Thursday, September 30, 2010
So far I have pulled several aspects of symbolism, when I think about the representations of a society within a fantasy realm. I think the methods of symbolism are incredibly relevant to fantasy, not only because some symbolist work has fantastical pursuits, but also because of the suggestive nature of symbolist work. I strongly believe that in order to be invested in the fantasy genre, it requires some degree of imagination and creativity, suggestive imagery is the catalyst for provoking inner narratives and would be a very important aspect to fueling the imagination.
So this aspect of visual theory might be applicable to the drawings which characterize representations. Seurat, a famous symbolist artist (although he would not like to be classified as such) has some good theories on the manipulation of mood. For one, most of his works did an excellent job of using filters, some overarching color pallate which influenced an entire portion of the canvas, even though there would be blues in one section they still maintained a warm and red tone. Another prominant aspect of his work is manipulating the flow in order to communicate sorrow, fear, or perhaps joy and gaiety. The diagrams in the book explain more.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
(untitled) is a multiplayer video game which provides interactions to provoke more powerful narrative and creative elements between players in order to enrich gameplay and validate the use of genre. The genre which I am particularly interested in adapting in this manor is the fantasy genre, on which has a keen focus on geography, global conflict, cultures, adventure, and the supernatural. (untitled) will allow players to participate in the fantasy world by playing in generated worlds, controlling numerous forces, establishing a society to drive your actions, coming into contact with interesting locations, and interacting with supernatural elements.
Having a background emerging from folklore, mythology, and elements from all over our history, the fantasy genre almost demands that a mythos be given to every location, every war, every character. From this a history (and the worlds largest fan fictions), emerge to fill the in the gaps in timeline and playfully frolic around the major story originally at the center of the universe. It is a shame to see genre’s get stretched like skin over preset game molds, because when fantasy themes are exploited in this manner, it overlooks the genre’s strengths and does not utilize the talents of those interested in it. By definition, those who are interested in fantasy are interested in history, geography, and storytelling all of which have potential to be creative. So this game allows players to utilize these talents, during play, and outside of play (when one might customize a map to use for play).
Players will play in generated worlds: As the experiences of players will be unique, so the physical geography itself will be able to take a random form. This will allow for players to be granted a canvas for interaction if they wish to be given one. As well the tools for specific world generation will be available, being able to create continents and landforms in the shapes which they desire.
Execution of Generated worlds: The world is represented through a map, the current shape of this map is square, however the continental shape is varied. The map is quantified into nodes, a grid of smaller squares which are one of 5 different land types,
As the player moves through this grid, the land type influences that players ability to fight, defend, travel swiftly, and relay information like enemy troop position and whatnot.
Players will participate in global conflict: Players are given a settlement placed within the world, which has to compete for allegiance with other settlements in order to maintain resources. In this transaction, alliances will form along with conflict. This will also be a more intricate situation with the addition of “information”. War in our history rarely came down to numbers, it was more about the positioning, the experience, the leadership, and the overall image of the force. Sometimes the stories around the actions of an army were more powerful then the force itself. Those stories influenced political decisions and the moral of opposing forces.
Execution of Global conflict: players will be awarded with troops depending on how they distribute their resources and allegiances. They can then use these forces to traverse through the world to win back resources, explore a ruin for some lost magic, to insight a movement against other players, or to strategically block travel routs to manipulate resources.
Players will be able to craft a society: To shed some light on this aspect, we need to examine what makes a society. Some major aspects which vary from society to society are government, technologies, appearance, and most importantly location and the unique regional resources it provides. These are some aspects at face value, because at some point later these societies are influenced by global events and interactions between societies.
Execution of society crafting: Players will be able to craft their people in a number of different ways. Because you are essentially role playing an entire civilization, I found it important that the player be in control of primarily one solid settlement (this is to reduce the amount of multitasking between locations, and to increase the focus on customization).
Structure-This settlement could be a fortified castle, a cityscape, an elaborate collection of underground real estate, or a group of nomads with the ability to go mobile.
Technology-Mainly what your society is interested in be it the economy, religion, militant practices, magical research. All of these aspects are a different technological pursuits which can be reached in combination or in solo. These are obtained as “rooms” an action when you as a player decide to contextualize the structure and space which you have created. Below on my blog is a chart of possible rooms which can be created, each has a value and every player can invest a certain amount into each technology, creating equal combinations.
Appearance- Players can modify the adaptations of their race in order to create a back story to the society. Investing in different aspects of the humanoid form allow you to tweak the appearance and strengths of your people. Some aspects or abilities for example would be strength, endurance, agility, or some mental aspects of wisdom, vigor, vigilance.
Location - Players can chose the location of their settlement. This determines their preferred geological environment to fight in, and the contexts of their societal development. Location will essentially determine what they will interact with and what problems might face them. It can also act as a modifier to the image of your society, so someone who is located around the top of the map might encounter snowy environments, this makes them commonly wear white animal pelts and have pale skin.
Players can explore interesting locations: Exploration is an element to the game because narrative in an important part of the game. Since the players are traversing and living in a world riddled with events created by the players, and some remains of societies past, these reinforce a history to the geography. The worlds will be inhabited by players, computer towns (a resource) and perhaps grand magical backstory. For instance imagine that you as a player position your settlement on top of a mountain just bordering a huge crater which encompasses a large area. What kind of catastrophic event could explain such a geographic implant? If the player sends a group of units into the crater, perhaps they come across a ruin which has left clues to this situation. Exploration of locations influenced by history could become relevant to the present tense because these clues you find in the ruin could lead you down a path which could eventually grant you the ability to create craters of your own, maybe right on top of an enemy.
Supernatural elements: The genre promotes the magical. It sets the stage for an environment detached from the reality we are bound to everyday. This is an exciting aspect to me and allowing players to fuel this fantastical environment is essential to narrative development.
Monday, September 6, 2010
I recently got into a few ted talks about gaming, one was suggested to me.