Simplified Games

After the designs of the arena I went back to origins. I thought of others messages lizards could send as a warning to Lizards. On Wednesday i said to everyone how it would be cool if we had something that shows the difference between the two sides; juxtaposing the future of both races!

At the beginning of the year, people in our class brought in a scalextric; we briefly mentioned it Wednesday but it completely went past our minds. Thinking back to scalextric the structure and goal of the game could be used in hour glass world. (This is when i wish i had a picture)

Mario Scalextric (This what the guys had): Source

Scalextric derives from racing games such as NASCAR and F1 racing. The goal is to be first in your lane. The simplified game could be in the shape of an hour glass with two lanes and two players (characters). The characters that doesn’t fall off wins. DSC_0826

It could be a “relic” to the top creatures, an ancient game that they think is a toy derived from a story like the origins itself. While the creatures at the top play, the creatures at the bottom train for the real thing.



The Arena confirmed

Showing my designs to the group of the origins; they seemed to like the idea and we got talking about our previous reference and we suddenly formed a game. ”

“We could add something like it as an obstacle or something!” Kirstin
“It could be as they are climbing up. The higher the altitude the more challenges there are “Cassie
“Ohhh yiiis. It starts easy gets more intense”Kirstin
“Yea and I was thinking grandma’s footsteps if the timer runs out and there are players who have nearly made it to the end they are just instantly turned to sand.Because they are so close to the finish”Cassie
“Ooh the obstacle idea, remember we had the idea of building the tower to get to safety? How about the towers already built, it could rise out of the ground and every floor has a new obstacle?”Jack
“Towers could be like check points”Kirstin
Ohhhh how about if it was like a spiral staircase?”Cassie 
“Oooh” Jack

(Conversation taken from Messenger Group Chat at 29/11/2015 17:15)

And then suddenly a game was formed, I started making quick design of the arena based game.


I have the spiral staircase on both sides thinking of the previous thought of the pull of gravity and thinking of previous influences from sound wave world that visualise show two sides living in opposite sides: Upside Down/ Panema Inverted

At the bottom in green we have the a mild challenge, was thinking of a puzzle or something to tie in the puzzles we looked at for example; Professor Layton

The yellow zone ties in Claire’s idea of Skeletons and the characters in Undertale. The creatures have to avoid reptile skeletons (creatures of previous games) grabbing them.

The orange zone is quicksand; an element we briefly talked about when we first were discussing ideas. If creatures aren’t quick enough they sink and die. So not that hard then!

The brown zone shows Kirstin influence; Star VS The Forces of Evil. With ever step creatures ages switches from young to old. This can mess with a creatures perception so perseverance is key.

The last zone, the red one shows grandma’s footstep but taking out the god and having drones. They need to be quick but careful!

In the middle is one of the domes created by the group in week 4. It guarantees safety before the timer completely flips over. When the timer is completely flipped over the arena structure collapses leaving all those who didn’t get to the dome in time doomed!

A few hours later I showed this idea to the group and they seemed to like enough to roll with it! To concept art!


Old Grandfather Snail

I thought back to the creatures and how the top creatures could mock the bottom creatures. Since for lizards if could be for them happening over decades or hundreds of years. What if it was perceived as a legend or myth by the top creatures?

I pictured like an old snail with this beard telling young creatures a story. To the cutesy creatures is something to take likely because they don’t think it’s real however for the top creatures it’s a reality and they are constantly living in frustration that the others won’t take them seriously

I also thought of a lizard preacher; those people with those signs that say “THE END IS COMING”

Page from Sketchbook

I don’t know if i did it subconsciously but I think if I were to combine the lizard and the snail together i would get the goat from Hoodwinked! (That film that looks like it was animated far earlier than it was) So I apologise in advance for having this as a somewhat reference!

Clip from Hoodwinked! 

Then thinking of the story which the snail might read from i did a few sketches.

Rough story panel in my sketchbook

Presenting the origins as a story sounds interesting like when films introduce the story through an opening of a book.

Fractured Fairy Tales Intro

Happy Tree Friends, Loosely based story vibe (The characters remind me of Bethany’s designs)

Origins of Sand

For myself I wanted to explore the origins of Hourglass world. A lot of the origins in a way have be set out. There currently is a God/Timekeeper outside and turning the hour glass and there is a class system of creatures

Top Creatures

They obviously are gonna die with each turn of the timer; however the eggs surviving meaning they are always in life cycle. They worship the God  thinking everything is okay.

Bottom Creatures

They have become bitter due to adapting to the worlds environment and surviving. They despise having sand fall on them and the God for playing tricks on them; becoming savage like.

This is all because of the turning of the timer; so what if the game is based around that. The game maybe lasts once in a life time (for the top creatures as they always die) The God will try and kill the lizards but because they are smart the survive meaning to amuse himself the God must put the creatures through challenges.

This could maybe show two different cultures. The lizards maybe prepare every year and try to warn the top layers through messages. However with the lack of knowledge the top creatures know nothing of the foreseeable events and mock the creatures below.

Page from Sketchbook


Also thinking of how the game would unfold by looking at the Physics of the sands. When the hour glass is on it’s side, gravity could pull creatures to the ends meaning they wouldn’t fall to the bottom. Looking at timing and the turning of the hour glass could only be a few seconds on the outside but on the inside it could last days. Making it like an arena challenge like situation. The survival of the fittest. For that I looked at Judge Dredd (2012) and the drugs they have which alter the perception of time of people who partake in the substance.

Slow Mo Judge Dredd (2012) Scenes




Hour Glass research. Part 2

With all the game research so far we tried to capture some of it on Whiteboards, trying to branch off into different ideas. We also tried to recall the world’s history to see if we could make connections with the game and the culture.

The part we were interested in seemed to be the Timekeeper or what he now the God. As the creatures above and below have different reactions to him. Maybe he is actually quite sadistic and likes to mess with them; tying this into the game what if the game wasn’t for the creatures but for the God.

Jack’s Idea

An idea Jack had was really cool; however when talking through it we were worried it was OTT in terms of violence. The idea is that the hour glass would turn to it’s side making it an arena; both sides would fight for their place at the top of hourglass which would guarantee their safety.

Taking inspiration from The Purge if the event were to take play once a week or year. (This is where we would have to define when the hourglass turns) The Purge is a film where crime is legal for one day in the year; the concept is really cool but the actual film(s) I would argue for a long time are not. Saying no more but I totally could have written a better plot!

The Purge trailer (2013)

Clip from Rick & Morty ‘Look Who’s Purging Now’

I was gonna joke about that scene from Rick & Morty but it actually had valid reasoning for a purge like game. In our world as there are creatures that are savages. It’s basing the creatures down to their primal instinct. The viewer would be the God, he’s watching it because it’s curiosity and entertainment. He’s possibly doing it because he won’t know the outcome as it changes. So there you go, logic in cartoons!

Of course theres other inspirations for the game such as Battle Royale and it’s modern take which seems to be the elephant in the room when anyone mentions organised murder; The Hunger Games. Also thinking of attack defend games like Capture the flag, Dawn of War etc. Thinking since the cute creatures aren’t gonna be as tough they’ll likely go for a defend position.

Gameplay of Warhammer ‘Dawn of War’: Source

When thinking of the idea we really liked Jack’s idea of the hour glass turning to it’s side and acting as the timer itself.

Claire’s Idea

A game Claire thought of was Grandma’s Footsteps; a tradition kids game

“One person is Grandma – he/she faces a wall. The others in the group start at the other end of the room, then try to creep up to Grandma and tap her on the shoulder. However, at any moment, Grandma can turn around suddenly. If she sees anyone moving, she points at them and that person must return to the start. No-one is allowed to move while she is watching them.” – Source material

Applying it to hour glass world. The God could place himself in the middle acting like the Grandma. Claire mentioned how we could incorporate elements such as Quicksand to add complexity and how it would work with the hourglass being side ways. Creatures that are caught are incinerated and turned to sand (plot twist that the sand is dead reptiles) It reminded me of the Eye of Sauron.

Eye of Sauron, Lord of the Rings: Source

We really liked the idea but like the purge idea we didn’t know how to display it as a game.

As just inspiration ideas we thought of a few things

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Mentioned by Claire and is just referenced with hour glass material. Could looking at gameplay for reference and aesthetic.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, gameplay (cut to 5.30)

Legend of Zelda

Jack mentioned it and how in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass they only have a limited time to save the world and it features an hourglass.

Legend of Zelda Gameplay (cut to 2:45)

Professor Layton

Kirstin brought it back, as it was puzzle based. When thinking of riddles and puzzles it can become a real handy reference.

Professor Layton puzzle: Source

Star VS The Forces of Evil

A TV show Kirstin mentioned; it had a particular scene where time altered the characters age. We thought this was really cool and wanted to try and include it some way.

Star VS The Forces of Evil clip

Tower of Babel

I remembered this story in the bible of this myth in the old testament. The story follows after the flood and nations united speaking one language and culture; building a tower to reach heaven. However God was not impressed and scattered the nations bringing in new languages and cultures.

The idea of creatures trying to build to reach the Time keeper who maybe in the centre or just building when inevitable the structure will collapse.

Tower of Babel by Bruegel: Source


A game i know my group are interested in. Undertale has puzzles and the skeleton characters Claire thought would be cool to have in the sand of the game (For Grandma’s Footsteps)

Undertale gameplay: Source

In the end we narrowed down our direction to 3 topics for use to develop into further ideas. 

  1. A puzzle based game: The sides of the hourglass interact; completing a puzzle before the hourglass turns over.
  2. A structure based game: The team getting to the middle of the hourglass is the winner. This requires sculpting and building
  3. Attack/Defend game: The bottom side has to attack the top whilst the top has to defend their place. The winning team gets to survive when the hour glass turns over. 



Hour Glass research. Part 1

Today we met up and tried our best to think of games and inspiration for our game. For this game we have been instructed that it has to be relevant to their world and not our own world.

For us our challenge was that our world is in constant destruction so would this theme become apart of our own game.

We each looked at games which could have been helpful for us:

Time Based games

With time based games; I was thinking that the creatures had to complete a task before a timer runs out. This timer could be the actual hour glass in some way. For that I looked at games with timers (sand timers)


Boggle of course uses a timer; players have to pick out words from a cubed grid within a time limit. Now that i think about it; The game is just Countdown but travel edition!

Source Image

Keeping these games in mind; reflecting on our word. Could the puzzle be word related? or do they even have a language in which they communicate. The type set out for the world was Hebrew script, ould they speak in this language?


Alias is a board game, where the objective of the players is to explain words to each other. Hence, Alias is similar to Taboo, but the only forbidden word in the explanations is the word to be explained. The game is played in teams of varying size, and fits well as a party game for larger crowds. The game is very competitive. – Taken straight from Wikipedia

I know my source sucks! but it’s right so i’m not gonna argue with it. It’s another word based game and very similar to Boggle in that it users the same timer. However it is more player/ turned based. Adding turns under a time limit could be interesting for the world. Personally thinking of the world as a timer though I can’t visualise it being player turned based and timed. However this reference may bring light to other games and ideas.


Pictionary is a very common game played in teams where players have to draw words for other teams to guess. Again it requires a timer and is similar game to others but with minor differences. Looking a the game could creatures draw? ( saying this out loud just sounds stupid since they are all reptiles!) Tracing out patterns? Could it be something entirely different, not to do with drawing but the idea of tracing like the buzz wire game.

Buzz Wire game: Source

That game is however over used but it’s stressful and competitive and what would happen if there was  an added time limit was well. Would the game become impossible and considering in our world there is a God controlling everything. Would he control the game and would be play fair?

Structure based games

Structure based games can be puzzling and a leisurely activity. Exploring some of these game could be useful as it is not restricted to a  board but can be kinetic.


A classic game for children who like to build. It has been known to harness creativity and loved by all. a lego inspired game could be interesting for the world. The creatures may have to build something in order to win or for many children it could just be a past time before the world eventually deconstructs!


This was suggested by Kirstin. It’s obvious the common thread is sand with this reference. It’s more practical in the world as it is made of sand. Would the creatures have to create or build to something in order to win and is it an adult and child game?  Sandcastles can be aesthetically beautiful and theres even international competitions based on which is the best.

International Sand Arts Festival: Source

Of course there isn’t just regular sand. other materials have been replicated to possess the same qualities

Magic sand otherwise known as ‘Aqua’ or ‘Moon’ sand reacts when in water and was a popular activity for kids. Water is a natural element which needs no creation and in the hour glass world could have introduced by the Timekeeper. Simple just add water and the game could be constructed. If thats the direction we go for.

magnetic sand in appearance freaks me out, i have no idea why but me and Claire were looking at it today. Magnetic sand could be used in a  a way that creates the game. Almost from nothing but the question i think of. How would this material exist in the world, it’s man made so it would have to be constructed.

Source Image

I thought because the lizards are smart and the groups in the past have expressed they do survive longer because of their spines. Over time they could have created this material. Or maybe it was the timekeeper himself who created it.


If we think about it, it’s just complicated and stressful lego. (with a box you can never puts the pieces back in without crying inside) It added the stress of some of the time based games but with an obvious structure. Hourglass could have a game where they need to avoid topping a structure. This could possibly tie in culture showing an origin of a collapsing world. However we can’t rip off Jenga so if it were to be something along those lines then the structure and gameplay need to be altered.

Turn based games

These turn based games are different. They show a divide between one player to another. They have a barrier separate two sides like a war. Hour glass world has a barrier in itself between top and bottom creatures. I turn based game could put sides against each other.

4 in a row

Four in a Row is another classic game With a sheet of plastic separating one player to another with the goal of getting 4 counters of the same colour in one row. The idea of this plastic barrier could be interesting; would it be scaled up so the top and the bottom sides are separate within reason?

Street Pong

I remembered this viral video awhile ago of a street game in Germany; taking pong and having the time constraints the amount of time the lights change. It would have a similar interaction with kinetics as hourglass world. (hourglass world turning) with the time having an outcome to events. It also shows different the barrier could be for playing turn based games

Street Pong


I had to move on to battle ship as it’s another classic and very very similar to Four in a Row. The only different is the goal; to sink the other team mates ships using co ordinates. This game could be modified so it’s more puzzle orientated. Would each side have to complete something before the other side does? The war could again reflect the origins in showing the difference between the two sides and maybe a war of conflict. Would this a game be once a year settling asides differences or the opposite.

Thinking of two sides joining together for a brie moment; the Sainsburys advert comes to mind.

Sainsbury Christmas Advert 2014

Obstacle courses

It was mentioned in the group about obstacles course, bringing in all the elements mentioned. The creatures would race or compete against each other. We thought of gameshows which we could use as inspiration

  • Crystal Maze
  • Tekeshi’s Castle
  • Total Wipeout
  • Jungle Run
  • Raven
  • Ninja Warrior
  • Kagami Kagami

Obviously this is gonna be a long post so heres a link to part 2 

Hour Glass World

Today we swapped teams and i was reunited with Kirstin but got two new team mates; Claire & Jack who am excited to work with and see how they work!

First however we need to find out what is hourglass world? 

Hourglass world was a world contained within an hour glass (duh!) where the challenge was that overtime the hourglass flipped; civilisation would be destroyed. To help me understand this I used Eoin’s blog to help me

“I looked at the concept of the city being in a protective dome, protecting them from the creatures in the world, the sand storms and the flip that throws their world in to complete turmoil.” – Taken from Eoin’s blog post.

The characters started off as designs by Jordan and his group. They introduced a TimeKeeper who turned the hour glass from outside the world. The Time Keeper started off quite humanoid looking and progressed to a more God- like creature with muscles and more fantasy like features. The current appearance of the Hour Glass is shown in the Animatic.

Title Sequence created by Jenny, Hollie & Niamh 

The creatures living in the hourglass progressed into two types of creatures (Concepts by Bethany) Where the creatures at top are quite cute and obvious resemble creatures like raccoons and turtles. The more savage looking creates at the bottom are lizards. The creatures survive only by reproducing and laying eggs as the eggs do not break when the hourglass is flipped.

Bethany’s Lizard design. Source
Bethany’s top creature design. Source

The relationship between the characters and the god is quite simple. The cute one worship the God because they are at the top. Whilst the lizards at the bottom despite the God as they are always having sand tipped on them.

In the animatic it is explored that the time keeper gets sucked into the world and becomes the God. There is also an element of a day/ night cycle which is the result god breaking the hour glass. However this doesn’t effect us as the issues were solved at the end of the story. Dervla explained this quite well and very nice concepts to go with this.

Dervla’s concept art: Source

Hour Glass Animatic