Dream Team   4 comments

This week’s blog hop is “Pick Out 3 Creative People Who Inspire You And Think About If They Collaborated To Make A Product—What Would It Be?”
If those three people created something awesome with all their skills, what would it be? Create that and then share your process and inspiration.

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I read this article in Harvard Business Review about how artists are often uncomfortable with sharing their creative process with other people. We don’t do groups, essentially. I believe this is very much true. I cannot — have tried — to co-write. I never like the outcome. My daughter, an artist, gets grumpy if you offer suggestions while she’s creating. My husband, a musician, will stop playing the guitar if you suggest another chord might work better in that melody.

Image result for image of the dagger of amon raMy son, who will likely grow up to be an engineer, is the most introverted person in the family, so you would think he wouldn’t like to work on teams, but that’s not the case. He’s very comfortable with accepting feedback from others. When he was on the robotics team, he started a project, someone else completed it and then he was the driver, working with others, at the competition. He can draw, play the guitar and write and he doesn’t care if you critique him. He’s happy for the input. He’s a techy, not a creative per se and there is something different about his brain than ours.

Some people are just better at cooperative efforts than others. As a writer, I can see the reason for wanting to maintain control of my project, and yet, I do recognize the value of input from others. This is why I ask others to edit my material and, although I design my own covers, I ask for input from others.

I don’t really do fangirl star-struckness, so it took me a while to figure out how to write this article. For example, I admire the paintings of Andrew Wyeth, but I don’t necessarily admire Andrew Wyeth. So, given that mindset, who would be my creative dream team if I could make other creatives do what I wanted?

There’s a spot of abandonware out there that I would LOVE to see given a modern makeover. The Laura Bow series by Sierra was my first real role-playing computer game. The Colonel’s Bequest had Laura as a journalism student traveling to a creepy mansion outside New Orleans and getting involved in a murder mystery. I’m really good at mysteries,  but I never did solve it. The Dagger of Amon Ra had Laura in a museum, also with a murder mystery. Same thing. I never could solve it. I know whodunnit in both cases (those darned Internet sites), but I would still love to “solve” the mysteries myself. You can run the games today on most computers with a special mod, but it’s a pretty miserable experience. The technology of the day wasn’t great, the graphics suck and the great stories and hard puzzles aren’t really enough to overcome those obstacles.

After they’ve seen Paris, it’s hard to keep ’em down on the farm ….

So, if I had my way  ….

Roberta Williams, the original designer, would definitely need to be involved because she wrote the original stories. She’s retired these days and can’t do modern coding, but the project would definitely require her as a consultant. Otherwise it would end up like all those television shows they try to redo that turn out nothing like the show you loved, so you don’t watch them.

Then, I would like to see Her Interactive pick up the project because they do such a good job with the Nancy Drew mysteries. They have great writers and wonderful designers. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find their names on the website. Combined with Williams’ original material, I trust the company’s team to do a great modernization of the tech while keeping the classic 1920s mystery and feel.

Cities Skylines cover art.jpgThen, just because I admire their entrepreneurial chutzpah in taking the disaster of Sim City’s turn to the dark side and subsequent death spiral to create a great game that I’m willing to plunk down coin to play, I would ask Colossal Order to come alongside the Laura Bow project and push it out to the public. Again, there’s no single person I would target. This company has a great team and I would want their collaboration.

I can imagine this cooperative effort yielding a game that is true to the mysteries of Laura Bow while featuring great graphics, maybe some cool music and some new fun features that weren’t possible back in the 1980 and 90s. And, I would not be surprised to see Her and Colossal Order come out with new Laura Bow games if this project found success.

While I’m not convinced that creative collaboration in novels yields better results than lone-genius efforts, I do see the benefits for projects like computer games, music and murals. A team approach can reveal insights and practical strategies that can enable all kinds of talent to flourish and create value together. Original writer and designer, new writer, new design team (that’s how they usually do computer games these days and a marketing team that has shown it knows how to come from behind with limited resources and take the market by storm —

That’s the definition of a dream team.

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4 responses to “Dream Team

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  1. I’ve seen a variety of success with collaboration in books. Sometimes it works and sometimes the styles are so different it’s jarring to the reader.

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    P. J. MacLayne
    • I believe it’s possible. The only successful ones I’ve read (in my opinion), the writers each have their own characters and the POV shifts among them. It works because the voice should change when shifting characters. In fact, a collaboration under that scenario would probably be preferable.

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  2. I think a lot has to do with the personalities of the collaborators. There are many successful writing duos and collaborations with multiple authors both in the writing aspect and the marketing cooperatives.

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    • I’m sure writing collaboration has a lot to do with personalities and how a book is organized. Being able to agree on an overarching story and then divide the threads and especially the characters up between the writers, so as to preserve voice integrity, would be key.

      Marketing cooperatives are a great idea. Unfortunately, again, personalities get in the way of some of them.

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