I’ve recently made a video that highlights some of the elements that are currently a part of Ink Story:
I’ve been focusing on under-the-hood changes (such as interface appearances and little bugs in character dialogue), but I did add several *new* sprites that show up in the first gallery (apart from Hope):
(Left to right: Ink, Mondie, Kono, Antony, Marge, Burgundy, Puddles, Hope, and “Serras”)
Some system changes have been made, including an enemy health bar to be displayed when fighting characters:
And fixed character portraits on the main menu – they are all transparent “faces,” instead of half of a sprite:
Here are also several character sketches (some names are still in development)
Progression on Ink’s game has been wild. I got sick in the last few days, but managed to pull off a few bug fixes/graphic additions!
I added the second gallery’s parallax map/event tiling:
Several artworks/artists have been represented.
Here’s Ink hiding behind Dubuffet’s “Tower of Lace.” Since it’s so huge, it gets its own sprite.
This rendition of Calder’s Lobster Trap and Fish Tail mobile work actually wiggles in the game.
There are two “mini-gallery” rooms in this level that feature works from Hirst and Rothko.
Which also brings up an additional NEW CHARACTER: Hope, who is the mediator and resident of the gallery’s “chapel” room.
Thus far, we have… 4 characters. At this point, I will need to focus on implementing other planned characters.
In the meanwhile, I’ve started picking up on the third gallery space:
Hopkins Hall – Autumn 2016 Art and Technology Show
Working Title: Ink Story
Artist: Jasmine Rajavadee
Description of Work:
- A video-game installation allowing the viewer to experience an art gallery through a game narrative, may include decorative elements in setup
- (1) Windows-OS machine (Provided by artist)
- (1) Computer monitor
- (1) Keyboard
- (1) Table
- (1) Tablecloth
- (1) Bench, or seat
- (1) A/C adapter
- *If a Windows-OS laptop is brought/available as an alternative to a desktop computer, then a keyboard and computer monitor may not be necessary
- Game content runs about ~1 hour for a complete run; viewers are encouraged to interact at various points of the game’s run, and can leave the work at any point for the next player to continue the story
- (1) Windows-OS machine
- Mircosoft Windows XP and above, 32-bit/64-bit
- RPG Maker VX Ace Run Time Package (RTP) (http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/download/additional/run-time-packages )
- May include built-in speakers
- (1) Keyboard
- Must have directional keys
- (1) Computer monitor (1024 x 768 pixels or higher desktop resolution recommended)
- Power chords to connect to electrical outlets (powers the computer and monitor)
- (Optional) (1) Standard mouse (troubleshooting any technical bugs), USB locks (security)
Estimated Measurments/Space Requirements:
- Minimum space: 5 ft x 5 ft of space is recommended
- Enough space to accommodate 1 person playing the game and for others to watch gameplay/pass by
Special Installation needs:
- (1) Table set up with (1) presentable tablecloth covering it
- (1) Bench for viewers/players to sit
- To be placed in front of the table, close enough to view game comfortably
- (1) “Gallery” frame around the monitor (emulating a painting, drawing, etc)
Proposed Installation Layout:
Ink Story is an art-inspired video game that tells the story of a girl named Ink who wakes up in an art museum and investigates the galleries to rediscover her identity. The museum is inhabited by “avatars” of the artworks that populate the galleries; each of these are representative of their respective work of art, and facilitate communication with others and Ink. Ink’s experiences within the gallery are loosely reflected from my own encounters with contemporary art and struggles as an artist.
I chose the RPG Maker VX Ace engine to create Ink’s world. The program is known for its strong ties to other games that are known for pushing the exploration and world-building aspects. It is suitable for viewing within a gallery space or from the viewer’s home via direct downloading. Ink Story is the first invitation for the viewer to wander through one of many fantastical worlds that I have created episodically in my previous works.
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:
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.
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?
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.
I also have a few other influences that I felt are not totally “art” related, but are worth mentioning HERE
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!
And floor plans for each “level” of the museum, all the way up to the rooftop!
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?)