Head Full of Ideas

I am a dreamer; I have constantly new ideas and think about projects I would like to do. On the other hand I am lacking the ability to really filter the ideas I need to concentrate on, pursue and commit myself to. That is more an issue for me than getting the right tools or skills to realize them. Honestly, I think this issue is keeping me from becoming a happier me. I am not completely sure how to break that cycle, but I think that I am not the only one who has that kind of problem.

Here are some thoughts about that.

Until now I always had an idealized understanding of getting ideas and following them. I never rationalized or questioned an idea, because at that moment, it was the most important thought I had. All ideas were important and had to be remembered or written down and probably followed. All ideas had the same weight and importance at the beginning. Time or energy (or often lack of it) showed in the end if I could make an idea happen or not. But that trial and error procedure is quite tiring even if I speak about projects in my free time.

Following questions you can ask yourself to make things more clear and easier to filter. These kind of questions are important for companies to make decisions about the ideas from their employees (often called idea or innovation management), but the methods and questions can be valid for individuals too.

Does realizing an idea gives you any benefit?
It can be new friends, a new skill or even money. The question aims on the time-wasting but not very rewarding ideas.

Will the idea give you a benefit in short and long term?
Not only is there a benefit, but will it be worthwile in the future?

Does realizing the idea fits in your current situation and plans for the future?
Avoid distractions which lead you away from the things you want to achieve currently in your life.

Will you be supported by your environment if realizing an idea?
If your family and friends (not a single opinion but in majority) thinks that an idea is quite stupid to follow, then you probably shouldn’t. Not that the idea is neccessary bad but maybe it is the wrong time. Without support you will have to avoid issues with your loved ones constantly and have a much harder time to follow your idea. You would waste time and energy just on that issue.

Will you have enough time and/or money to follow your idea?
One of the more obvious questions and probably asked most of the time… or at least in the end when the idea crumbles away.

If you have a catalog of ideas or a new one comes along, evaluate and decide.

Don’t do it. There are strong reasons not to realize it or reconsider it in the future. Throw it away.
Wait. A reason, which can or will change in the future stands in the way of the idea, like i.e. time restriction. You know that will change. Then keep the idea and reevaluate later.
Change it. There are reasons against it but in another form the idea can be great. Take time to change your idea and reevaluate later.
Go for it. Plan and realize it and become a more happy person.

I will keep you informed if that works for me.

Just an idea.

Lost in Art

I love comics. The thought to consume comics like I do with other media, books or video games, came very late to me. Honestly, just a couple of years ago.

As a kid and teenager I read some comics but it was limited by the series and issues I had access to – which was very little. Family and friends had no real relations to comics too and so it got lost very early in my life. I think in the end it was overhelmed by my love for books and honestly I never missed comics at that time.
On the other hand I am sure I was not able or willing to appreciate the art. I was always very story driven and I am not sure if the comics of the late 80ies and early 90ies would have given me enough material to think about. But that might just be prejudices.

The first pick I did, two years ago, was the Sandman series from Neil Gaiman, just because I like him as author and was curious what he did there. And it hooked me. After that I finally can appreciate comics and I constantly choose new material to read.
For my considerations what to read next, I mostly go to classics which are well known because of the art in art and/or story and sometimes just because of their popularity – to see what’s behind the hype. The most important thing for me is, that it has to be a closed/finished series. I cannot cope with waiting for the next issue or not to know if the end of a series will be any good or at least satisfying.
Might be an old mans habit, but I like my books finished too.

Comics are now a normal part of my life, even if I mostly consume classics. I read them mostly on a daily basis, like I read books or play video games.

The only thing I wish right now is to have a better overview. What issues, series and bundles are out there? Who are remarkable authors or artists I have to read, no matter the topic. Which series are done well, maybe which character developments or storylines are the most interesting?

I tried my best to get an overview. But in the end there are always only opinions and a huge amount of knowledge is necessary. And most people who are into comics since they are kids don’t even think about that anymore. They are not really aware about that issue newbies have with the amount of content.

I really would like to see a website which would be dedicated to give the overview over issues, series, characters, storylines. A bit like IMDB for the voting and social part but more connected and dynamic to see the relations between the comics, characters, authors and artists and plots. And the publisher does not have to matter. As far as I can see there is only Wikipedia with partial and general knowledge but nothing more.

Maybe that would be a project worthwhile.

This world is not for me

I am trying really hard, over and over again, and I’m constantly failing.

I am unable to get immersed to any online RPG universe so far. It doesn’t matter how good it looks, how good it sounds or what the setting is. And that worries me a bit.

You ask: So what?

For me it matters. I play constantly games, I try new genres all the time. Some I like and some I don`t. But RPGs are one of my favourite all-time genres since I was first introduced, probably 20 years ago. For me roleplaying didn’t start with pen and paper but with roleplaying video games from SSI, like Pool of Radiance or Curse of the Azure Bonds.

My first introduction to online RPGs was Ultima Online. I played it for one month because it was praised highly by a friend. But then I stopped because I honestly had no fun at all.

At that time I was already not on good terms with the new developments in the RPG genre. I hated Diablo. For me it was the Anti-Christ of video game RPGs. I never called it RPG, only Dungeon Crawler or Hack&Slay, but some of my friends did and they loved that game.

So Ultima Online had already a tough start with me because it changed so much of my beloved genre. And I was not all that keen on the social interactions which, in the end, made the game so popular and spiritually lead to something like Word of Warcraft. In my opinion probably the most influencing RPG franchise right now, just by the number of people it reached.

Until now I gave it a few more tries. I played SW: The Old Republic (were I like actually nothing, really), Star Trek Online (where I liked the space part, but hated the away missions), a couple of weeks ago for the very first time World of Warcraft (which I liked, but not a bit for the RPG parts) and at very last a game which is still in development and which I will not mention by name, but had the opportunity to play a couple of times.

The last, unnamed one, let me finally realize, after being a grumpy gamer about MMORPGs for many years, that I really cannot get immersed by the genre. There are always some game elements which will put me off. In the last case, the graphic, sound, voice acting is very good. The setting is one of my most beloved RPG video game settings. But I don’t like the actual game – because I cannot cope with some of the inherent game mechanics of that genre.

Seeing all the players run around from one quest giver to the next. The huge, unreal rooms and caves, which seem to be necessary just because there could be many players sometimes. The quests which you always can solve in that same area and where kill x and fetch y are the standard. The respawning before your eyes because it has to be set up for the next player who comes by. The quest giver, even if he wants something from you, mostly never comes to you – you have to find him, and often he will never leave his place. You can always clip through players or NPCs. There is mostly no surprise or difficulty in the normal gameplay. The difficulty comes with bigger enemies or special dungeons where you need a group of players to defeat the enemy. And last but not least… your character is never special, in the end he is one of the masses.

All that complaining.

I assume that online RPGs wil be the standard in the future. Companies like them because the genre promises a larger audience and more revenue – and players like MMORPGs.

But if I can’t play a RPG in ten years because there is no RPG with ‘old mechanics’ available – that would make me quite sad actually.