February 3, 2010

Mechner and Chahi on Inspiration

From a recent interview with legendary game designers Jordan Mechner (the original Prince of Persia) and Eric Chahi (Another World) on being an auteur in the modern game development environment. Jordan Mechner’s advice to the young designer:

A good friend in another field gave me this piece of advice recently. He said that most people approach things “1-2-3.”

One is the first inspiration, the vision, the excitement. One is gold. One is touched with magic; everyone wants a piece of it.

Two is all the reasons it won’t work, or won’t sell, or could get screwed up; all the difficulties – technical, financial, logistical – that need to be solved.

Three is doing it.

Most people get stuck on two. My friend’s advice was to go in a different order: “1-3-2”. Skip two and go straight to three. I’d never heard it phrased quite this way before, but looking back, the things I’ve done in my life that I’m most glad of, I did them 1-3-2. So that’s my advice too.