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"I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past."

— Stanislaw Lem, Solaris

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Monday, October 25th, 2004

Update this evening...

Update next morning: Still at work on the Something Positive piece... Since I can't show you art I didn't do, I have to show you art that I did do.

Laura and I attended a meeting of the New Jersey chapter of IGDA (International Game Developers Association). Laura is interested in programming games, and I'm interested in the artistic/creative aspect. At each meeting I've been to so far, they've had a contest/brainstorming session where different groups have to create marketable game concepts.

At a previous meeting, I took the initiative in creating a game concept called "Night Life." It's a first person shooter with multiplayer / online environment hooks. The main character is Garlath the Goth, who desperately wants to become a vampire, and so is seeking to be bitten by one. But where can one find a vampire? Naturally, by searching the sleaziest bars and darkest alleys in the late-night-city!

Garlath starts out with few powers (he can Hide In Tables should a brawl break out; emit a shrill scream to discourage his enemies, and open his cloak dramatically, allowing his scrawny frame to be carried into the air by a passing breeze). He gains skills and weapons by encountering and fighting off the wretched scum of the city's underbelly - hookers, muggers, dope fiends, rummies, etc.

At long last, Garlath is able to find a vampire, get bitten, and become a vampire himself! But this is just the beginning part of the story...

Now that he's a vampire, Garlath's outlook has changed. He doesn't want more competition in the form of fellow vampires, since the supply of uninfected blood is scarce. The cleanest and safest blood is available from the virginal goths. But if you bite a Goth too often, you're just creating another rival! The alternative is to bite the hookers, muggers, etc., which carries a double risk: you can get sick from their hepatic, drug saturated plasma, and biting them too often also makes them vampires - meaner, tougher rivals than the goths would be.

So there's conflict between the goths, who must develop elaborate strategies to get themselves bitten three times, and the vampires, who try not to bite goths more than twice, since the third time turns them into vampires. Vampires try to leave definitive scars that indicate how often a goth has been bitten. But a goth who had secured a hypodermic needle from a drug addict can try to draw blood from another goth who has been bitten and inject it into herself, which counts as one vampire bite (provided it doesn't kill her in other ways...)

Sadly, this idea was not well presented in the limited time we had, and our group came in last.

This past weekend, we did slightly better in a challenge to create a fun game with overtones of the 50's, arriving at an alien drag racing game which owed something in spirit to Teenagers From Outer Space. Below is a sketch I created to help pitch the concept, showing the carlike spaceships with 50's decorations, the archetypical challenge at the stoplight, and the drive in and diner (social nexi for interaction with other players and selection of opponents) in the background.

Alien Drag Racing!

This time we came in second. But ideas are cheap, it's execution that counts... In my next entry, I'll have applied myself towards better execution. Until!

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