Author Archives: SamPotasz

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Quotes from “The Artist’s Way” Introduction

I’m going through The Artist’s Way for a second time this summer, and I thought it may be useful for myself and others to gather up all my underlines in one place as a handy reference. It’s truly an amazing and potentially life-changing book which I can not recommend more highly. Check it out for yourself here. This week post is on the very beginning of the book, the introduction.

Introduction

Allow yourself to experiment with the idea that there might be a Great Creator and you might get some kind of use from it in freeing your own creativity.” (xi)

You do not need to understand electricity to use it.” (xii)

No matter what your age or your life path, where making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.” (xii)

In short, the theory doesn’t matter as much as the practice itself does.” (xiii)

Once you agree to clearing these pathways, your creativity emerges.” (xiii)

I learned to get out of the way and let that creative force work through me. I learned to just show up at the page and write down what I heard.” (xiv)

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Quotes from “The Artist’s Way” Week 1

I’m going through The Artist’s Way for a second time this summer, and I thought it may be useful for myself and others to gather up all my underlines in one place as a handy reference. It’s truly an amazing and potentially life-changing book which I can not recommend more highly. Check it out for yourself here. This post is focuses on the first chapter, Week 1.

Week 1 – Recovering a Sense of Safety

Shadow Artists

“It takes a great deal of ego strength to say to a well-meaning but domineering parent or a just plain domineering one, “Wait a minute! I am too an artist!” The dread response may come back, “How do you know?” And, of course, the fledgling artist not know. There is just this dream, this feeling, this urge, this desire. There is seldom any real proof, but the dream lives on.” (28)

“It takes nurturing to make an artist. Shadow artists did not receive sufficient nurturing. They blame themselves.” (28)

“they must nurture their artist child. Creativity is play, but for shadow artists, learning to allow themselves to play is hard work.” (29)

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Making “Catch and Release” Accssible

I just released “Catch and Release” last week. I’m really happy with it, and you should go play it right now! One thing that I’m proud of is that this is the first game I’ve made where I’ve tried to include accessibility options. To play around with them yourself, click the little gear icon in the top left to access the options menu.

Settings menu for a video game. Showing options to remap keys, increase text size, and change difficulty level.

I decided to include these options so more people can play and that AAA shooters aren’t the only accessible games. Because this is a game about dealing with chronic pain, and not just to show what that pain looks or feels like, but rather to give tools and practice and perspective to live with that pain easier. So to exclude a large portion of people living with chronic pain would be wrong and foolish.

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Take Care Game Jam Postmortem

As a game maker living with chronic pain, I’m intensely interested in both game jams and self-care. So it was incredibly heartening and fascinating to hear Stephanie Fisher and Kara Stone’s talk on their wellness-focused Game Jam, Take Care.

Their talk focused on how to run a game jam that takes care of its participants, and that also got me thinking about how game jammers can take those lessons into their own personal jam practice.

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Rust Bucket is a Game About Presence

I’ve been hooked on Rust Bucket for the past week or so. It’s a clever little rogue-like where you move through an infinite number of procedurally generated rooms that get more deadly as you advance.

Rust Bucket faces a few easy enemies in a dungeon

Level 0 on infinity mode

What’s interesting to me about Rust Bucket though is that it doesn’t feel that difficult. But I keep dying. And after I die, I keep playing again. So what’s going on here?

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Programming with Fire

This piece is inspired by the excellent Catt Small‘s recent piece Code and Creativity as well as spending all month working incredibly slowly in 3D and realizing that I don’t need to.

fire gif

For me, programming is a means to an end. A particularly brain-driven, completely rational means to an end. And yes, there is creative problem solving when coding, but it doesn’t the emotional charge I’m trying to hit when making something. It’s removed from the fire.

I want to stay as close as possible to my emotional fire when I’m making things. To work from my heart and my gut and my groin instead of from my brain. To open up to and to be opened up by my work. To reach through the screen and grab your heart.

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Notes to my Jealous Self

I had an intense moment of jealousy yesterday. I saw friends get rightfully recognized for the exact work I’d like to be recognized for, and it threw me for a loop. Even though the moment was incredibly jarring, thankfully it only lasted a little while and served as a great reminder of lessons that I keep learning over and over.

a parrot jealous of two other snuggling parrots

The cutest jealousy picture on the internet

So here are some reminders to myself for the next time I’m overcome with jealousy:

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Lowering Expectations

One of the core tenets of my game development practice is “Quantity over quality.” Worrying too much about whether or not a piece is “good” only serves to introduce unhelpful self-doubt to its creation. By removing that worry, I can focus clearly on the piece at hand. Just finish it, and whether or not it’s good will work itself out. Also, with each game I finish, the odds that I’ve created a good game increase! It’s the most sure-fire way to increase those odds.

Graph showing the odds of having created something good go up over the total number of things created

Chances of having created something good vs total things created

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