Monday, September 9, 2013

Project Proposal-Dreamscape Cruise Line

Michelle Chih-Hua Tseng

Senior Animation Project Proposal

Dreamscape Cruise Line

I am creating a side-scrolling adventure game for PC about the protagonist encountering music lovers on a cruise trip. The story will explore themes of friendship, and the dilemma between dream and reality. 

The story mainly revolves around the protagonist, Kirsikka and a girl talented in singing, Elize, and their friendship developed during the 14 day cruise trip. Elize and Kirsikka's first encountering is not without obstacles; at early morning, when Kirsikka approaches the front deck of the ship, she hears a singing voice, and is attracted by it. It is the voice of Elize. However, when Elize realizes that Kirsikka is listening to her singing, she runs away in surprise and embarrassment, leaving Kirsikka confused. Later, the two of them meets by chance in the library. It becomes clear that Elize is modest yet lack of confidence, due to her being laughed at for being serious at practicing singing. Knowing that, Kirsikka brings her to the music performance at the cruise theatre and proves to Elize that practicing music isn't something embarrassing. After this event Kirsikka and Elize become closer and meets more often. They may spot a whale together; attend a performance together; Elize also becomes more willing to sing in front of people, although still only in front of Kirsikka and Elize's parents.
  One day Elize tells Kirsikka that she has been thinking of becoming a singer on a cruise in the future. Elize is passionate about the ocean, and she can use her singing talent to get a job. But suddenly the ship starts rolling, and Elize immediately feels uncomfortable. After sending Elize back to her room, Elize's parents tell Kirsikka that Elize is troubled by seasickness whenever she goes on a ship. It would be difficult for her to work on a cruise ship in the future if her seasickness continues even after she grows up. Does that mean Elize has to abandon her dream? Kirsikka thinks that is too cruel, and thus starts looking for the cure for seasickness, and also tries to contact the amatuer musicians she has met on the cruise and performers of the musical show for a personal meeting with Elize to encourage her. 

Visual treatment & production process
All visuals will be drawn digitally by digital painting programs, mainly Paint Tool SAI and Adobe Photoshop. The characters are designed in Japanese anime style because I have been greatly inspired by Japanese anime facial features since childhood. The background image and the characters in the foreground will use different finishing techniques in order to make the characters stand out against the background. The characters will be coloured using cell-shading. The backgrounds will be more realistic, and will change according to the time in the game. For indoor or night scenes the lighting will be dimmed, depending on the mood. The game allows the player to explore freely. In the beginning of the game, the protagonist wakes up in her room on the cruise. After a brief introduction to the controls, the player is free to explore the cruise. The time span for the game is two weeks. every hour in the game equals to 1 minute in real time. Non-Player Characters will be assigned their appearing time at certain places; for example, Elize will appear on the front deck from 6:00 am to 8:00 am. If the player goes to the front deck during that time, an event about the protagonist and Elize's first encountering will happen. 

Sound treatment
The game will be music-driven, while some spoken dialogues may be included. Sound effects will be used in places where I want players to pay attention. Throughout the game, Western ethnic music that are either mysterious or melancholic will be chosen to create an unusual mood. In the more Victorian inspired scenes, traditional classical music works to create familiarity between players and the game. Ambient sound will be used in the quieter scenes in order to make the aural space more real.

Adobe Master Collection Student Edition: 250 CAD per year
Music: $30 maximum for every original music piece
(Will be using free music as much as possible)
Background: maximum $20 for every commissioned background artwork
(Will be mostly done by me or found on websites that provide background graphics for free)
External hard drive: $99~150

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