We formed groups of 3-4 people in class today as a head start to this semester’s 3D Game Development project with a Shakespeare twist, in conjunction with Auckland Live giving us the opportunity to showcase our masterpiece at Aotea Centre on the 7th of October. Unlike the solo mess that was my 2D Game Design experience where I was left in charge of 4 different design roles at once, working in groups involves division of labour – one person gets to focus on programming, another for character design, level design and so forth. As a result, we set roles for each member of the group; I happened to be in charge of character concepts.
‘Cymbeline: King of Britain‘ is the Shakespeare play we decided to base our 3D game on. We had to do a little summary check due to the fact that it is not one of his more well-known tragedies, and in doing this, we learned that the plot is in fact too vast and complex for us to boil down into a quick, sophisticated game, let alone one that is achievable under the time constraint. Having this in mind, we all agreed to pick one act for our concepts.
This concept follows the plot point in the point of view of a cross-dressing princess Imogen, who tries to recover from temporary amnesia after being poisoned. In the game she attempts to unravel previous events via revisiting places and discovering objects that may relate to her past. For each object or places unlocked, she earns flashbacks which she will then put together at the end of the game. Below is my rough sketch of Imogen:
A rough plot idea involves the game starting off with Imogen waking up next to a beheaded man (as a reference to the play), and her objective being made clear, which was to find a way out of the place and rediscover her past. Although this gives us an advantage to stay true to the events of our reference material, one downside for this concept is that it is lacking elements that would make for a simple yet fun and exciting game play.
Playable Character Sketch by Connor Brown
This concept follows the plot point when God Jupiter appears, in order to enlighten his ancestral son Posthumus, who then tries to bail himself out of prison where the game play starts off.
Due to the fact that we aren’t entirely meant to make a gameplay adaptation of Cymbeline and more of a homage to it, an alternative idea would be taking significant parts of the plot and reimagining them into modern day narratives. This concept revolves around a Star-Wars inspired robot Connor drew, which he initially intended to be Posthumus’ character design, and my group’s imagination ran wild from there: we decided to translate the British-versus-Romans plot point to Humans-versus-Androids, which is sure to engage more viewers.
Taking all our resources into consideration, my group decided to go for Concept 2.