Sunday, 2 October 2011
The nursery rhymes and Grimm Fairy Tales are excellent starting points, as the characters are all recognisable straight away. The fun begins when you start to subvert the plots and/or exaggerate the characters. It is all too easy to imagine a twisted, emaciated Big Bad Wolf, stalking the player through a claustrophobic forest, or a well forever abandoned due to a haunting by Jack and Jill.
In contrast, the other folk tales are less well known, however they contain far more macabre events and creatures than the stories we know and love, and all of them would make fine additions to a fairy tale game. Highlights include the Czech story of Otesánek - a tree root shaped like a human child, which never stops growing with an insatiable hunger, consuming everything it can - or the Scandinavian jötnar. Trolls and giants of incredible strength.
I will be delving into all these things in more detail in the future, exploring how each one can bring further inspiration and enrich my ideas.
Title: Jak and Daxter
Plot Overview: Jak and Daxter are two best friends to must use their platforming skills to collect power cells and eco in a mad quest to save the world from darkness.
Analysis: I studied Jak and Daxter mostly due to its fantastic overall feel. Graphically it was bright and cheery but, due to dark eco corruption, each area still had a definite feeling of menace. This is the sort of graphical style I am looking at – bright and chunky, as befits a fairy tale world of magic and adventure, but also with a dark edge to it – the cautionary moral with a sting in its tail.
Jak and Daxter also used humour brilliantly, with the Daxter sidekick providing a number of excellent puns and quips. This is something I want to include.
Plot Overview: John Matrix must single handedly kill his way through an army of terrorists to save his daughter.
Analysis: I did not select this film alone, although it is probably the perfect example of such. Many films from the 80s/ early 90s followed a similar format – the lone badass takes on the world and triumphs, usually with a hilarious one liner at the end of each victory. I wanted to capture this feeling with my game idea – ideally the player should believe they are John Matrix, making up their own one liners when the game does not provide.
Title: Duke Nukem Forever
Plot Overview: Duke Nukem is back to kill some aliens and save some babes. Again.
Analysis: I looked at this game, not to get inspiration, but to learn what NOT to do. I want to create an anti hero, full of bad taste and one liners. What I do NOT want to do is create a wholly unlikable character, fill him full of steroids and sexist jokes, and then turn him loose in a world that no longer has room for one dimensional meatheads like Duke.
Description: The protagonist is King Charming’s younger brother. He does not fit the “handsome prince” mould at all. He is squat, balding, and sports a scruffy beard. He was sent away by the king of Everland to lead his armies in the North. The young prince has spent many years holding back the dark forces of the insane Sorcerer besieging the lands. During this time he has honed his combat skills, and is feared as a force to be reckoned with.
An anti-hero, his fondness for combat leads many to question his judgement, but beneath the harsh exterior lies the heart of a young man who yearns to serve his country. And bring home the gold, of course.
Three Word Summary: Loud, Sarcastic, Violent
Inspiration: Monkey (Enslaved). Captain Price (Modern Warfare). John Matrix (Commando).
Description: King Charming. The protagonist’s older brother. Tall and imposing, brusque and impossibly well groomed, the older Prince is a ruthless, cutthroat despot. He tricked his father into sending his brother away, he killed his father and took the throne and he incited a civil war while doing so. It was King Charming that invited in the darkness and began the corruption of Everland. He is not a very nice person at all.
Merciless and hedonistic, the King considers no vice too bizarre, and will stop at nothing to prevent his brother from returning to his kingdom. He is no coward either – stand up to this bully and he will only hit you harder.
Three Word Summary: Ruthless, Vicious, Cunning.
Inspiration: Logan (Fable 3). Revolver Ocelot (Metal Gear Solid). Gustavo Fring (Breaking Bad).
I chose this genre after much deliberation and research. Although I found exploring the horror genre interesting - particulary a study into which games frighten us the most - it eventually transpired that I simply had more to work with in the Fairy Tale genre. I felt I could work with and subvert existing fairy tales and nursery rhymes, turning them into a believable world filled with both wonders and horrors.
Overview: 3rd Person Action/Adventure
I settled on this decision after toying with the idea of both a first person exploration based game, and more puzzle oriented "point and click" style adventure. I felt that a first person action adventure will help showcase the world being created, and help players with a sense of immersion. The addition of both puzzles and combat will help create a real sense of urgency - the the world the player has found themselves in is both strange and dangerous.
Plot: After a botched battle in the frozen north, the younder brother of Prince Charming, controlled by the player, sounds the retreat, making plans to return to Everland and pass on the grave news.
On his arrival home however, he finds it a much darker place than when he left. His father, the king, is dead - Murdered by Prince Charming. Charming has seized the throne, and is abusing its power to fuel his own hedonistic desires. Civil War is brewing, and the Prince must fight his way through his own homeland in an attempt to bring peace back to Everland.