Year Two has begun and today we received briefs for our first projects. While the overall subject is "Narrative and Character", the brief has been divided up into two separate projects. One will focus on narrative and the other on character development.
For the narrative project I have been paired with Vlad, Eva and Jack and given three words for a two-minute (maximum) story out of a location, a theme and an editing technique - all picked at random.
The three we got were "under the sea", "freedom" and "crossfade/parallel narrative", and one of the first things we considered was The Little Mermaid. Because of the editing technique however (where two perspectives are told side-by-side) we have to be telling two narratives at once so The Little Mermaid is perhaps too single-perspective to entirely work with a parallel narrative cut. But it is early days but it does sound like we might be trying to avoid things like cages, prisons or forms of confinement.
I had suggested the theme could be a mermaid (or a fish) and a diver, who were both eager to see the other world differently and may be jealous about the other's ability to explore an exotic world unhindered (the fish being able to explore the world beyond the sea and the diver being able to explore the deep deep sea without the need for a submersible). We did also talk about keeping our story open to interpretation about how freedom can sometimes be dangerous, but there is a lot still to refine.
The character project involves similar multiple-choice picked-at-random factors, the three I have chosen for the project (in order to make a game be it board, card or video) are "events", "collections" and "numeracy". What this means is that the game I will be set to be designing over the next 10 weeks will revolve around events such as holidays and celebrations, and factor in acquiring things and using arithmetic or logic skills. Although fortunately these words have been left open to interpretation.
One initial idea I considered for a theme based on a game around celebration (birthdays was one suggested event) was based on the mythology of Chinese New Year. The idea behind New Year's customs is based around the legend that a long time ago, around what is now Chinese New Year, a lion-like creature called Nian would emerge from the wilderness to eat and attack livestock and even people. The New Year traditions of firecrackers and red everywhere were said to be Nian's fears; loud noises and the colour red, which villagers would use to scare it off. So my first thoughts on a game would be one based in ancient China, where the player must gather the right items in their village to ward off an impending attack by Nian.
|Figure 1: A Nian puppet in Bangkok, Thailand|
|Figure 2: A statue of Nian within Beijing's Forbidden City.|
According to the page I discovered with Figure 1, mirrors are said to be useful for warding against bad spirits. It was believed the mirrors would expose the spirits to their own grotesque appearance, prompting them to flee in horror. Could mirrors be another possible collectible within the game?
I also used today to develop a set of ideas for the logos for my group's studio, Forge. I was keen to keep the logo simple, but clear. Something that was recognizable as a forge or a furnace but not too complicated. It's been passed around the group but so far while we have some idea, other ideas will be coming in before we settle on a final conclusion.
- Gehmann V, 2008; Bangkok, Chinese New Year - Customs Habits and Symbolism; Nations Online, Available at http://www.nationsonline.org/album/Chinese_New_Year/slides/China_Town_Bangkok_31.html (last accessed 22nd September 2015)
- Tariq, D., 2014; Chinese Festival Dragon Biography; Chinese Dragon Dance, available at http://chinesedragondance.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/chinese-festival-dragon-chinese-dragon.html (last accessed 22nd September 2015)
- Figure 1: Gehmann, V., 2008; [A Nian puppet in Bangkok, Thailand]; China Town Bangkok 31; available at http://www.nationsonline.org/album/Chinese_New_Year/slides/China_Town_Bangkok_31.jpg (last accessed 22nd September 2015)
- Figure 2: Tariq, D, 2014; [A statue of Nian within Beijing's Forbidden City]; A Chinese New Year Itinerary Main Special Interest And New Year China 48241241802792; available at http://www.onthegotours.com/repository/AChineseNewYearItineraryMainSpecialInterestAndNewYearChina-48241241802792_800_600.jpg (last accessed 22nd September 2015)