Initial Research & Ideas
Master Sun, The Art of War
Edited and Translated By: John Minford
Chapter 1: Making of Plans
Master Sun, The Art of War
Edited and Translated By: John Minford
Chapter 1: Making of Plans
A Grave Affair of State;
It is a place,
Of life and death,
To survival and extinction.
To be Pondered Carefully."
Sun-Tzu was a military strategist who lived in the 6th century. Renowned for his military strategy he is regarded as on of the top minds in military strategy, period.
Knowing who Sun-Tzu is and the context of the words a couple ideas can be made, the first being an animation. The first line of the book is more or less the definition of war, and when he uses this quote he doesn't just mean war in china but war in general, so creating an actual depiction of war, some of the attributes associated with it (Courage, Fear, Loyalty) could be quite a powerful topic to talk about.
Using layers upon layers the animation would play out like a Chinese paper puppet play, but as the animation went on more and more layers would be added, by the end of the animation the camera would pan over all of the scenes to show just how much war happens in our lifetimes.
Dragons and Dynasties:
An Introduction to Chinese Mythology
Yuan Ke, Selected and Translated by
Kim Echlin and Nie Zhixiong
Chapter 6: Page 180
"Once there was a merchant who sailed abroad on business. After days and days of sailing, he spotted a small island covered with thick trees. The merchant was happy to see land once more, and he ordered his sailors to drop anchor.
Together they took a small boat to the island, gathered some kindling, and built a small fire to cook their lunch. Hardly was the pot of water boiling when the first one, then another, looked around to see if anyone else had noticed a vague trembling in the ground.
Suddenly the ground lurched to one side, the trees began to sink, and all the men jumped up and ran to their skiff on the beach. Too frightened to pull up anchor, they cut the painter and hoisted the sail to hurry away.
But when they turned to look back, they saw what it was. They had not built their fire on an island at all, but on a giant crab whose shell had burnt while making lunch."
In this tale a merchant stops by an island in order to eat some lunch with his crew, only later he realizes he is not on an island but rather a huge crab, being the small size as a small island.
Now this would be a character design project which would help my modelling, texturing, rigging, skinning and mudbox skills, however this would be a very good opportunity for my to learn about normals in 3D modelling.
If I could get the idea for the crab down reasonable quickly then I might take it one step further, going so far as to create a small game for this tale. A small boat drifts at sea which you control, a narrator then speaks as the text come on screen. You dock your boat on the island, get your cooking gear set up only for you having to return to your boat and run away.
The camera would then force itself upon the crab where it would chase you until it either reaches a certain distance then cuts to black, or get to close and cuts to black.
Now this would also required for me to learn programming but if there would be time I would love to pursue this idea.
The Illustrated Guide to
North American Mythology
Author: Lewis Spence
Chapter 3: Sioux Myths and Legends
The Men Serpents
"Suddenly one of the braves, placing his ear to the ground, declared that he could hear a herd of buffaloes approaching. Nearer and nearer came the supposed herd.
The chief lay very still in horror, that what approached them was a huge snake with a rattle as large as a man's head. Though almost paralyzed with surprise and terror, he managed to shoot the monster and kill it.
At length hunger conquered their scruples and made them decide to cook and eat it. To their surprise, they found the meat as savory as that of a buffalo, which it much resembled.
When the warriors had finished their meal they lay down beside the campfire and fell asleep.
Later in the night the chief awoke and was horrified to find that his companions had turned into snakes, and that himself was already half snake, half man.
Hastily he gathered together his transformed warriors, and they saw that the boy who had not eaten of the reptile had retained his own human form. The lad, fearing that the serpents might attack him, began to weep, but the snake-warriors treated him very kindly, giving him their charms and all they possessed."
This tale tells of a group of men who encounter a large snake, kill it and eat it afterwards, only to turn into smaller snakes.
Now I could either do a book animation on this in the traditional style of Indian painting, having small sections move as the story plays out.
The other idea would be to have the first part of the story be elaborated upon in detail. The player is placed in a field and wanders until it encounter the giant snake. A boss battle would then take place where the player has to use a spear to take down the snake.
When the snake has been taken down the rest of the game fades to black and plays out the events of the rest of the story up to the part where you turn into a snake, giving the idea of that the snake comes back with a vengeance, despite how to story originally goes.
Myths and Legends
Author: Neil Phillip
Chapter: West Africa,
The Cosmic Serpent
"The Fon People of Africa tell how the cosmic serpent, aida-hwedo, was brought into being at the beginning of time by the Creator, an androgynous god with two faces: Mawu the female moon and Lisa, the male sun. Aido-Hwedo helped with the creation by carrying the Creator in his mouth as the world was shaped.
But when the world was done, the Creator saw that there was too much weight for the earth to bear - too many trees, too many mountains, too many elephants, everything. So he asked Hido-Hwedo to coil himself in a circle and lie underneath the overabundance earth like a carrying-pad. As Aido-Hwedo does not like the heat, the Creator made the ocean for him to live in.
But the earth chafes on Aido-Hwedo, and when he shifts to ease himself, he causes earthquakes.
Aido-Hwedo eats iron bars that are forged for him by the red monkeys that live beneath the sea. When the iron runs out, hunger will drive him to eat his own tail. The earth with all its burdens will overbalance, and tip into the sea. A second Aido-Hwedo, the rainbow serpent, lives in the sky and sends the thunderbolts of the gods to the earth."
Aido-Hwedo is the cosmic serpent, who supposedly holds the world together.
This tale would unfold in a side scrolling animation like a reel, as the animation goes on we assume that we are staring at a wall only to discover by the end that we have traveled around the whole world and have been looking at the side of a snake.
This could also be turned into a side scrolling game with the player collecting iron chains to unlock doors to progress, (because that is what the serpent ate) only by the end to come face to face with the snake who thanks you for bringing him the iron chains to eat.
The Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology
Author: Robert Graves
Chapter: Chinese Mythology
The Dragon-Kings: Lung-Wang
"However, for the people, the divinities are subordinate to the dragon kings who depend directly on the august Personage of Jade, from whom they receive the order to distribute a certain amount of rain to a given region. There are four Dragon Kings of importance, each of whom rules one of the four seas of which the earth is center, and they are mostly known to the people as four brothers under the names they have in Travels in the West, which differ from those given them by the Taoists.
They are Ao Kuang, Ao Jun, Ao Shun and Ao Chi'in.
Each lives in a palace called the Crystal Palace, and has Ministers, his army consisting of fish, crabs and crayfish, and watchmen who see to policing of the sea-bottom"
The Four Dragon Kings were rulers of the north, the south, the east and the west, each having control of their own area.
This would mostly be a character design project, creating three dragons based off the Chinese's depictions of the north, south, east and west. Using the traditional serpent dragon based, this would be expanded upon and different dragons would be created. This would be a good opportunity to practice my character modelling skills as well as Mudbox skills for future project uses.
The Encyclopedia of Myths and Legends of all Nations
By: H.S Robinson & K.Wilson
"Demogorgon was a terrible deity whose very name was capable of producing the most horrible effects. He is first mentioned by the fourth-century Christian writer Lactantius, who in so doing was believed to have broken the spell of a mystery, for Demogorgon is supposed to be identical with the infernal power of the ancients, the very mention of whose name brought death and disaster"
"Italapas, the coyote, was one of the chief gods of the Chinook Indians. His will was so powerful that he made the first prairie by "willing" the ocean to become land. He helped Ikanam to create man, and he taught men the arts of agriculture. He also instituted many of the taboos associated with hunting. The Chinook Italapas, who was kindly disposed of, was not like the Coyote of the California Indians, who was always looking for trouble and who made trouble when he could not find it."
The Epic of Gilgamesh
"Gilgamesh was two-thirds god and one-third man, there was no one like him, no one to match him.
In the city the two heroes met in a struggle that shook the streets like an earthquake.
In his grief he roared like a lion and tore hair from his head"
For Demogorgon this would be another side scroller which would simply describe the Demogorgon. A player walks to his right in a peaceful village, everyone gets along happily, you then hear mention of the Demogorgon slowly throughout the game. As the game continues people who mentioned the creatures name fall ill and die.
Eventually the narrative gives you the impression that this is coincidence and you develop the belief that this is a made up story by breaking the 4th wall. Only for you to walk through a building and on the other side the whole village has been engulfed in flames.
You see a small child in a basket crying, so the player runs forward to help the child, only to be killed by the Demogorgon with a jumpscare.
Itapalas would mainly be a character design project that takes advantages of things like fur and hair dynamics in Maya. Using other medias to discover what this creature used to look like. Also giving this creature a description and some information would be good for an education purpose.
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh would be a 1v1 game which would have two players pitted against one another, each having balanced skills in ordered to fight one another. This situation would be like a David & Goliath situation, where Gilgamesh is a walking tank and Enkidu would still be large, not a large as Gilgamesh but would counter Gilgamesh's brutal force with dexterity and speed.
If this idea were to be followed it would probably be the most complex on his list just because of how much would need to be taken into account, design, programming and balancing.