Category Archives: Conceptualisation

Choosing Audio

The audio I decided to use was an extract from one of my favourite games of all time, Portal 2. The reason why I chose audio from this game is because all of the characters are mouthless robots, so there’s no possible way for me to copy their mouth movements.

I chose this scene to animate because of the heightened emotion of the characters and the intense facial expressions that could be made if only the characters were human.

Planning the modelling

This plan was made on a Google Docs sheet so that the team could see what needed to be made and what was already being made.



  • Ground 
  • Boulders (large,medium,small)
  • Foliage 


Buildings (some can be half-destroyed)

    • Bunkhouse for the miners
    • Storage buildings (tools (sledgehammer, pickaxe, wedge), artillery, general storage)
    • Refininer + adjacent storage building
    • Mine shaft
    • Cranes x3 
    • Observation building 



    • Toppled mine carts
    • Soldier carrier truck
    • Transport vehicle for carrying rocks (standing/toppled)
    • Antique cars

Effects/Miscellaneous items

    • Mine cart track
    • Sandbag barriers
    • Pistols (bullets)
    • Larger guns
    • Piles of rubble
    • Piles of mined rocks
    • Antique lamp posts
    • Barbed wire fences
    • Road Barrier
    • Barrels
    • Crates

Visualising the Abyss

After deciding on our theme, I set about trying to draw a layout plan for our model centering on a massive crack in the earth. These were a few of our ideas:

abyss study 2
A very rough birds-eye-view look at the plan of the Abyss.

The plan would be simple, with the main storage facilities and cranes relatively saved from the sudden fracture of the earth, but with some minor features like rails and trees falling into the crevice.

abyss study 1
A very rough sketch analyzing the original concept art
abyss study 3
An attempt at drawing the geography of the valley and the abyss from the point of view of the town.


Mining Town Inspiration

abyssLooking at the picture there is an air of timelessness in the mechanics and architecture, so really it could be set anytime within the last 100 years.

While researching images of mining towns, the most striking and almost iconic looking results were those of the old-fashioned vehicles and buildings used in the 1920s – 1940s. An example being the image below:


So we decided to base our vehicles, buildings, refineries and miscellaneous items between the 1920s and 1940s.

Modelling Abyss – Conceptualisation

For the modelling aspect of our development project, the team decided on using Katie Noble’s artwork titled “Abyss” as the foundation for our idea.


We liked the jagged mountainous terrain along with the ghostly looking mining town at the end of the valley.

The first thing that struck me was that the bottom of the valley is largely kept in shadow, obscuring what could be lying there, or what the cranes could be digging up. The first thing that this reminded me of was one of the opening scenes from Godzilla (2014) were the skeleton of a huge monster was being dug up from a quarry.expedition

I was drawn to the idea of having a huge rift at the bottom of the valley that has swallowed a proportion of the mining village, where something huge had cracked the earth in its attempt to escape from the ground, and in the process destroyed the mining town.


The idea then was to tell a narrative: Something huge escaped from the earth in this mining town and the residents and workers fought back, but were overwhelmed and made a quick escape, abandoning the half-destroyed site.