Hamlet the Video Game: Introduction

“Fair is foul and foul is fair” (Macbeth, I, i)

Good news everyone, we have a new assessment based on the works of Shakespeare. This is actually very exciting for me since I do enjoy a few of his plays and have studied them.

It was nerve racking being placed into groups though and choosing my role definitely freaked me out. It was more because I didn’t know what I could really offer to the group, what assets could I bring to my potential group members and this game? Who knows?

I was alright with trying anything for the challenge aspect but then again, I didn’t want to take on a role that I had no confidence in whatsoever. Since it is a group project, the overall grade will have contributions from every member and I certainly didn’t want to drag my group down.

I went with the role of the Game Artist/Concept Art because I found that I really wanted to draw more recently. Since taking this course, I have had less exposure to practical arts such as painting, so I guess I wanted to take on a role that would allow me to draw more and create more conceptual things. I am also quite new to digital art and I haven’t actually done digital drawings or paintings on a drawing tablet often. The last time I tried drawing digitally was for a personal animatic and the semester 1 assignments (Game Design and Cinematics). My second choice was to do the narrative and/or animation.

Since I went with the Concept Artist role, I got placed into my group accordingly with Abbey, Quinn and Alex. It was a bit awkward at first especially since none of us knew each other very well but we did manage to get some ideas down and do the Marshmallow building challenge to the best of our ability. We ended up not winning but we did get ‘Macbeth’ for our play which I thought was a win.

I personally really liked the play and it happened to be something I studied in high school. So with some previous knowledge about it, I was quite excited about creating a game based off of it.

I found that the theme of having a fatal flaw present and recognized in ourselves, was something that really hit me when I read Macbeth.

” A man of high standard who falls from that high because of a flaw that has affected many.” -Niccolo Machiavelli 1469-1527.

We did have a group chat about what aspects we could focus on for the game and the character of Lady Macbeth definitely stood out to us. It was interesting because she is the side character, the wife of whom the play is named after and has a very dark role.

I was so interested in her character that I remembered one of her quotes to Macbeth to “play the humble host” (3.4.4). The use of words hint that Macbeth needs to essentially ‘play’ a role to fool the opposing forces. One could argue that she was the cause of Macbeth’s downfall or simply a force that pushed Macbeth to unveil his underlying ambition. She was manipulative and just as ambitious as her husband, often making questionable choices and driving Macbeth to pursue unthinkable crimes.  Whether you agree that she is the main villain or just an ambitious but psychopathic woman, it is undeniable that she is a character of interesting qualities.

We decided to go for this point of view for the story because we could explore more dark themes on Lady Macbeth’s side.

We also looked over some games that have a similar themes and atmosphere. Games that gave us some starting points included ‘Dark Souls III’ and ‘Alice Madness Returns’. My group wanted a very dark and morbid storyline which was exciting.

I guess it’s just a matter of continuously pumping out ideas right now and thinking of ways we can make it based of Shakespeare but not just retell the story.

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