This was the video accompaniment to our final student presentation. Although this entir
 
 
 
 
 

Spring

08/30/2011

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A spring is a sudden release of stored energy. It's the combined power saved from a thousand tiny efforts. In winter you coil up within yourself; muscles wound tightly, saving heat. You shiver in anticipation, waiting for the spring. 

It comes.

In the creek, the water flows frothy with frogspawn. Mr Duck loudly and tunelessly serenades Mrs Duck, who hides her head under her wing in embarrassment. Harsh black Ravens, highly private in treetops, coo quietly to each other in the voices they only use once a year. The Moorhen family wearing matching purple vests and long orange boots delightedly collect slimy weeds to build their nest, while Mr and Mrs White-faced Egret look down their long noses and ask whether the frogs are organic. Baby bunnies, prey of cold or poison, lie still in the grass. Magpies rule the world. There are other birds, but they're not doing anything interesting.

Antarctica doesn't have a spring. It doesn't have an autumn. It doesn't save your energy. It doesn't save your life. It just takes away everything you have. The only real difference between summer and winter is that in the summer you're not dead yet. It is a land of black and white and heartbreaking, soulcrushing blues.

I hope this project has a springtime.
 
 
Friends and companions get you gone,
'Tis my desire to be alone;
Ne'er well but when my thoughts and I
Do domineer in privacy.
No Gem, no treasure like to this,
'Tis my delight, my crown, my bliss.

All my joys to this are folly,
Naught so sweet as melancholy.


'Tis my sole plague to be alone,
I am a beast, a monster grown,
I will no light nor company,
I find it now my misery.
The scene is turn'd, my joys are gone,
Fear, discontent, and sorrows come.

All my griefs to this are jolly,
Naught so fierce as melancholy.

- From Robert Burton's The anatomy of melancholy, published 1624 or thereabouts.

I can imagine what Scott felt, and hopefully what the player will feel, at the midpoint of their journey. "There is no hope. I can only fail, and it will be no one's fault but mine. I have let down everyone who depended on me. I may as well quit now. But I have to keep going because I have a duty to see this to the end."

And as they become small hardened seeds of themselves, stripped of all personality except a desire for food and warmth, they become part of the thing they are fighting - the blank, unrelenting, unthinking force - and learn through crystallised minds that the real enemies were themselves.
 
 
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These handsome blueprints have been sent off for the manufacture of characters. Soon: models!
 
 
 
 
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Creating one big idea by literally piecing together lots of little ideas / A lesson in recycling

Started on a rough animation for the presentation
Brought to you by the Ministry of Silly Walks
- Kalonica
 
 
I currently have the flu, so I know what it's like to die alone.

This week I've been thinking about themes. I like a theme in art, because I like to pretend other people have more of a clue than I have about life. 

I'm finding it hard to think of themes for this game, as it really has no story and the environment is a whole bunch of nothing. I guess the most basic theme of our game is the basic theme of all games, which is the basic theme of all art: to leave the player a tiny bit different than they were before.

There are three main topics I've been thinking about:

1. Companionship: the trials and tribulations of. Together you may be strong, but being dependant on others also makes you vulnerable. United in a group, you can be more than the sum of your parts, but you can also feel the loneliest you've ever been.

2. Snowflakes. Snowflakes are unique. We are all unique snowflakes. What does this mean in a world made of snow? What does this mean if they're all trying to kill you?

3. Resilience. You must keep striving forward, even though death is inevitable. I think this theme resonates with me the most. You know you're not going to succeed, it's certain you're going to let everyone down, you're mostway dead already, but you have to keep going. Because what's the alternative?

This week I'll be thinking of stories, starting on a polar bear and planning my funeral. Next time I'll write on things I've learnt from Mr Ferguson's comedy workshop.
 
 
Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made. Here are some real-life events which are too gamey to be in the game:
  • One time they camped on sea ice. This wasn't a great idea, as when they awoke they were floating out to sea and their possessions were scattered on a bunch of floating ice sheets. To get back to land, they had to collect their supplies and ponies and jump from one sheet to another as hungry orca whales lunged at them.
  • Another time, as they were crossing a field of crevasses, the ground collapsed under the dog sled team. Half the dogs were one one side, half were on the other, and the ones in the middle were slowly strangled to death by their harnesses.
  • As the last support team left Scott and his team to complete the final trek to the South Pole, the weather turned and they couldn't keep up time. To avoid dying of cold and starvation, they took a radical decision to speed up their journey. On the top of Beardmore glacier, they all hopped on the sled and rode all the way down, reaching speeds of 100 kph. 100 kph!
  •  The same team (lead by Lieutenant Evans) also encountered massive crevasses on the way back to camp. One particularly large crevasse, 25 metres from edge to edge, could only be crossed by a tiny ice-bridge. They named this "the crossbar to the H of Hell".