Chronicles of A Third World Storyteller – Episode 1: Into The World of Video Games.

Major Project Pitch

This week (specifically last Monday), I pitched a project that I am personally want to work on as my Major Project (for my final trimester), to my facilitator (Stephen Lance) and to the rest of the class.
Initially I was thinking about pitching a short film idea that I’m been stewing for a while. It’s about an all-female pro-wrestling group called “The Diving Angels”, and they are planning to pull a major heist in a bank in order to save their beloved trainer who is dying from an incurable sickness. The idea is that, they want acquire a lot of money (from the bank), to purchase something from the black market; a magical ring from a lost city that is said to cure any sort of disease and sickness.
It’s pretty absurd, I know. But I have faith in it.  It was fresh and somewhat unique. I have a good film crew behind me, and I have a list of actors (who became close friends with me) that I would like them to be in. All is well.
That is, till something just clicked in me; I’m on my 2nd last trimester, I love video games, and I haven’t done any collaboration work whatsoever, with game students in my institute.
So, I dropped the aforementioned short film idea that I had on the side, and I decided to pitch something else. Something that has never been done before by the film students in my course. And that is, a demo reel and a portfolio showcasing my collaborations with game design students in their projects as not just a filmmaker, but as a writer and a storyteller.
More details about my projects and my plan can found in this link. Without further ado:

 

Projects I’ve participated in:

1. NeonKnight

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Description

NeonKnight is a 2D action platfomer sets in medieval science fiction world. You, the player is one of the older generations of Neonknight. And you’re destroying all of the newer NeonKnights, because you can. It’s a fast-paced action game, where you’ll be slashing and dashing your way through the enemies. Think a “Super Mario” game, but with high-speed sword actions.

Role in the Project: “Development Diary” Videos(Three Parts)

I’ll be producing, directing and editing three development diaries videos of the game developers behind the game. In each of those videos, they’ll be talking about different aspects of their game, which will be “Design”, “Combat” and the “Overall Development”.

CURRENT STATUS OF THE PROJECT

I have  finished recording their first “Design” development diary video yesterday (31st October 2016). The screenshots below are the results of that. Working the developers behind NeonKnight was fantastic. They’re very relax and calm during the interview whilst being recorded. No problem there, at all.

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What is a problem however, is the lack of crew during this production. Two of the people that were supposed to help me with filming the dev diary, cancelled on helping me at the very last minute. So I had to do everything on own. As a result of that, it has cost me 30 points due to returning the gear late. You live, and you learn.
The world of NeonKnight has a lot of different bold, neon-ish colors that smash with each other, so I tried my best to capture the essence of their game in my lighting setups. I also set up different frame and lighting for each member of the development group, just to keep it interesting. One of the footage had to re-colored to balance it out with the rest unfortunately, due to time constraint.
At the end of the day, I’m glad that I got great footage in the can. It is now in the editing process at the moment. Won’t probably take too long to edit it, and show them the rough cut. This dev diary will be completed before the end of my current semester.

 

2. The Wisp

wisp-poster-w-sub-neitzsche

Description

The Wisp is a procedural-generated (levels that ) 2D stealth action game. In this game, you’ll be playing as an ethereal entity that is separated from its physical body. You are now on mission to find it. You must navigate through the levels by sneaking around the enemies, or use your unique ability to possess the enemies and use their weapons back at them. “The best weapon against an enemy, is another enemy”.

Role in the Project: Corporate Video

I’ll be producing, directing and editing a simple corporate video about the game, as well as the people behind it. The idea that I’ve agreed with The Wisp developers is to put “human face” on the people behind the game, as well as breaking the stigma or stereotype of game developers.
Ashley, the project lead behind the game, feels this is necessary for the team, since games development is a small circle. So, they need portray themselves as game developers that “play” well with other. And videos about themselves and the game they’re working on, might just do the trick.

CURRENT STATUS OF THE PROJECT

This project is still in its early pre-production. They’re trying to find time between their projects to let me film them throughout the project. So far, the idea is to have a slice-of-life style of each member of this project, talking about themselves, their backgrounds as well as their games. I’m currently working on the outline and a rough AV script of their corporate video at the moment. Possibly, the corporate video will be completed before the end of my current trimester.

 

3. Incapacitor

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Description

Incapacitor is a procedural-generated first-person shooter sets in dystopian retro futuristic world. In this world,  all source of energy have been harnessed and redirected to the tower in the middle of this world main capital. This makes the human ceast to exist, except you, The Hero And you want revenge. So you go to tower and start blasting away all of the enemies, level by level.

Roles in the Project: Visual Consultant / Development Diary Videos

Like NeonKnight, I’ll be producing development diary videos of this game. Team [REDACTED], the game developers behind the Incapacitor still thinking of ways they want to it be filmed. Since the previous dev diary emphasis of neon-ish, bold colors style of lighting, my idea is to do something different than that. Something probably more comedic, since the team behind it enjoy element of comedies in their work.
Apart from that, I’m also the visual consultant in their game. I’ll be helping the game developers with the look and style of the Incapacitor. So far, they’re very keen on having their game to have retro-futuristic 80s, look.The reason behind the look is to cater the game to the gamer who grow up in the 80s, as well as young gamers who are into certain stylised 80s-inspired aesthetic. Possibly, the dev diaries will be completed before the end of my current trimester.

CURRENT STATUS OF THE PROJECT

DEV DIARIES – So far, they’ve still thinking of ways and tones they want to have for their dev diaries. I am thinking of including comedic elements in their games, since the team behind it loves comedies in their works.
VISUAL CONSULTANT – Since the game quite in its early development stage, there are still not much to be done for me. But the development will pick up its pace pretty soon, and I can be of a service to them.

 

4. Invader From The Deep (working title)

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Description

Invaders From The Deep is a reversed-tower defense. “tower defense” games are basically games that involved you protecting either your base or a target by building tower alongside the path of the enemies (aka “creeps”) , who are coming to destroy you said base and target. In Invader From The Deep, you’ll controlling the creeps instead.

Roles in the Project: Commercial

For this game, I’ll be doing a 30 seconds commercial. The idea is to hyper-exaggerate  a daily or a life activity by implementing the game mechanics or elements, within the close-to-reality “story world” of the commercial. A best example of such commericial would be many Japanese game commercials such as Segata Sanshiro commercial series for Sega Saturn, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64 and the one I’ll be directly taking reference from, Devil May Cry for Sony Playstation 2:
All of these game commercials are pretty old. So, i want to bring back the same spirit they all have, for Invader From The Deep.

CURRENT STATUS OF THE PROJECT

I’ve already shown the script (link to the script here), to the developers of Invader From The Deep and they liked it. But I can’t get it fully locked-in since they’re still locking down the creeps art as well the towers that will be in the game. What I’m doing while I’m waiting for that, is to keep on working on the script, scouting a location, and keep doing pre-vis of it on my spare time. This commercial will be completed before the end of my current trimester.

 

5. Hand of Rogues (working title)

hand-of-rogues

Description

Hand of Rogues is a procedural-generated, dungeon crawling, turn-based card-collecting game. This means, you only have one life, to play through the whole game. And if you die at any point of the game, you lose everything, and have to start all over again. Your only objectives in the game are to collect the cards that will “power” you up, as you traverse down through the never-ending dungeon. 

Roles in the Project: Copywriter

For Hand of Rogues, I’ll writing description, as well as the flavor texts of all of the cards in the game. There will roughly 100 cards to be written. The style of writing will be in tongue-in-cheek, something that is similar to another non-digital dedicated card deck game, called Munchkin (examples below of the writings on the cards).

cards

CURRENT STATUS OF THE PROJECT

MOBILE ARCADE, the team behind Hand of Rogues are currently in the pre-production stage of the development. They are working on the mechanics, dynamics, designs as well as the tools and resources to development the card game. There is still not much writing to be done yet. Although I’ve spoken to the team and they said that the software I’ll be to do the writings will be a any spreadsheet sofware e.g. Google Spreadsheet, Microsoft Excel etc.

 

6. Iris

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Description

(Note: please take this description with a grain of salt. The story as well as the gameplay isn’t finalised yet.)
IRIS
 is a story-driven, turn-based, role-playing video game (or RPG) that is set in a dystopian, Orwellian world (basically  a world where the humans are under constant 24 hour surveillance). The robots called The Palatiels  rule the world, and human were driven out of their own capital city, called the Palatium. Humans now reside in the slums area, called Scrapyard and monitored 24 hours by the robots. You the player, are from the Scrapyard. You cared about nothing else but yourself and your robot dog. That is, until your dog ran away. You believed that your dog went to the Palatiem, and that is where your journey begins. 

Role in the Project: Lead and Dialogue Writer

For this game, I’ll be writing the story of the game, as well as the dialogues in it. I didn’t originally write the story. However Jake, would like me to flesh the story out with him, as a person coming from the storytelling mediums. I’ll be working closely with the team behind this game, to shape the world and the narrative arc of IRIS. This will be a very new experience for since, as a writer. However, I am taking the advantage of the game’s linear storytelling and work it to my writing process.

CURRENT STATUS OF THE PROJECT

Sclera, the team behind Iris are still working of the game mechanics and dynamics of the game. They have certain ideas that will like to implement within the game e.g. the dog character being a support character in the game. So I have to take that into account when I’m fleshing out the story. Jake, also have a lot of backstories of the game, so I’m looking into that together with him tomorrow (2nd November, 2016). I’ll be honest, I’m pretty excited for this.

 

Final Thoughts

Yeah, so that’s pretty much it. I have a lot of projects I’ve involved and I think I’m pretty set in this current trimester. It will be a pretty tiring trimester, no doubt. But as usual, I’ll give 110 percent to all of them. Because like Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
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