Tall Story Studios has announced tat my graphic narrative concept has been selected to enter the next round of the competition. As a result, I am required to turn my graphic narrative into an interactive web animation.
Web comics (animated or otherwise) have become increasingly popular over the years, with big names like VALVe and Blizzard choosing to expand their games with extra material in the form of online comics. Comics published on the internet also become widely available to far more people, as opposed traditional physical copies.
The visual style of the project will have be exactly the same as the original graphic narrative, as to not cause a disconnect between the two. This will be very simple to do as not only is the graphic style not complex to reproduce, I’ll be re-using a lot of the original assets and simply animating them.
For example, when the viewer opens this page they will see the bullets fly past the screen and the searchlight pan up and down over the page. Moving the mouse around on the page will also cause the aircraft to react, moving up and down and left-to-right depending on the location of the mouse on the page.
In this frame for example, the viewer could be able to mouse over certain objects and click on them. An example would be the radar flashing or the dials moving. The horizon outside could also gently sway left-to-right, helping give the effect of a ship at sea. Of course not all frames can have interactive elements, but all the frames will be animated to some degree.
In this scene, I would have to add something extra to enable the interactivity. There isn’t anything obvious to click on in this scene, so I’ll have to add switch or lever or sorts that turns on the spotlight. The red lights at the top could flash to make the scene feel less static.
The assets I’ll use will be straight out of the graphic narrative, with some converted/redrawn as vectors (as the client requests at least some vector images to be used).
I created the assets with animation in mind, as a result the individual elements are all divided into individual layers and alphas for easy customisability. For a more in-depth look about the asset art style and asset creation, see this post here.
Legal and Ethical Considerations
When it comes to copyright, the contemporary issues apply. As far as I’m aware (since these are designs dating back to the 1930s) copyright/creative license does no apply to the vehicles used. I will however be refraining from using company names such as Grumman, Kure Kaigun Kosho, or Mitsubishi to avoid any complications, as these names/brands are still in active use today.
Ethical considerations are always an issue regarding media based on war. As I said, to avoid any racial/ethical issues, I will not be portraying any disrespectful/negative stereotyping or have one country superior over another, even if these things did occur in history. This is simply not to offend anyone or limit my target audience by ways of discrimination.
The setting of the graphic narrative takes place in the Pacific Ocean, 1942. Unsurprisingly that period of time (1941-1945) remains a relevant subject in the minds of the public, especially in America. The war in the Pacific Ocean has lead to countless game, film and novel adaptations, notably movies such as Pearl Harbour and Midway, and games such as Battlestations: Pacific and World of Warships. Both aspects of the Graphic Narrative, the historical setting and the medium, are popular with the public.
The Webcomic will be posted online, and contain interactive animated vector-based images, as per the clients request.