Friday, August 12, 2011

Knowledge and Understanding

Wow, almost a week. I'll get to updates in a moment, but first I'd like to cover my definitions for "knowledge" and "understanding".

Please note, these are my personal definitions, and not the dictionary definitions. And this is only in terms of "actionable items". And I'll explain the purpose in a moment.

Knowledge - This is to "know" something or know of something. You've read, watched or even practiced a skill or trait, or have displayed a bit of knowledge. You've heard it on TV, seen it in a movie, discussed it with a friend or even tried it yourself. So knowledge about an action is broad. The only time you don't know about it is when you've honestly heard about it for the first time.

Understanding - This isn't ability to do what you know. This is the ability to do what you "know" constantly consistently, and relatively accurately. Understanding is conscious habit based on expanding knowledge.

Think about that for a moment. It means a few things:

  1. You can fall in an out of understanding. If you no longer practice the conscious habits anymore, or accurately or consistently, I would say that you have lost understanding.
  2. Understanding is not permanent. In fact because it requires constant effort to maintain some good habits, understanding can also be lost and gained regularly.
  3. The decision to form the habit of understanding is conscious. Other aspects if it may not be. Which makes it difficult to communicate what you "understand".

Ok why does this even matter?

The purpose is because when people say they "understand" things, permanence is implied with it. No more maintenance is implied with it. And often no one bothers questioning if something is actually "understood".

(If you applied my definition to politicians, most would seem to know a lot, yet understand very little. This does seem more accurate does it not?)

And because when I say "I know how to make good games." Thats true, but I also have to constantly acknowledge that I have to continue work to understand them. And my level of understanding will change. I have to constantly fight for it. To some this seems like I lack confidence. I do not.

I simply have a stricter definition of "understanding" I adhere to.

So I'll tell you again now, I am committed to constantly bolstering my level of understanding about how to make great games.

Well thats nice.. But so what?

To do this I have to push to make 1 game a month for a while. Reclaimate is a constant reminder to do very small projects to adhere to tight deadlines. I'll be finishing it of course, but after I'm done I honestly have to go back to tic tac toe or something rudimentary to simple get more iterations on the flow down, to "understand" it better. If I continue past the 6 months I'd likely do this for a year at least.

When a business is beginning a lot of mistakes will be made. I'm fine with this, but I would like to learn from them as fast and efficiently as possible. Things can also change based on expanding knowledge. I need to as flexible as possible at the start. You find what you are good at, you find what you aren't, and you GET better at a everything else.

So do you know what I'm talking about, or do you understand what I'm talking about? :-)

Short Update

So yeah it's been a week, and I've been working on systems, particularly doors. Which are for the most part done, although there's plenty of bugs. I have to finish off weapons and then VFX, and do all the art that accompanies it. Honestly I'm going to try to get as much help as I can plus baseline it if possible.

So by the end of this week I plan to have weapons done and the VFX engine started.

By the end of next week I'll be finished a large portion of bug fixes and if I'm lucky about half the graphics.

And the last week or so will be tuning and tweaking graphics.

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