Nigel Potter 23.09.20
Presenting the Concept
The way I understand it, there are two halves to my masters project: the body of work itself (including reflective essays, journals, practical development etc) and the final product which more or less can be defined by its ability to be presented in one coherent art installation. For example, had I gone forward with the construction of the playable demo, the body of work would have consisted of the cataloguing of the development efforts from the team, and the final product would have been the resulting finished game.
In the case of my new idea, I know what the first half of that equation would consist of, happy to spend the majority of the module ironing out the story beats for all three of my ideas from entry 2 and then choosing one to progress with, but have been stuck on what exactly to do for this final product.
The Final Product:
I suggested to my lecturer an idea I had been sitting on of developing a physical 'case file' from my 'volunteer woodland maintenance officer' concept drawing and he suggested a full desk setup, as I might see in an office - including drawer contents and family photographs (!!!). Using the story beats system to iron out an investigator's personality, I could then for my final product create a physical file for a viewer to sit at the desk and go through, containing all of the evidence of what has been happening in the woods. I could include photographs, transcripts of interviews, scribbled notes etc.
Overall, I'm not sure if putting together a full desk would be over-scoping the concept, considering how much extra detail work I would have to put into the look of the desk (no doubt I will want to stain it and scratch it up) and the contents of the drawer, however now that it's come up a simple file does feel a little rudimentary. In the tutorial I proposed a mid-point of having a file box with the contents of a desk placed into it, as if the character had been moving their stuff. This would be more convenient for marking and display purposes, especially considering the covid pandemic where a full desk installation may be difficult to organise. Additionally, the feeling of going through a box, specifically, may be more engaging to a viewer as it emulates the concept of finding a treasure chest.
I will have to give it some extra thought.
Contemporary vs Period-Based:
Nigel pointed out that, with this sort of concept, I had to consider the time period I would set it in before beginning - would I concentrate on the present and address current issues and practices, or dive into the past for a more retro, artistic look.
Personally, I object to doing anything for the sake of it, especially not story-based projects where there is ample opportunity to justify creative choices. Said this, the retro-based theme, does interest me from a hobbies perspective.
To date I have almost a dozen retro polaroid cameras, spanning a large portion of company's history. I routinely visit antique stores around Norwich for browsing and purchasing - including a cute little taxidermy shop I've had my eye on that sells cleaned up bones. Finally, I've been dying to purchase a (decommissioned) revolver since I found out that there are gun shops in the area.
I also collect tiny bottles of alcohol, which might look nice as part of the display, provided my detective is some sort of an alcoholic.
Seeing as a period-based piece seems to align so closely with my own personal interests, thereby giving me an excuse to finally indulge full-force in realising my bucket list (yesss), it seems like the obvious, and most exciting choice. To this effect, Nigel mentioned Lovecraftian horror as a good reference point, and recommended the book On Horror Writing: A Handbook by the Writers Association for me to look at for the story beats. I also want to look into the game L.A. Noire, which I played a long time ago, for more insight into period-based detective work. Specifically, research into the accuracy of Rockstar Games' work would be helpful.
Currently, I'm wondering how much research I want to do before starting the practical work...
New Idea: Audio tapes! I know a voice actress.
My main concern after hearing the introductory briefing was about Learning Outcome 19 which specifies that the idea ought to have some innovative qualities. Considering that my focus would be to emulate existing, industry practices, I struggled to see how I could bring about innovation.
Putting together the case file would certainly be unique, but I would hardly call it innovative, nor do I feel that it sufficiently represents my industry.
I have an idea swirling around in my head that maybe the inclusion of cryptography for advertisements will solve this issue (see my essay on the Completion Principle) - as, while cryptography has been used in games to advertise other games, I don't think it has been used in interactable art installations in the same way.
I will conduct some research into the subject and either confirm or dispute this.
- R. Cipolletta
Tutorial note: could go Lovecraftian - typewriters, desk, files, lamp, picture <-- detective
"on horror writing: handbook of the horror writers association"
always give reason in horror setups - never for the sake of it
talk to Ben for studio space and technical stuff