Category Archives: Adaptation (Stargate)

Adaptation Story (Revised)

So i realised that my previous story was… Boring. I have decided to revise the story a little, more like finish the previous one as it was unfinished.

So the story that I have so far is: A village, plunged into darkness and poverty by a corrupt leader and one person has gone off to the temple of the gods in the mountain to recover an item that will help them to free their village. (In a nutshell)

To make this story a little better and linked more to stargate, i have decided that the village is not lead by a corrupt earl, but are actually tormented by a group of aliens that visit once or twice a year to take people as slaves and stop them from becoming too powerful and fighting back and to show their superiority.

There is a legend that if someone is strong enough to climb the mountain and smart enough to decipher the code written on the wall, they would be met by the gods and receive what they seek.

The earl of the village has asked for a volunteer in seeking the truth behind this legend. Straight away his daughter volunteered, but the earl dismissed her aid as he didn’t think that she had the ability to complete the challenge. Knowing that there was little time before the aliens came back and that everyone was too scared to embark on such a quest, she leaves without the blessing of her father and the fate of the villages future resting firmly on her shoulders.

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Adaptation – Environment/Architecture (Update)

Since starting my adaptation project i have developed my idea into something radically different that what i started with. Here is my starting story for the project

Storyboard 1

This has since been adapted and worked upon to become this (Story)

With this new story i decided to revisit my whole environments.

Project – Adaptation – Storyboards 101 (11/12/13)

Today in our Wednesday morning Creative Futures session we have been introduced to the idea of Storyboarding and being able to communicate, through images, a story or timeline of events effectively. We started off by talking how this technique has been used for hundreds of years in art and paintings to tell stories, this can even be linked to Egyptians and even Cavemen using images to communicate events or leaving stories of peoples lives, so that anyone can look at it and see what they had accomplished or done during the time.

We then moved on to speak about how storyboarding has been used in developing movies and games, in a game you can show, through a storyboard, the events of a fight and camera angles or player movement through the scene, or show a scene in different camera angles.

We was tasked with creating our own story board for a scene in our game, this was my outcome

Storyboard 1

I have since re-worked my whole project idea and i will be posting my updates soon.

Story For Adaptation

A Viking village or small town a few miles away from the base of the mountain, lead by an earl who has been given this title due to it being passed down in his family name.

This earl is a Tyrant and is driving the village or town into poverty with tax, people are dying due to starvation and exposure, the earl could help ease these peoples suffering by demanding less and stop forcing people to worshiping him simply because of this ceremonial item which he believes hold divine power.

His family name earned this title by his great great grandfather embarking on a dangerous journey through the mountain valley to visit the temple of the gods and recover the artefact of the gods. On this quest the adventurer must face their worst fears and follow the path to enlightenment. Legend has it that this man held the power from the gods and it corrupted him.

Once at the end of the journey the adventurer must place his hand upon the alter contained within the temple and utter the phrase written on the wall.  Once the phrase has been spoken the room will light up and the player will be transported to speak to the gods and if the gods deem them worthy they will be presented with an item that is ceremonial and will symbolise that the gods have spoken and this person has been deemed worthy to lead. This item will only work for the person who made the journey and completed the quest.

When and adventurer returns from his quest he has the most amazing stories to tell about the gods being mighty warriors and that the item that was bestowed on him gives him the power to defend his village and rule the land. This item is actually a test from the gods to see if it will corrupt the wielder or if he will help better his people and bring them all closer to enlightenment.

(This is just the making of my story, it is not yet finished)

Adaptation Project – Ideas Revisit

So i realised that for my Adaptation i had missed an important step in my design process. i often find myself looking at a blank page and thinking lets do a part of the Environments section of the Project. This i have found pointless because every time i revisit the section i have found that the drawings and designs have lacked character and feeling. So that is the intention of this blog post, to get some ideas down and some story development, to give myself some focus and hopefully push in the right direction.

So to start with i will revisit my Pitch that i made at the start of the project, which in reflection is unfinished and could have been done a lot better in my opinion.

Game Pitch Ideas

My first idea revolved around the Legend of Robin Hood and the story would involve how he became the outlaw and started stealing from the rich to give to the poor.

My second idea was based on the tv series Stargate but would not follow the actions of earth or sg-1 but rather an alien planet that had humans inhabiting it, but at a much less technologically advanced stage than we are, possibly as early as 400 ad in comparison to human evolution.

I feel that my second idea was much better suited to me so i would be focusing my efforts on this, but my other idea is always there just in case.

So my first mistake in taking on this project is thinking that i can just start drawing everything, without making any story or setting, kinda hoping the game would just make itself out of the drawings i have done, this would never work and i realise this now, so i am going to now get down some ideas and make a story for my adaptation to follow.

Story Ideas

I will just start by making a list actions and themes that could be involved in my game and then picking elements and creating a short couple of paragraphs detailing a section of a story for my adaptation to revolve around, this will give me a focus for my drawings and work.

  • A Viking age village/town
  • Small a few miles away from the base of the mountain
  • Lead by an earl who has been given this title due to it being passed down in his family name
  • His family earned this title by embarking on a dangerous journey through the mountain valley to visit the temple of the gods (Sticking with the typical stargate theme)
  • Activate an altar (Left there by an alien race to monitor evolutionary progress of humans inhabiting planet)
  • Retrieve a ceremonial item to symbolise divine right to lead the village (Weapon can only be activated by a person with a specific genetic marker)
  • Ceremonial item is a beacon for the aliens to transport the person to their research facility and check their evolution, then send them back with the beacon to locate their village.
  • If they have the specific genetic marker the beacon will act as a personal shield for the adventurer to protect themselves from the harsh conditions of the world
  • It will prevent the holder from becoming hungry and keep them strong to claim the throne and lead that village
  • Once the item has been brought back to the village, the earl must fight the returned adventurer to see who can claim the seat of the earl.
  • Any person that undertakes this adventure can claim the seat of the earl, be it man woman or teen and they command the whole villages respect due to the amount of courage it takes to embark on this quest and how few actually return.

This is the basic structure of my story and could use some fleshing out and details in places, but i think i will focus my adaptation on the beginning of a characters quest to visit the temple of the gods and the recovering of the Item (Which needs defining)

Project – Adaptation – Props, Object & Vehicles (4/12/13)

This blog post is a continuation of the previous prop designs. I have been thinking about my props and what will be involved in the scene and i decided to elaborate on the weapons that will be found in my scene:

  • M4A1 – Assault Rifle
  • M16A1 – Assault Rifle
  • MP5 – Sub Machine Gun
  • P90 – Sub Machine Gun
  • M9 – Hand Gun
  • Mounted Machine Guns
  • Knife – Combat/Military

Then i decided to take a look at what kind of clothing would be found and worn by my characters:

  • Combat Vest – to hold ammo and utilities
  • Helmet
  • Knee Pads
  • Elbow Pads
  • Gun Holster
  • Knife Pouch

Among other things that will be found, here are Pistol that i designed for my character to use, the design is heavily based around the M9 Pistol but with a few tweaks.

Drawn in 2-Point Perspective
Drawn in 2-Point Perspective

Project – Props, Objects & Vehicles – Development of Environment (27/11/13)

So today we have had an introduction to props and vehicles design, and we had a discussion of Ergonomics and how things are designed to fit the person that is using them. A brilliant example of this is that some cash points have 2 different heights, 1 rather short and the other slightly larger, clearly to accommodate disabled people using a wheelchair and making it lower and more accessible. We also looked at the Haptica watch, which is a watch designed for blind or sight impaired people and uses braille so that people can have a pride of ownership and not have watches that read the time to you and potentially disrupt a meal or meeting.

After this discussion we have been set a task of making an exhaustive list of items and props that would be found in our environment. This list has to have at least 3 dozen items in it, and not overlapping, for example “Blue sock, Red sock, Yellow sock” will all be counted as 1 item just with an extensive category.

So I started work on my list almost immediately and began listing off things that would fit into my Adaptation, this is my list so far:

For Vehicles I have:

  • UAV, (Unmanned Air Vehicle)
  • Ground Drone, (Reconnaissance Drone)
  • Assault Drone, (Drone with mounted guns)

As for my Objects & Props I have:

  • Stargate (For embarking to other worlds)
  • Ramp (To get up to the Stargate)
  • Rails (To guide the drones up, Both Air & Ground)
  • Cupboard (Both open and closed)
  • Guns (Inside the cupboard)
  • Clothing (Jackets, waterproof, Etc…)
  • Armour (Body armour, Helmets, Etc…)
  • Cables (Power, communication Etc…)
  • Power box/Fuse box
  • Clamps (To hold the gate in place)
  • Lights (Over head and alarm lights)
  • Alarm button
  • Phone (Emergency on the wall)
  • Blast door (Over the observation window)
  • Iris (To place over the gate and stop things coming through)
  • Sand bags (For guards to take cover behind)
  • Mounted guns
  • Speakers
  • CCTV (To play back any incidents)
  • Toolbox (Spanner, Screwdrivers, hammers Etc…)

These are just my initial thought for things located inside the gateroom. This next list is for things located inside the observation room:

  • Computers (Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse Etc….)
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Coffee cups
  • Pens
  • Notepads
  • Map (of the stargate points)
  • Artifacts
  • Pictures (Personal people)
  • Printers
  • First Aid Kit
  • Radio (Communication to the First Aid Room)
  • Weapons (For rapid response to an emergency)

Here are a few of my drawings of my scene and what i want it to look like stripped down to bare minimum in the way of props.

Gateroom from behind the Stargate
Gateroom from behind the Stargate
View from the observation room of the stargate
View from the observation room of the stargate

 

Project – Continuation of Environments – Architecture 101 (20/11/13)

In today’s session linking on to our project we did a continuation on environments, looking at Architecture of buildings and structures. All the notes can be found on Gareth’s Blog, i found this session extremely useful for games design as during the lesson i kept imagining the kinds of buildings i like and how they can be put into a game.

To start off this session we looked at a piece of text and analysed it as a group and made sense of the text.

“a coast-line of mingled mud, ooze, and weedy Cyclopean masonry which can be nothing less the tangible substance of earth’s supreme terror — the nightmare corpse-city of R’lyeh …loathsomely redolent of spheres and dimensions apart from ours“.

– H.P. Lovecraft, The Call Of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories.

I think that 3 words stand out the most in this piece, “Weedy Cyclopean Masonry” we made sense of this by thinking that “weedy” is like seaweed “Cyclopean” is Huge but not a creature “Masonry” is buildings so the Phrase “Weedy Cyclopean Masonry” means Huge Structures draped in Weeds.

We then moved on to being shown some of Gareth’s own work in this subject and even a little animation of something he made in Sketchup, based on a design he did in Photoshop, also we have been show buildings in different styles all over the world from Vikings to Russians and Japanese and Egyptian to name but a few, i made some notes of these in my notepad about the styles and the styles i liked. We was then presented with a Phrase “Non-Euclidean Geometry” this is trying to broaden our mind by imagining 2 parallel straight lines but on a massive scale, Say the surface of the Earth these lines will never be completely straight because they will be warped and bent around the world, imagining this will allow us to make some really unique designs of buildings.

I think this session was focused on making us see that different cultures have affected the architecture and designs of buildings and making us look and think about the world around us for inspiration in our work. Two quotes arose from Gareth this session that will stick with me and make me think about and do more work.

The first Quote:

Don’t be lazy: Find out more about the things you like, otherwise you are no better than a “Gold Fish”

And the second even more powerful Quote:

Get out and Draw From Observation!

You will never get better by drawing from Photos and Google Images!

These are 2 of the most powerful Quotes that we have encountered this year and will definitely make me look at things differently.

We moved on after this little rant and looked at how buildings used to have, instead of graphics and logos on them, they used carvings and sculptures of their wares above their shops to indicate what goods they sold and to attract the correct people into their shops. This was interesting as most games don’t do things like this and they just put a sign up outside of the shop to indicate it is a shop, with the same architectural design as all the others (Probably to save Time, Money and Effort) This is something i need to address when making a game and making a game unique.

We also touched briefly on how Utopia & Distopia can effect the level of architectural design involved in an environment, This will play a heavy part in a personal project that me and a couple of students (David Smith & Jason Pook) are working on.

Project – Looking at Environments (13/11/13)

In today’s session, The second session of our Project we have looked at and discussed Environments and the designs behind them. We looked at different styles and how if we want to be good designers we need to get out of our comfort zone, the place in which you do the work you are good at and comfy doing it. Comfort zone is the worst place for a creative to be unless the work you have been tasked with is in that relative field, but this is rare and as creatives we will be asked to do things that we may have never done before, so it is good to finally get out of that zone and stretch my legs. So we then went on to look at cultural differences and how they influence Architecture, Civilisation and also the Afterlife in most culture.

During this talk i had plenty of ideas for my Stargate project, how i can have the game set in all different time periods because with the stargate you can travel to worlds with humans still growing technologically and have scenes set in all different time periods. We have had a brief look at how natural disasters such as Earthquakes, Floods and Meteors can have an effect on any scene, for example if a city had an earthquake and the tectonic plate sunk on one half of the city, you would be left with a city split in 2 and have no way of reaching each other and this would make for very interesting concept art.

“Consider what has come before and how it may change something”

Gareth Sleightholme

After this we had a little look a method for adding depth and more realism to concept art and art pieces, this method is a Fade or Fog, this gives the sense that things vanish into the distance and it also gives the scene a lot of scale. Something simple like a lamppost in the foreground of the view of the scene it gives places the viewer in the center of the scene and with things up close they feel like things could be behind them, also things like a man or a post box next to a building or car really helps give the viewer something to compare how to scale something is.

“Put the player/viewer in the center of the scene to give a sense of a world around them”

Gareth Sleightholme – Immersion and links to Games as well.

After this discussion we moved on to talking about a Design Process and how to make things in scenes, for example a shop, look and feel like a shop. This lead onto a talk our tutor had with a student trying to design a shop but whatever he did, didn’t seem to work. Our tutor then presented him with a question “What kind of shop is it?” the students reply was “Just a generic shop” and our tutor then went on to explain that no shop is generic and that everything in those shops have people behind them that have designed these products or adverts or even the architecture of the building, this then lead onto a quote that i think is going to be valuable to me in my entire career,

“Nothing Is Generic”

I think this quote is genius because it makes you think about everything and how it was designed and who it was designed by, the next time you play a game look for things like this and see how good, or bad, the Production Designer or Art Director really is. We spoke about putting the audience in the scene, so this thing about nothing being generic will help your Audiences immersion, so things like a computer or book on a desk will not always be at a perfect 90 degrees and often will be off on a slant and very rarely perfect, the sign of a good production designer or art director is to go unnoticed, this means you don’t notice their work while playing a game or looking at a piece of art.

After this we touched briefly on the Atmosphere of a scene, this could be down to simple lighting on a bedside desk to make the scene feel warmer or sun flare coming through a window onto a huge sculpture drawing your attention, both equally as important as each other when trying to portray a message.

Finally we have been shown how some artists make a lot of design thumbnails before deciding on a final piece, so doing the same scene but in different angles and from different points, this is when we was left on our own to start our design for our scenes and make some rough sketches, here is one i did and scanned into the computer at 300 DPI

Stargate 2 point perspective Scanned

It is a stargate drawn in 2-point perspective, after looking at the picture when i scanned it in i realised i should have done it in 3-point perspective but it is a mistake i will learn from, i will post more pictures of my skecthes as and when i finish them.