Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Down to business

Okay, I think I should leave off digital painting for this project and keep it as something to practice in my spare time. It seems like something that takes a long while to learn and experimenting with a completely new medium I've barely used when doing a new project probably isn't the best idea. I may try to work any good digital paints I DO manage into the project, but I'm going to stick with what I'm good at for bashing through the work.

The form of the project will be a mock 'Let's Play'. 'Let's Play' is a concept I really like, as it's basically a bunch of screenshots or a video with a commentary, either written or spoken depending on the format which takes you through a playthrough of a game. Some are humorous, mocking bad or strange game elements, making humorous asides or playing the game in an eccentric way on purpose, others are serious and straightforward. You can find loads of them here:
I love the concept of LP, because sometimes I have limited time or don't have the console or the game never came out here, or it's just too difficult or a horror game (as I have mentioned before I am a complete wuss and lose all playing skill and control when scared so can't play horror games, but like to watch others play them!), but I really want to know what happens in the game and the storyline. Some of them, like the 'Knights of the Old Republic 2' LP even give storyline commentary, pointing things out, as well as including reconstructions of content cut from the game, and showing conversations which are hard to get due to requiring high empathy with certain characters.
I suppose as a person, I enjoy watching others play games just as much, sometimes more than I like to play them myself. My brother tends to call me a 'walking instruction manual' since I tend to learn every aspect surrounding a game, and always know what to do, I'm just not great at playing them. Sometimes you notice game design aspects more when watching a game than playing it anyway, because you don't have to concentrate and can look around from a more objective perspective.

I'll be making the screenshot type, but of course, the screenshots will be fake, like a storyboard with descriptions. This will hopefully give the reader a good idea of what a playthrough of the game would be like. How it would play, what sort of thing would happen etc. It plays to my strong areas as a comic artist, and illustrates the game concept, as it's a subtle game involving reading clues and picking up information. Simply saying the game is like this wouldn't quite get across the nuances.
I think I'll do the whole thing in black and white. It'll save time, print nicely and I think look quite atmospheric. The game itself wouldn't be in black and white, but I think I'd like to go for a very sparse aesthetic. I loved the minimalist approach of 'Radical Dreamers' a very obscure sequel to Chrono Trigger made for the Satellaview. You can download this game and a translation from Japanese for a snes emulator, and I recommend it. It's a text adventure with very minimalist graphics and music (the music is still awesome though, it's Mitsueda), which after the first play through, can be played multiple times for radically different story tangents, many comic, some sweet and one freaking scary!

The LP I'm making will illustrate a possible run. It's not a perfect run. The player works out the identity of the killer and a rough idea of how it was done, but doesn't get a lot of evidence. They visit every character though, to give a feel for the game as a whole.

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