Friday, 26 April 2013

FanFest 2013: World of Darkness

Note: We were asked to not record video of this presentation because CCP do not want people commenting on stuff presented through an in-house video being used as an art target for the World of Darkness art department. This is part of CCP learning to do thing "expectation management" thing. I have no experience with any of the franchise so I don't know the background to what is happening. I'm just reporting what I remember thinking I saw.


We are in a dark alley. It is raining. Sparse fat drops splash into rippling puddles on the ground. A woman is feigning interest in her mobile phone while observing a man leaning against a wall under a street light, cigarette smoke highlighting the dun cone of light. The woman approaches the man and makes a romantic advance, which the man accepts willingly as he pulls her towards him. She snaps his neck and sucks his blood.

In the distance there are ghostly figures running over rain-drenched rooftops, leaping over alleyways and climbing walls. The woman considers them for a moment, then strides down this alley towards a brightly lit café. Inside the cafe we see innocents pursuing their mundane mortal lives, resorting to alcohol and romance to drive away the boredom of stable civilisation. The woman wanders through the cafe to the balcony on the other side, watching the ghostly figures in the distance while maintaining a nonchalant attitude. She leans against the glass balustrade.

The figures in the distance split up, one is proceeding alone to a nearby rooftop. The woman waits for an opportune moment then dives across the alley way, clinging to the parapet of the building next door. As she raises herself onto the roof the woman fades into the shadows, becoming a ghostly figure herself. The woman darts through the rooftop machinery, emerging into an open area where a man in a trenchcoat appears to be waiting for something.

As the man starts casting some kind of spell, the woman loses her shadowy cover and runs at him, landing a sidekick which launches the man off the building. The assault over in moments, the woman dives after him, landing next to the man's broken corpse. The woman slices open the man's throat and starts to feed.

Ghostly figures materialise around the woman, solidifying into a man and another woman who do not appear happy to see this woman here.


The video we were shown is an internal "goal setting" exercise: this is a video depicting a few moments of what the art team wants World of Darkness to look like when we are actually playing it. Thus there are no dramatic scene changes, cuts, or camera changes. This is all third-person perspective like you would experience in World of Warcraft or EVE Online's Captains Shoebox. The level of detail is the same as or better than Captains Shoebox, and all very convincingly real.

It is now some time after watching the footage, so my memory is fading (or falsely enhancing the imagery) so I'm not certain of the details such as reflections, ripples, smokey atmosphere in stark downlights, but the footage we were shown was perfectly suited to setting the mood of the piece. I may be more impressionable and gullible than you.

No comments:

Post a Comment