998 What I Learned From DGD

by Foster Douglas on September 25, 2017

There’s a lot to this question, and a few main categories of perceptible takeaways:

1) Slightly better at designing and expressing game ideas (expected)

2) Increased ability to do something repetitive and daily reliably (less expected)

3) The emergence of a life journal-esque object fused with and informed by bizarre game ideas (not expected)

Each of these form the pillars of a project that I’m incredibly proud of, personally. Over the course of 3+ years (a bit extended from the initially intended 1000 day timeline), I spent around 270 hours of my time on writing and posting these pieces. Across that many years, it’s not actually that heavy of an investment (an average of 14 minutes per day, although many took longer and many took much much shorter).

After the first 100 days of this, I found that my brain had switched into auto-generation mode. I no longer had to force myself to sit down and decide “this is the time of the day I make a game idea and post.” My brain just naturally found something throughout the day (sometimes more than 1 per day) that was an interesting nugget to grasp on to, and as long as I wrote it down to later expand upon, I had no trouble taking advantage of my brain’s efficiency.

As time went on, I also found myself making more interesting ideas in general. That’s not to say there weren’t good ones early on (in fact some of the best, which were probably just laying dormant in my brain from my studies, waiting for me to start this project in the first place), but that I could see the frequency of higher quality posts increase over time. This was the most overtly and consistent positive feeling of the project; there’s nothing better than seeing and knowing that practicing something is giving results.

About half way through the project, myself and others reading it had noticed that aspects of the posts had taken on a “journal-esque” quality, with clear (and deliberate) correlatives to what was happening in my life around the times of various groups of posts. This wasn’t my intention at the start, but likely ultimately led to more interesting posts, with a bit more personality and emotion in them.

I also found somewhere around half way finding myself occasionally lacking in content to write about. It was around that time that I started doing a few more posts that were more journalistic and “review-like” of games I was playing or thinking about. Some of these turned out fine (particularly ones of which I was highly passionate about the topic I was analyzing within a game), but overall I found them less interesting to read after the fact, even if they were engaging to write in the moment. Three-quarters of the way through the project, I mostly stopped doing these type of posts.

I’m incredibly happy with how this project turned out, and also very glad it’s over with. It’s time to move on.

[ Today I Was Playing: The Flame in the Flood ]