“Adaptation/Production Design Pitch”

This Mini-brief is aimed at Animation/Film and Games Design students. It follows on from a series of notes looking at the wider role of production design and the Production Designer (and related or comparable roles) in the development of Entertainment Media projects.

We set a Mini-Brief, i.e. : “Adaptation/Production Design Pitch”

In the wide world of entertainment media the development or re-imagining of existing ideas has been a staple of the production houses method of developing new properties.

Hamlet + Animated Anthropomorphism = The Lion King

Hamlet + Gritty Urban Setting = Sons of Anarchy

The Tempest = Classic Fifties SF (SciFi) = The Forbidden Planet

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes + Medical Slant + Contemporary Urban Setting = House

A – You are to consider a new idea for a game* or animation. This game is to be based on an existing concept from another media (i.e. A TV Show, Film, Book, even an Opera if that’s your bag) but not an existing computer game or animation if that is your subject area, this existing media does not have to slavishly be represented, but instead perhaps simply help provide a structure in the form of basic plot and character types for your concept.

Also we are restricting one further influence, Manga/Anime – as popular as this animation and comic book orientated cultural style is, it is quite problematic when attempting to evidence valid choice making based on purposeful research (i.e. “I chose this style of animation as it reflects the theme of loneliness and isolation due to the stark graphic quality of the post war, eastern european poster designs I looked at.”) over comfortable acquaintance with accepted/marketed presented forms or comfort zones (i.e. “I just like Manga, it’s so random.”). Lets broaden our tastes, and expand our frame of reference a little.

Due to the cultural gaps and the nature of the form when edited and repackaged for a western markets, many of the story/narrative structures have also become unnecessarily complex, what we are looking for here is a method to simplify your process, not convolute it; so please, No Anime or Manga.

B1 – You can then skin the game or animation idea with a different genre/style (is it Horror, Fantasy, Humorous, Urban? Is is cartoon like, realistic, stylised, abstract?) and B2 a theme (does the your game or animation deal with an overarching them such as grief, bullying, or is a game where music will be important?).

You are to develop your idea in 4 stages (see below) using the methodologies and skill-sets outlined in previous sessions on production design, drawing 101 and the digital skills workshops.

In particular thinking about (1) an Environment (interior or exterior), and the typical or non-typical, (2) “movable Objects” or Props that sit within in it (but could perhaps be carried out of it). Then you will be asked to consider (3) a Character – hero or villain, avatar or non-player character, human(iod) or creature.

These choices will (over the next few sessions) come together in one or more finished (4) Concept Art visuals depicting a particular scene(s) or atmosphere from your game or animation idea.

So to get this started your will need to identify:

A – A piece of Media

*this of course is usually translated as Computer (i.e. Digital) Game, however, a board game still has an environment in most cases. Some of you are Games Designers, not just digital Games Designers.

Example Concept:

I wish to work on a Game concept that has a Horror element to it (B1), with a theme (B2) that looks at empathy between characters.

I want to use a Futuristic Dystopian SF/Space setting (B1).

For my piece of media (A) I am using a children’s story… in this case, The Three Little Pigs.

The Concept:

You are a pilot/worker/security on one of three locations set in space: (1) a science/medical/research vessel, (2) an abandoned colony/space station/ship with a second NPC character on it, and finally (3) a military class vessel ran by a single military maverick character.

Three Little Pigs as a Survival Horror Game in Space

The Enemy (a force or multiple enemy of some kind – The WOLF) attacks the vessel you are on (THE STRAW HOUSE), your task is to escape to a life ship and go to the next vessel (TIMBER HOUSE), then coerce the sole survivor of that ship to exit with you and escape from the enemy to the third ship (THE BRICK HOUSE) and their defend your position and (hopefully) destroy the enemy when it comes for you (Down the Chimney?) with the third “piggy” you meet on the last well built/defended ship.*


*To be fair this isn’t far off the plot of Alien/Aliens…


~ by hesir on November 6, 2014.

3 Responses to ““Adaptation/Production Design Pitch””

  1. […] We set a Mini-Brief, i.e. : “Adaptation/Production Design Pitch” […]

  2. […] In the last session, we set a Mini-Brief, i.e. : “Adaptation/Production Design Pitch” […]

  3. […] Designing & Visualising Environments for Entertainment Media Seminar – Seminar Notes Overarching BRIEF – “Adaptation” – Delivered (Wed am) […]

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