Before i produced anymore work, i thought it would be a good idea to go through some literature. I’ve been reading a bit of Neuromancer by William Gibson, the latest WIRED “The End of the World” Issue, EDGE magazine’s “The Making Of… 50 of the best and most influential games of all time.
I’ve watched a few documentaries on the e-sports industry.
These very accurately depict the gaming industry and the amount of success its gained within the last few years.
Mainly, i’ve spent the weekend trying to finish Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and thoroughly enjoyed its high visual narrative.
It circles around a Mass multiplayer game called OASIS that it is used religiously by millions of people every day. This all exists in a distant future, where through climate change and human consumption, the world has been transformed into a bleak and sad place. With a stagnant economy and very little opportunity for success in the real world, many have found an enjoyment and pleasure in the space of OASIS’ collection of virtual worlds. With an OASIS console, visor and haptic gloves, the user is transformed into an avatar and brought into incredibly rendered spaces, worked into every detail meticulously and convincingly. With one of the most stable economies and currencies on the planet, the game allows for activities such as shopping or studying to more fantastical quests and battles against other players. A world where the fat would become thin and the ugly would become beautiful, many have opted for their better selves in this alternative reality, all accessible from the confines of one’s room.
The story follows the death of James Halliday, the creator of OASIS and for the remainder of his wealth and inheritance to be won by the discovery of an Easter Egg.
A videogame Easter Egg is usually hidden within the games code, allowing for players to discover it through a series of clues or hints. Atari, the game developer used to remove names of individual game designers from their products, seeing it as a means to prevent competitors from identifying and luring Atari’s programmers. In the game, Adventure, the Easter Egg is located inside the black castles (on level 2), where there is an invisible 1-pixel object referred to as the Gray Dot. The player must bounce the avatar along the bottom wall and pick up the dot. Bringing this dot to the east end of the corridor below the Yellow Castle, allows for the player to pass into a room displayer the words “Created by Warren Robinett.”
The person to uncover Halliday’s Easter Egg would instantly inherit all his wealth and control the vast lands of OASIS. With an offer to good to refuse, millions of “gunters” were addictively committed to the search for the Easter Egg. With thousands of virtual worlds and planets to look through, it would take forever to search through the whole of OASIS.
The format and idea of OASIS is incredibly fascinating because it allows for a deprived generation of individuals to escape into a world so much more perfect and beautiful than the ones they already occupy. With every book, every movie, every video-game and every artwork loaded into the network’s servers, the OASIS seems like a place where everything is compiled into one place.
Drawing from this, i’ve structured some of my thoughts into what Im working on and thinking about at the moment. Context/Game/Trailer/Walkaround
Im still far from being done with what the game should be but here are some thoughts..
With the pre-mature birth of consumer virtual reality in 2016, I can’t help but to speculate a world with the technology capable of creating a truly immersive experience, allowing the user to step into a world as convincing and as real as the physical spaces and environments we occupy through daily life. Millions of individuals are already devoting a large amount of time, playing and often striving to becoming the best at these games. With games like League of Legends attracting just over 100 million individual players every month, society is already embracing a world where life could perhaps be spent on the virtual world. Already, a higher education and accessibility travel is reserved to a small fraction of the world’s population and the inequality of wealth is more evident now than ever before and with the clear threat of climate change, many of the world’s landmarks are in serious danger. Through this irreparable damage and complaisance, it would be difficult to restore our world to the state it once was.
In the virtual, anything is possible, cities can be built in the matter of seconds and urban planning will have never been easier. It would be a way for us to revisit our memories and curate a world that is the result of our desires. Delta is a virtual palace, formed by an infinite enfilade, with endless combinations and configurations of rooms and possibilities. The enfilade follows a different setting every time the game is re-started and begins in the first room also known as the great hall. The palace can be seen as a game menu, allowing for the element of choice and decision that will allow for the progression of the game to take place. Here, the architecture is completely manipulatable and changeable allowing for individual players to curate specific experiences and tailor their environments to themselves. With vast landscapes and environments to occupy, inhabit and consume, players will find themselves building memories that are amongst the many that will be stumbled across in the space of Delta. When the enfilade resets itself, the arrangement of the rooms begins to re-arrange and re-construct itself unless the user is already tuned in.
I haven’t decided what the purpose of the game would be just yet but the initial ideas of being a virtual reality where life can continue is a fascinating idea that I would still like to pursue. The architecture for these spaces can then be considered much more.
As the user leaves the thresholds of the palace, many find themselves in vastly familiar worlds, where rooms connect to one another, constantly offering the element of choice in the process of playing the game hence leaving the fate of each gamer to be left to a few thousand options. Spaces will vary from highly realistic to sometimes, fantastical 3D renderings.
(This still needs some work)
I’m still in the process of storyboarding and deciding what to show when I make the trailer but the idea is quite simple. I want to frame my presentation in a few parts, allowing for me to sale the game first through a series of posters and trailers that I’ve been working on. The content should definitely revolve around the ideas of re-configurability and the ability to mould and change the fate of the game. I would still want to sale Delta as being a means of escape and to create a sense of fulfilment in individuals. I need to work on these scenes more when I figure out the content.
Accompanying the trailer, a walkaround video showing one possibility of delta will be made. I need to decide on this sequence further but more interaction with the interiors will be required where objects change scales as they are positioned in different locations and to emphasise on the relentless endlessness of the enfilade.
Will continue thinking and writing, while storyboarding the trailer.