Skip to Content

Designs and Dreams...

14 replies [Last post]
RAF
Offline
Joined: 11/17/2008

Most of my designs have been the result of dreams. Usually, I'm in some far-off land in which the I'm either witnessing someone playing a game I've never seen before, or I'm being introduced to the game by a stranger.

I'm curious if anyone else has been inspired to create a particular game because of a dream(s) ?

Be well,

R.A.Frederickson
Ludospher
------------------------------------
http://www.zhadu.com
------------------------------------

Yekrats
Offline
Joined: 08/11/2008
Designs and Dreams

I don't believe I've ever been given a game during a dream, but I'm pretty sure I've developed aspects of games during sleep. I know I've also brainstormed game ideas during dreams. I'm sure I've dreamt about playing games, especially after late-night gaming sessions.

Usually a game-design dream comes when I'm trying to figure out how to balance a particular mechanism, or trying to fix a mechanic that is just not working. Also, since I'm an artist, I tend to dream about how to draw a certain picture I've been puzzling over.

FastLearner
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Designs and Dreams...

I often dream games, and usually am watching someone play. Sometimes the players are strangers and sometimes they're my gaming friends. Sometimes I just happen to be observing (or even playing, though it's not my turn), while other times someone is actively showing me the game.

In addition, even if I don't actively remember the dream my best ideas tend to come upon awakening, either in the middle of the night or normally in the morning.

I also lucidly dream, where I have control of the dream while dreaming. For some people this kind of lucid dreaming involves complex "worlds" and they have semi-conscious control over their actions in these worlds. For me the world of the lucid dream is less concrete, and can in fact just be pure brainstorming about a game, as I watch the game change and evolve as my brain runs through possible combinations, yet the whole while I'm effectively asleep. It's really quite fun.

My muse has form and shape, a face and a name, and she visits me most often while I'm asleep, when my defenses against surreality are finally brought down.

Brykovian
Brykovian's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Designs and Dreams...

Between

FastLearner wrote:
I also lucidly dream

and
Quote:
My muse has form and shape, a face and a name, and she visits me most often while I'm asleep

... all I can say is: Man, you're lucky! ;)

I often solve problems through sleeping and dreaming ... or even in that nice, calm, creative state right before falling asleep. Similar thing happens when I'm doing mundane, repetitive tasks like mowing the lawn or driving cross-country. Can't say I've been given something "completely new", however, in a dream.

And I've wanted to dream lucidly since I first learned about the concept over a dozen years ago. Any way to *learn* how to do that?

-Bryk

RAF
Offline
Joined: 11/17/2008
Designs and Dreams...

I've also had the fortune of lucid dreaming. Mostly I just run down a road and start flying....

There was one particular dream in which I was sitting at a table with a young women who was showing me a game she referred to as "Open". I looked at the board and pieces and for some reason I told her it reminded me of the old game "fox and geese", although visually it didn't resemble this at all. At that moment she began teaching me how to play. I knew that I was dreaming and tried to tell myself to remember the rules when I was to awaken. But when I did actually wake up, I couldn't remember the rules at all.....

It would be interesting to design a game based on your own interpretation of someone else's dream......

Be well,

R.A.Frederickson
Ludospher
------------------------------------
http://www.zhadu.com
------------------------------------

Anonymous
Designs and Dreams...

I've never come up with ideas for games in my dreams - mostly I get my ideas while doing very mundane tasks, like mowing the lawn or burning pine needles (any yeardwork really, which can tell you where my mind would rather be :D ).

I have had a dream where my best friend (and business partner) had a job as a game playtester for a large company and while I was very jealous I counldn't stay long because I had to head to an editing session for the Lord of the Rings movies. (Hey - when you dream, dream big I say!)

-Geoff

IngredientX
IngredientX's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
Designs and Dreams...

Meh, personally, I can't put too much credence into this. I mean, I don't doubt that people can get inspiration from dreams. But for me, so much about a dream is defined within its context that pulling an idea out of the dream isn't worth it. Too much meaning remains in dreamland, because it only relates to itself.

Of course, you can reconstruct most of that meaning and come up with an approximation of what you felt. But I find that many times, a dream can only be a starting point. If a dream scares me, it's not because I saw anything scary in the dream, but because the dream "wanted" me to be scared. In the light of morning, what was scary may seem to actually be laughable.

So if you can lucid dream, and if that's where your muse lives, go for it. But to me, no matter how well a game plays on an astral table, it has to play well on a real table. :)

FastLearner
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Designs and Dreams...

IngredientX wrote:
But to me, no matter how well a game plays on an astral table, it has to play well on a real table. :)

Well... duh. But I don't understand what your point is. If I see a new game being played in my dream that works when I wake up and write it down, what's "Meh" about it?

IngredientX
IngredientX's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
Designs and Dreams...

FastLearner wrote:
Well... duh. But I don't understand what your point is. If I see a new game being played in my dream that works when I wake up and write it down, what's "Meh" about it?

I guess one can get inspiration from wherever it comes. And if it it works for you when you wake up and write it down, that's great.

But for me, whenever I try to get something from a dream, it usually winds up as laughable garbage. It had great meaning to me in the dream, but taken out of the dream, it's more silly than anything else.

I just wanted to remark from the astrally challenged peanut gallery. :)

DavemanUK
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
LDing

Lucid dreaming (LDing) is quite a skill to develop with the aim of inducing them, prologing their stability and enhancing clarity. Half of the skill is with the intention to LD rather than waiting for chance ;) Basically, plan ahead what you want to do during a LD by making some notes (e.g. in a dream journal). Also develop a habit of questioning yourself 'Am I dreaming?' when particularly common dream elements/themes occur in real life (as recorded in a journal, e.g. looking at a clock/seeing a cat/getting out of bed/etc.).

If you're interested in reading a ton of articles about lucid dreaming I recommend http://www.lucidity.com/ (it got me started ~6years ago and I've had plenty of them since).

Earlier this week, our group played Lord of the Rings (a co-operative game which works wonderful when someone knows what they're doing and takes the lead in group decisions). Being such a new concept it was not to my surprise that I dreamt that very night playing an abstract co-operative game (involving monopoly properties of which is anything but co-operative lol ;) ). I concentratedly made the effort to remember the mechanics, components and what theme there was. After recalling the dream in the morning with the intention to develop a game, the end result was that I matched the abstract mechanics to a co-operate theme from a previous dream.

Moral of the story? As a designer it pays to write everything down even if it doesn't make sense at the time :)

Best wishes,
Dave.

Deviant
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Designs and Dreams...

I seldom get inspiration from dreams simply because I can never remember them. Instead I find that my most inspired moments are going to sleep or waking out of it. I keep a notebook by my bed for recording my most important ideas. Sometimes these are profound, sometimes... well, I clearly wasn't far from dreamland. I looked in my notebook this morning and on one of the sheets I wrote "Fred the Slime Mold". At least I think that's what it was; my midnight scribbles are messy. So either I've been playing too much Nethack or I need more sleep. Or less.

Actually, scribbling in the dark is useful to me not only for the surprising stream-of-consciousness thoughts that pour out at 1:30pm, but for the pictures I draw. Speaking as a sometime-wannabe artist, most of my drawings are freaky unreal things like starships and fantasy creatures and mechanoid monsters. For me, strangeness is a resource I try to cultivate in my work, and there is nothing stranger than what I draw when I'm tired and not even looking. Of course, I have to clean it up in the morning or it's just a mess. But still.

Another thing that gets me going are those internet forums. You know, in the course of about eight minutes I've lost track of where I was going with this. Oopsie. :?

phpbbadmin
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2013
Art imitates life?

This is ironic and somewhat funny. I can only think of one small example where I've ever had a lucid dream, but it was very short and happened somewhat randomnly. However, after having the dream I become somewhat fascinated by the whole aspect. A friend told me that HP Lovecraft had a whole series of 'dreamer' stories that took place in a world that you could only get to in your sleep.

In some of the stories, there is actual conflict between some of the dream visitors to these worlds. At this point I thought to myself, what a great setting for a two player board game. Where Dreamers duel in the dream world, trying their best to scare the other person awake. Along that same lines, an Astral Projection dueling game (A la the great golden age Dr. Strange comics) might also be a great setting.

At any rate, I know I'm off on a tangent. I never did develop either of these two game ideas any further.

-Darke

Anonymous
Designs and Dreams...

I've harvested many an idea from my dreams: movies, stories, and yes, games. The game I'm working on right now (24/7) is from a dream I had a couple of weeks ago. Although it ended up being nothing like the game in my dream, the theme (Time) remained true to my dream. (see my journal entry for 24/7).

Last night, I had a Lucid dream and was treated to a new game. This dream was different in that I was actually developing the mechanics of the game as I dreamt. It is a card game about the war between popular culture and the counter culture and their battle for dominance.

I think IngrediantX is mostly right when he says your dreams are usually ludicrous and make no sense upon waking. But sometimes those dreams germinate a real gem of an idea that with a little work in the waking world help create something really fabulous.

FastLearner
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Designs and Dreams...

I think it depends on the person. About 3 weeks ago, for example, when we first started talking in earnest about the Abstract Games magazine Shared Pieces competition, I thought to myself, "There's no way I'm entering that: I'm not a big fan of abstract games, I hate the limitations of having to use commonly-found components, and I have a hard time imagining a fun game where the pieces are all shared."

That night I dreamt a full game that followed all of the rules. I watched it being played and even heard the name. When I awoke I wrote the whole game down and modified the name ever-so-slightly, and poof, my entry is done. I've played the game several times now and it's quite workable and pretty fun for an abstract.

That was an entire game, fully explained in my dream and completely playable. On the name I just changed it from "Argent," as it was called in the dream, to "Argenta," just because I like it better. You can get entire games in dreams.

In other cases I've been shown big parts of the mechanics and needed to develop it more fully after awakening. Yes, in the dream the game seems complete but when you're awake you do have a different sense of the world and may need to change things. I've had several games that way, too.

And occasionally I get an idea in a game that doesn't really make sense when I wake up: I mean, the game is a real game but wouldn't really work in a fun manner. In those cases, though, I go back to sleep with the idea and in my next dream usually get a stronger, more playable game.

Mind you I've been practicing remembering and understanding my dreams (and dreaming lucidly) for more than a decade. I, too, once had dreams that only made sense in the dream world, but those are very rare now. They're still often incredibly fantastic (I can live in a dinosaur-filled modern world with an antenna coming out of my head that I use to communicate telepathically with ghosts, for example), but almost never nonsensical.

To each his or her own. I only ask that you not dismiss other people's abilities to do this based on your own experiences.

Scurra
Scurra's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/11/2008
Designs and Dreams...

One of my entries to Hippodice was a game that was basically demonstrated to me in a dream. I woke up, wrote it all down and, apart from a couple of bits that didn't seem to make sense, it seemed to be interesting.
So I made a set, and we tested it. What became apparent was that the bits that didn't make sense were obviously missing something (perhaps the person who showed me the game in the dream didn't know all the rules? :)) but we cut them out, and fixed one huge omission (that probably was there in the version I dreamed but didn't remember it!), and the game still worked really well.

So yeah, in the end I suspect that it is all "horses for courses" - some people will dream games, and other people will have much more exciting ones!

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut