“Box File” Projects – 001, Rabbit Heart

Okay… so a while back I started on this idea which I call my “box-file projects”.

Box File 002

Essentially these are projects that I work on in my own time, and that I cannot – due to “real” work commitments, pretending to have a life etc. – commit to in terms of dedicated time.

Box File 001

So what I do is get an empty box file down off the shelf, write the project name on the front, and put my initial ideas into it, close it up and tuck it back on the shelf.

Box file 004

Every now and then I might get a bit of space and time in which I think about this idea a little more, and jot some more notes, sketches or ideas down. I get home, get the box file off the shelf pop the ideas in, close it up again and put it back, until next time…

Eventually I get the box down and look inside and it’s beginning to look pretty full…

box file 003

Maybe now its ready to put some real dedicated time into it, get it finished/sold on/developed/out there…

I usually have two or three of these “box file projects” on the go at any one time… below is some images etc from one that is neither just beginning, nor a full box…

Rabbit Heart…

A Game Design/development idea in progress, sparked off by my teaching on a games design course and the need to use an ongoing developing set of examples to show the students… Maybe at some point their will be enough there to drag it out of “box file” limbo and turn it into a “real” project (laughs).


The original sketch of “Ninja Bunny”, the robot Mecha suit a young girl finds and adopts within the game concept of Rabbit Heart.

Rabbit Heart

Some more early designs, looking at the lead character, a young girl lost in a strange world.

Ninja Bunny

Further development of the “Robot Rabbit” suit…

Damians rabbit-heart-quick-sketches 2

At one point when I felt I was struggling with the lead character’s design/look I asked my friend Damian Street (www.damianstreetportfolio.com) to take a look at her. He produced several sheets of visuals which sparked me off again…

Visual digital thumbnail 3

I used one of Damian’s designs in this quick PhotoShop comp’ showing the characters in action.

Ninja Bunny - The Warriors Chamber

One of the ideas is that in a early part of the game the little girl looses her toy stuffed rabbit and sets off in her play spaceship from her bedroom on an adventure to find the toy… she eventually finds her self on a strange planet, where in a cave beneath the site of her crash landing (What can I say, I’m a big Calvin & Hobbes fan) she stumbles upon an army of rusted Robot Rabbit warriors, reminiscent of the Chinese Terracotta Army… Some where there is a sketch of this where our heroine mistakes the Mecha for her lost stuffed toy rabbit and exclaims, “MY GOSH MR. BUNNY, YOU’VE GOT BIG!”…

Rabbit Heart & Ninja Bunny 003 - Colour

I love the idea of city sized flying galleons and definitely want to see some in this game concept… here you can see our heroine and (just in shot) her adopted protector looking out at one of these Floating Town-ships.

Rabbit Heart & Ninja Bunny - Colour

A publicity style shot showing the Ninja Bunny in all it’s Mecha/Steam-punk glory…

And finally… A ridiculous video version of the above designs, pulled together very quickly to show some of my students and alternative way of presenting their design ideas… rather than just on scraps of paper or files thrown into a folder on a pen drive…

I’ve even considered pulling this whole thing together as a book, that goes through the design process…

Tale Of RabbitHeart - Page Sample 001b

Who knows if this will amount to anything… but it’s proof that the “box file project” idea does work… and with very little concerted effort… just a little bit of time.



NOTE: This has now become something else – and though the blog – http://rabbitheartgame.wordpress.com – has been on a short hiatus, we are back and reworking the project from the ground up… and to think it all started with a few sketches thrown in a box-file.

~ by hesir on November 3, 2009.

2 Responses to ““Box File” Projects – 001, Rabbit Heart”

  1. Your box has turned out really nicely. There’s steam punk thing going on in Oxford that Damien mentioned and Abi/I are thinking would be nice to go to. Get the Rabbit Heart reading and let’s launch this puppy! I’ll dress as a rabbit. I will.

  2. […] have hit an inertial rut, and they have the ability if developed and nurtured to grow beyond their “Box-file” or “side-project” role into something more rounded and […]

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