As you can see, our presentation relied heavily on the images we had made. Obviously it would have been impossible to actually create a video game as none of us had the know-how nor the time to complete such a feat. Here is an overview of our presentation with the subsequent notes that were said with each slide.
- CD – Charlotte Davies (myself)
- JS – Jamie Stevenson
- EU – Emily Unsworth-White
- EP – Emily Panizzi
- AH – Andrew Ho
JS – This is Eclypsia! EP – It is a futuristic world where the ‘Fuels’ – an ancient society of unsustainable energy resources, have risen up against Eclypsia after years of being forgotten about to steal the Sun’s power and plunge Eclypsia into darkness.
AH – You, as the player, will be helping the people of Eclypsia to fight back against the Fuels, restore the Sun to her former glory, and bring power and light back to Eclypsia! EU – As a group we decided to come up with an idea for a futuristic video game – one which would be aimed at young children. The ‘moral’ of the game would be to raise awareness of clean energy, sustainable resources, all through the medium of a playable video game.
CD – We felt that the issue of having clean and sustainable energy is an important one, particularly within our group. We have designed a game which looks to educate and promote awareness of sustainable energy resources, whilst also being a fun and enjoyable experience for those who play it.
JS – The purpose of the game would be to subtlety yet effectively promote the use of ‘clean’ energy resources, namely solar, wind and tidal powers. When the Fuels plunge Eclypsia into darkness, it becomes sad, dark, and would appear negatively to young children. Through the use of power-ups from the sun, and various other aspects of the gameplay which seek to promote the use of clean energies, we feel that this will leave a lasting, positive impression on young children – they see the clean energies as a positive influence on Eclypsia, and we hope, the rest of their real lives
CD – Initially, our individual interest were varied – at first we struggled to marry our ideas together. We used mind-mapping and group discussion to find the common themes within our work. As a group we looked at the idea of futuristic cities, particularly transport and clean energy, and the impact it may have on the lives of the people in that city.
EP – Our main stumbling block was that our thoughts were far too vague. In an effort to condense our ideas, we tried to find one avenue of a potential future, which could be used effectively to promote the use of clean energy resources, but in an easily accessible way.
JS – After further discussion and research, we came to the idea of creating a video game, designed with promoting clean energy in mind.
EU – Our story begins with a young child flicking through the television channels. It briefly stops on a story about global warming. There are melting polar icecaps, the earth has a warmer climate, and it’s changing the world we live in. He changes the channel. “BORING!”
JS – Lying asleep in bed, they are awoken by frantic whispering, and someone pokes him sharply in the face. “Ouch!” He opens his eyes to see a group of tiny little people looking very expectant and panicky. They seem flustered. “What are you doing in my bedroom?!” He asks. “We need your help, quickly! They squeak. “The Fuels have stolen the Sun and without her our planet is dying! Come quickly, we’ll explain on the way!”
EP – One of the little men pulls what looks like a large pocket watch from out of his backpack. He turns a few dials, and then places it quickly onto the bed. The next thing he knows, a great bright light shoots out of the contraption.
CD – One by one they jump into the light and disappear! He’s very scared, but slowly kneels over the strange object. Next thing he knows, he’s bumping and crashing down through a great, light-filled tunnel, when suddenly – CRASH! He arrives in Eclypsia.
EP – In an age long ago, the people of Acornia lived in harmony with creatures known as the Fuels. These peculiar children of the earth were born of rock and gas and flowing fire, with hearts of pure molten energy. In return for lasting friendship and the freedom to go wherever they pleased, the Fuels granted our ancestors all the energy they needed to power an entire civilisation.
JS – However, after a time, something changed. The population of Fuels seemed to dwindle and fade, and their power was not as it once was. Our ancestors made a terribly difficult choice – they abandoned the friends that had been their lifeblood for so long, turned their gazes to the sky, and saw their future shining down on them. Our people, here in Acornia, discovered the Sun’s infinite energy and embraced Her as a new source of life.
AH – But now, they have returned! Up, up from beneath the earth they come, with fire and stone and fury, bent on revenge! They see our bright new world and they are jealous. They want it for themselves!
CD – One evening, not long ago, just as the Sun was returning to the West for Her sleep, those monstrous Fuels came out from the ground and took her from us! They sheathed Her precious light, casting not just Acornia, but all of Eclypsia in darkness.
EU – Even now we hear her cries of pain, but we are powerless to help her! Without Her love and warmth we cannot survive.
EP – We grow weaker with every passing day, our bodies turn cold and lifeless. We have not the strength to fight the Fuels. The people of Acornia are doomed.
JS – You are our last hope! You are strong and brave, and we know you have what it takes to go into the darkness and stop the Fuels! They are plotting something, we are sure of this. Our wise elders have seen visions in the darkness – visions of terrible monsters, and dark energy. We fear they are using our Sun’s power for their own evil schemes! If you will help us, you must travel across all the worlds throughout Eclypsia, defeating the Fuels and saving all the lost Sun fragments. Once she is whole again, our strength will return and we can stop this evil together! We’re counting on you!
JS – We started the whole process by designing possible characters for the game, and tried to keep the art style quite child-like and friendly, to appeal to children. These are a few initial ideas.
JS – We realised colour would be very important to communicate positive and negative connotations to children, so we wanted the friendly characters to inspired by the shapes and colours we see in nature. Hence, the “acorn people”.
CD – I wanted to draw a few ideas for what the ‘coal men’ might look like. I wanted them to reflect the negativity of fossil fuels, but still keep a childlike appearance. Obviously nothing too sinister as the game would be targeted at younger children.
EU – From the beginning, we knew that character customisation would be necessary within the game, as it is in all games of the current generations. We want the kids to be able to create a character that they can relate to and interact with. These are some ideas for various facial expressions.
EU – Here are some possible hair and accessory designs. We felt that a humourous, even silly element is important in many games, and we think these customisations options provide that.
AH – As a child embarking on an adventure, naturally your first instinct is to take your bicycle with you. But as you arrive in a whole new world, you are provided with a form of transport more “appropriate” to your surroundings. We have stuck with the bike as a default means of travelling and exploring throughout the game, and a foundation for extensive upgrades and customisation options that will allow you to better tackle enemies in the game as you progress.
AH – Your vehicle at different times throughout the game will reflect the world you’re in, and the encounters you’re faced with. On a planet that revolves around wind power, you might be able to use a bicycle that floats on tiny hurricanes, and use the power of the air to defeat your enemies. Each style of bike will reflect a different type of renewable energy, further emphasising its importance to the player.
JS – Once we’d established the story for the game and some of the characters, We set about designing the worlds you explore throughout your quest. We felt this sketch of a futuristic tree city was a bit too serious, too sci-fi and not cute or friendly enough for a child’s game.
JS – We liked the idea of buildings inspired by trees, and the concept of their inhabitants being like fruit or seeds. We came up with this idea for a house, and it soon developed into a kind of city structure.
JS – We thought it would be nice for the buildings and characters of the Acorn world to react to the loss of the sun in terms of appearance, and they would wither and fade just as plants and trees do.
EU – These are some examples of acorn people and their homes that I made.
EU – And here are some 3D model examples of the playable characters.
EP – This is a more rendered idea of what some acorn creatures and their world might look like soon after it’s been thrown into darkness.
EP – By contrast, we wanted to keep the Fuel creatures synonymous with themes of industrialisation and gritty, dirty environments. This is a very rough idea of what a world might look like after they have taken it over.
CD – Something else to consider was the User Interface for the game, which would include menu screens, Heads Up Display, and everything that displays information to you during the game. Again, we felt this should remain quite simple and cartoony, and this is a very quick sketch of one possibility.
CD – This is an idea for the character customisation screen. After the initial cinematic, this will be the first thing you see when you play the game. You will be able to reach this screen at any time during the game, to give your character a makeover, or add accessories you have unlocked along the way.
EP – Aside from the obvious function of the game to provide enjoyment for the children playing it, the overriding goal of the project was always to create something that has a lasting, meaningful effect on the issues we’re addressing.
EU – One idea we came up with was that the game publisher could work in collaboration with schools, or retail stores that sell the game, and promote the idea of recycling by offering in-game rewards for any recyclable materials brought in by the children. For instance, if a child brings a certain amount of cans or bottles, they receive a code which they can enter in the game to receive an upgrade or accessory.
EP – We feel this would be appealing to children because it gives them something they actually want, whilst also having a tangible impact in the real world. If initial projects are successful, more could be implemented, and it could help build the image of the gaming world as an effective medium for educating children and engaging them in meaningful activities to help against climate change and other world issues.
Even if nobody else was, I was incredibly pleased with how the presentation went and proud of my group buddies! Our audience seemed very receptive to our ideas, often finding it humorous and I felt were thoroughly engaging with our idea. From what they said I felt as though they could really see our idea becoming a real game. One girl remarked “I could definitely see my little brother playing this game!” *weeps*
The night before our presentation was a nightmare. Collective panic set in when we lost our entire presentation and all of the work we’d put into it, notes and all. Damn you technology! After managing to retrieve our work we saved it on as many memory sticks and in as many folders as possible, not wanting to risk losing our work for good next time…
Overall I think the group work has been nothing but beneficial for me. I enjoyed working with the people in my group and I feel that it will help me in the future to think more outside the box with my ideas, and perhaps not just stick to the ‘safe’ option. Not that I’m a ‘safe option’ sort of person, but it has certainly helped me in as far as realising what potential I have and the sort of ideas that can arise just with some careful thought and a bit of imagination.