Touching Up the Mona Lisa

07 Aug 2014

Tom Francis:

I will definitely ask you for changes to your work, regularly. Absolutely nothing to do with talent. If Leonardo da Vinci submitted the Mona Lisa, I’d say “Sorry, but for gameplay reasons the smile needs to be readable on low detail settings at wide zoom levels or players might mistake her for hostile. Can you make it a bit more pronounced?”

Although I doubt that anyone reading my blog has serious designs at doing art or music composition for an indie video game, Tom’s statement is still a good reminder for those of us that do any sort of creative work with or on behalf of anyone else: you are going to be forced to alter it to meet expectations that seem either unreasonable or merely contrary to your original design. As frustrating as it may be in the moment, it is useful to recall that our work is not for us alone. Changes will have to be made to satisfy particular situations or individual opinions. As a writer and as an improvisor, it is advice to keep close at hand.