The story so far…
This is a collection of my development entries through weeks 1–12 for the Narrative & Play module.
The idea for Transpire came to me after a conversation with a close friend. The topic we were discussing at the time was around mental illness and how a lot of media, especially films, portray the idea of that one person can be “fixed” of all their problems such as by another individual; the “hero”. From this I decided that I wished to write a story that involves a person acknowledging their issues and working through them to develop a new future, healthy mindset rather than fixing past problems which isn’t possible and isn’t always possible to relive the triggering scenarios.
Some of the feedback received within the early stages was that the general story was too broad, especially as there was no clear series of events defined for each chapter at this point and there was an overall lack of detail. I acknowledged this by focusing purely on the breakdown of each chapter from a narrative and gameplay perspective to ensure that I knew what was happening, who was involved, where the events are taking place and why which made it easier to work other aspects such as characters and environments as it was already laid out.
One of the first aspects I had trouble with was the timeline of events. Due to the nature of the story taking place across Elyse’s life, I needed a suitable timeframe to showcase all the difficulties she had gone through. However, it was difficult to balance as if the duration was too long as then there would be concerns of the player losing interest in the story and thus the game. On the other hand, if Transpire is too short in length, it may fall short of conveying the intended story and overall message.
Another problem appeared upon creating the characters such as Elyse’s younger sister, Esme. My initial idea had been to design Esme as a smaller image of her sister with red hair. However, upon researching into characteristics, I discovered that it would be highly unlikely for the parents, Ross, and Rosie, to produce another red headed child as it is quite rare. For one of their offspring to be a red head, they must both carry the recessive gene. However, two red-headed parents are quite unlikely, therefore I decided to have Rosie with the dominant gene, and Ross as the recessive.
In addition, I had slight difficulty on deciding on reference for the location. I had initially decided to base it upon the surrounding forest of Royal Victoria Country park which I recall strongly from being there when I was younger. However, the trees are quite spread out and are not the right kind of trees I’d pictured for the game environment. I then tried Queen Elizabeth country park which I’m also familiar with, but there was the issue of the land being quite steep and encompassed a lot of hills which again, wasn’t the right imagery for my reference. Upon further research, I decided to use Eggesford Forest in Devon. From looking at photographs, the Douglas Fir trees form the perfect image, especially in an Autumnal setting. It also has long winding paths and large, flat clearings.