Project Zodiac (Teesside-Final year Project)(2007-08) – Concept art & Creature design. Fonts from dafont.
Project Zodiac was my final year project at Teesside University. It was a mammoth task, which changed directions many a time due in part to the scope of the vision- an epic journey through the stages of grief via the comatose mind of a wildlife photographer.
Phew, so thats quite a mouthful. The final product was presented as a scrapbook with lengthy text explaining the purpose of each creature character. You see, rather than make things simple for myself – and being heavily inspired by the psychological monstrosities of the silent hill series- i wanted each and every creature to have meaning within the ‘dream world’. The world itself was also to have similar symbolic meaning, which is in part why so little environment work was completed- every building, every platform was to be taken directly from the memory of this character.
The idea was that you would learn about the protagonist through the world he was travelling through, and the creatures and characters you would meet on the way, such as childhood friends or the physical manifestation of the characters favourite cartoon character or teddy bear.
While the project was more about art than design ( hence why theres no maps or puzzles) there were intentions to toy with the players emotions to get them to relate to the character. For example ANGER, the second stage of the journey, was to include a lot of water based puzzles and areas which promised handy items or prizes but were completely inacessible despite hints to the contrary. This way players would get as frustrated as the protagonist, and of course- would be encouraged to take this out on the levels resident enemies :D.
These are a collection of photos and art showing the intended themes of each stage. These were more of an starting spot than anything presentable. Lots of flaps and foldy out parts too, very irritating to read if you dont have a floor to spread it out over :)!
Unfortunately I dont have access to the original sketchbook containing all the juicy stuff anymore, but i do have some photos and scans.
Anger- Towerblock Architecture.
Anger- rough towerblock colour thumb.
Anger- ‘Maze’ Thumbnails
Anger- ‘Maze’ , rough colour thumbs
Anger- ‘Maze’ , more detailed thumbs. Lead to ‘Haven gardens’ concept.
Concept Evolution – Succubus
Like all the creatures in PZ, the succubus went through a number of stages before it reached its final form. Personally i think i went too far out the box with the idea, the final creature is a little TOO bizarre.
Concept Evolution – Railsnake
Early Sketch – Emendofowl
Once Project Zodiac was completed I had a well deserved rest, but that doesnt mean the ideas and concepts created for the project were left alone. A couple of months ( and a lot of study) after finishing the project i went back and tweaked the protagonist to be a little more like his original design, as well as smoothing out some of the more glaring problems.
I also started on a low poly version of the emendofowl in 3DS max, which is a bit of an off-on project.