"Learning how to learn by yourself is a really important skill. It means you can learn things that nobody knows. It means you can solve things for yourself that nobody can teach you."
"I don't know what I'm doing" (but I do know how to make good choices)
SpellTower developer Zach Gage discusses why he believes bottom-up learning is the best way for game developers to learn their trade.
Talking at the #PersonalVideoJuegos Conference in Argentina, Gage described how he attacks new ideas through bottom-up learning -- the act of learning something thoroughly, even the elements that appear unimportant -- rather than top-down learning -- that is, picking out the specific elements of a topic that you need to get ahead.
Although bottom-up learning can take a lot more time, and can prove massively and emotionally exhausting and depressing, Gage reasons that the approach allows you to experiment a lot more with your creative work, and explore what works and what doesn't.
You learn a lot more context to the content that you are exploring, he notes, and therefore end up venturing down plenty of dead-ends -- and many of these dead-ends and weird nuances may well lead you to discover new creative avenues that others haven't fully explored.
"You can blaze trials in new environments, instead of following the things that other people have done," he said. "That kind of learning is exactly the thing that successful artists and creatives do know when they say that they don't know what they're doing. They know how to make shit up long enough that eventually they're right."