technical novelty in relation to the arts
I'm glad I read Naimark's essay when I did because I have been doing a lot of thinking regarding my position on the spectrum between first and last word art. For the longest time I think I have stayed within my comfort zone of being a "last word artist"; so paranoid about making mistakes and failed projects that I would only attempt projects I knew would be successful. But I see now that failure is an inevitable part of the creative process, so I may as well take risks. Furthermore, I've noticed that when I try something that's along the lines of "first word" art, even my failures end up having some kind of admirable quality. I think this is because when I attempt something strongly grounded in an existing style or technique, when I deviate from the norm (either out of failure or by creative liberty) there is always a comparison that must be drawn between my work and the vast body of work that has already been produced.
Let's say for instance that I am working on a dual stick FPS game. If I choose to not add motion blur, head bob, or fail to align my camera correctly, there's so many examples of games that "got it right" to compare my work against. I'd like to contrast this with one of my only examples of truly original work; a third-person detective game called The Red Scare. This project of mine had many shortcomings and rough edges, but there was something charming about this game, and there was nothing else like it on the virtual marketplace I posted it on to compare with. And thus a project ridden with failures ended up being a success and became the top downloaded project in my humble array of finished products. I want to keep moving towards "first word" art. I realize now that risk is something to be cherished, not avoided.
A concrete example of technical novelty that I want to explore is the ideas of "squishyness", bubbles and soft bodies. I think the technical arts field at large has become highly proficient in rendering hard, non-organic forms via vertex manipulation, texturing and rigging. The same cannot be said for the opposite end of the spectrum. To do this I need to delve underneath the abstracted and high-level APIs that I am used to working with, and reacquaint myself with the building blocks of what makes these tools possible.