Work-In-Progress Spotlights
March 23rd, 2009 by Scud

The Trip

A project by Dead_End

And now for something completely different (which begs the question, can anybody make a legitimate reference to Monty Python nowadays without sounding like some bespotted nerd locked up in thier room with the entire Monty Python entire back catalgoue on DVD, I mean they were on BBC One in the good old days - how more mainstream can you get?), I feature a scenario that is very much removed from the conventional setting of your standard hack and slash RPG adventure. Yes, yet another RPG has been spotlighted, and I am sure certain people who loath such a genre would have given up reading these spotlights weeks ago when they spotted they seemed to have become the norm, but if you want to rectify this bias - but by all means start working on an original project and I might just spotlight it here. But yes, why is this scenario by Dead_End so different from the standard 'I am a wizard on some magical quest' scenario that normally rears it's head in this article.

First of all, the name, The Trip conjures images of drugs, sex and rock and roll - and I am pleased to inform you all (especially our resident cohort of rock and metal fans on our forums) that is exactly what this scenario is about. But how on earth will this fit into AoK, and the RPG genre at that - but the perverse answer to this fair question again lies in the title, with the crux of the story originating from a spell of drug experimentation. A sligthy controversial subject matter, but I am sure Dead_End is not promoting illegal drug use, however I'm just putting it out here now that he is Dutch, so make your own mind up! But kids, check your local legislation and don't break the law, or I might just have to break you!

So, as we have established the story is about a 'trip' on drugs that goes rather wrong, but I am selling this story short and by no means am I trying to resort to the shock factor of drugs to try and interest you all in Dead_End's project. Starting in the modern era, we follow the life of Jim, a young metal head who decides to visit the local rock festival. Armed with toilet paper, bottled water and a tent he arrives on site and is prepared to party. Alas, dear old Jim falls in with the wrong crowd, and going aginst what his mother alwasy used to say to him, he dabbles in a type of mushroom and shortly after passes out. Cut forward, well, Jim has lost all sense of time, and all sense of his surroundings as well it seems, for when he stumbles to his feet he realises he is no longer in the grounds of the rock festival...he seems to be on another world entirely. Here is where the standard RPG and fantasy elements kick it (with great gusto at that) - you are lost, in a distant and magical how on earth (or whether you are) will you get home?!

Anyway, Dead_End managed to take time out of his busy designing regime to answer the traditional four-point interview that you've all come to love:

It seems I am featuring yet another RPG in my beloved Spotlight? So how do you plan to make your scenario different in what is already a bloated genre?

Dead_End: Personally I see the editor as a way to tell stories. I asked myself what I wanted to see in a movie, then I checked whether such a story would be possible. The storyline and the humor will something that'll let it stick out. (At least I hope it will.)

You say to 'expect references to rock-music and the like' - but can pop-culture references really work in the medium of AoK?

Dead_End: With this scenario I'm going for a psychedelic-kind of setting. As the title suggests it's the main characters trip after eating some mushrooms. (Which reminds me, gotta thank Andanu for his CSC-entry which inspired me). I think it'll work, but we'll just have to wait and see.

In relation to the previous question - do you plan to use rock music to compliment your project? I mean, it seems a lot of people are using rock and metal soundtracks to try and be 'edgy' or 'different' it now seems to be the norm - what is your opinion on this, do you think we should see more classical music (and not countless scores from Hans Zimmer) in scenarios?

Dead_End: I plan to use some, mainly psychedelic, tracks. I got fed up with all the classical music people were using over and over. Obviously people used the music cause it fitted the scenario, but I feel like they've gone too far. It happened multiple times to me that I was playing a scen and thought: "Where have I heard that music before?". That annoyed me and distracted from the rest of the scen. I believe that a designer should have a as custom soundtrack as possible.

Yet another member of Blackforest Studios has been featured in the WiP. Do you think design teams actually serve a purpose today or are they archaic in the sense that they have little influence now compared to what they used to have?

Dead_End: Obviously their influence has gotten smaller compared to the beginningyears, but they certainly serve a purpose. At BF-studios we help each other with the designing, and I think that's what design teams are for. Helping other members and supporting them in their design. I heard people saying that design teams are like game designstudios, yet I don't think so. With Aok you can't have multiple people designing one scen. PbP shows that if you divide the work between a large group of people, it takes great deal of time.

And before that's it for this week, obligatory screenshots ahoy!