A group of Second Year De Montfort University students studying Game Art Design.
This blog is to document our participation in the 'Off The Map' competition from Game City, Crytek and The British Library.

What Is The Gothic?

What is "The Gothic"? That was the first question we asked ourselves when we looked at the project brief for Off The Map.

The three areas we could focus on in the brief were Whitby, Fonthill Abbey and, of course, Edgar Allen Poe's The Masque of the Red Death. These gave us the basic areas of the gothic to work with; architecture, literature and atmosphere and those were three things that we knew we needed to incorporate to really get a great gothic level.

So, of course, before you make the level you need to know what exactly the level is going to be. Brainstorming ensued and we came up with some really awesome ideas. However, the one that we stuck with focused around this idea of literature. I'd previously studied Gothic Literature for two years during A level, so it seemed like a natural choice. Obviously, the literature we already had provided by Off The Map was great, but we wanted to build on that, rather than just copying the story word for word.

So we decided on a Manor House completely filled with plenty of references to gothic literature. We wanted it to be one big celebration of the Gothic with each area containing a different reference. However, rather than having the references punch you in the face, we wanted subtlety; a gentler approach. We also wanted an exterior as well as an interior, which is a pretty huge undertaking but we hope to be able to bring it all together. 

It all starts with the research so we filled up Pinterest boards, made mood boards with ideas and images, decided on the atmosphere. It was a lot that we got done in a week, as well as beginning the concepting. We got some great images early on, nailing the colour palette we were aiming for, as well as the atmosphere we wanted. Let's hope the project continues on this well.


As well as presenting this as part of Off The Map, we're also required to present it to our  University to be counted as part of our final grade at the end of March/April so that will be a good time to make sure we're on track and give us a definite deadline to work towards.

We'll keep you posted.

- Hannah

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