Basically just did this again this week. I was re-reading a three year old board game design diary I had written, and came upon an old idea that I had put on the backburner after the prototype played just "ok". I tried to come up with ways to fix it for awhile, and the ideas I had then were so different they morphed into completely different designs (more specifically, it morphed into 1 different design, which bombed in playtesting, and then that morphed into a totally different design, which did really well in playtesting and I showed to publishers, and then reflecting on their feedback resulted in a completely new design sparking in my head).
I thought about the problem for a few more seconds, and one new thing to try popped into my head, not a totally different game this time still keeping with the core mechanism, but a different method how players were given and used the cards, and I dug into it a bit more, and I decided on a different method of point distribution for the cards, and then thought a bit more, and the thought of adding abilities that encourage comboing based one previous or next cards played popped into my head, and then I decided to run with it, came up with a new prototype, tried it out, and it felt at least three times better, and felt more like a game that could be published.
I have a game that is currently a finalist in a game design contest whose design had remained dormant for over a year because I was unsatisfied with it, but something made me think about it again and a new mechanism popped in my head and I tried that and felt a lot better about it.
The Feynman method works for me, at least when it comes to designing board games. I don't mind shelving game designs for a long period of time anymore, since I have had so much luck with just thinking about them again every once in awhile and fresh new ideas popping into my head to improve the game, that likely wouldn't have happened if I kept forcing myself to think about that game.
I just watched a bunch of Marvin Minsky lectures about his theory of the Society of Mind. One of his early questions was (paraphrased) "With all these words for emotions where are the words for thinking?" He eventually popped the ones he'd found up on the board. And, of course, I sketched up some of my own. But nowhere in either of those lists was the quite apropos reference to how a whole swath of unrelated mammals have come to solve the process of digestion of rough food material. And, if we consider thoughts, ideas, and problems to be rough material then I think the word works perfectly.
I'd heard of Feynman's process, but for some reason never thought to assign it this very appropriate word. Thanks for the inspiration and reminder. Best of luck on the game! Please Show HN when you can share it. :)
> Most references to meditation occur in the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms. The Hebrew words for meditation primarily were derived from two separate roots. The first (hagah ) literally means “to utter in a low sound.” The word is used to denote the growling of a lion (Isaiah 31:4 ) or the cooing of a dove (Isaiah 38:14 ). Therefore it has been suggested that, in ancient Hebrew meditation, Scripture frequently was recited in a low murmur. The second root word (siach ) has the basic meaning of “to be occupied with,” or “concerned about.” Thus meditation is the repetitious going over of a matter in one's mind because it is the chief concern of life.
Just in case you're interested in other options :)
A similar word comes to mind, to contemplate.
> contemplation (n.) c. 1200, "religious musing," from Old French contemplation and directly from Latin contemplationem "act of looking at," contemplari "to gaze attentively, observe; consider, contemplate," originally "to mark out a space for observation,"
> from assimilated form of com-, here probably an intensive prefix, + templum "area for the taking of auguries" (see temple (n.1)).
Tangentially related, in Japanese there are (at least) two senses of "to think".
- 思う - to think, feel, remember, believe
- 考える - to think, cerebrate, cogitate, presume, take for granted, assume, conceive, consider
As someone who grew up there, it's hard to describe the difference in English. The first one is associated with feelings and images, and the second one is more about logical thinking.
For me, I have some thoughts or ideas (some of them from books I read) that I've been pondering for many years. That feels like 思う - it's a long-term, more abstract kind of thinking, often in the back of my mind. I find myself coming back to them, almost by chance, and discovering new perspectives and depths.
I am planning to take advantage of this weekend and try to get a little caught up on how to play videos for my games. I've got 6 designs already filmed (Cake Walk is the one that's a finalist in a game competition): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDjU-rdSngu-eeqJnc2On...
If I get the newest one up this weekend, it will probably be called 'Shared Fate'.
I didn't think Show HN is really the place to show off analog board games, so I wasn't really considering it. I don't have anything published yet anyway (just one game signed with a publisher), so they're all prototypes.
Does anyone know if posting my game design videos on Show HN would be appreciated? I come up with a lot of designs, though (my 'need to make a how to play video' backlog is like 30 games at this point). Assuming I got more consistent at filming videos, I could probably post one every week or two. Several of them you could probably play at home with components from other games.
Let's game it out:
Worst case scenario it gets flagged for removal and your account gets deleted. How likely is that? ;)
Most likely scenario, I think, it goes the way of most posts, ignored.
Best case scenario, people like it and you get some good conversations about it, some interest, and a few new players.
Makes me a little more cautious of posting in places where it may not be welcome.
Also I've found there's a knack to promoting your game on Reddit and you may have been a bit too forward. From what I recall it works if you take time to figure out what tone and explanation works. I feel there's a tutorial out there somewhere about how to market well on social media. Myself I'm not an expert.
Also Reddit mods can be petty little tyrants. I'm sorry one traumatized you so.
On Gutenberg.org too: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/35535/35535-h/35535-h.htm
Works well for me. I recognize pretty well when my brain is in a "needs to garbage collect and analyze" state. Then I stop pushing and wait for tomorrow when the results are in.
I think a long walk can work similarly. The commonality being to quieten the active mind, though sleep has the benefit of more time.
I have lived by those words for many years, but somehow I was never able to find where I had initially read them (yes I tried googling, somehow that quote doesn't show up!)
This works very well, especially if you are involved in research and hobbies in very varied area. For example in running you will learn about interval training - alternating short burst of training interspersed with rest periods. What about using that when training neural networks? How does this map to game design, when you put high intensity on the player for short burst of time? How is it similar with the pomodoro technique? Obviously you end up with many spurious connections but it can light up certain topics in a different light.
Drag-net thinking? ;)
High level points:
Publish the Same Result Several Times
You Are More Likely to Be Remembered
by Your Expository Work
Every Mathematician Has Only a Few
Do Not Worry about Your Mistakes
Use the Feynman Method
Give Lavish Acknowledgments
Write Informative Introductions
Be Prepared for Old Age
Iterate On Your Work
Specialize: Add as much new detail to a single piece of work.
Everyone has specialized skills, there's fame in using them to their fullest potential to explore many areas.
>There are two kinds of mistakes. There are
fatal mistakes that destroy a theory, but there
are also contingent ones, which are useful in
testing the stability of a theory.
Use the Feynman Method
>keep a dozen of your favorite problems con-
stantly present in your mind, [...] Every time
you hear or read a new trick or a new result, test
it against each of your twelve problems to see
whether it helps.
Give Credit To Others no matter how small
Summarize Everything Clearly and as long as is necessary: show your work second.
Your position as an authority will change abruptly. (I'm have a harder time rephrasing this. Your work will go from "meh he's washed out" to "he's perfected his craft" for identical reasons depending on how well it's received)
>Somewhat to my surprise, I received letters
from two of the authors whose papers I believed
were irrelevant to my article. Both letters were
written in an emotionally charged tone. Each of
the authors warmly congratulated me for being
the first to acknowledge their contribution to
That's a very interesting approach.
From the outside, it seems hard to sift through all the redundancy. At the edge of knowledge it gets harder to verify what is genuinely new and what is a rehash.
It feels like the infrastructure and format around scientific publishing could benefit from compression, consistency and version control.
Do not take this too literally. Usually it won't work or will get you branded as a self-plagiarist (not exactly a deadly sin, but not a good reputation either; people will discount your work for this). In Rota's example of Riesz, the first publication was "in some obscure Hungarian journal", the second one was in Comptes Rendus, and the third was in a "real" journal. The choice of venues is no accident; you couldn't do it the other way round. Comptes is specifically for short (ca. 4 page long) communications that mostly serve to announce results and ideas; it's not unlike the "extended abstracts" you submit to conferences. And there are no obscure Hungarian journals any more in the age of the Internet. You won't get the same result published in 3 "normal" journals unless at least two referees are asleep at the wheel.
The modern way to get high publication count "for free" is doing a lot of incremental work (as opposed to trying to write up something definitive and general) and splitting your papers up into "least publishable units". These aren't bad things to do, though: Often you have to do incremental work as a warm-up before you have a chance to see the full picture (unless you are Grothendieck, presumably), and the thinner your papers are, the easier (and faster) they will get through peer review. It's a matter of knowing where to stop.
Over of the other points on the article was "lengthen your summary" which was to address that very low read count!
I wonder if it's possible to make a "github of research" where articles are more publicly revised only showing the most recent (celebrating Theory 2.0! And 2.0.1 -fixed typos)
I took the publish process to be: iterate on your thesis.
I saw the pattern as: Ask for feedback from a small group. Improve ask a larger, more reputable group. Repeat.
I'm not current on what constitutes a prestigious Journal today (is Nature still a top Journal?).
I think it's generally the opposite to a great degree. Some people spend their PhD and postdoc doing one large piece of work, overly concerned about its rigour/correctness/validity, eventually publishing just one paper that they're happy with (perhaps a summary of their thesis). Others publish smaller pieces of work frequently, at conferences, workshops etc. In this time the latter will have built up a public academic profile, while the former may be essentially anonymous to the field. This will be reflected in greatly more citations and reads for the latter.
You could argue that there's value to the former approach, but if you can't disseminate your work effectively - i.e. nobody knows that you or your work exist - then it's useless (imo).
First, publish the idea, the rough concept. You can get valueable feedback from this.
Second, publish an implementation of the idea and the evaluation thereof. This is the actual result.
Depending on limitations it can be worthwhile to publish an extended and revised version of the second one. You can go in excruciating detail on this and include unremarkable side results.
Depending on your field you might be limited to 8 pages for your second publication, which is often very limiting, or your third publication might be your thesis linking several results together.
Version control would be nice though. Especially when you notice errors yourself you would like to fix.
I struggled with this in grad school, as it often felt I was rereading the same material in multiple journals, and the examples of my successful peers appeared to me to be the same paper with 8 different introductions!
But the example Rota gives of Riesz is illuminating: by refining an idea over time, not simply rehashing, the product improves and eventually becomes "perfect". I think this is the original and benign intent of what has often devolved into the appearance of "publish or perish".
Even has a wikipedia page, which also mentions "salami publishing"...:
Looks like the previous discussions of this set are:
2007 (1 comment) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=85611
Oh, also author, points, and timestamps:
Great scientists were basically people-institutions and all the mundane and scrupulous work was done by assistants, doctoral candidates, technicians, as we have an example of Hilbert and some much less known mathematician. There still exist relicts of this system in the academia.
With increasing emancipation and alternative opportunities this extend of exploitation of the nameless is not possible anymore, and this is good.
Lots of great scientists are not recognized until the body of their work has had enough time to be recognized and stand out.
so known "great scientists" are old or gone, but maybe we are surrounded by future great scientists but only notice the youtubers.
For me the Nobel Prize was greatly diminished in 2014 when the Nobel committee lost all credibility.
The inventor of the LED Nick Holonyak, Jr. didn't win a Nobel Prize but in 2014 the inventors of the blue LED did; Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura.
Arguably one might make the same case for Michael Faraday or Humphry Davy, who's fame in large part devolves from excellent and hugely popular public demonstrations of their work.
It's not that they didn't (necessarily) also do groundbreaking work. But they were phenomenally effective communicators.
Extended to writing, Darwin, Einstein, and Feynman could be similarly considered.
If we could manipulate the microscopic with the ease of the macroscopic we'd be making many more discoveries.
Can confirm that this happens to software engineers.
How to acknowledge mistakes, and differentiate between fatal mistakes ones of lesser detail
I'm not a designer but I know designer friends using QuarkXPress around that time, and it is my understanding that you'd create the layout largely via the QuarkXPress GUI and also much manual tweaking, so the layout was probably confined to the company producing this document.