Well, for this project I've decided to do the concept art for a Nintendo 3DS game, much like Final Fantasy III, Dragon Quest IX, Bravely Default...etc. the kind of game with a turn-base battle system where you control 3 or 4 characters through the world and fight against monsters and 'the bad guys'. I'm doing this project because I wanted to put into practise what I had learnt from my dissertation (Which was about building character and how with the aid of narrative we can perceive an otherwise villainous character as a protagonist). What I learnt was that what makes a character so likeable (or unlikeable) is the choices they make. Our lives are defined by the choices we make and it forms us as a person; our choices basically reveal our true selves to the outside world. I kept thinking over and over about maybe putting this into practise somehow, and I came up with this caption - "The choices you make and the actions you take will alter the path of your fate" - and the idea for my major project was born - a game where you can ultimately become a bad guy based on the choices you make.
I love fantasy games, especially games with a good story and well-rounded characters. However, after years of playing these games I've found myself getting a little bogged down by one, small thing - no matter what, I am always the good guy. At the end of the game when the big bad boss is defeated, you as the player (and the characters) are, in essence, the good guys. Congratulations; you've beaten the game and proven that you're better than everyone else - now what? As of recent, I've found myself drifting more towards ambiguous story lines that plays heavily on the aspect of "the pen-holder is he who writes history", meaning that regardless of how noble your actions and beliefs are, if you lose and are conquered, it is you who in history will go down as the 'bad guy', despite how valiant and courages you may be to your people. Basically, there's always two (or more) sides to a story. Nothing is black and white.
And so the idea for this game was born - Of Gods & Monsters - a fantasy RPG styled game with a turn-base battle system and a story that changes depending on the choices the player makes - I call this, Plot Altering Mechanic (or PAM). Meaning, at specific moments, the game will pause and an option list will come up, usually with 4 or 5 options for the player to pick, each one with a different degree of negativity and positivity. Some of the options may be as simple as to whether you'll help out this lost orphan kid, or which part of your journey you should go on next, and then there's more difficult ones than have a 'darker' feel, like you find a badly wounded woman and you either have the option to mercy kill her, leave her, or try and save her...etc. The idea is that the story will shift depending where on the scale of positivity and negativity you are (e.g. certain people may become hostile towards you, or you're not allowed in certain areas...etc.). All of this accumulates to a grand finale where you can unlock several different endings - God Ending, White Ending, Neutral Ending, Black Ending and Monster Ending - the latter two in particular having allowed your characters to, in essence, be the villains of the game, and it is only when either playing the game again or watching through your earlier choices that your villainous actions are revealed to you.
So that's the concept - the idea I have. It was inspired by my dissertation on creating character, but also by a psychological concept known as Deindividuation, which is where we begin to lose our moral compass when we become part of a large group (which is how rioting or mass looting happens). The idea of deindividuation can be applied here in this instance, where you are playing a game and you become dissociated enough to want to inflict harm or negative actions on someone. Since it's a game and there's no real repercussions, a lot of people may opt for the more negative of choices (I know when I played Black and White 2 I used to like being as Evil as possible) - because it's not real. Here is the chance to basically, well, be a bastard, and have the story reflect your actions and choices. I remember playing Abe's Odyssey when I was younger, and if you didn't save enough of your little friends (basically, if you were a bastard), they left you to die and become a popsicle (literally), but if you saved enough of them, then when you were about to die they would save you. ((I also remember wanting to join Team Rocket when I played Pokémon Blue - I was about 5 and was kind of sad that the game didn't let me be the bad guy)).
I think I've blathered on enough for now....
So here's just so initial ideas I've been working with. All really rough and it's pretty much nought but some character designs. ((Model wise I was thinking of the game being low-polygon count so that the poor little 3DS doesn't crash)).
Some random character ideas just to get into the swing of it.
Some ideas for a sorcerer/sorceress outfit
Possible rough Sorcerer/Sorceress idea
I do have some designs of the 4 characters which will feature in the story, but I'll upload them later when I've got more stuff together ((I just thought I might as well update as I go along)). I need more colour stuff....
Bye bye :D