For the concept part of the multi-part project I’m in a team with Molly, Danny and Anna. Molly and Anna wanted to work on their own worlds but agreed to give critique/feedback.
Danny and I developed our own worlds separately and then combined our ideas later into the project. We did this partly because we were separated over the Christmas break. We agreed that this way wasn’t ideal and we would have preferred to be working more closely from the start.
When working by myself, I tried ideating by writing 3 word combinations in my skecthbook, a method I’d heard in a podcast/livestream from Dave Rapoza. I then narrowed down the ideas that I liked until I found one word combination in particular that sparked more ideas than the rest which was :‘stormy oceans x jousting x bird tyrants‘.
This sparked the idea of using birds and fish as a basis for the design of two different races/species that live together. However, I wanted to challenge myself to make original designs and avoid defaulting to bird heads on human bodies or slightly modified humans with wings or fins.
I tried creating some back story to design from:
The Beaks are a race of sky creatures resulting from an alchemy experiment. After the great alchemy disaster the Beaks took over the ruined Alchemist’s city and from there set up a tyrannical rule over the sea (amphibious?) dwelling Beasts, enslaving them and forcing them to fight for entertainment. The madness from the alchemy disaster still affects the land and minds of the inhabitants. (?Medicine is rare and expensive, making the trade around the Beast tournaments even more popular?)
The story has since changed a little after combining ideas with Danny. The alchemy has been changed with Danny’s magic which is more developed and plays a more important part in the story. We also developed the history between the Beaks (sky creatures) and the Beasts/Fins (sea creatures) which I’ve wrote about in my sketchbook.
Once I had a loose back story to work from I started to think about how I could vary the 4 concepts required for the project (for practice) and also capture important story elements of the world. I tried making a list to choose ideas from:
Find Key Four Ideas for thumbnailing (story moments):
At sea/exploring for Beasts
- Capturing the Beasts at far sea: far reaches, desolation shores, the Hunters of Beak, exotic Beasts, ice lands swamps, inland corruption. Sun spears, snake charmers, branding, teams of acolytes.
- Cave/sea creature
- Sea creature hives
- Fighting in the arena – spectators, excitement, ritual, ceremony, theatrics, entertainment, tyranny.
- Opening the big Beast doors underwater. Special doors for recurring show – the Dread Beast?
- Ritual fights for the Beak Goddesses – prevent the sickness
- Perches for viewing the battles.
- The royal audience chamber.
- The nesting/living quarters of Beak – repurposed ruins, nesting in roofs of Chinese/European/Nordic/Celtic/Aztec/etc. designed ruins?
- Markets and day to day life.
- Beasts as art shows and symbols of status. Nest tanks, containment rings, tree bubbles,
- children with toys of Beasts.
- Beast slavery – powering the generators – special light system.
- Beasts behind bars and in cages – show their plight.
- Symbols for religious worship.
- Run by a council/a 3 faced Beak deity/ royal house
- Living requirements – water ducts etc.
- Beast activists – uprising, campaigning against Beast cruelty.
- The death penalty – Beast activists on display.
Effects of the Alchemy Disaster on the Beaks
- Sick Beaks
- The mad rulers?
- Using the forbidden art, alchemy, to exchange sickness for life/sanity.
- A Beast inspector/purchaser/patron inspecting the new intake of Beasts. Keeper Beaks holding them still for the merchant with long harnesses/nets/stun stings/long clamps.
- Beggars on streets, begging for credits for medicine to stay the sickness. Mad beggars. (Transient Man “can you see me”)
- Beak guards – keeping order, keeping the people oppressed under the rulers’ tyranny. Disposing of sick Beaks.
I also made a list of some of the variables as a reminder to learn/observe more:
Terrain: Above/underground, volcanic, sea, tree, swamp, indoors, aquarium
Light Source: Moon, sun, lanterns, spotlights, fireworks, fireflies, different times of day/night
Different situations/scenes: fighting, capturing, at merchants, exploring
Camera Angles, closeness/distance