Friday, January 25, 2013

How to Catequesize your stories

Hi people, after the video of Max showing the awesome editor he is creating, I'm going to continue talking about me... so what have we got after all my egocentric posts?

Chico: Well, we got Japanese weird terror, Spanish history influence... Jesus on a cloud and a giant chorizo attack.

Ok, thanks Chico, a curious mix of influences. I'm going to talk about how I create the stories. It depends very much of what the goal is. When I have total freedom and time, I don't sit in front a white paper and write until the story is finish. No, that would be the hell for me. I'm a visual author, so normally, when I think of a story, images appear in my mind. This is curious, because I talk with scriptwriters, who told me they don't see images but hear dialogues of the characters. When I have to create a story I try to describe this particular images I see.

Chico: But, in this case you do music videos. I mean, a story is not a sequence of consecutive images, you have characters, plot points, climax....

Sure, dear Chico, this is the hard part : making something that really works like story and not a sequence of nonsense. And I have a weird technique. First of all the images I see in my mind are the base, the core, so, I don't adapt this images to a good story, I adapt the story to this images. 

I put an easy bad example: 
- I imagine the hero frightened by a masked killer, escaping for building corridors.
- I imagine the hero with a mask, dancing with the masked killer in a big hall.

These images give me a true feeling of what I really want to the story, so I ask myself: "Why is the hero actually dancing with the killer?" or "Is the killer really the bad guy?" ... So, I analyse the images and try to put it on a big story scheme that really works, this way I keep the original feeling.

Chico: I see a tricky business finding the correct path to join the images.

Sometimes I spend several months to build a whole story, sometimes you don't have the missing piece and find it watching a movie or playing a game. 

Sh*t, again a long and boring post with no information, for the next I will talk about the Catequesis scheme... or not.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Catequesis Development Screencast #1

Hello dear followers.

Today, i'll show you a bit of the editor that we're using in Catequesis.
This is our very first screencast, there's a lot of room for improvement.

This editor is a homemade tool for building our maps for the game.
This first screencast shows only a tiny part of what can be done: simple map editing.

Some might found that i seem bored and speak with a french accent, but that's just to give a nouvelle vague style to this video. Fran just loves it.

Hope you'll like it !

Friday, January 4, 2013

Black Snake VS Giant Chorizo

Hello dear Chico, how was your holidays ? Did you have any gift?

Chico: Hola Fran, yes I got a new orange sweater.

Great, I got the affection of my family and the joy of my beloved friends... talking about it, lets talk about fear.

Coming back the last post, I told you about the "don't show" thing, the classic trick to generate fear in the player/viewer. So lets take an example.

Imagine you are walking in a creepy house, you start to hear a strange sound. At first you think that it is the wind, but then you approach the basement and the sound is more clear, like claws scratching. You walk down the stairs and open the door.

Right now you are scared, in your mind a strange evil creature stands behind that door, this is the classic horror where you "don't show", the player/viewer imagine the scariest in his mind.

But what happen next? The guy opens the door and... you have two choices:

  1. You put an evil creature inside, with claws and ugly face growling something like "grrr".So, you waste the previously generated fear. You didn't get to satisfy the expectations, because it is really hard to do this.
  2. You put nothing inside, or you lock the door, and the noises stop.So the people will call you a liar, because you create an expectation and then there is nothing.

But imagine that you don't want to show the creature but still want to keep the fear. You have to show something in the basement or have to give a new clue to the player, like a diary for example. We can keep the tension only putting the diary over a table in a creepy basement, but I propose to grab the player/viewer by his guts.

Come back to the creepy house... you are hearing claws sounds then you open the basement door, the sounds stop. Inside the creepy basement you see a white blanket covering something... or someone. You get closer to the "thing", it's like a body and his covered hand grabs a book. Suddenly an internal blood star to cover the blanket, you are afraid but you still approach to focus on the book,  get the book and you realize that it is a diary. You start to read without noticing a black snake crawling out below the blanket. Suddenly while reading an important part in the diary, the snake bites you in the leg.

Chico: Ok, that's creepy, weird and mark the player. It's like there is something to solve, something deep.

You can change the bloody blanket for a weird statue, or a girl in a corner with his face hidden, or a man with a mask talking to you in a strange language, or dancing backward.
You can only have two rules to make this fine:

  1. Show something that the people don't expect. If you hear scratching, don't show a creature with claws. This way you never try to reach the player expectations.
  2. Mix with unconscious fear symbols. Like blood, fangs, sharp pikes, hidden things...

This way you will show dangerous things that the player can't understand, so they will be scared by them.

Chico: So if I put a... giant chorizo with legs... mmmm... with a big knife... Does it work?

Totally sure Chico.