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Vision is another one of those big mysterious words.

If you’ve ever had an idea, it might have been a vision.  But a vision is different from just an idea.  A vision will answer questions you haven’t asked yet. Ideas don’t do that.

For instance, you start working on a game and then you get to a design issue and you’re like “What do we do, now?” Having a vision can answer those types of questions.

A vision is like a set of rules. Whenever you have an idea, you run it by the rules.

Here’s how having a vision saved a really good idea from being a really bad idea:

In Grindcraftia, the world map is literally all the matter in the game universe.  So I thought it would be cool to warp time, like relativity or something.  As you zoomed out, time sped up, and as you zoomed in, time slowed down.  People didn’t like it.  Plus most of our in-app purchases are things that speed up time or reduce the number of clicks.  So it was a bad idea. But there was something driving it, and I couldn’t figure out what it was.

So I go back to the drawing board, and look at the vision.

We want to be able to speed things up and slow things down.
Why?
Speed things up so the game is not a total grind.
Slow things down so you can manipulate on a granular scale.

Brainstorming:
One theme in the vision behind Grindcraftia is “multi-dimensionality.”
1.) You can go back in time.
2.) You can visit parallel universes.
3.) You can do molecular-level crafting.

Another rule in our vision is that if something can be in-game, it should be.  In order to get a map of the world, you have to craft it in the game.  And in order to get those multi-dimensional features, you have to build a time machine, or a quantum tunnel, or some kind of shrinkinator thing.

So putting that all together, we see that we need to also make a craftable machine that speeds up and slows down time.  Not just jump around in time but alter its speed.  Making it craftable means that it’s optional, so players have control, rather than forcing time to warp whenever you zoom.  And we can create an in-game store that sells them, or sells blueprints + raw materials (kits) to make them.  So we (the developers) win, too.

A vision answers questions  you can’t think of yet, and avoids bad ideas, sometimes even turning them into good ideas.