Notes on How To Design Deep Games with Jonathan Blow

I watched Jonathan Blow’s talk How To Design Deep Games with Jonathan Blow which is actually kind of a misleading title because the talk is about the concept of “Deep Work” and how to sustain work on a long project.  This is one of those talks where you need to watch it a few times, so these notes are probably not capturing the full picture.

What is “Deep Work“?

  • Changes you, you are a different person in a substantial way and a unique specialist in something at the end.
  • You are follow a Guiding Compass, a feeling, hunch or vague notion that seems like the right direction because the destination is unknown, it’s an exploration not a journey with a fix end goal.
  • The work is Deep to you, this isn’t about meeting someone else ideas or standard:

The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. – Paul Cezanne

  • It is built on first principals, what makes it special is your technique and view of the world.
  • It is not working on fundamentals, you need to be ready and already done training to get good.
  • Avoid burn out, take care of your Human Animal (see Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.)
  • Sometimes you need to take a break, a good rule:

You’re only allowed to take a break to work on something smaller than what you have already shipped.

  • Take Showers – you have to rest, make yourself open to ideas aka invite a visit from your Muse

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