Author Topic: Background Blitz - Regression - 27 April - 19 May 2013  (Read 2530 times)

Regression

  • Ever since he was a child, 43-year-old Mr. Vest has had that special dream. When his wife wakes him up from it, pearls of sweat are running down his face. While trying to slow down his rapid breathing, he forces himself to remember what he has just seen: There was fire. And he was about to die. Then, each time, the memory disappears in the shadows of his mind.

    The cold leather of the couch helps to feel comfortable while trying to relax. His business shoes with the loosened laces are accurately positioned parallel to each other and in a line with the pattern in the carpet. This session will be his last attempt to bring light into the subconscious.

    “3. Just let the relaxation wash over your body.”, the voice says, continuing the countdown that it started a few minutes ago. “Just let the relaxation... wash... o-ver your body.”

    Could it really be that his dreams are memories of a long forgotten past?

    “2. You are completely relaxed, in a safe place, where nothing can harm you... completely relaxed... nothing can harm you...”

    “1. You feel one... everything... feel...everything...”

    Darkness. Then - an old wooden door. The voice tells him that beyond lies his past. The source of his nightmare. Slowly he walks towards it. Carefully he touches the door knob. It feels extremely hot. Usually he would have taken his hand away immediately, but he knows that nothing can harm him here. So he turns around the knob, opens the door and steps through it.




You are the only background artist of a small game development company of six static and a few free team members. The script is almost complete and people expect that your artistic skills make the author's visions visable to everyone. Animations, music and character sprites will be done by your colleagues.
The scene in which the protagonist opens the imaginative door will be followed by a „flashback-sequence“. It is a scene of a past life in which Mr. Vest, as a different person, will die because of/during a fire. This is the scene you are now designing and painting/pixeling the background for. (The fire could be in a room, in free nature, in a city or anywhere else. Also, a „pre-existence“ does not necessarily have to be located in the past but can also be an incarnation in the future. To keep this contest as open as possible, the details are up to each participant.)

Rules and hints:
  • There should be some kind of „stage“ - a place where the action takes place. It's a walkarea (usually in the foreground) on which characters are fully scaled.
  • The more characters (NPCs) are seen, the more work the sprite-artists will have.
  • You should have at least one animated area in your background (e.g. smoke, flames, glowing metal). Animations make a scene look interesting and dynamic. Remember, that the more complex, the larger and longer the animation is the more work the animators have to put into it. For this contest, you do not have to animate that area, but only may show one frame of it (the animation is the animator's work). However, you will have to give a...
  • ...brief description: Describe your picture to the rest of the team. Where is the walk-area, where does the action take place? Where should NPCs be (if you want any), what should they look like and how should they act? Which areas should be animated and how? For that purpose, you can use a sketchy paint over (arrows, circles, notes), too.


-


Categories for voting will be:
  • Idea
  • Atmosphere
  • Composition
  • Functionality
  • Economy and team-work (How much additional work does the background mean for the rest of the team? Is your background (design/image and description) comprehensible to the others?)
« Last Edit: 28 Apr 2013, 08:57 by MeditativePixel »

Miez

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    • I can help with animation
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Re: Background Blitz - Regression - 27 April - 19 May 2013
« Reply #1 on: 27 Apr 2013, 16:23 »
Whoo - it's a hard one! But interesting... I'm certainly going to enter :D

Re: Background Blitz - Regression - 27 April - 19 May 2013
« Reply #2 on: 01 May 2013, 09:53 »
Thanks for your feedback. Actually it's not that hard. In brief the topic could be "a background that includes dangerous fire (or a sign for it)". :) I hope that there will be more people participating.

ThreeOhFour

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Re: Background Blitz - Regression - 27 April - 19 May 2013
« Reply #3 on: 01 May 2013, 14:11 »


To be reborn into the service of the Old Ones, first one must pass through the fire that will cleanse them of this life - "killing" them - so that they may begin life anew free from the corruption of humanity. Having died, they may then walk the path to the dimensional gateway where they will be shown life anew.

Mr Vest is not 43 years old - merely, he has lived 43 years since his rebirth in the service of the Old Ones. He acts unknowingly as an agent for their grand machinations on this earth - his purpose is to prepare this reality so that they can enter it and consume it.


Scene detail:

This scene will require an earlier version of Mr Vest - dressed in a fashion suitable for 43 years before the game's setting. There will also need to be an agent of the Old Ones to guide him through the fire and along the path. We will need to show him being burnt up in the fire and then emerging as a spirit to travel further down the path.


I really liked this theme, and clearly listen to too much prog rock. Also, my first blitz entry in ages! Look forward to seeing more!
« Last Edit: 02 May 2013, 00:53 by ThreeOhFour »

Re: Background Blitz - Regression - 27 April - 19 May 2013
« Reply #4 on: 01 May 2013, 14:48 »
What the hey!  :shocked: This is a super-cool looking background, 304! Really stylish and moody and great. Somehow, you always manage to surprise me in a good way, hats off, sir!

Also - very interesting topic and ruleset, I'd love to participate, although I probably won't. :)

Re: Background Blitz - Regression - 27 April - 19 May 2013
« Reply #5 on: 01 May 2013, 16:27 »
Wow, that's amazing in many ways ThreeOhFour!!

Re: Background Blitz - Regression - 27 April - 19 May 2013
« Reply #6 on: 03 May 2013, 06:36 »


In a prior incarnation, the Reverand Vest only slightly misunderstood the local natives' invitation to have dinner with them. The scene will require assorted individuals to keep the main course in the pot. The ethnicity of the natives, I leave up to the artists, since it will take a better mind than mine to avoid offending somebody. As a side note, I was seriously tempted to put Ponch's avatar in the pot, but I resisted the temptation, since I'm new at all this stuff.



Edit: Overnight I came up with a nonoffensive ethnic group to dance around the fire: the Pygmy Moo Moo natives of the Dark Cowtinent. I also thought about something along the lines of Kang and Kodos, of The Simpsons, but offending Ponch seemed like more fun. Now, off to study Ponch's avatar before he changes it...

Edit: Added imgzoom tags.
« Last Edit: 14 May 2013, 04:18 by jwalt »

Miez

  • Mittens Viscount
  • cMiez.Say("Whee!");
    • I can help with animation
    • I can help with backgrounds
    • I can help with play testing
    • I can help with story design
    • I can help with translating
Re: Background Blitz - Regression - 27 April - 19 May 2013
« Reply #7 on: 20 May 2013, 10:44 »
Cr*p! I really wanted to do this one, and I had some design & backstory actually planned. But there was simply no time... :(
Great entries, my congratulations to JWalt & Ben304

Re: Background Blitz - Regression - 27 April - 19 May 2013
« Reply #8 on: 21 May 2013, 04:06 »
Ok then. Perhaps it was too complex and too defined. However, thanks for those nice two entries!
Those who are interested might vote by those categories:
Idea
Atmosphere
Composition
Functionality, Economy and team-work (merged the two points).

Snarky

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Re: Background Blitz - Regression - 27 April - 19 May 2013
« Reply #9 on: 21 May 2013, 07:32 »
Hmmm, yeah... Although two entries isn't that unusually low for the BG Blitz. Participation always fluctuates. And with the Workshop Blitz running in parallel, that took up a lot of people's time.

Personally, I like the idea of asking the entries to think more explicitly about how the screen would work in a game (with walk areas etc.), as I feel the BG Blitz often focuses too much on art as artwork rather than art as a game component. (For that reason, I prefer the alternative voting categories sometimes used that give equal weight to the artistic execution and the game contribution: Idea/Technique/Usefulness)

Still, there were a few things that kept me from wanting to participate in this round:

-The description was very long and complex, and it seemed like I needed to study the story in order to produce an appropriate BG.
-"Different ways of dying in a fire" sounded a bit gruesome, not that appealing to me.
-I found that the requirement that the character should die in the fire but have a walkable area made it hard to think of anything other than screens surrounded by flames...
-...And a BG full of flames isn't that interesting to draw, at least to me.

Well, it might be something to think about for the future, anyway, since with your skills I'm sure you could be hosting it many times over.

Votes:

Idea: 304
Atmosphere: 304
Composition: 304
F/E/T: jwalt

Miez

  • Mittens Viscount
  • cMiez.Say("Whee!");
    • I can help with animation
    • I can help with backgrounds
    • I can help with play testing
    • I can help with story design
    • I can help with translating
Re: Background Blitz - Regression - 27 April - 19 May 2013
« Reply #10 on: 21 May 2013, 12:18 »
I don't think the Blitz was too complicated or specific - I personally really liked the theme! (I was going for a Dante's Divina Commedia theme, with those freaky rings of hell...)
That Workshop Blitz might indeed have lured away a lot of potential applicants, that's a bit of a shame. Nevertheless, the two entries are both great, and here's my votes:

Idea - ThreeOhFour, because I'm a sucker for anything Lovecraftian :D
Atmosphere - JWalt. I like the "intimate" atmosphere of the scene.
Composition - ThreeOhFour. This was a tough one, both BGs will work well in a game, even though I see ThreeOhFour's more as a cut scene BG than an actual playable screen... but in the end I really like the depth and flow of ThreeOhFour's entry.
Functionality, Economy and team-work - JWalt. To fully benefit from ThreeOhFour's it would need a lot of great animation: those clouds in the distance, the Old Ones themselves, not to mention Mr. Vests transformation itself. I feel that JWalt's BG is more manageable.

Re: Background Blitz - Regression - 27 April - 19 May 2013
« Reply #11 on: 25 May 2013, 07:49 »
Ok, to bring this to a fair end :)

While jwalt has come up with a background that can be implemented a lot more comfortably in a game, ThreeOhFour's technical skill and imagination resulted in a picture that took the lead with 5:3 points.

Thanks for participating. Looking forward to the next BG-Blitz @ ThreeOhFour! :)



PS: Thanks for the informative comments, Snarky. Perhaps some day there'll be a new and better attempt, respecting the points you've mentioned.