Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    4
  • comments
    15
  • views
    3052

The Animal in Us All

Sign in to follow this  
Thraed

338 views

As a first post to my development journal, I pose the question: What animal are you?

Animals have been a part of storytelling for many thousands of years. Some the first artistic depictions ever discovered were of deer and other beasts scrawled across cave walls in southern France. The Native Americans follow a type of spirituality/religion that have close ties to the natural world, and many animals play a significant part in their beliefs. Aesop's fables would not have stuck with so many generations if the use of animals hadn't been present.

The above examples are merely a small sampling of how animals have played a part in our culture and storytelling over human history. Where does this fit into game development, and my own interests though?

Animals are a constant in video games, the most memorable ones being Sonic the Hedgehog and perhaps Yoshi of Mario fame. Many of these animal protagonists are found in the genres of platform and puzzle games, leaving a wide swath of space open for further development in other genres. We've all (hopefully) played Frog in Squaresoft's Chrono Trigger, and without a doubt he is one of the most popular playable characters of the game. This is a good indication that animals are a popular alternative to human-like player characters within the fantasy-RPG genre of video games.

If you haven't read the Redwall series by Brian Jacques, I highly encourage everyone to at least read his first installment, this will give you a good idea of how animals can easily be brought into the fantasy genre and succeed wildly.

It is with these interests in storytelling through animals, and the past success of playable animal characters, that I am setting out to create a rich and thriving world much like our historical world, seen through the eyes and experiences of animals.

I am not looking to write the perfect plot, or to have a single game produced, let alone conceived, without an amazing and magical world full of history, peoples, and cultures to support these endeavors. What I am looking to begin with is, like most any good reality, is a history to recount to children, a world to explore with the mind, and a story to tell to those with an open ear and open heart.

I am the beaver, the architect of community, of home, of hearth.

Welcome to my home. I call it Fahrenguard.
Sign in to follow this  


9 Comments


Recommended Comments

Barnacles consume their own brains after metamorphosing from their free-swimming state.

That's me.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Jacques played heavily into predetermined notions about animals, such as the 'alignment' of certain creatures. Rats, ferrets and cats were all be 'evil', while mice, squirrels and rabbits and all things 'cute' would be 'good.' This seems to make logical sense in the minds of most people, as the more 'sly, cunning, predator' rodents were evil, while the 'cute, furry, innocent' creatures were good. How do you plan on using these predetermined notions in your storytelling? Do you plan to ignore them, or accept them? Do you think that they even can be overcome in the minds of most people, if you choose to ignore them?

Also, welcome to journal land!

Share this comment


Link to comment
Quote:
Original post by visage
Jacques played heavily into predetermined notions about animals, such as the 'alignment' of certain creatures. Rats, ferrets and cats were all be 'evil', while mice, squirrels and rabbits and all things 'cute' would be 'good.' This seems to make logical sense in the minds of most people, as the more 'sly, cunning, predator' rodents were evil, while the 'cute, furry, innocent' creatures were good. How do you plan on using these predetermined notions in your storytelling? Do you plan to ignore them, or accept them? Do you think that they even can be overcome in the minds of most people, if you choose to ignore them?

Hi visage, thanks for the comments!

I enjoy Jacques' stories very much, though I have always been one to associate personality over alignment in regards to animals.

While Jacques would classify a rat or ferret as an enemy, I see the rat as short-tempered and greedy, but not necessarily evil. The ferret too can be de-aligned and given more a personality such as shrewd and temperamental. The same application can be for "light" animals as well, mice take on a more paranoid personality, always fidgeting and looking over their shoulders, squirrels could very well be in cahoots with rats for their hoard-like nature.

I plan on taking key biological dispositions of animals and turning them into cultural traits to be used in developing the world. The individual personality of the hero/villain characters though can easily transcend such cultural dispositions, making way for unique and memorable figures in a sea of more generic races.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Welcome. That was a fascinating and unusual first journal post.

I think I read Jaques years ago. Was that the one with all the mice in the catherdral or abbey or something like that?

[EDIT] Just looked at the Wiki link. Yep - read some of them years ago. Seem to remember enjoying them muchly at the time.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Quote:
Original post by EasilyConfused
Welcome. That was a fascinating and unusual first journal post.

I think I read Jaques years ago. Was that the one with all the mice in the catherdral or abbey or something like that?

Thanks for the reply EasilyConfused!

Jacques was indeed the author of the warrior mice and their epic quest. It's a wonderful series and if you want to learn more about it, a great summary can be found here at Wikipedia.

My next journal entry will involve a bit of research on my part, and perhaps others as well if they wish to help out in the initial world history phase of my creation. Look for an entry this afternoon. [smile]

Share this comment


Link to comment
I've read one of his books (Pearls of Lutra, I think) a very long time ago. I'd quite like to see one of these games ;)

I'm clearly a mole: I hide underground and I hate the yellow face in the sky.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Quote:
Original post by MrEvil
I've read one of his books (Pearls of Lutra, I think) a very long time ago. I'd quite like to see one of these games ;)

I'm clearly a mole: I hide underground and I hate the yellow face in the sky.

The Pearls of Lutra is a wonderful read, one of my favorites of the series! I plan on having moles playing an integral part in the world, so look for some additional information on them soon. [smile]

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!