Sunday, July 20

Day 6

Not much to show for a week of cognition. But I've clarified my goals and started working on them. I saw The Dark Knight the other day and was inspired by the quality of the story and the captivating acting. It made me wonder, can an animated character be as compelling? Certianly we can empathise with them as this is one of the keys to a good narrative as found in highly successful games. I think there is a balance to be found in a game between gameplay and narrative. Many games suffer from interrupted storytelling; where a cutscene delivers story and then the gameplay continues. This interruptive method has been the norm for a while but it is ineffective. Games like Bioshock that engineer creative ways to deliver in-game narrative are breaking that convention with rewarding results. It is something for me to ponder.

This blog will be my research diary.

-Concept Artwork
I will compile and compose the best of my concept art towards the end of the project for a small book (feat. Style Guide and Level Layouts).

-Concept Music
I've been playing with loops in Garage Band. I'm currently setting up a recording station in my garage to capture some organic slide guitar. Eventually I'll produce a cd of music that reflects the moods of the game. On an interesting aside music by Nick Cave, The Mars Volta, Pelican, Koh Ohtani, Pantera, UNKLE, Tomahawk and NIN has been inspiring my drawing and design. Nick Cave in particular.

-Concept Mechanics
Controls for the character, the 3rd person style of the game, Upgrades/items/character progression, special (gimmick) skills, environment and NPC interactions and level specifics will be outlined with illustrations in a faux manual.

-Character Profiles/Style Guide
Finished full colour artwork used for reference featuring each character and environment

-Narrative Script
A manuscript of the game's narrative

-Level Layout
Technical drawings of level layouts with notation

-Gameplay Demo
3d animated video simulating gameplay featuring special moves, environment interaction, HUD etc.

-Game Intro
Time permitting, a 2D animated (mainly after effects) into to the game. Not intended to be a final product but used for refernce/pitch.

Currently broke so I haven't got the game design book yet but my tax return should clear soon. I am planning on watching 30-40 western films over the coming weeks to really get to grips with the narrative of westerns. I've started the script but I feel like I need a thorough education.

Earlier this week I decided that there will be three main characters in the game that will all be played at different stages through three stand alone chapters (a'la Sin City [film]) which could be released seperately. Episodic content is being tried in some games successfully (Half Life 2, Penny Arcade's On The Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness) as it is a way to release games faster and cheaper. Anyway the three characters you will play are The Cowboy, The Vagrant and The Law. I spent most of today researching weaponry. The Cowboy will use two heavily modified three-shot pistols similar to Smith & Wesson style revolvers combined with a martial arts style that's Capoeira crossed with Parkour. The Vagrant will use an animalistic style of hand-to-hand featuring Kung-Fu Tiger/Dragon/Eagle style strikes and wrestling throws. The Law uses a silver plated Mauser KAR98K with scope and a brutal twin-dagger style of hand-to-hand using a pair of Indian Pichangatti. My ideas for special abilities is stemming from their armaments...

More tomorrow. Promise.

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