Project: Casual Creator / Generator

I’m borrowing the concept from Kate Compton who defines a casual creator as:

– an interactive system that makes “artifacts”
– provides some mechanical or generative assistance
– generativity creates a rich possibility space
– enables fast, confident, and pleasurable exploration
– encourages a feeling of creativity and creative ownership
– often amplifies that feeling of creativity with social sharing

For the next project we can approach this field from a game design perspective (rather than a software/tool making one) and extend it to procedural generation experiments and sandbox games.

Let’s look at some examples

Phase 1:

Brainstorm on the miro board

Phase 2

Teams of 2-4 are formed, split in breakout rooms.
Start a miro board for each team and designate a note taker.

Why is this subject interesting to you?
How could this generic idea (because post it) be more specific?
If it’s more of a random generator, how can you can you make it more of a casual creator? (interactive, flexible, sense ownership…)

Phase 3

If you are making more of a generator, take 20 minutes to read So you want to build a generator and try to answer the questions together. Read the Encyclopedia of Generativity as well

If you are making more of a tool, take 20 minutes to read the The Casual Creators Zine and discuss the points that could apply to your project.

Phase 4

30 minutes of individual research:
Collect both game and non-game references relating to your subject.
Add them to the mood board.

Phase 5

10 minutes: discuss your findings and see if there are converging inspirations and elements that could work for the goals you defined before.

Phase 6

Prof checks with each team and sets the goals for next week.


The due date is March 26 (March 19 is mid-semester break)

  1. Designate at least an “artist” that will produce sketches of the generated thing, starting to identify the parameters.
  2. Designate al least a “technical artist” that will look into generative techniques and start to collect examples and scripts.
  3. Designate (if it applies) a “game designer” that can start implementing the player controls and the “gameplay” beyond procedural generation.
  4.  The team should pick at least 3 things to play among the ones listed in Homeplay III OR among project related refences you choose. Have an asynchronous discussion on your discord channel about what you liked and disliked, and what parts could be an inspiration for your project. Try go in detail, even if you didn’t like a game as a whole, it probably still has something to offer. I might send you some project specific references as well.
  5. Go through the team checklist and make sure you are able to work together by next Friday.