Finding Unique Challenges to Increase Your Creativity

by Chris McGinty of

I’m of the idea variety of creativity.
What I mean is that I’m super excited about the act of brainstorming and coming
up with ideas that may or may not be worth implementing. It’s more of the
question of what can I come up with rather than is anything I come up with a
good idea. Finding the good ideas is for later on in the process. This part is
finding ideas good and bad.

Sometimes it works out. Nathan
handed me a stack of blank cards a few years ago and told me to come up with
some card games. There were 100 something cards and I set out to make as many
card games as I could with just those 100 something blank cards. I only made
one, but it was actually a pretty good one. I still have a bunch of blank cards
though, so I’ll get back to it one day.
I think there were two things
that stopped me with the blank cards. The first is that I didn’t give myself a
deadline. I figured I would take my time and try to create good ideas. The
second thing was that I did well with the first attempt, and I think I felt
like I’d have trouble coming up with another one that worked as well. That
wouldn’t have been the point of continuing to explore the ideas though. The
point was to try new things. It’s actually a little odd that I let doubt creep
in that particular time.
I visited Nathan on Tuesday and
he asked me to come up with some simple dice games. Since the request was for a
high volume of games to test, I decided to create a set of rules for a dice
game every day for a week. I’ve now created four games that may or may not
work, but the thing I’m proud of at this point is that each of them are relatively
unique (given that they’re dice games) and not a single one of them (so far) is
Yahtzee derivative.
I had only a couple of rules for
my challenge. One a day for a week. Use rules rather than cards to create the
interaction and strategy of the games. When we test, we’ll find out whether the
ideas actually work. It wouldn’t be the first time I created a dice game that
didn’t work. We may even have to add cards to one or more of the games, but for
the purposes of the challenge I avoided them.
Find something to challenge
yourself with the next time you feel you’re in a creative rut. It really does
push your mind in directions you would normally not go. I find myself
generating ideas beyond the challenge, and it’s definitely a bonus when one of
those ideas is useful.
Chris McGinty is a blogger who is
(rolls dice) happy to meet you. Yes, that was a “Futurama” reference. I can
make those though. I’m bringing down delivery boy money.

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