Dear Insane Children,
We’re starting work on a new area in the game, The Realm of The Chess Pieces.
To provide some direction to the Art Team, I wrote the following…
The Realm of the Chess Pieces is made up of two sides (can be black/white or white/red… take your pick. I like black/white because if you then add the red of Chaos you get a nice black/white/red scheme).
The overarching story of Asylum is Chaos vs. Order. Order is represented by the Queen of Hearts (the Realm of the Cards). Cards represent games that have rules so well defined that you can calculate the odds of card games. The rules and moves are relatively clear, simple, and logical.
Chess, on the other hand, is a game where the standard rules and equations don’t apply. Chaos (theory) plays a large role in determining the outcome of any particular game. It is a game of “organized disorder.” If it were otherwise, we’d not have struggled for so long to create computer programs capable of beating humans at it.
So when we see the Queen of Hearts and her Kingdom – it’s all about keeping things clean, organized, and orderly. The rules must be followed. Timetables must be kept. Quotas must be met. And the show must go on. Even to the point of misrepresenting the situation (painting the white roses red) to maintain the appearance of order.
The Chess Kingdom is accepting of Chaos. They’ve not so much been taken over by Chaos as allowed for a natural integration of its elements into their realm. Chaos is integrated into their kingdom alongside Order. “That which you resist will only persist” needs to be one of their mantras (carved over a door somewhere) – and since they do not resist Chaos, they are also not overrun by it.
This is critical – a kingdom overrun by Chaos looks like the Queen’s Domain in AMA or AMR – covered in and consumed by Chaos. A kingdom integrated with Chaos looks like whatever we end up designing the Chess Realm to look like.
What might that mean? Imagine columns that hold up buildings are shaped like tentacles – but frozen, carved?, unmoving. Imagine that the clocks all tell a slightly different time. That nature is integrated into various scenes – plants, vines, and tress growing up all over the place – but manicured and well tended.
Note that the “color of depression” is actually gray. Which I think goes well with the notion of a Chess Realm made up of Black/White pieces and highlighted with the Red of Chaos… plus an underlying and ever-present gray. Add to that the green of plants… and I think you’ve got a beautiful setting.
Let me know what you think…
Excited to see where the team takes this and what the Chess Realm ends up looking like. And also interested to hear YOUR feedback on this direction. Please let me and the team know your thoughts in the COMMENTS below.
From Shanghai with Organized Disorder,