Hamlet the Video Game: Final Works

Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4Gh1FuAgdo

Game Link: https://alex-j-rankin.itch.io/incubus-the-darkness-within

Poster

 

 

 

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Hamlet the Video Game: Finalising Cut Scenes and Editing the Trailer

Cut scenes Compilation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WMqPzEmy4g

Sound design for the Cutscenes:  Music and Sound effects

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I spent a while choosing pieces for the cutscenes

Each cutscene had a different tone and I found that I needed more dramatic music for cutscene 1 and 3. These cutscenes had a lot of either chasing or build ups to fear and shock.  Cutscene 2, however was more about introducing the quest and mirror so it could be slower paced. This is why I used Abbey’s original piece there. It worked to build up more of a calm centre to the story where you try to understand the need for the mirror.

I did use sound effects to my advantage though where it builds on creating a toned down sound (especially in comparison to the intro) to catch you off guard in the end. The thunder sound effects bring in atmospheric components to tie into the intro. It is only around the end of cutscene 2 where it gets very screechy and distorted (in terms of visuals and sound) to catch the audience off guard.

I also used a lot of sounds to create beats as it would be reminiscent of a heart beat and a clock ticking. This, in a way makes it build up the audiences heart rate (I would hope so if I managed to grab their attention) as if they were apart of the narrative.  It is also where I get to play around with building up the music if at that particular part, it was not dramatic enough.

I also found that once the sound effects and music was down, the imagery became so much more alive. It really emphasises how important all these components are to complete the piece. So I definitely had multiple overlays of sound effects, as well as visuals.

Featured Music:

Cutscene 1 (Intro): “Bump in the Night” by Kevin Macleod

Cutscene 2 (Quest): Original Music by Abbey Cowan

Cutscene 3 (Ending): “Bump in the Night” by Kevin Macleod

Sound Effects from: Freesound.org,  Incompetech.com,

 

Sound design and Editing for the Trailer:

In terms of editing, the trailer used both game play footage (recorded by Alex) and just parts of my intro cutscene. I wanted to use the intro only because I didn’t want to give away too many of the surprises in the later cutscenes. I also found that chopping up my intro actually made me more able to try different combinations of storytelling, since I rendered a version without the script (rhymes).

I just did some quick sound effects here and there to add to the mood and did basic transitions like fades. Incorporating gameplay was interesting because you really take a look at details in how the character moves and angles. I changed the camera angle for some shots by zooming in and such, just to give it a more varied effect. Overall, I think it  was a basic trailer that got the point across and lasted over 30 seconds.

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Trailer editing, work in progress.
sound
Just layers upon layers

The link for the final trailer will be in the last blog post along with the game link.

Featured Music:

“Darkest Child” by Kevin MacLeod

Hamlet the Video Game: Developing Cut Scenes

So the cut scenes originally were going to have more of a prophecy style of opening. We agreed that the cut scene will not be animated fully with page turns frame by frame, which was the original concept. Instead, we opted for an animatic style cut scene sequence with a focus on textures. It was more about the compositions of the shots to make it look active, when really it isn’t fully animated. I’m quite excited for this because I do want to dabble into creating more animatics and showcase story telling with it.

Throughout the process, I found that the cut scenes were short in length but extremely time consuming, for me at least. Having secured 3 cut scenes, I really needed to plan my time well to make sure all of them got drawn up and edited as well. Due to complications, it did not go as smoothly as I wanted.

I feel like cut scenes are often over looked because the audience would want to head straight into the game, rather read about the whole story. The time and effort put into cut scenes is really something you experienced when making them. A lot of things can go wrong, in my case, time management and glitching renders.

Since cut scenes are not often the favourite of games, I wanted to make sure that our game had fun and eye catching cut scenes to match the narrative. It had to keep the audience interested enough to pay attention but not steal take away from its purpose of just starting off/ending the adventure. So I focused on using editing and colours to my advantage. It doesn’t seem like much until you realize you have to draw multiple poses and compositions for frames, somehow have movement conveyed and things like sound also come into play. I was also quite picky with how I wanted things to sound and visually look which made the process longer and more refined in a way.

To match up with Quinn’s rhymes, I often took the key words of each line and drew up sketches to start off with. Throughout the clean-up process to line the drawings, I would move parts of the face, rearrange the compositions and such. These are very mundane things to do for cut scenes or drawing in general but it becomes a lot harder when you’re not as creative on particular days. I found that sketches would look off and redo them during line art phases too. While waiting for the next set of rhymes, I’d look over what I have and start developing coloured background textures. This was just me playing around with brushes and opacity settings available in Gimp. From prior research, I found that the style of paint textures really intrigued me since it seemed so random but added depth to images. I really wanted the background to convey some sort of distortion effect where nothing was perfect and in a way looked messy.

 

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Example of Background in Intro
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Example of Background in Intro
 

I ended up with a decent amount of backgrounds as bases and often use overlays to create a more full effect. I thought that this would come in handy during the editing process since I could move around layers to somewhat create a smoky/dusty effect.

I think this style of backgrounds work with the story because it doesn’t aim for photo realism but an abstract space. So you wouldn’t necessarily see distinctive castle walls in the cut scene but it’s not the main focus to convey the narrative either. Toning down the backgrounds in realism gave more focused to things I wanted to pop out. In terms of colour, I started off not knowing how to utilize this because I was stuck in the mind-set that the colours should just reflect what’s in the game. While our palette so far is more muted tones, in a cut scene I think that dramatic colouring adds to the effect and impact of the verses. So it started off with normal muted tones but over time I found that everything looked the same and quite boring.

An example for using dramatic colouring would be the intro verse where suddenly the background changes to a bright purple during the thunder storm. It instantly changes the tone from a muted mint colour to try create the sense of a flash happening outside.

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Muted Mint green background
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Bright purple background
I also found that since I was going down the route of having a lot of colours, it made sense for them to connect one after another. Noticeably, colours go in the order of a rainbow and move towards a bright red by the end of cut scene 2.

Cut scene 1 (intro) and cut scene 2 (Quest) have the most colourful backgrounds that go in a similar order to the rainbow backwards.

 

Cut scene 3 (ending) however, only has grey tones and white because by the end it emphases on the morbid tone of the story. Since it is focused on a heavy topic (suicide), I found that using grey tones to mute out the surrounding worked best, especially against the heavy amount of blood used to match the story. This was also reminiscent of the film “Schindler’s List” respectively, where it was purely black and white. A particular scene that is often remembered is the one where a little girl in a red coat is walking through mass killings. It stood out because the black and white film suddenly had a glimpse of colour. I tried to do something similar to make the bloody atmosphere look more dramatic and uncomfortable because it was so bright.

 

For the character herself, Lady Macbeth had common characteristics that I tried to incorporate into each of her shots. The bright blue eyes, red eyeliner/shadow, deep brown black hair and red lips became staples to her look. I wanted her to be identifiable even though there aren’t that many other characters in this game, the distinctiveness makes her somewhat memorable in terms of design.

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Example from Cutscene 3
This is also brought over to her demonic version of herself later on in the game. The ending cut scene consists of her putting the mirror pieces back together in hopes of ending her despair. The monster that comes out towards her is a reflection of her deformed and grotesque. While designing this, I had to keep her looking like Lady Macbeth so that it was obvious whose reflection it was. The bright red eye makeup and red lips are taken across to this design. I kept these two elements because they are prominent enough to be recognisable and works well with the overall demonic design

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Demonic Version of Lady Macbeth
I found that her eyes needed to dilate but increase in size for her hollowed out bony features. Having the bright blue eyes distracted it from being very dilated and made it look less creepy. The brown black hair was also removed for the demonic version because having black hair made her now white skin so much more piercing. Brown would soften the look in my opinion so I went for heavy black and grey tones instead. In a way this also goes back to how this demonic version has her soul drained. The lifelessness of her reflection is recognised in these things.

Examples would be her skin being purely white (meaning she has no blood in her to keep her alive), the eye colour is drained (loss of identity) and so the only things that are still bright are a part of her as a person, which is the red makeup. The red makeup can also be interpreted as blood running down her eyes and smeared on her lips which are interesting.

 

 

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Example from Cutscene 3
Her hands are also something prominent in her demonic design as they resemble the ones of the demons. As mentioned before, the long fingers are uncomfortable because they are still attached to the basic structure of a human hand. These also come in handy to create depth for a shot I planned where she reversely has her hands come towards you (much like the one from cut scene 1 where Lady Macbeth reaches out towards a figure of Macbeth)

 

While this character change is only seen in cut scene 3 (ending), it comes as a surprise which really pulls off the idea of uncertainty in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. You would think that Lady Macbeth, being so ambitious and manipulative, would be able to handle her inner demons but she ends up tormented by herself, resulting in her downfall.

In terms of editing, the cut scene uses a lot of subtle movement to make it look less static and boring. I emphasised a lot on the thunder because it was a part of the narrative and a good way to build lighting into shots. When matched with sound, these flashes definitely add more attention to details.

lightning_glow
Using Sony Vegas to edit cutscenes

I couldn’t generate smoke effects that well (since it needed more rendering for the 3d and was time consuming), but I did manipulate the layers for my backgrounds to create something similar. The subtlety of moving the image in dimensions or alignment really does make the background have more depth. I think it worked well but for each drawing that had a new background, it took quite some time. Was it worth it for the effect though? I’d hope so.

 

Movements of the drawing layers themselves were to make it look more animatic-like. It wasn’t full blown animation with 24fps but it was enough to convey actions like her getting choked and dragged up into the air (cut scene 3).

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When moving, this dramatically pulls her up to indicate that she is getting choked but the lack of demons/her monster in this shot hints that no one is actually there doing anything but herself.
I played around with a lot of zooming and camera angles as well to make it livelier. As a game that is supposed to evoke the presence of fear and horror, I think that having dramatic cinematic concepts of dolly zooms and panning really help. So this can be seen for a decent portion of my cut scenes, especially the endings. In terms of parallax scrolling, I tried to mimic how a 2D platformer uses different layers for the background, assets, floor etc. to create more interesting visuals.

This can be seen in all the cut scenes as I try to make use of the multiple layers each drawing had.  I took inspiration from games like Brave: The Video game (PC) and Pitfall- The Mayan Adventure. While Brave is a more recent game, both uses parallax scrolling to their advantage. Brave uses it for cut scenes and Pitfall uses it for in game play which both turned out very effective in my opinion.

Here is an example where I tried to mimic a dolly zoom:

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Troubles with the work:

I came into some problems due to the effects I was using on Sony Vegas Pro (Version 12). The rendering took a lot more time than expected because of the multiple layers for each image, as well as some complicated particle effects and distinct transitions. I tried to make the demons in cut scene 1 (Intro) appear very dramatically and to do this, I though particle effects would certainly be the best option since these characters are so malleable. Rendering time got out of hand as flash cuts for cut scene 3 (ending) would take a minute per frame, making it a 40 minute wait.

This is an example of one of the effects that kept crashing the renders (It was due to the complex movement and the way it transitioned):

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After cut scene 1 was finally done in a week’s worth of editing, it was the final renders that kept crashing. This was not ideal whatsoever and I had to cut out portions of glitches and re-render a lot. Halfway through, renders would crash and early on, I couldn’t figure out why. I eventually had to either break down the renders into segments for each image or make an entire batch render of images instead.

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Here’s another particle effect that had trouble rendering
The batch render method took a lot of time because I had to export the individual images all together again and separately render the sound effects, transitions and music. Then I would have to combine all those into one final render so time was not on my side. My group members were understanding though which was comforting and I really did appreciate their patience.

Each cut scene had its set of glitches which in some cases I had to manually clean up frame by frame. Some parts didn’t want to render at all and crashed easily, eating up all the memory.  But I did manage to get all 3 cut scenes eventually out and with decent amounts of editing and sound.

Hamlet the Video Game: Enemies and Room Designs

Here are the concepts for the in game enemies. Originally, the enemies were going to be the demon characters but it was too time consuming and didn’t work as effectively for the in game needs. While we need enemies for Lady Macbeth to avoid, the demons being able to morph and move around with no feet wasn’t as reasonable as have a structured creature. In my notes, I mentioned that I designed these based off the general design of the Grim Reaper. It made sense since Lady Macbeth was trying to avoid death (until she takes her life in the end of course) to get the mirror pieces back together. She had a goal on this adventure which in a way, kept her going. It is this narrative that I think pushes the idea of her trying to avoid something that eventually catches up on her.

enemies mood board
Early Sketch: Enemies
enemies mood board
Final Coloured: Enemies

The varieties of enemy designs are just for me to dabble into different shapes and focuses. The first drawing on the left (concept 1) is just to get an idea of another human character. The enemies are intended to block off Lady Macbeth’s path so she has to actually avoid them. The most human looking one made sense to be a stone statue that came to life in the castle. It’s design followed ones of a guard and focuses on having heavy amour details. While effective, I found that intricate details to make this design would be too time consuming in modeling so I didn’t end up drawing the full body suit. I moved onto the idea of the Grim Reaper and the giant cloak was really appealing to me. In a way it is a lot of fabric to model and control but also because of the bulky statue, it could be very smoothed out and clings to the body instead. Since we already have experience in modeling a hoodie design for Lady Macbeth, I thought that the Grim reaper would be easier to model. For the face, it really depends on what was preferred because the concepts ranged from having a prominent face to having none at all.  It fits the look of having a menacing enemy because faceless or not, there is still something scary about them. Concept 2 has a solid cloak design to hide hands and feet but a prominent face. Concept 3 has an interesting silhouette and more details but a less prominent face. Concept 4 had no face but human proportions (besides the arms and hands. They were also inspired by my previous demon characters because I thought they would link well for the game narrative and follow similar basic components (such as face features and colour scheme).

It is possible to mix around the designs to make it easier to model as well because the components of each enemy is very straight forward. For example,  you could take the faceless concept to Concept 2 and it’d work out fine too. So that is up to my group members.

So for rooms, we decided on having more than two originally but it got to a point where it was too much work so we cut it down to the bedroom and the cellar/dungeon. The drawings for these rooms took a lot of planning on my part because I couldn’t seem to get the right atmosphere and art style conveyed. While the in game graphics will definitely look a lot different, mapping out rooms with more realistic and details made sense. It was to see what worked and what didn’t very easily.

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The Bedroom:

For the bedroom, I found that I wanted a deep rich red that wasn’t too bright. Since our game has a lot of blood elements, (at least in the cutscenes) I didn’t want to over use the blood even in the setting. For dramatic story telling effects, blood maybe used more but if everything was just gory and bloody, it would just create less of a shock to the audience because it’s overused. If this whole room was bloody or a solid bright red, it’d be too much in my opinion. Maybe some subtlety on the floor or the wall would work. Since it was all mainly red, I decided to just not use blood in this room. So the bedroom became more of a rich plum red, which complemented the blue outside the windows.There is also a noticeable lighting flash happening to match the mood and narrative. Vines on the curtains was something I just wanted to experiment with because it lends itself to the demons having stringy arms that spread out.

wine cellar_blog
The Cellar/ Dungeon:

So the tones for this room were just focused on being muted. A lot of grey and browns are used, while accompanied by muted yellows, oranges and green. The main idea was just to have a lot of wine barrels and see the contrast of muted tones to richer tones (for the bedroom). The spiderwebs are used to link to the demons subtlety and may not be used in the game depending on the amount of details needed. The barrels would contain wine but I played around with using blood again because it would be so chilling to have red wine barrels over flow with blood instead. The deep plum red from red wine compared to the brighter fresh red of blood is definitely something noticeable I would think. Whether it is spilling with blood or simply cover with it accidentally will just be a mystery I guess. Also the muted tones work well to bring out any pop of colour so the light and blood definitely stand out.

Originally it was suppose to be also more like a dungeon, which I think the blood ties into hints for torture and being trapped in an enclosed place. If we think about it, wine cellars are used to store wine for it to age well and under suitable conditions. If this was also used as a dungeon, it brings up the idea of victims being trapped for long periods of time, possible to ‘ferment’ or rot really. It’s an interesting link to me but I ended up with more of a straight forward cellar since throwing in too many common dungeon elements (like chains and bones) made it too cluttered and looked out of place.

The layout will wildly depend on what we want for the atmosphere and what assets we will be able to make.

 

Hamlet the Video Game: Story Boards and Mood Boards

Lady McB Mood Board v2

So since we have chosen to use the white dress design of Lady Macbeth, I went ahead to create a mood board for her. So in the left corner we can see the earlier concept of her which the group decided on. Upon discussion with the members, I found that drawing a slightly more cartoony art style would fit our game more. Since my first concept was focused on more of a semi realistic look, it made it harder to express emotions of fear and distress.

Our game narrative focuses a lot on having her react to her inner demons, meaning terror and distraught emotions come into play quite a lot. While it is not impossible to draw it for a more semi realistic design, cartoony features that could be exaggerated a lot more seemed more fitting. So through the mood board, it is noticeable that the style slightly changed as I played around with more exaggerated features. Her main design features are still prominent such as her sharp blue eyes and red eyeliner but the way the mouth is drawn (top left corner for example) or how large her eyes are (depending on expression) are the main changes.

Another noticeable design is the one where her hair is out of the wrap/hood and she’s gripping it in distress. I decided that to satisfy the other members opinions about the final design for Lady Macbeth, I’d implement an element from the blue dress design for the cut scene as well. I spoke to the members and it seems that besides the dress, the hair style that the blue dress design had was one of the main reasons why they liked it. Therefore I incorporated the long but pulled back hair style into my final character design. This hairstyle will only be seen in the cut scene however to ensure that the 3D model is easier to do. This means that at some point of the cut scene I will have her put her hood on to match the gameplay model. These are small adjustments but I think that taking everyone’s comments and opinions into account is important, so tweaking things like this should be fine.

We also decide for the in game model that the character wouldn’t have a face. This was decided after I designed her features but its fine since we concluded that I could still draw her face in the cut scenes. So on the right there are two drawings of the character’s full body. One has a shorter dress and one has a longer dress. We decided that having a longer dress, while desirable for the context, would cause issues with collisions. If we planned to have fighting mechanics then any kicks or jumps could create more issues with the fabric going through the legs. While a short dress wouldn’t stop that completely, it would have less fabric to control. So the design was changed to have two dress designs for different needs in the game. The longer dress design will still be used in the cut scene to start off but will eventually turn into the short dress design to match the in game model.

I’m planning to have her get her dress and trail ripped by the demons during one of the cut scenes. In the short dress design, you can see that the dress is somewhat destroyed to represent this.  It likely that this change in wardrobe would happen early on in the first cut scene but it depends on what my group member has written.

Another notable change is the bell sleeves. I had a blast drawing a few Celtic inspired dresses with billowy sleeves but for the game’s needs, it was something I felt needed to change. While I mentioned it to my group members that it could become the same concern they had with a long dress, they were more open to having the long sleeves. Since they let me decide, I went with my gut feeling that it probably would be a hassle to control for the collisions, especially for basic running. So I made the sleeves hug the arms which did change up the dress’s overall look quite a bit. I don’t think I’ll regret it though since it is a more reasonable choice.

lady macbeth draft concept
Here are some more draft drawings

A new character has also been created and they are known as the demons. So these are supposed to be the opposing forces that in the narrative drag Lady Macbeth into the story line and quest. They were inspired by the comic book character from the Spiderman series, Venom. I found that I wanted the design to be simple in basic components but interchangeable to create multiple intricate demons. So the inspiration from Vemon was with the face shape, white eyes with no pupils and grey/black costume combo. The basic components such as the face shape and features (eyes and mouth) became the staple to these demons. While they are all somewhat different in size and shapes, this coherency keeps them somewhat related and look like a group of enemies.

The arms are reminiscent of long nails and claws. It has to be menacing enough to make you uncomfortable but functional too. Having hands for the demons was something I felt was necessarily for this abstract character. It needed to grab Lady Macbeth but not look too human like either. I think an aspect that makes these arms more uncomfortable looking is that they are unusually long or stretched but still have fingers and somewhat the structure of our hands.

Other details like the strings or webs they cast are just fun little details I tried out. It kind of adds more shape and a dragging/pulling look. For this character, I think it would be able to easily catch up to Lady Macbeth but purposefully lag and build up tension when trying to grab her instead.

Story Book Storyboard Collage 3x3
Rough Storyboard of Cutscene 1 (Intro)

In terms of the cut scenes, we have decided on using rhymes to tell our story. It will be paired with imagery like a storybook. I have done a few images based off of what Quinn has written, picking key points in the rhyme to draw. Since I wanted to get a feel of how this cut scene would turn out, I drew these early concepts first to mark layouts, angles and just how it looks all together.

These drawings were quite rushed since I wanted to have something to show the group and get feedback on. I kept the colours very minimal here  because I just wanted to have basic shading done for the atmosphere. I remember I received feedback on potentially having more colour because of this. It seems like the group is fine with what I have so far and approved that I was going in the right direction in terms of art style and shots so that’s great.

As you can see early on in the cut scene, Lady Macbeth has her hair out and isn’t wearing her wrap/hoodie yet. This brings in what I previously mentioned about incorporating the two designs together. Plus I wanted to draw dramatic hair movements for close ups anyways so it worked out.

In terms of backgrounds and lighting, I was trying to figure out how to use these to my advantage. It wasn’t about creating perfected and realistic drawings for the narrative because I wanted more abstract and contemporary imagery. Since it is about battling inner demons and has mystical elements, it made sense to make these cut scenes more fun and somewhat trippy.

We have also discussed how many images and rhymes would make up the cut scenes. As of now, 3 cut scenes are planned for the narrative. They include the intro, the quest and the ending. The intro will establish the characters and the aspects of fear. The quest will bring up the mirror shards in relation to her adventure in this game. The end will round everything up to our take of Lady Macbeth’s inner battle and downfall. It follows on what Shakespeare wrote about her suicide because her hands were stained with blood. Quinn also plans on having 6-7 lines which will respond to me making roughly the same amount. It depends on which route I’m taking on these cut scenes because if I make it more animated, less individual frames will be needed since it would be too long. As of now, we have decided on the animatic route where some parts are animated/moving but not frame by frame fluid animation.

Story Book Pgs
Cutscene Layout

In terms of the layout for the verses, this is what we have decided on. Simple but effective to show the rhymes and imagery together. Transition wise will be up to me because while we initially wanted something more story book like (open and flipped pages), it seemed to much of a hassle for time so we went with this basic layout instead.

 

Hamlet the Video Game: More Concept Art

Our Game Design Document includes a visual mindmap/plan that has the rest of the information about the narrative and further developments of ideas. For that I provided the conceptual drawings and art.

For Lady MacBeth, I finished her concepts from the previous drawings.

lady b character collage 4

As you can see, the designs all vary in colour and presence. Each of them took a few hours because I guess I’m just slow and I kept changing around colours or the appearances.

Among all this, I also want to play around with facial features and have different expressions to see which one portrays our version of Lady Macbeth, the best. (Also known as Lady Macbest.)

In terms of colour, I went for the richer and deep dress shades for a mature and regal look.

The deep blue dress had hints of purple in it which tied in the blood really well. Her face was drawn to be a lot softer than the others but still have sharp olive eyes. The palette on her face is very neutral (besides the red lip) since the blue dress brightens her design.

The red dress was harder to showcase blood stains and the deeper red tones just blended with the shadows. This was when I first started trying out blood stains on the characters face instead. I quite like the red against the green eyes, as well as the brownish red hair. She also has more of a smirk and orange toned lips to bring out the shades in her hair. Her eyebrows are also more angular and sharper than the rest to give off a confident appearance.

The white/grey dress was the best to show off the blood stains. Against the pale neutral toned skin and dark brown hair, vibrant colours like the red and blue really stood out. Besides the blood, I brought in red lips and red eyeliner to sharpen her blue gaze. Her face is also in a resting position so it does come off with an intimidating feel. Her dress has hues of blue-ish grey to bring out her eyes subtlety and depending on the lighting, her dress could be fully white or more grey toned.

The green dress was used to bring out the tones of orange. I found that they complimented each other very well. I tried to bring in some purple tones but ended up with mauve tones instead to compliment the grey toned skin. It kind of makes her look unhealthy, like she could be a corpse really. I tried this out because I wanted to play around with the idea that she’s already dead as a person, so while there are blood stains on her, the blood that keeps her alive and healthy has already been drained. This could have been used as a reference to the storyline or just a creative choice.

I decided to add blood to her clothes at first but then decided that Lady Macbeth could have blood on her face and neck as well, to create more of an intricate blood pattern. Having blood on our character matched the menacing look I was aiming for because she poses in a way that makes her look very nonchalant about having these stains all over her.

In relation to the story, she either directly murders people or indirectly causes their deaths. I remembered that she had a quote about having her hands stained with blood, making her feel guilty for having those crimes related to her. Whether she felt bad for the fact that she took people’s lives or not, it’s still arguable. Surely it’s up to the audience to decide but that’s what makes Shakespeare’s work so memorable and well done. That coincidently prompted me to draw her with blood stains all over her royal garments. It goes back onto how she was the puppeteer of Macbeth arguably at one point of another, prompting him to take over the role of the King sooner than his prophecy stated.  To do so, the pair would kill off any opposing forces to rise in the ranks. So blood stains seemed relevant to the design I guess and It does pop a lot against some of these colours.

In terms of skin tone, I did play around with their bases such as more neutral toned skin (White dress), yellow toned (Blue dress), pink toned (Red dress) and grey tone (Green dress).  Perhaps this is a little excessive since my group member’s didn’t notice these little design details but I thought it’d be something I could do since it is our version of this Scottish character. It was fun though since I was playing around with brushes and learning to colour more details in digital art.

For the feedback from my group, I found that they all had different preferences for the design. We were undecided for a while on which one was going to be our main character. I offered to make changes so that we could agree though but we eventually ended up with the white dress design.

The main reason for this choice was because the hood was something they wanted to try modelling since it would also keep the hair covered. In terms of colours, the white was desirable for the setting because we planned on having a gloomy atmosphere. Plus the blood showed up the best on the white which I liked as well.

 

lady mcbizzle Grey no blood
Bloodless Lady Macbeth
Lady Mcbizzle Grey
Bloody Lady Macbeth

Since we did have another preference for the blue dress design, I was thinking of satisfying the other members by using that design in the cut scenes. Perhaps in game Lady Macbeth would have the white dress and the cut scene Lady Macbeth could have more of the blue dress design? It’s still undecided but I will try to include what I can.

Hamlet the Video Game: Rules of Good Game Design

I found through research that game design constantly follows a set of rules to create a good game. While it may seem repetitive and very structural, I found that reading these and questioning my own practice was essential to building a fresh idea. Here are some points I managed to have a think about and write down.

Firstly, the rule of having an immersive story. It means to not focus on dialogue or text driven parts to tell the story. It’s less about telling the player this is what’s happening and more about letting the player find out or unfold these little story arcs. Unless necessary, the story should be told within the gameplay, not just the cut scenes. This is probably something we need to look out for since we plan on having multiple cut scenes. We need to make sure that we don’t focus on the cut scenes too long and retell the story of Macbeth but rather introduce our character, her motive and her dilemma and let the player figure out the rest. While I am drawing up the cut scene and editing it, the narrative aspect will go to a fellow group member so I guess it’s all about balancing it out with each member’s roles.

The environment and levels need to be fun and allow exploration. The setting of our game is very important to keep the player entertained. The player must respond to the game for it to be successful therefore holding onto their attention requires them to feel in control of the narrative. By doing this, it unlocks this would be a written and planned aspect to game design but the player needs to feel like it was their discovery. Directing the player subtly or encouraging them is something we need to do with our environments and storytelling. This also goes into offering the player something new, whether it is skills, items or a quest. It will also factor into keeping their attention.

So far we are planning to have broken mirror shards as collectable pieces to supposedly unlock a mystery or finish the quest. In terms of level design, I think that I will come up with images of the environment and we can go from there for what assets we need, as well as other elements like enemies. We are planning to all take part in each other’s roles at the moment so the level design could possibly be shared. In terms of surprises, we plan to have enemies attacking her so it is unclear whether this will be mentioned in the story telling aspect or not.

Narrative storytelling will be explored through interaction, game design principles and ideas. I think as a group, our individual research can always be applied to each other’s roles somehow, whether it is studies for the environment or mechanics for the character. This means that our group needs a lot more communication about our own roles so that it can benefit each other for personal and group practices.

 

Links:

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/132341/the_13_basic_principles_of_.php

http://howtonotsuckatgamedesign.com/2014/02/lets-get-real-concept-art/

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/185676/the_aesthetics_of_game_art_and_.php?print=1

http://www.digra-fdg2016.org/5-rules-of-good-game-design/