It is the first week of the first studio unit. After Production Unit in the last trimester, the excitement for studio unit was very high. The students were divided into three teams, one with only Game students, the coders. The other two teams had three coders and 2 animation students from here on addressed as animators.
The coders and animators were briefed about the unit requirements by their respective lecturers. For the animators, we are required to make a three-dimensional game with artificial intelligence and the game should tell a progressive story. Since there only two animators in the team, all the roles in the unit that animators are given will be interchangeably used by me and my co-animator. Quite a task. But that is what we are here for. To tell stories. This time, it is a game. Telling a progressive story through a game. How hard can it be?
Looks like very hard. The first week was all about the first stages of pre-production. The team decided to do a horror game. The coders were up for it. The animators, I included was not very fond of the idea. During on of the meetings, I suggested that instead of being chased let us chase and be the ghost or the horror element of the game. But it was not discussed further and we just forgot about it. Later we came up with two stories. But soon we figured that the stories were not progressive. They just had some backstory. The gameplay did not bring out any plot points of the story. It was observed that the stories were more suited for short films rather than for games. At this point, I was questioning my skills to work for the game industry given that it is a rapidly growing industry. After more discussion, we came up with edited versions of the stories that had plot points in the gameplay. The first story with a puppet master and a naughty boy called Brats in a box. The second one with a boy trapped in an abandoned store guided by ghosts of employees to the exit. Yes, the stories need more fine tuning. But that is what the pitch is for. After the pitch, hopefully, these stories are given the green light, we will select one of them and work on making the story better. If the worse happens, we have to work on a new story. Repeat the whole process.
We researched heavily to finds inspiration for the mood boards. Next week will pitch the idea to the lecturers acting as our clients. It was really hard to find images for the mood board. Maybe it was due to the search pattern or that the stories were too unique. I hope it was the latter. As we have learned from the first week in the studio, it is really hard to make stories that are engaging enough for games. But I have to say, thanks to the coders for their much-appreciated support for helping us, the animators come up with stories. One of them even came up with a story. It looks promising but we have to wait and see. This shows how much cooperation and communication is important in this unit and it is the team effort that brings out the best things in the world today.