transcribed text) but because of a host of hitherto-unseen environmental challenges: speaking taxed the subject’s throat, there was concern for privacy surrounding confidential material that the speaker would not
    wish to be overhead, and so on.
    Actual exposure to the essence of the proposed solution completely reversed the earlier customer enthusiasm.”

     

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  • What It Takes

    On: January 23, 2015
    In: making, media, work
    Views: 240
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    I’m hooked on the new Sleater-Kinney album, “No Cities To Love”. If you follow me on twitter, you’ve probably guessed that this week. Sorry. You’ve probably unfollowed me already.

    I’m calling it as the album of 2015. Already. Really.

    I mean, listen to this:

    Or this:

    I started wondering why this album has made such a deep impact on me, like no other has in years. This is a band who’ve not done anything for ten years, but who I loved and followed back then. But it’s not a nostalgia thing. Because they’ve not done that terrible thing of playing 157 gigs playing ‘the hits’, before going in to the studio to strangle their muse one last time.

    If you watch this interview (and you should, the whole thing), you’ll get an idea of the craft, dedication and vision that they put into the process of making this album:

    They started it in May 2012… that’s nearly three years ago. They canned loads of earlier songs… they just weren’t good enough. It’s almost as if the process of going through those songs were more about discovering how to work, rather than being about the work itself. They didn’t tell people. It was so secret that the first anyone really knew about it was when a track was released in the box set remasters of previous albums in October 2014. That’s two and a half years of quiet, committed, focussed creation.

    It seems quite counter to how a lot of records, no, a lot of projects of any type, are created now. Maybe this is what it takes in some cases. There’s no one right way to make the best work. There’s just the best way for you.

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  • Five Things I Wish I’d Known Sooner

    On: January 22, 2015
    In: work
    Views: 1998
     1

    Some nice folk at Hiive got in touch this week – it’s a network for the creative industries where you can showcase work, get access to educational resources, look for relevant jobs and so on. It’s backed by Creative Skillset.

    They asked me if I could offer some advice and tips to aspiring creative folk, which got me thinking (it’s nice to start the year with a bit of reflection).

    So here are five things I believe now, but wish I’d known a bit sooner.

    IMG_2417

    Whenever you apply for a job, or get a new job description, there’s a natural presumption perhaps that somebody somewhere has thought really long and hard about that description of the work to be done. I realised back when I had job descriptions that there were two things working against this presumption.

    Firstly, the world changes, and you can’t expect someone writing a job description to get what the future might contain. Secondly, because they’re busy trying to do the work in a changing world, the opportunity for them to spend a proper amount of time defining a job description is rare. It’ll be scraped together in evenings, weekends, pieced together from older job descriptions and voguish terminology.

    So don’t use a job description as a remit, a set of boundaries not to cross. Understand it as a platform, a place to start from, and reach out and up. It’s an excuse to start, not a place to stop.

    IMG_2418

    I first really started doing innovation off the back of a pitch I worked on at PHD. It was for a major record label, it was 2007 or something, and nobody really knew anything about this thing called Myspace beyond how to buy a banner on it. Except at the time, I happened to be in a band as a hobby, and ran our Myspace page. It’s also where I learned to code (really badly). Somebody told the Strategy Director, I was drafted on to the pitch team, and it went from there.

    We’re not simply the work side of what we do; we are whole people. Everything you do, everything you’ve learned, everything you’ve ever practices or tried… it could all come in handy, and you just never know when. It’s what the brilliant Nilofer Merchant calls Onlyness:

    “Onlyness is that thing that only that you can bring to a situation, the collective combination of all your experiences, hopes, dreams, achievements, setbacks, meanderings and accidents of birth… until we honor Onlyness, we are limiting our selves, our organizations and our economies.”

    You’ve got to be that whole person at work, otherwise both you and the company are missing out.

    IMG_2420

    I do enthusiasm really well. It just seems to flood through me at certain moments, and then the whole experience of working well on problems to solve just seems to be the easiest thing in the world. But that state of enthusiasm isn’t the thing that gets things done.

    Tenacity, understanding how to push through the hard yards, to get things into a shape is a much more valuable skill set to develop. Tenacity is still there at two in the morning long after enthusiasm slunk off in a taxi home. And that’s OK.

    IMG_2421

    There’s nothing better when you find a new rabbit hole to fall down, a field or area or technique or movement which feels that it could inform a significant part of this next project that you’re working on. And the time pressures will force you to cram as much learning about it into as short a period as time as possible, so that you become the de facto expert in the room.

    Always push through that learning curve, until you are comfortable in realising how little you actually know about it. It’s not The Matrix, you can’t learn Kung-Fu in a single download. But you can get to a stage where you understand the territory enough to know what sort of specialist you need to help you out…

    IMG_2419

    I read this post, What Specifically Does A Generalist Do?, in 2008, and all of a sudden everything became crystal clear about what I might be. A few years previously, somebody had said over a pint “You know your problem? You’ve got to pick something to specialise in…” which sounded terribly, terribly boring. Where’s the skill, fun, learning in trying to do the same thing over and over?

    Generalism has given me a lens to examine everything from client problems to my own skill set with. It’s helped me understand that there are specificities in a generalist approach which is vital for anything in a changing world; strategy, design, innovation or whatever else. It didn’t turn out to be a problem after all.

    ———————-

    Hiive have recently been delving into the top drawers of creative from different industries. For a chance to win one of five Artefact for Pocket sets courtesy of Hiive & Smithery, add a picture of the tools you use on a daily basis to the discussion in Swarm and mention Smithery in the comment. Winners will be chosen at random on 5th February.

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  • 2015 Projects / #3 – Produce

    On: January 21, 2015
    In: making
    Views: 258
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    This is the final post from a series of four so if you have missed any of the previous ones feel free to catch up first – it’ll all make a little bit more sense if you do.


    Slack HQ put out a great blog post in the past week about how companies only really build two things; the content they produce and their internal culture. Most of the time production is external and culture internal.

    Seeing as Smithery is now a two-man band at the core, we find changing the culture is quite an easy thing for us to do, and generally we don’t have to consciously make changes to help the internal culture we just have a chat about what kind of work we want to do and how we want to do it.

    What we produce however is slightly trickier – I think we are “general specialists”, and whilst we have both had more definite job descriptions in the past, it’s hard to know what to call ourselves when we don’t know what we are going to be doing next. We do a lot of different stuff, which is a massive perk of the job, we are never bored or have jobs which are repetitive of a previous job.

    I think that may be the reason that I wanted to steer away from a full-time Industrial Design job, despite that being what I studied at Loughborough Uni.  Generally making a product start to finish for a client takes too long.  The last product I designed was Orb Wheels, a set of motorised wheels for manual wheelchairs which would give users the choice between manual and powered propulsion.

    And I did enjoy it, at times I really enjoyed it, but then there were times that I would rather have been doing absolutely anything else.  Maybe this was because I was working on it alone and not in a team or maybe it was the fact it took 9 months of pretty much solely working on this 15 hour days, 7 days a week.  But when I look back on the design process it is the negatives that really stick out.  I enjoyed the other projects which I was involved in that had much quicker results.  I do miss designing though and I really love the way we work so quickly here at Smithery and that no two jobs are ever the same.  So I really want to try and combine the two somehow.

    6135450_assocImage_3

    Because of this variation I often find it quite hard to actually define what Smithery does. Maybe John has more luck, we have previously called  “A one-man studio”, “an innovation and strategy consultancy”, and most recently “a product and marketing innovation studio”.

    Generally the easiest way to explain it is through the mantra – Make Things People Want > Make People Want Things (MTPW>MPWT).

    011 - Workshop

    So the third project for 2015 is going to focus on the “Make Things” part of MTPW>MPWT. In the past John has had people contact him as ‘the man who makes stuff’ asking for help – in fact there was even an email asking exactly that yesterday morning. We have had great fun making loads of completely different things in the past including Artefact Cards, Fiducial Keys, SuperGrid Postcards and Field Kits so we are very open to new briefs.

    Desk - spreadDSC_0245Hands_On_2_SQUARE_large

     

     

    All have seemed to be fairly successful – well, by that I guess I mean people seem to like them. So we think we might be on to something with this whole making things business. But what’s more, it helps us learn more about people, and culture – sending out little emissarial ideas in physical form, like Grant McCracken’s Culturematic idea that John talked about a while ago.

    If there is something you have always thought might be a good idea, and you want to explore a little, pop us an email or even better let’s grab a coffee and help us on our way to producing something new.

    So goals for Project Three:

    WBB (Why Bloody Bother) –If you don’t make anything yourself you’ll never make anything of yourself” now this might not be completely true but I do think that only good can come out of trying to make something you have never tried before. Failing leads to learning and all that jazz. Also we can see how good we are at being the people who make things.

    WDG (Wooly, Doable Goal) – What will we be making? We don’t exactly know, we aren’t ruling anything out, there aren’t any criteria for just now other than no pointless stuff because lets face it the world is already full of loads of useless crap. Stuff that helps people, has a purpose or evokes a nice reaction out of folks. We do know that we will be aiming to make something every month (MSEM) and that will be the minimum requirement.

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  • 2015 Projects / #2 – Play

    On: January 16, 2015
    In: culture, work
    Views: 120
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    Catching up? You should read the overview to learn about the background to this… we’ll wait for you, promise.

    ————-

    I don’t know who my favourite band are, or what my favourite film is. I can tell you about lots of music and films and directors and albums that I love, but they leapfrog over each other as time, circumstances and context all change.

    I can tell you though, with a great degree of certainty, that the late Iain Banks is my favourite author. Or should I say Iain M. Banks, as (if pushed to decide) I prefer his science fiction writing over his (un)normal fiction. Without turning this into a massive exploration on the universe he created with the Culture novels specifically, I would like to draw you attention to one book in particular; The Player of Games.

    A short description, from here:

    The Culture – a human/machine symbiotic society – has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every board, computer and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game … a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes Emperor.

    I have been fascinated by this idea for a while; a game that represents a whole system, or organisation, so that the way that you play it means you fare well within the society for which the game is representative.

    …indeed, once upon a time, when first starting Smithery, Mr Alex Fleetwood and I pitched an idea to a large FMCG company to design a game that they could use for recruitment of the right sort of new people. They didn’t go for it, it wasn’t really what they were expecting, I don’t think…

    In the book, the word ‘Azad’ translates to mean “machine” or “system”. And as Vijay pointed out to me there’s also a Hindi / Persian word ‘azād’ which translates as “free”. Which is actually on some level, quite the opposite of the meaning in the book; those playing the game, which is everyone in the Empire, is trapped by it.

    **WARNING**

    We are now approaching the part of the blog post where we could endlessly investigate the differences between ‘play’ and ‘games’. This is neither the time nor the place, and there are infinitely better qualified people than me thinking and writing about this.

    Somewhere between ‘systems’ and ‘freedom’, between ‘play’ and ‘games’, I think there’s a rich fertile space for introducing more playful, gameful, systemized freedom into organisations.

    And since this idea of AZAD won’t leave me, it’s be bubbling for years, so the only rational course of action is to play it out as a Smithery project this year.

    As a starting point, we’ll look to play with the practice, to use the axes as defined in the last post as a starting idea, where a series of chance encounters and strategic decisions help groups of people play around with the language and actions as they become apparent to them.

    Over Christmas, as I mentioned before, there was a wee boardgame version we created at home just for fun, to see what happened with a two-dimensional game that was a mix of choices, events and outcomes.

    IMG_2267

    When thinking about it more though, I think there are interesting different ways to think about truning it into a real thing, at different levels of complexity and required time. So whereas there might be a ‘board game’ version (fully immersive, for teams), there could also be a simple nine square version, more akin to noughts and crosses perhaps, and even maybe a ‘back of the car’ version, where it just becomes about language and environment, and you don’t need anything else at all.

    With all that in mind, let’s set the goals for project 2…

    WBB (Why Bloody Bother?) “Playing With Ideas” works when designing workshops, one-off experiences, and so on. But it feels like there’s scope to go further, to set up systems and games people can use themselves to be more productive…

    WDG (Woolly, Do-able Goal) Work up three general versions of this so that other people can pick them up and use them without us being there to scaffold them into it. And make a version of one of them to sell to folks, either crowd-funded or direct.

     

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  • 2015 Projects / #1 – Practice

    On: January 9, 2015
    In: making, work
    Views: 84
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    Right then, the first project of the year, in a bit more detail after the original intro. This post will be much more about questions and hunches than answers and declarations, so YMMV.

    You might well remember the Culture Matrix, but if you don’t this is the last iteration of what it got to:

    Culture Matrix 1.04

     

    The most important thing to pay attention to here is the axes… People, and Space. Now, in working around the basic idea in the months since, it has occurred that “things” is a much more useful definition, as it’s not just the space in which you work, but the objects you work on.

    There was also a more useful way to draw the relationship between the two is to switch the axes around, so that you start bottom left, and aim for top right. If economics taught me anything, it’s basic chart skills…

    IMG_2308

    So what do these axes represent?

    Before, they were cribbed from Steward Brand’s work, so represented the faster and slower moving layers of both civilisations and buildings. Now though, I think they’re less about speed, and more about scale and impact.

    For instance, perhaps the way that you think about the people axis is that it’s a function of the number of people (n) times the magnitude of the effect you create (m). What does that mean? Well, within a given population (say an organisation), you could run a small piece of work with a few people from the business. It’d score low down on the axis, as even though it would have significant effect, because it’s a small proportion of the population.

    You could repeat the same work with small groups often, and that’d get higher up the scale (but might be expensive to do it for everyone). So you establish ways to take output from the work, and turn it into things that might have a bit less impact on a lot more people. How do you best scale ideas for populations, essentially. This could be internal, external, comms, culture change, whatever.

    On the things axis, it’s about the impact you’ll have in the work you do – perhaps the level of detail (d) times the number of things you’re making (n).

    IMG_2313

    You can hand sketch some prototype ideas, and that’s right at the bottom of the vertical axis. You can work through the detail a bit more, make some clickable prototypes, versions to share out – increasing the detail gets you so far. But you must start making them in sufficient volume, compare to the total output of the organisation, in order to make the greatest impact.

    Both of these axes need more finessing, obviously. But you get the rough idea.

    It’s also become apparent that you could simply set a new quadrant across the space, to encapsulate the work we do at Smithery… Strategy, Innovation, Design & Culture things, basically.

    IMG_2314

    Again, something to be pushed, prodded, investigated.

    Finally going back to the idea behind the Culture Matrix, you can get a lot more granular about the sorts of work that exist at all these different levels. Taking the same 5×5 format, but tweaked across the new axes, we’ve now a Trello board to refer to with a topic per box on what we think might exist there.

    Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 12.20.39

     

    WBB (Why Bloody Bother?) The aim of this project is to establish a shared language of practice for Smithery. As the work expands in scope, and the studio grows, having a common way to approach complex problems seems mandatory.

    WDG (Woolly, Doable Goal) Define the axes properly, identify what Smithery offers in each quadrant, and write something on each of the 25 sub-sections to help orientate different types of work.

     

     

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  • Three 2015 Projects

    On: January 7, 2015
    In: work
    Views: 168
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    Ah, the famous annual Smithery projects. Well, famous might be pushing it, let’s go with ‘the thing that we do at the start of each year’. 2012 was about Making, 2013 was about Media, and 2014 was about Playing With Ideas, which in hindsight remained gloriously ill-defined but gave rise to August’s Culture Matrix malarkey, so we’ll let it off.

    There have been various shifts in the Smithery universe in the last six months, detailed in the Smithery at Scale post mostly, but the tl;dr version is working with beloved partners (Mr Earls, Adaptive Lab, Gravity Road) to deliver awesome things, and the Smithery studio now being two, myself and Fraser. It’s a bit like the Sith, with less hoods and better coffee.

    We sat down yesterday, and I’d explained the previous annual projects and the intention behind them, and decided what we wanted to achieve this year. We’ll cover each in more detail in a separate post, but this will give you an idea of how the 2015 projects will hang together.

    IMG_2283

    1. Practice

    Ever since I did an interview with a German magazine, PAGE, in which they referred to Smithery as a “one-man studio”, that’s what I’ve stuck to as a description. Studio. It sounds like a place, despite running as a pick-up-and-play office for most of the last three years.

    But from Autumn onwards, Fraser and I have been operating out of the top floor of the Gravity Road office at the top of Carnaby Street. Having a bit of actual space has made me realise that it is not the space that defines Smithery, but the approach. The practice of working.

    That practice, since the Culture Matrix work, has refined itself into being a rudimentary diagram, defining the interplay between People and Things. It’s a partial reworking of the Culture Matrix itself, simplified by the assumptions that:

    i) You start bottom left, and move up through to top right (conventional economic chartage, essentially)

    ii) Everything you do starts on the diagram somewhere, and it becomes about where you go after that defines the work you need to do.

    Over the last couple of months, we’ve been using the basic framework a lot, without really knowing exactly what the underlying principles are, and how to use them. But sketching out examples this week has made me see there’s a definte reasoning behind the idea… we just have to properly define it.

    P1000790

    Who’s it for? It’s a project that is very much for ourselves and clients we work with. Even then, I’m not sure if it’s something we’ll teach in its entirety to clients, maybe just the basic operating principles, and the specific relevant section of the map. It’s a shared language of practise, of habit, for ourselves at Smithery.

    2. Play

    Back in August, it occurred that the Culture Matrix looked like a game, and that there might be a winning position to get to on the ‘board’. I backtracked from that at the time, because I didn’t really know how to express that properly, but it’s been playing in my mind since.

    ‘Playing’… ha, well, there’s a Freudian slip.

    I’ve been really interested in using playful things and approaches to pull interesting, better ideas from people in work for a good eight years now, mainly because of all of the benefits that come with it. In short, if people feel like they’re playing, barriers drop, anything becomes possible, and people will try things again and again. Playfulness comes with its own special energy.

    I wanted to explore the matrix in terms of a game, of playfulness. So over Christmas, I took a blank board game board (I know, such things exist!), and drew out a very primitive version of a game to play with family and friends. It became a game about “inventing”. You’d to start with a new invention, and then decide what to do with it; improve it, or share it. That’d move you up the board, where various calamities would befall you. My son and I stripped all the sensible things out of it and made up random things (Viking Attack! Show It To A Vampire!) that would happen to you.

    P1000727

    We’d play, refine some rules, try different things… just exploring how the principle of playing something across a territory as defined by the Culture Matrix might work. In short, if you can hold the attention of a group of 5-7 year olds and their parents with a game, you might just have a mechanic that will work for everyone.

    Who’s it for? This could be friends, partners, customers… we’ll see as we go. The core idea is to explore whether we can create versions of the complex Culture Matrix that anyone can pick up and play with, and find useful outputs from.

    3. Produce

    Thirdly, we feel that we should produce more, and produce regularly. Fraser talked about this being the first year proper that he’s been out of full-time education, and so he felt it was important to keep producing things that he didn’t necessarily know how to do when setting out.

    Of course, Sennett’s “Making Is Thinking” tenet from The Craftsman gets a very regular outing at Smithery (maybe we should start calling it the ‘Sennett Tenet’…), linking together the different elements of the work we do (Strategy, Design, Product, Comms, Org change… we kind of gave up keeping track, because it didn’t seem relevent any more).

    In 2012, the Making theme yielded the Artefact Cards, of course, which have gone from strength to strength… but the more something like that grows, the more it becomes less about making and more about managing. So making sure we keep the making habit up is something that Fraser will be leading on, fusing his industrial design background with the other things we do.

    Onwards then… we’ll detail out more about each project in separate posts in the coming days. Happy 2015, everyone.

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  • The Devolution of the Desk

    On: January 5, 2015
    In: technology
    Views: 51
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    I saw this video about “the evolution of the desk” the other day, from the Harvard Innovation Lab. It takes you through how all the things that used to sit on a desk now sit on the laptop in the middle of the desk, and the rest of the desk is clear. Something bothered me about it at the time, and I couldn’t work out what it was. But talking about it today, I realised that it’s because I’ve never seen a desk that someone is using that has nothing but the laptop on it. The perfect endpoint they describe isn’t actually true, which I think undermines the point they’re trying to make about work today versus work in 1981.

    What I see much more of is how people use a blend of working methods, across physical and digital workspaces, to hack together systems that work for them. Sure, they devolve some of the responsibility to computer-based systems, but not all. It makes me wonder how much the hot-desking revolution, where you can sit anywhere with just your computer, actually robs organisations who implement it of some useful forms of working.

     

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  • Making A Board Game

    On: December 24, 2014
    In: making, rivetings
    Views: 48
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    As a last thing for the year, we’re trying out something at home this Christmas. Most of the fun at Christmas is about making the things the way you want them. Food, especially. But also the people you invite, the presents you give, the things you do… and even, perhaps, the games you play?

    Most families, I reckon, like a board game at Christmas. Santa used to bring one to us every year, long after we knew it was Mum and Dad. This year though we wondered about trying to make one instead.

    Why make a board game? I’m no proper game designer, of course, but I’ve spent a lot of this year looking at the crossover between Work & Play (a proper write-up of that to come).

    And over the last few months at Smithery, we’ve been using a specific game-like structure to help the prototyping of ideas. Essentially, there are two decisions in the game you can make at any point; improve the thing you’re working on, or share it with other people. There are various complexities in it beyond this, of course, but one morning earlier this month, the kids and I tried it at the most basic level we could… and it worked just as a game, seemingly.

    IMG_2157.JPG

    So we bought the basic materials to turn it into a board game of sorts, the last of which arrived this week. Then yesterday we started drawing out the game on a blank board game and started testing how it might work by playing it over and over again.

    IMG_2224.JPG

    It’s the best way of finding out how well a game plays, as I’ve learned from working with games masters like Alex Fleetwood and James Wallis over the last few years. I was also inspired by Dan Catt’s talk on the algo-generated Snakes and Ladders boards a couple of years ago at Playful, on the search to find the perfect balance in a really simple game.

    The kids have been adding in different elements (like the ‘Hazard Cards’, featuring monsters, electrocution, cats, giraffes and Minecraft).

    IMG_2227.JPG

    You realise at times like this there is nothing as productive as a kid with a pen, a stack of blank cards and a mission to create. It also started me thinking that there’s perhaps a fun version and a work version of the game, though they should reflect each other (what is the ‘monster’ in the prototyping process?)

    Hopefully though, the simplicity remains enough to make it enjoyable, and repeatable, tomorrow on Christmas Day? We’ll find out after pudding, I guess…

    All that remains for now is to wish you all a very Merry Christmas – have a wonderful time, everyone. And happy playing, when you get round to your board games…

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