An iterative design loop (and an approach to working with culture)

Let me present an iterative design loop:

1. Think about the subject.
1a. Sometimes, research is what’s called for.
1b. Sometimes, it’s just time for more brief musings.
2. Adjust the thing you’re making.
3. Present it for feedback.
3a. Get feedback from potential audience and stakeholders.
3b. Accept feedback graciously.
3c. Consider the feedback (though not necessarily implementation advice).
3d. Do not immediately discount feedback from outside your experience or expectations.
4. Take your feedback into account, and go to #1.

Now, I think that the above loop does cover how to think about working with other cultures! (And dealing with problems of cultural misappropriation.)

1. “Man, the culture of Ska in London in 1979 is pretty cool! I’m going to make a game about it.”
1a. “Maybe I should read a bit more than this one autobiography. Maybe the history of the UK at the time is important?”
1b. “Maybe I’ll just begin by drawing from the important aesthetics.”

2. “Okay, so everyone pick this list of economic classes! I read a little and it said that economic class is important.”

3. “Man, everyone is going to +1 this like crazy.”
3a. “I’m asking some friends who’d play it, some USian who are fans of ska, but also a friend from the UK.”
3b. “Thank you for the feedback, friend-from-the-UK. Let me think about your criticisms.”
3c. “But, while my US friends were okay with my class implementation, my UK friend pointed out that I’m grossly simplifying things, and suggested some things to read. My UK friend suggests implementing THAC0; I’m not sure if I agree about that solution, in any case.”
3d. “I really like my implementation of economic class… And yet, this is worth some consideration.”

4. :reads and :thinks and :rewrites

Laura points out, correctly, that Step 4 here is definitely vague, and it’s easy for a novice designer (myself included) to ignore inconvenient feedback. Step 4 is hard, and I’ll think more on how to better structure it.