‘Adaption’ Mini Brief Research – Blue beard concept and character ideas

Mini Brief – Design your own game

Blue beard

474px-Barbebleue

Bluebeard plot summary

Bluebeard is a rich figure who is feared by his community for his ugly appearance, which the most prominent feature to why people see him as ugly as he has a blue beard. Bluebeard has been married several times but as for what happened to his wives remains a mystery. This made woman not only nervous to see bluebeard due to his missing wives but his grotesque physical appearance was unappealing to most of the local woman. He confronted one of his neighbours and requested to marry one of her two beautiful daughters. Each disagreed so Bluebeard invited both daughters along with their mother to come stay in his large house for a few days to see if they would change their minds. Each day that they stayed, the daughters and the mother were deeply impressed with the range of entertainment that bluebeard had provided, from ball room dances to fishing trips, there was so much to do that the daughters could barely sleep as they enjoyed it so much.

Shortly after this, the youngest daughter makes the decision that bluebeard isn’t as bad as once thought and takes the opportunity to marry bluebeard and gain a lifetime of happiness. About a month after the marriage took place, Bluebeard announces that he is to go away for a short while and requests for his new wife to look after the house. He gives her all the keys for the house and explains that each key opens each door in the house containing his many treasures, but there is one room that she must never enter no matter the circumstance. She vows that she will not step foot inside that one room, and he proceeds to leave. Shortly after, the young wife decides to explore each room until there is only but one room, the one she vowed she would not enter. She goes against her husband’s wishes and decides to enter the room; once inside she is stunned to discover the rotting corpses of his previous wives hanging from hooks on the walls. She leaves the room in haste and discovers blood on the key which she tries to frantically wash off but it would not budge. She contacts her sister who stays with her inside the house while she collects her belongings and as she quickly attempts to flee, Bluebeard arrives home sooner than expected. Both sisters run to the top of the castle and bolt themselves in, while Bluebeard begins to break down the door the sisters call out for their brothers in hope they would soon hear. Just before Bluebeard breaks down the door, The brothers enter the castle and slaughter Bluebeard for his crimes and both sisters manage to escape the castle. Due to the only heir to Bluebeards riches is the wife she makes the decision to split the money between her family and uses her remaining money to find a wealthy husband and lived happily ever after.

My game idea

My game idea will begin as you are a young woman who is sold to an ugly, monstrous madman who, without your consent, had to marry despite previous attempts to flee. You have chosen that you wish to escape the house he has locked you in for many years. You have been missing from your family for a large period of your life and you wish to return home and must complete a set amount of tasks in order to escape your prison and to find the location of your family which only ‘Bluebeard’ knows. My game is a modern take on the bluebeard tale but has an alternate ending, rather than you being saved and killing bluebeard, he keeps you locked in his domain for what seems an eternity.

References to the original Bluebeard tale

The one door you must never enter – In the original tale you are vowed to never enter the one door within the house, in my game you will have to enter the one door despite being requested not to as you are unsure what will occur within the room if you do enter, but this later appears to be your only exit so you find a key and enter the room.

Bluebeard – ‘Bluebeard’ who is known as Ben within my game idea, has a very similar personality but a different background in order to amplify his bad qualities further to create a man would could be described to have ‘no soul’.

Money – Another similarity is the obvious amount of wealth that Ben has which again relates to the original tale as he was clearly wealthy.

Character ideas

Bluebeard

My character for Bluebeard will be called Ben ‘Blue’ Miller. He is 37 years old and has a history of mental health issues and has committed a large series of crimes which were mysteriously never dealt with. He is described as a thin, tall individual with a bright blue beard and messy matted hair which masks his face. He has his own underground base hidden from the public eye which he calls his ‘home’ and is full to the brim with expensive stolen furniture and gold. I have used several references to the Bluebeard tale when developing my character ideas as I have kept his iconic blue beard, I intend to design him as a repulsive character to look at with a creepy aesthetic

Anne Smith

Anne Smith is a 21-year-old girl who was kidnapped by a gang of thieves at the age of 17 and sold to Ben ‘Blue’ Miller. She is a short, curvy woman who has grown quiet over her last few years of captivity but despite that her anger has kept her alive long enough to finally escape once and for all.  She will have long, thin, dull hair which I will design to show her struggle but I will use her eyes to show how much life she has as a character. I intend to post concept designs of both characters before settling on a final design in particular regarding Anne as I have a range of ideas for her.

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Architecture for a Games Designer

As a young inspired creative, I appreciate architecture in its many forms and can begin to understand the importance and value of using appropriate designs accordingly when designing architecture. Lately, when looking at well thought out and unique designs i have never considered really to how the artist came to be inspired to create such a piece and who there influences actually were. In Gareth’s lesson we spoke about the vision of such writers like H.P. Lovecraft and how he describes cities in such a masterful nightmare-like way, that allows artists to be inspired his books and to visually create nightmare-like cities and buildings as described. This was influential to artists as it gave them muse to create architecture design and express the same emotion in their own pieces just as H.P. Lovecraft did for them. In regards to my point made earlier, I have never honestly considered what artists I will turn to if asked within a brief to create a particular architectural piece during a certain era or with a particular style. On that note, I have decided that every weekend I will post a small blog posts looking into one artist such as an architect that I like for one reason or another so that overtime my library of information will grow and flourish as will I, which in turn will benefit me as a creative.

During Gareth’s lesson, we address the matter of having some knowledge of architecture and its importance to our discipline as when given a client brief we need to be able to quickly understand the client so they can get what they want, and so that we can understand what it is they are looking for. We discussed a range of different architectural styles and each one I intend to research more in depth as this lesson made me come to terms with the idea that my current knowledge in regards to architectural history and styles is rather limited. These are as follows:

  • Roman Architecture
  • Egyptian Architecture
  • Art Deco
  • Art Nouveau
  • Japanese Architecture
  • Chinese Architecture

Casual gaming proposal

As part of our ‘casual gaming’ module, we were asked to create an idea for a casual game. I wanted a game which was humorous and could provide up to hours of entertainment. One game like this in particular I enjoy is ‘Happy Wheels’. This game uses really simple limited keyboard controls so it is simplicity is one key factor to why it would be good to look at a game such as Happy Wheels for inspiration.

Image

I have chosen to make my game a birdseye view as I believe this would allow me to meet the timescales of my project, as this would mean I could use limited background and concentrate on whats actually going on in the game. My games concept was difficult to choose but I decided that my game would be a puzzle game. The game will have small levels so they will be quick to completely but there will be a large range of playable levels which you will advance to once completing the previous one. The levels will start off easy and progress to extremely difficult. The idea for my game is that you must complete the level by making it past obstacles and collecting bonus items along the way which would add to your overall score. The game will not have a story behind it due to this being a casual game that anybody can simply pick up and play. My target market for this game would be ages 16+ due to the content within the game (constant horrific bloody deaths) although this game isn’t meant to be violent as it is a comedy game.

Casual Games research

Casual game

What is a casual game?

A casual game is a game aimed at a mass audience of people who enjoy casual games. Casual games can fit any gameplay and genre and are seen as casual games due to their simplistic rules, lack of necessary commitment and need to specialist skills in order to play. Casual games are normally found to be played on the PC but are becoming increasingly popular on a range of platforms such as mobile phones and game consoles.

Casual games still have a pull which lures a once untapped audience into picking up a Wii controller and bonding with games while still being able to walk away from a game like it was something that had been normal to do.  This untapped audience was seen as the set of individuals who would not usually consider themselves ‘gamers’ and would never dream of becoming committed to a typical game which involved long hours and commitment, but yet there was a market for these gamers known as casual gaming. This is described perfectly by Jesper Jull in his book ‘A Casual Revolution‘ in which he states;

‘and these non-players of video games had been enthralled
by the physical activity of the simple sports games, had enjoyed
themselves, and had even asked that the video game be brought along
for the next gathering. What was going on?
When I dug a little deeper, it turned out that many of the people I
thought were not playing video games in fact had a few games stored
away on their hard drives. These were not shooting games or big adventure
games, but smaller games—matching tile games, games about running
restaurants, games about finding hidden objects in pictures, and, of
course, Solitaire. These players did not fit any stereotype of the adolescent
male video game player. ‘

There is a huge range of different causal games available such as Pac-man, Tetris, Farmville, Mafia Wars, Wii play and Freecell. The first game to be considered a casual game was Pac-man which was developed and published by Namco. This game has said to have been played over 10 billion times, selling over 100.000 units its first year and is still a major hit today even having its own song made by Buckner  and Garcia due to the success of the game.


Following Pac Man’s succession was the creation of the gameboy in 1989, and was sold with Tetris as a bundle.  This grew extremely popular and allowed casual gaming portable access with games such as Tetris which could be taken anywhere. 1990 saw the creation of Microsoft solitaire which was provided with every copy of Microsoft windows, and soon after this casual gaming began to move online with similar games such as bingo, cards, puzzles and trivia. This was a major advancement in casual games as it allowed people to challenge each other on games such as Bejeweled through high scores, it also allowed people to connect with each other by bonding using games as a tool. 2006 gave us the Wii which was a part of the growing market of casual console based gaming with hit titles such as Carnival: FunFair games.  During 2008 is when we began to see the popularity with social network games after the release of Happy farm which also lead to the creation of hit Facebook games such as Farmville and Mafia Wars.

In order for a game to be a casual game it must have particular characteristics.

Casual games are/must…

  1. be cheap or free to play, often some games can pay to use extras yet offer a core free game.
  2. be easy to walk in and out of, no commitment needed.
  3. be entertaining
  4. not be serious
  5. contain social aspects although this is not always a factor and has been somewhat of a more recent characteristic
  6. have simplistic controls and rules so its easy to play if its new to you
  7. be easy to access; for example its downloaded onto your mobile phone
  8. be visually attractive (for example a game like Farmville has a bright, cartoony and cute visual style)
  9. have a simple storyline, if any, so that it can be taken on board quickly
  10. make sure that the player is constantly rewarded
  11. have tons of levels but the levels are short and sweet
  12. have achievements for completing certain rounds or playing for a number of days
  13. be logical

Photoshop: Further research

I began to experiment within Photoshop in order to create my own artwork through tools and skills I learned through my previous lesson. I began my process by drawing out a dragon using a standard HB pencil on a plain A5 sheet of sketch paper within my sketchbook. I then proceeded to bring that image into Photoshop and cropped around my image and deleted all surrounding unwanted construction lines by using the magic wand tool to select all the excess and simply pressed delete.  I used the curve tool within Photoshop to darken my final lines in order to make them become more noticeable. After this, I began to add a layer for each different part of my picture, for example when I was colouring the horns of my dragon I would colour this on a separate layer. The reason I did this was so I could alter my image at any point if I didn’t like a particular part without having to create the whole image again. I made sure that I set my paint brush to ‘multiply’ so that I was able to still see my key lines while painting. This was my before and after since scanning my image and my current result.

before and after

At this point I thought I was happy with my image but looking at it closer I was not satisfied with the horns on my dragon due to the lack of scales, it made it appear odd to me so I decided to import a texture within Photoshop and paint this onto the horns to make it look how I wanted to; This was my final result after merging my layers together. My previous lesson did play a major part for my ability to now create something to this level as previously I had no direction or knowledge to use Photoshop in this manner. It has given me full intention to allow my Photoshop skills to grow in particular as it is a major interest to me.

Dragon with scales2

Creating an online presence

In the lecture today we began to discuss online presence and how effective it is if applied correctly. Gareth compared our online presence as a ‘carbon footprint’ and that we should use this effectively in order to create an online presence of our own. In particular, this would be great for freelancing opportunities as I develop my skills in hope they soon reach ‘professional quality’. We spoke about updating our blogs on a regular basis,  this made me think about how slow and uncommitted I had been previously to updating my social platforms such as Twitter, so adjusting to this is of vital importance.

We were questioned to why this was of importance during our classroom discussion and we settled in the understanding that without a platform to voice and express yourself online, then we would be unable to promote ourselves and get noticed. So the internet allows us to communicate our ideas, paintings, drawings and discussions in order to get noticed, communicate with each other and to also educate those who are interested in the particular field and to get them to take note of who you are and what you can do. If we are to use the web space available effectively, than getting viewers to look at your work is a more likely to be a possibility then previously thought. By utilizing the available space and making the most of the available tools then we can express ourselves in many different aspects for a small fee (or usually free). By using the idea of owning an online web space, we can reflect on our own work but also receive criticism from our audience in order to prefect our own to improve our developing skills. Gareth mentioned about the use of hash tags within social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and how they use this facility in order to group relevant information together. Thinking about this more made me realize that if I created a Facebook group for my designs, then I could use the hash tag facility in order to group my work with relevant information so that a particular audience would be able to discover my works and so they can discover me as an artist.

Using other platforms such as DeviantArt to show my art amongst other creatives in order to not only to view other creatives art but to hear feedback on my own, in particular constructive criticism. This is effective as it allows you to take interest in yourself and see your art not only for how you see it but learn and understand what it means to others.  Other methods of how I can express myself include; blogs, web logs, business cards, hard copy portfolio and word of mouth.  We ended the session typically but this lesson made me realize I need to begin getting myself out there on a wider platform.

Cats Week 4: Introduction to Modernism

What is Modernism?

407px-Old_guitarist_chicago
Well, Modernism is the experience and expression of modern life. During the 19th centery (roughly 1880-1960), this was huge as people needed something different and with artists such as Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh expressing the modernism movement in a wide vierty of ways such as Impressionism, Cubism, Bauhaus, Surrealism, Futurism, Pop Art and Op Art. It broke away from traditional art and allowed us to experiment with art as previously art had always been ‘traditional’ and usually rather literal in terms of representing its subject.

During our session, we defined a series of key terms such as:

Modernity: The experience of modern life

Modernisation: The process of change that causes ‘Modernity’

Modernism: The reaction to the experience of modernity in the cultural sphere (Positive/Negative)

we also learned that modernism is debatable, negotable of what is new and modern, what is just simply not while also being driven by innovation.There are several factors that help define modernism such as;

  • Industrialisation
  • Social changes
  • New technologies and scientific advances
  • Political changes

Industrialisation:

Industrialisation began in the UK during the 18th century and by the 20th century East Asia has been the most recent to begin its industrialisation process. Industrialisation meant that bigger and better cities were being constructed, and as a knock on effect to this more jobs were being created which meant that lots more people had some form of work. Families now having work allowed us to see the rise in consumerism so to meet this demand new methods of mass production were introduced in order to meet the growing need. An example of this would be that it included a cheaper abundance of skilled labour and new materials. Industrialisation was also the transitioning period from where we began to step away from products created by a single individual to a range of people creating particular aspects of a product. Ideas such as fordism and taylorism were introduced during this period and drastically effected the ways that we consume. Fordism was described as ‘the eponymous manufacturing system designed to spew out standardized, low-cost goods and afford its workers decent enough wages to buy them’. As for Taylorism, it is known to be the idea of a process of management which would enhance workflow and productivity.

Social changes:

Some of the social changes included an increase in urbanism, leasure and allowed us to experience a wide range of different leasuire activities as some grew to be more popular then others such as cricket. Due to people having more money allowed people to really dive into consumerism and purchase forms of entertainment or leasuire.

New technologies and scientific advances:

If anything, one of the most notable factors of the 19th century was new technologies and scientific advances. This noted the beginning or major evolution of a huge range of things such as photography, transport, electricity, travel and speed, scientic theories and major advances in art materials. Photography has allowed us to capture an image in order to later reference from it, using it as a visual tool. Futurism is an artistic movement of expression of what our future may look like, which allowed modernism to express itself; especially in regards to displaying speed and movement.

300px-GBallaArt

This futurism art piece was created by Giacomo Balla and its entitled ‘Abstract speed + sound’ (1913-1914).

Political changes:

Challanges with traditional authority during the 20th century with major global scale wars like WW1 and WW2  effected art majorly as seen in paintings such as Christopher Nevinson’s – Paths of glory as it expressed how modernist artists were feeling at that time. During this period, there were strong nationalist feelings, fascism and communism which all had a part to play during the modernist movement as seen in works such as El Lissitzky, Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge, 1919-1920 which was a  propoganda poster that showed the bolsheviks defeating the white movement.

Artwork_by_El_Lissitzky_1919

SketchUp 04/11/2013

Here is a video of a podium I attempted to make within SketchUp, this was an experimental piece as I was learning to use a small range of tools within this software as I was new to me. I used a range of tools such as scale, move, polygon, push/pull, get models, pan and paint bucket. I will post a larger post about SketchUp later once I have began to understand the software better, I will also include explanations on each of the tools.

3D character design idea

Researching into possible ideas for my character design, I stumbled upon the steam punk fashion and thought I could use a steam punk theme for my design. I like this particular style as it very unique and facinating to the eye, steam punk for those who are unfamilar is inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century.

steampunksteampunk2steampunk3steampunk4

While looking at a large range of images which related to steam punk, I made my final decision which was that I was going to use this style within my design somehow, even if only slightly; for example an accessory such as a necklace or bangle.

metalheart

I made the decision to create a female character with a reserved personality as I have been drawn to an idea regarding two characters (Tiny Tina and Morrigan) but also I have always designed male characters so thought designing a female character would be a change for me and allows me to practice more in order to develop my skills further. I was unsure about the age range I wanted to base my character around, so I made the decision to play around with the age of my character during my design process. The reason I wanted to play around with age because the two characters who my designs will be based on are in two different age groups.

I want a mixture of Tiny Tina from Borderlands 2 and Morrigan from Dragonage: Origins. For those who are unfamiliar, Tiny Tina is a 13 year old explosives expert with a crazy, eccentric personality which really packs a punch considering her age and she LOVES to blow stuff up. She says pretty much anything crazy like “I’m a little teapot, bloody and cut! Here is my handle, here is my butt!’ to ‘Oh dayyyyyyyyum, you lookin good!’. Her clothes and her random style reflects her personality.

tiny_tina_by_lyn_ri-d5huc4h

(Image taken from DeviantArt, Created by Lyn-Ri http://lyn-ri.deviantart.com/art/Tiny-Tina-332299745)

As for Morrigan, she is a tame yet playful individual who seems to think highly of herself but without coming across as snobby, she is also a very lonely character but doesn’t like to show it due to her tough skin personality yet she doesn’t even let it bother her.

morrigan

I want to use these two characters personality and appearance to influence my character design so I can create a very loud, eccentric character with a tough skin personality who looks unique and can express her personality through her appearance.