Upon developing my initial idea for the game, I looked back over a book I read a couple of years ago titled Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith. I believe subconsciously I may have stolen a few parts of the make-up of the books opening chapter, as now I read over it, it sounds oddly familiar.
The book starts out in Moscow, where the protagonist Arkady Renko leans ‘out a window the better to see Ivanov on the pavement ten floors below. Ivanov was dead but not particularly bloody, arms and legs at odd angles.’. Ivanov a well-off business man had committed suicide only 20 minutes after entering his apartment, it opens up a lot of suspicion. It is rather questionable as to why a man of such stature, a man who has power and money would do such a thing, why end such a ‘good’ life? Within my concept I have pretty much left it open as to why Tiffany’s brother has died. Although I have a few ideas running through my head I sort of feel it is better to leave it open, I mean I don’t have to actually design the whole game.
These are my current ideas for it though:
– regarding the idea of a major conspiracy, this is where the current leader of the city is one organisation. A single company that has gained fame for being the ones who can always help out in a massive downfall, they step in at the last-minute, when there is no more hope and bail out the whole city. This trust of the people has gained them many favours, this is how they managed to separate the two sides of the city, the lower levels and the higher levels. These are the two work forces. In the current state of the city, they have used the people’s trust in them to become in control of the city. So, as opposed to where we vote for a political party, in this city, they vote for a major power investor, these are the big companies. The control over the city has led to them basically abusing the people. They further increased the segregation, making it impossible for the lower society to become better off in the time that the game is set, the state of the city should have gotten so bad that the lower class have begun to revolt out of spite, although this is half and half of course as some people would like the regime.
Anyways, this whole conspiracy has a minor connection to characters family. This could be due to the family making a decision back in the day that has effected the whole outcome of the segregation. This knock on effect has meant that the dead brother began to get more and more involved within the higher society that was leading the city. He ended up getting so far in that his only option out was death? – These are just some thoughts!
Back to the book now, after introductions to the characters, the detective Renko begins to look around the apartment, scanning for clues. The description of the apartment is quite interesting. “The kitchen looked both new and forgotten, with gleaming steel appliances, enameled pots without a single smudge and burners with not one spot of crusted sauce. A silvery rack held dusty, expensive wines, no doubt selected by an expert. Yet the dishwasher was stacked with unwashed dishes, just as the bed had been loosely made and the bathroom towels hung awry, the signs of a man caring for himself.”. This is an excerpt from the book that shows just how important an environment is, within this tiny part of the book we gain so much information on the inhabitant of the environment. So, for my apartment I need to make sure that I consider all of those little things that are often overlooked, these are going to be the insight into the characters lifestyle.
One thing I do like about the apartment in the book is the layout, all the rooms are separate, so it sort of throws the idea of open-plan living out the door. I had considered this for my apartment environment but I’m not sure if it would work with glass partitions? Plus I have the problem of glass as a material, is naturally highly reflective, this would mean that the player would see their reflection in the glass, but we aren’t actually designing and modelling the playable character, so if any of the materials are too reflective, then you will be able to see a floating orb that is known as the first person controller.
Lastly, the book is a good influence as the chapter has personal friends of the victim in the environment, this is similar to how Tiffany finds her brother. It was useful looking at how Renko analysed the behavioural traits of the characters in the crime scene as I can take some of these into the animation development.