Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Scene development: The battle for Gabbler's Ford

At Gabbler's Ford we met the foe,
The fearsome northern hordes,
They thought to feast upon our bones
But bit down on our swords.

Unknown Elfkin Bard

My unstructured scene development process
1. Read/develop/interpret basic script outline.
2. Rough out storyboards to identify key characters, objects, settings and action sequences. Opportunity to think about visual storytelling.
3. Develop characters, props and environment reference. Be prepared for production!
4. Enhance. How might one enrich the mood/purpose of the scene? with lighting, framing, etc..
5. Repeat/iterate. Destroy/create.

Initial sequence
Concept development


Original mood sketch

Design notes for next iteration:

I decided to make it snow! Weather will be used to visually differentiate past events from scenes set in the present day... but shouldn't characters now be dressed appropriately? Hats, scarves & elfkin mittens. Breath visible on cold air.

Goblinoid chieftain is boring/generic... make him memorable. What's his weak spot? Special weapon? Don't waste the creative opportunity. Any ideas guys?

Better integrate the environment into the scene. Use the setting, make it so the events could only happen in this specific location. Troops fighting in the icy water, the makeshift bridge should be a centerpiece for the sequence. Blood in the snow.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Goblin Glue

Goblin glue (goo or paste) is the viscous liquid resulting from the reduction of goblin blood. The glue intensifies the goblins remarkable ability to heal and fight infection. With a generous dollop of glue even severed limbs can be reattached and fully operational within minutes.

The Battle Butcher
The goblin battle butcher armed with only a cleaver, bucket of goblin glue and his superior anatomical knowledge (amounting to knowing how many limbs a goblin ought to have!) is able to splice together combat ready warriors from the recently dead and grievously wounded. The unpredictable shapes and awkward gaits of these abominations as they shamble into battle is such a perturbing sight it has even drawn comparison with the choreography of Dwarven ballet .

Human consumption
Goblin goo is not the exclusive preserve of goblinkind. Many seasoned dungeon delvers have prolonged their adventures by resorting to its incredible regenerative powers. Its over-use, however, can lead to some undesirable side effects (or goblinisms):

1) Dislike for bright light, compensated by superior darksight.
2) Ability (and desire!) to eat rotten meat/carrion/feces without ill effect.
3) Stench of the unwashed, the emission of the distinctive goblin odour (which attracts the unwanted attention of their natural predators... gulp worms et al)
4) Distortion of noses, ears, limbs and... other appendages.
5) Development of psychotic tendencies and/or malicious sense of humour.
6) Flatulence.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Stadium of Strife

Dungeon delving can be a tedious, lonely occupation. Often with only an ancient map for guidance, would-be dungeoneers might spend a large portion of their careers wandering distant and treacherous locals in the hope of finding an untouched lair. So unlikely is it that these treasure maps ever bear fruit that it is now widely believed that their creation was simply a deception of an entire generation of pernicious cartographers.

This has lead to adventurous types seeking pursuits with more immediate rewards. The Stadium of Strife provides one such opportunity, allowing competitors to win fame and fortune in a single day.

One of the contest's delights is its ability to produce unexpected winners.