Sunday, 6 July 2014

A Shadow in Whitby

Though the project name (A Shadow in Whitby) is remnant from the Dracula design, I think it's still applicable as the player is now being thought of as the shadow (also, I don't want to have to rename everything I've done so far).  First is a bit about the concept itself, followed then by some actual design and artwork.  Included throughout will be explanations on how the source materials provided by The British Library  has helped inspire my ideas.

The main mechanic of the game is finding and collecting Jet artefacts and placing them in the correct place to unlock new areas and items.  Objects and structures will appear, indicating what the next part of the puzzle might be.  The initial play area will be quite small, with the hopes of expanding if there's enough time.

(North West view of Whitby Abbey)

(South East view of Whitby Abbey)

My main sources include the images above, which were among The British Library's assets provided to everyone.  The first thing you might notice is that the abbey shown is a bit more intact than the abbey's present state.  The addition of the tower in the middle gives better scope for the level design.  I also managed to find an artists reconstruction of the abbey on the English Heritage website, which has helped me understand how the current architecture relates to that shown in the images above.

(A View near Whitby on the Yorkshire Coast, Francis Jukes, 1804)

The art style I have chosen to use was inspired by the image above by Francis Juke.  I particularly like the colouring of it.  There will be further details on this in the style guide, along with a mood board to help demonstrate the effect I'm going for.  Moving on to some designs and concepts, below is a quick concept showing the start of the game.

(Concept image of starting area with the bridge made of light active)

The starting area will be a small, circular area next to the small pond near the abbey.  The player is trapped there within a fog barrier with a pedestal and an artifact carved from Whitby Jet.  The bridge shown in the image (above) does not exist and is something that will appear when the first puzzle is complete to allow access to the next area.  To complete it, the player simply needs to put the artefact on the pedestal, demonstrating how future puzzles work.  Below is the design layout that goes with the concept showing the placement of objects, as well as notes on how each bit works.

(Level design for the start of the game)

Though specifics for the general layout of the abbey section is still being confirmed (finished design will be shown in a future post), I have definite ideas on how particular aspects of the puzzles will work with each other and roughly how many I will need.

(Rough designs for the abbey section of the game)

There will be an altar at the head of the abbey, which when activated, will reveal a platform with indentations in it.  These indents require artefacts that are found in other places (sometime needing the player to complete a puzzles to obtain) to power it.  Once all are found the player is moved to the tower where the player will collect the final artefact.  Players will then be shown a door that has appeared at the perimeter of the play area (a way out), which the player has to use the last artefact on to end the game.

(Concept of the final door that ends the game)

Unfortunately there is no guarantee I can actually achieve this, despite how small it is.  I only have 10 days to work on this project between now and the deadline (due to other commitments), including making and texturing all of the models, researching and implementing the puzzles, blogging my progress and fulfilling all of the submission requirements (videos, images, packaged build etc).

Wish me luck!

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