Warning: The following project contains paranormal elements, gore and dark, mature/sensitive themes.
Hello! This is my first blog of a series of blogs, which will cover my artistic thought process of an ongoing personal passion project for a potential horror game, which I also submitted as part of my final year 3 university project. Some of the artwork is also relatively new and completed in my own time - in which case, these will be updated as the project goes on.
The narrative centers around hardboiled 45 year old Detective Peter Roberts, who explores a now abandoned high school in the forest of an old historical town called Rivenbrook twenty years after 1998 (the setting is inspired by Norwich as well as various villages in the Cotswolds, such as Ilmington, which takes place in a fictional England). Peter tries to uncover what truly happened to Flynn Reed, a 17 year old student who was found dead by hanging two weeks into the search that dark November winter, which Peter had taken part in when in the police force himself. The case was ruled as a suicide, but was in fact a homicide, much to Peter’s disbelief. What were they hiding from him?
(Figure 1. Moodboard.)
The first thing I did was search for photos, to gather inspiration and visual aesthetics for the project. I have a huge passion for the horror genre and storytelling, and have written essays on my interest for them as well as on the struggles of coming of age. I also love researching about ghost stories, such as the Amityville murders and haunting. My uncle was also a policeman who investigated the Enfield Poltergeist in the late 1970s.
The initial rough sketches/thumbnails below were for design/clothing options and character exploration. I created some quick thumbnails to begin with character designs, as they were important to nail down. I had a very basic idea for how I wanted them to look judging by their personalities and backstories. I will explain them later with the relevant characters, my design choices and why they have been used. I am very inspired by films and games such as the ‘Silent Hill’ franchise and ‘The Blair Witch Project’(1999). The 'Silent Hill' inspiration certainly feels more grounded because I have analysed and studied 'SH2's(2001) symbolism and uncanniness in-depth for my dissertation, so I can put my knowledge into practice.
(Figure 2. Flynn Reed sketches.)
(Figure 3. Peter Roberts sketches.)
The next blog will focus on my thoughts and research of my main character designs, based on the narrative and backstories they share.
- Thank you for reading!