INK STORY: Inspiration Bonus

While INK STORY is obviously inspired and shaped by the realm of fine art, I want to add a bit about the influence of people who have published REALLY INTERESTING RPG-Maker based games.

Yume Nikki  

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A surrealist adventure game designed by KIKIYAMA. There is little information about the main character, but much of our interpretation is based on the exploration of a bizzare “dreamscape” and interacting with objects/creatures. This game is possibly the first of many games that are based in RPGM as an “art form” rather than a conventional RPG-genre game.

Funamusea/Mogeko 

Screenshot Screenshot

Mogeko is a Japanese-based illustrator who has published three RPGM games – Mogeko CastleThe Gray Garden, and Wadanohara and the Great Blue Sea. I find myself (and INK STORY) particularly influenced by the heavy focus on storytelling. And how cute every character looks, despite some questionable (and borderline deplorable) themes that are exploited in their games and illustrative works.  

Link to their Main Site 

And of course, there’s

Ib 

Ib Screenshot

Which, like INK STORY plans to, takes place in a warped art museum that the player must guide the titular character through. While INK STORY isn’t in the horror genre and plans to include “battle” segments, the fine-art influenced world that is unraveled in Ib may be reflected in the former.

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INK STORY: Artistic Influences

INK STORY, as seen so far, is all about art and how we view it. Each artist is referenced by a cutesy character, and our protagonist Ink is (decidedly) an outside viewer that represents us interacting with artworks (literally, in this case).

For a game that’s literally centers around art, there should be some inspirations from artists, whether or not they are represented in-game!

Here’s a few artists who I tend to think about when working on the game so far:

Gary Baseman 

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An American contemporary artist working in illustration, fine art, animation, and toy design. He is notable for creating works that land somewhere between “fine and commercial” art (high and low, alternatively). Baseman’s works has been an inspiration for many of my art; for this project in particular the sense of “play” and exploration is important for Ink’s journey through the strange museum.

Link to his main site HERE 

 

Chiho Aoshima 

A Japanese artist who is a part of Takashi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki Collective. She primarily works with film and video art, but is also known for sculptural and installation works (summarized as “animated murals”). Her most well-recognized installations are large-scale, with the 32.5 meter length City Glow series going across several train platforms (Including in New York and and London). In particular, I am drawn to the dreamlike and fantastic worlds and characters that are presented in her art. Perhaps we will see strange NPCs and stages like this in Ink’s story?

Link to English Kaikai Kiki Collective page HERE 

Link to Blum and Poe page HERE 

Cory Arcangel 

Image result for Cory Arcangel

Unlike the previous two artists I’ve discussed, there’s nothing “cutesy” or illustrative about most of Arcangel’s art as far as anyone can tell. In fact, he is known for working in many different media, particularly in dissecting technology and appropriating materials to create his art. Super Mario Clouds (2002) and I Shot Andy Warhol (2002) may be his most recognized works; both of these are modified Nintendo NES cartrige hacks. Like how he is altering a video-game software to create an art object, with INK STORY I am aiming to alter the graphics and uses of the RPGM platform to create art.

Link to things Arcangel has made with video game mods

I also have a few other influences that I felt are not totally “art” related, but are worth mentioning HERE

INK STORY: Prototype Sketches

Here are a few “ugly model” sketches of how I’m envisioning this game’s overall appearance and some of the characters included.

Note that these are black/white images; I do intend to have more color into the actual game itself!

Character Sketches

 

And floor plans for each “level” of the museum, all the way up to the rooftop!

Ink Story: Proposal Letter

 

Here’s the original draft of the proposal for Ink Story (which at the time was nonspecific to Ink’s story, but it holds some of the important ideas that I needed).

A Game About an Ink Spot

I would like to use this class as an opportunity to create a 2D game that is about exploring and understanding different worlds. This is influenced by various 2D-pixel games that are often used to tell stories over a focus on gameplay. In some instances of this genre, the player is directly addressed as an important part of the game’s overall theme and function.

The story following this game involves a protagonist seeking out lost objects throughout different worlds, in which these alternate worlds can be accessed by visiting several “shrines” in a “homeworld”; this homeworld acts as a base for our protagonist and might be their home as well. It is the mission of the player to assist the protagonist in deciphering clues and finding the pieces to the end goal of the game, with each world becoming available as an object is discovered.

A “battle” system involves interaction with residents of these other worlds, who may reveal things about our protagonist and the worlds that they live in. The protagonist and the player may not understand these worlds, but will likely come to accept them as “existing”. On this journey, the protagonist’s motives for exploring the worlds are revealed over time though storytelling; as certain objects are collected or events occur, the character becomes aware of their purpose and their possible past.

The platform that I have in mind is in RPGMaker, but I have also considered using Unity’s 2D-sidescrolling capabilities. RPG Maker has been known for the “exploration-RPG” kinds of games that have been popular in recent years, which would fit the goals that I have for this project in particular. However, I also have an opportunity to learn more about Unity as a game-making platform for the purposes of this project.

Given an opportunity, it would also serve the piece well to have it be installed in a specific way. At minimum, I would like the machine that the game is installed in to be placed in a secluded space (a corner, or a small room for example) with a “guestbook”. In this way, there is a focus on the player’s interaction with the protagonist apart from the player’s “world”. The guestbook is left as evidence of the player’s presence. (Perhaps there’s also a story that is provided in or nearby the installation?)