Summer Stuff: What I’m Doing

I was rummaging through my blog a few weeks ago to evaluate my progress throughout the first year at HSAD and I saw my practically unused character design for the character ‘Cerebral Knight‘ with a boatload of detail into the creation of the character. Seeing that I didn’t actually use the character whatsoever in said semester because of differing ideas, I began thinking again of the possibilities the character could bring and how I could actually use him in some form or another.

You see this character was ‘birthed’ from a previous summer where I became fixated with comic book ‘superhero’ characters and their creation, this in turn inspired me to start creating/writing characters, of which this one was given life. I designed him to be a Superman-esque inspired individual that was to be awed by everyone. I practically created my own lame Justice League/Avengers equivalent (Lame Justice?) with the concept of being ‘un-ordinarily weird’. And I liked it. They where relatable characters that I could envisage being in that same class of the JLA. But In the end, I realized how pointless most of them where. Most where carbon copies with minimalistic differences just with a different super power.

Then I started university, and my eyes where opened slightly wider on the scope of character creation. I stopped trying to create spectacular characters and really hunkered down in my thinking of things to envisage real people in extraordinary situations. Passing the time between finishing my first year and now, I’d been playing a lot of games. They’d given me a lot of inspiration and really started to help me in figuring out character purpose and design, and  it really got me thinking more about how I could use this to spur my own personal character design. (Those games in question: Arkham City, Remember Me & The Last of Us). So I started mixing things around (A Remember Me pun for anyone that’s played it). Taking aspects I thought where unique from different characters I created, throwing in some new things and pulling out a similar but entirely new idea.

Here’s the heaping mound of information I created about this character in my first semester: https://deadrift.wordpress.com/category/personal/

Now I’ve further developed the character (Of which I’ll reveal in another string of long boring posts), also changing some aspects but for the most part it’s practically the same person. The intention is fairly simple here, make a game about real people in an extraordinary situation. I’m not talking in the span of however many weeks it is until my second year of university begins from the moment of typing, the intention is a self-learning process to develop my creative ability on the fly.

The idea: A Non-linear Open World Action-Adventure RPG (Am I allowed to put an acronym on this and start calling it ‘NOWAAR’? (Forget the L, that looks cooler))

Is that too many genres or am I just losing it?

Anyway, think of a game like  Saints Row 2, strip away the unnecessary violence, implement RPG elements and add a superpowered flare to it, and that’ll most likely be closest to what I’m thinking of.

I’ll start dishing out backstories, character bio’s and other amazingly boring things before I start actually doing something substantial. This was more of an update to address my lack of posting being a result of thinking too much about this idea. Also expect a lot of discussion worthy posts and research additionally.

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‘Distortion’ – Evaluation

Overall i like where the game is at its current state. I can see the flaws with the game and can see what i did right. The implementation of something actually moving is definitely a step up from last time. My greater accomplishment would have to be the in-game navigation, it was a pain to implement and construct the collisions, but it was worth it for the experience. Additionally the 5 movable characters was something i liked and looks far more impressive, personally than a selectable solo character moving around the screen.

I didn’t quite get to grips with stopping the companions from colliding with the walls, this is because of how they follow the leading characters path from a distance and cannot be moved otherwise. Additionally i ran out of time to put actual building quality detail to the buildings as i was too busy messing around with other things. Also, the combat system is very rushed and lacking some coherency in the sense that the AI would only either attack constantly whilst also healing at times, something that’s only avoidable if i were to rebuild the combat system, something i didn’t have time to do.

Rebuilding the combat system and enforcing navigational properties would be the pivotal improvement points going forward. I’d like to also make the entire system more streamlined, currently it’s a massive collation and accumulation of if statements.

‘Distortion’ – Research

When i started with this idea, i had to ‘refresh’ my mind of various aspects of medieval history that encompasses King Arthur. In terms of the reflection of his identity i’ll be using throughout the game and concept, it’s my own iteration of it, yet i wanted as strong of a connection to original material as possible to create an authenticity about the lore. Obviously, bending time to my will literally gives me the creative license to change a few things and putting the game time in the future gives me the same luxury.

I knew from the get go, that i wanted to portray and address four specific characters in the game; Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot and Guinevere. Arthur and Merlin have this distinct bond in media that practically binds them together and i wanted to portray Arthur as young as possible to show the bond these two have. I also wanted an Arthur that was absent from his rivalry with Lancelot, in the sense that this Arthur has yet to meet Lancelot, whereas the Lancelot that is meddling with time is more than familiar with Arthur’s older self. A pivotal aspect of the lore is the Guinevere and Lancelot angle, in most literature, there’s speculation or distinct claim that the queen herself was an adulteress with Lancelot, i wanted to address this and make it into an angle that would steer the plot.

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“Was Arthur a true, historical figure or only a hero of legend? This is truly up to each and every one of us to decide for ourselves. Arthur represents a man who was the epitome of good against evil, light against darkness, and that eternal, never-ending struggle between what is right and that which is wrong.”

Quote from kingarthursknights.com

Bringing this aspect of Arthur & Merlin, i wanted to flip the history books around and have Arthur be pit against the Knights of The Round. This then plays on the youthful aspect of Arthur as i don’t believe the elder Arthur, untainted by my history changes would so easily turn on the Knights (The elderly King Arthur is being portrayed as a tyrant. The ethos of the story is Arthur being showed at his future and changing it)

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Here’s an excellent depiction i found whilst researching of the extent of the Knights of The Round and the supporting characters. Now within the game, i don’t expect that hunting down every single member of the group would benefit character development whatsoever, so for the sake of the game only a slect number of Knights will appear in the future as a kind of ‘inner circle’. Most will be secondary antagonists with some representing the rift between their leader and their original allegiance to Arthur.

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I really wanted to portray Morgan Le Fay (Arthur’s half-sister, who generally is portrayed as an antagonist towards him) within the game, yet not have her appear as unfriendly as the Knights. Here is where i coined the idea of having her disguised as a local of London, who just so happens to ‘stumble’ into Arthur after he goes on a recruitment spree. I wanted the brother-sister dynamic to be portrayed without the indication there of her actual identity to show the potential sibling connection between the two, but also to have her show her true colours near to the end of the game.

Bibliography

King Arthur & The Knights of the Round Table | History, Legend and Everything in Between. 2013. King Arthur & The Knights of the Round Table | History, Legend and Everything in Between. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.kingarthursknights.com/. [Accessed 12 May 2013].

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. 2013. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/king-arthur-knights-round-table-1.htm. [Accessed 12 May 2013].

‘Distortion’ – London: Canary Wharf – Initial Level Sketch

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The basic premise of this level sketch was to give an intial map of the entire game area. The area is intended to be reminiscent of London, specifically the Canary Wharf area. I wanted an area of London that was distinctly familiar, but not to play into this ‘tourist’ aspect of time travel by having Big Ben or any other landmark in play.

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From research, here are a couple of images of the real-life version of Canary Wharf. I chose this area specifically because i wanted this near-waterside aspect, to reflect a possible dystopic atmosphere created within the game. This would be portrayed by a city lockdown that wouldn’t allow the player to move past the area indicated in the sketch, but would allow the player to view upon the chaos over the water.