Monday, November 22, 2021

Reflection on Arcane and Notes on Storytelling

After getting out the Arcane Haze, how do I make a scene as emotionally involved without violence or a fight? 


Kessler Syndrom - a cascading debris field in Low earth Orbit. This can happen when too much material is destroyed and enters LEO. 

the Crew is scrambling to survive this and the cast of heroes are making sacrifices and rolling the dice. 

foreshadowed flaws and complications are payed off in this scene where our PCs are going to decide what they are going to do. 

its where the Saints falter, and the sinners have a change of heart. The thing is when we look at a story board analysis - we decide if this is a story with mary sues or with mortal flawed characters. Here it would be awesome if the GM was a great speaker or narrator, BUT since its just a bunch of friends playing it doesn't require a mat mercer - it just need a bunch of friends telling a great story.  

the sub-scenes play out, PC to PC as they play out each major decision. Each scene setting up the next character and complicates the payout/payoff. GM wise this is really hard in a technical game - because the stakes are tied to an understanding of the world. 

For example the debris field of a gigaton structure can shred and destroy everything in LEO. the audience needs to know the options of escape and what else is at stake - habitats, travellers being caught up, etc... Same goes for a Solar Storm, or Radiation Storm. 

The GM and Players this would be hard - it would be easier in a writing team to iterate given a time budget and storyboard. Although the GM and Players can PRESS PAUSE and ask them how would this look as a Cool scene? Its having to give an answer immediately that makes things not work as well.

Arcane Season 1 (Spoilers)

I really like the detail and animation, I can notice that Jinx nose is painted on the 3d model as compared to Ekko. I wish my set up could play it higher resolutions - some youtube videos are playing it higher than my firefox browser. 

the powder vs ekko scene is strangely my favorite. I know there was more exchanges in the other fights. but watching the Enemy music video where ekko and powder always playing together being very close seems to make it the most emotionally heavy fight. 

I like the formula in the Analysis - setup-pay-off but the pay-off is also another setup by complicating it. You can plot that tension curve as part of an outline and iterate over and over to get the emotional elements right and consistent. 

I like in the last third they were doing more "slow" to emphasize the speeding up (check out the Studio Mihoyo Henkai cinematics  videos youtube: Honkai Impact 3rd Animation - Final Lesson '; you can find a lot of the videos in their channel) 

I found the earlier fights too fast. 

The closest to making something like this at one individual level is storyboarding. The analysis and the planning that goes in the scene typically is broken down backwards with the key emotional notes identified then the GM working back - it can be asking the player what is this character about and whats at stake and the dice outcomes. 

I just remember when I used to story board back when I was an artist. Its here were you make the "every frame a painting" kind of decision. Some scenes don't translate well, some do. The team doesn't have time to go back - because it may need to go back and edit everything. Note this is a Mixed Media 2d + 3d - they cannot redo a shot at a different angle. Continuity means having to reshoot a LOT if an idea doesn't work out. 

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