Entering the second week of my first term I formed a team with 3 others in order to create our first Graduate Year piece of work. So far the ideation process has gone very well and we’ve come up with about 50 viable and completable ideas that we might enter in several animation competitions around the world.
After we developed some of our ideas a little more thoroughly I started creating mood boards for a few of them to see where we we could take the stories and also how we might develop the characters and style in any ideas we would use.
For our idea set during the Salem Witch Trials we thought it would be interesting to create a full game with an explorable environment. We wanted to create a small isolated village surrounded by a forest with several small glades and clearings in which we could set the action of the game. I came across several images of worlds built with in books and that gave me the idea of possibly building our environment inside of something else such as a bible or a hollowed out tree. For the story itself I wanted to create a sense of isolation for our protagonist by beginning the game with the player having to escape from the village without being caught by the other villagers as they try to stone the character. After escaping the village there would be a brief time lapse with in which time the character would have built a small hut in the forest and be fending for herself. The player would start by playing through a few mundane tasks such as collecting fire wood and water, but as they play it becomes apparent that something sinister is stalking the character accused of being a witch. Dark figures and deformed creature begin to appear in the forest around the house she built, the wood she gathered is stolen and animal skulls start appearing on her windowsills and on her front porch.
To end the game the character would eventually have to venture into the forest and face whatever creatures lurk with in there. When the character faces them it is revealed that her tormentors are the villagers from before, tormenting her by wearing animal skulls and masks.
We also created an idea set in a futuristic cyber punk landscape. The story was to be based around that of Little Red Riding Hood and just be an animated story with no interactive features. The landscape was to be made up of cyborg parts and other robotic features. I created Red as a somewhat androgynous cyborg character wearing a mask and a long cloak. Red was to move through the dark back alleys of the landscape while the wolf (also wearing a mask) stalked them and corroded the technology around their character. The wolf was to have a negative impact on the environment, lights would turn off around them and metal would corrode.
At the end of the animation Red would turn on the wolf and attack smashing their robotic body apart and build some of the wolfs pieces back into the environment. This ending may be too dark so I’d like to look into developing it and changing it.
Train To Wonderland, was one of my favourite ideas and revolved around the concept that a mundane train journey could become something wondrous when seen through another perspective. The story would begin with an older gentleman boarding a train, the environment and the man would be in black and white or sepia tones as he makes his way to a seat and settles himself with a newspaper for the journey ahead. As the train is about to depart a young boy and his mother quickly hop onto the train smiling at each other quickly settling on a seat near the man but not beside him nor directly opposite him. Once they have settled the mother pulls several toys out of her bag and hands them to the young boy. The train has now pulled out of the station and through the window behind the older man we see the back and white landscape of fields and a few trees. Continuing to read his newspaper, the older man doesn’t look out at the landscape as it sweeps by behind him. The young boy starts playing with airplanes making engine sounds with his mouth and moving the planes through the air in front of him. As he does this a pair of planes appear in the window behind the older man and fly in loop the loops across the the sky behind him before eventually flying out of the scene. Similar scenes take place as the boy plays with all of his toys and the more he plays the more notice the older man takes of the images playing out behind him in the window. As he watches the child’s imagination come to life colour seeps into the train and the man until the entire scene is bright and vibrant.
One of the final ideas we developed was to create a runner game in which a soldier has to run through WW1 trenches and escape from various enemies an possibly some supernatural threats such as zombies. We liked the idea of the runner game being interspersed with explorable rooms in which gory scenes would be laid out that would eventually explain to the player the story of why the soldier is alone in an abandoned trench being chased by unknown forces.