So after setting out the rules of how to design an environment well I can move onto the interesting part. I've been given the creative freedom to create an environment of my choice for a console with any genre I’d like to do.
Ive had a recent stint of watching twisted films, which fall under the genre 'Horror Slashers' (Think of the Saw series, that gives you an idea of what it's about). Something about people being put into a life and death situation or facing their fears and seeing how people react and what they’re willing to do to survive really fascinates me. Fears a powerful emotion which I don’t see or feel in many games. Some games do pull it off successfully though, STALKER and Silent Hill are a few to name. These games happen to be some of my favourite games I've played in recent years, that feeling of being scared is something which is something which will stick with me for a long time. And I think that's down to that feeling I had playing those games.
Now this is an emotion id like to get across in this project, along with that feeling of being helpless and loneliness. So I think the genre I'm looking to do will be survival horror. So to kick start things I pulled a few images from the Chernobyl accident which tell so much of what happened with just a few images, that’s the storytelling rule hit spot on. You also get the idea of feeling of loneliness, that you are just one small normal person in the big bad world, not a mega bad ass Rambo who can save the world (its clichéd and unrealistic). The only thing you can do is survive. I feel players will have more of an emotional connection with someone who is just an average Joe in a difficult situation. Then some mindless super hero. The Silent Hill series pulled this off so well.
Next up was to quickly concept some environments to get some basic ideas down, so I can take these ideas further later on. I produce 4 environments which felt like the starting point of a game, where the character would wake up and the player would straight away ask questions like : What happened? How did I get here? What will happen/what will I see if I take this path? I wanted to half answer these questions by having a few props dotted around the room, but ultimately keep the player partly in the dark and let them start to create the story themselves.
I also wanted to use a lot of contrast in the environments, with bright lights and dark areas, to help guide the player to the next area but to also to see the light areas as 'safe zones', playing on the physiological trait colours have.
That’s it for now, next time Ill have a more fleshed out concept.