Research on Salem 1960


I needed more information about the witch trials so I sought out some books. I found this one to be more helpful than anything I’d come across online – and an interesting read. It had a lot of information about the Salem Witch Trials and painted a good picture about how ridiculous and scary some of the activities there surrounded witches really were. DSC00453

Cotten was a witch hunter back then, and he wrote a book called ‘The Invisible World’ about the witch hunt proceedings in Salem and parts around it. I found the original 1960s writings on a university website. I tried my best to read them, and probably got a few chapters in (although I’m not sure how much I really understood.) From what I read he didn’t seem to be of much help – and talked about the devil more than solid proof.DSC00454Salem was a good village for me to choose mostly because of the information available about it, it’s not extremely well documented, but there was enough to go off to paint a good picture of the place. It was a highly religious puritan village with around 600 people. Over a hundred died because of witch accusations, which was a large portion of their community. Most of the accusations were of members of the community saying that they had been attacked by a ‘Specter’ which to them was a spirit possessed by the devil in the shape of a witch.
DSC00456 In the case of Rebecca Nurse, I suspect like most others she wasn’t very well liked – and an easy target for the community to accuse her. The accused would often before and after court be thrown into a barn and chained up with the others until they either were publically killed or set free. Often they were set free if they named other witches – the hardest part would have been admitting to witchcraft in the small chance they’ll let you live for information. This is the sort of dark and corrupted atmosphere I want to set my environment. DSC00458 As soon as I read this I was excited to create a graveyard. I also wanted to add the date on the tombstones, as the players enter that area it can be a clue as to where they are. DSC00459 DSC00460

Hanging was a large part of the Salem Witch trails. Most of the executions were hangings. I want to add a noose into the scene – but the physics and modeling of it might be out of my skill range. Although I will think of something. The idea behind this environment is to show how deadly this place was. I feel like it wouldn’t work without their weapon of choice. DSC00462 It was interesting to look into other countries as well, and see how it worked in other parts of the world. Some of these instruments would have been great to put in my scene if only I didn’t keep it local. DSC00464 DSC00465 DSC00466 DSC00448

Designing for Virtual Reality – Case Study

Sleepy Hollow – Secret Location ProjectSleepyHollow1 SleepyHollow4 SleepyHollow6!/sleepy-hollow-virtual-reality-experience

The Sleepy Hollow VR Experience is an installment advertisement for a FOX TV show at San Diego Comic-Con. The experience transports players to Sleepy Hollow, using a mix of 3D design and live action. The project won the 2015 Creative Arts Emmy Award for Creative Achievement in Interactive Media category for User Experience and Visual Design.

The experience collaborates with the shows creators to create the desired aesthetic. The design combines Virtual Reality with live action footage of the shows stars. From what I saw of the ‘making of’ footage the experience was created in Unity 3D and Maya – but I may be wrong.

Designing for Virtual Reality

Designing to Minimize Simulation Sickness in VR Games:

Porting Games to Virtual Reality:

An awesome game dev friend linked me these talks on Virtual Reality, Although i’m still getting through the Designing to Minimize Simulation Sickness, I can talk about Porting Games into Virtual Reality.

What I got mostly from the talk is that just chucking any old game into Virtual Reality is not going to cut it. Games need to be designed and molded by the Virtual Reality experience. But how? that’s what I need to find out. Designing to minimize motion sickness is the first matter of business, keeping in mind the talk which said that the most natural movement as possible will decrease the amount of motion sickness. Then after that i’m not too sure, I need to find more articles on Designing for Virtual Reality.

I can answer the why though. Because the player can look 360 degrees around the environment. The movement and atmosphere needs to be realistically moving in a way that’s comfortable for the player. The idea is to immerse the player, so the experience can’t feel fake or uncomfortable.

Creating the floor plan from Maps of the past


University of Virginia. 17th Century Documents. “Salam Witch Trials.”

University of Virginia. 17th Century Documents. “Salam Witch Trials.”

I studied the maps of Salem from back then, and re-created my own map based of the general guidelines of  those maps. The village I created a map for has a outlying woods area that you enter from –  then within the village you can see the surrounding buildings. I’ll used image maps to create the illusion of a bigger village than available to physically enter. The layout of the buildings and area are based off of these maps.

Map copy

Plan for the setting – further research ideas

Creating the base environment/ ‘feel’ of a 1690s Salem Village

Research will be required for the representation of historical culture and physiological concerns of the witch trial era. The major case study will be the Salem witch trials. It will be following the writings of Cotton Mather who was an infamous ‘witch hunter’ in the 1690s. It will also follow the story of Tituba, an accused witch who was rumoured to have started the Witch Trial “craze” in Salem town by telling tribal stories to her Masters daughters. Although focused on the particular town the environment will be a representation of the witch trials as a whole, and will include elements from earlier and later trials.

The setting will be a 1690s European town. The player will start in an outlying forest during the night and will be guided towards the town by atmospheric lighting. As the player slowly progresses they will start to notice highlighted anomalies that suggest tension within the town, (for example hateful words and threats being carved on doors.) The player is then encouraged to stay hidden. As the player walks further along the path the environment becomes more uncomfortable as deadly and torturous structures for the punishment of witchcraft are discovered.

There will be three main buildings, a church, court house and jail. Within these places there will be evidence of the witch trials based off true events with some intractable objects. At the end of the path there will be a witch burning that you are able to walk towards. If you come within sight of the towns’ people you will be accused of being a witch and will be given the choice to confess and name another witch or plead innocent and be burnt alive. Research for fire particle effects will be required.



Creating the base environment/ ‘feel’ of a 1690s Salem Village

I watched a documentary called Salem Witch Trials, where I learnt an overview of what happened back in the time, also I saw a general idea of what the village would have looked like. The documentary followed the story of an Indian slave named Tituba, who served the Parris family then around that brought out how the Salem which trials came about and how they developed into more than a hundred deaths. The most interesting part of the documentary was how they portrayed the politics of the trials, and how the law allowed accusations of other witches to divert accusations on themselves.

It seemed scary to think that someones word, no matter who they are, can instantly put you in life threatening danger, and you can put someones life in danger in place of yours. It’s going to be interesting to try and replicate or represent that feeling within a game environment.