Production Analysis: Idea

Hey there! This first post serves as an introductory piece for what is to come, and an overview of the purpose of this blog. I am currently in my final year of the Interactive Media Production course at Bournemouth University and, for my graduate project, am hoping to create a 3D game based around the theme of Time. This blog serves as a journal to critically reflect on the production process I take while producing the game – you can find out more about the aims and objectives I hope to achieve in the About page.

Early on I was advised to formulate a type of idea known as ‘high concept’ – which can be defined as an ‘artistic work that can be easily pitched with a succinctly stated premise’ –  which are typically characterized by an overarching ‘what if’ scenario that acts as a catalyst for the events and details that follow. My interpretation of a high concept-type idea is as though it is the ‘core’ of an entire artistic work, with the fabricated universe and all the subtle details and nuances ‘feeding’ off of it. At the time of writing, my idea has in fact been reworked from its original form, which was similar but ultimately flawed due to it not having a strong idea at its core. When creating and pitching my original idea, I concentrated on how my game would be perceived on the day of the final graduate show, initially only focusing on how I would achieve visual strength in order to be eye catching and attract interest; however after feedback it became apparent that I approached the task from the ‘outside in’ and should have started with a simple but strong central idea, which would have helped create all other aspects of my game as a comprehensive whole. In this respect, I have re-framed my project to have the high concept idea of ‘What if man could control Time?’ at its core.

At first this might seem like a simple, or even cliched idea, and it is in fact intended to be, since the strength of high concept ideas is in their succinctness. The strategy is, as previously explained, to use this notion as a catalyst in order to expand your world in your own personal fashion – in my case, I wish to explore how time is controlled and manipulated by man in the fabricated world – what if something as ephemeral, endless and unmanageable as time became physical, finite and most importantly controllable? Would we squander it or attempt to store it? Would its relation to space allow space to be altered as well, causing alternate or possibly adverse effects? Could we foresee or even control our fate? All of these ‘sub’ ideas simply feed off of the core idea and add a layer of detail to the universe, sparking possibility and imagination. In this context it was key to approach the idea without thinking about technical requirements or limitations until after it has been formulated in order to avoid limiting imagination in any way.

As with the construction of all ideas, inspiration plays an important part as it is what enables us to absorb and re-purpose our understanding of reality in order to assemble our own ideas – I feel that mentioning some of the media that inspired me to come up with my own would be relevant, in a post to follow.

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