For my final project, I present Golden Obsidian, a heavily Dungeons & Dragons inspired fantasy story. D&D was first truly popularized during the 80s, so that’s where my main influence is from. I don’t have much experience writing fantasy stories, but I do have experience reading them. I have also played D&D before when I was in high school. The planning for this project was extensive. I knew I wanted to create a map to help capture the feeling of magic as well as reality. I hoped to share the main character’s journey with the reader by making a believable map that you can look at as you read through my story. This was the graphic element to my project. I used a website called Inkarnate, a tool that helps design maps for D&D campaigns
The tools on Inkarnate were relatively easy to use and very customizable. I was able to choose textures as well as change the scale of any icon I placed on the map. I drew my own shape for the landmass and also drew my own rivers. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to include all of the locations on the map in my story, but I wanted a lot of them to at least be referenced to create a more concrete world. I thought of the names for everything just by writing random fantasy words that I thought sounded fancy.
The story itself is very long. It added up to about 4000 words. It’s made up of a party of Cecilia, a half-elf ranger and her half-brother Ephraim, who was an elf wizard. I had so many ideas for this story that it was overwhelming. I kept thinking of new ideas and events and pieces of lore to throw into my convoluted fantasy story. I ended up having to take out an entire party member to shave down the word count. There was originally a human rogue named Kieran who was supposed to join them in Part 2. Once I get into something like this, it’s hard for me to not be a perfectionist. I wish I could have made it much longer and more detailed, but I am very proud of how the final story turned out. Maybe one day I’ll make an extended version.
I also made and incorporated ambient soundscapes to fit into various sections of the story. They are meant to be loosely the environment that the characters would be hearing. Some of them had music that was non-diagetic and were for effect instead. I utilized Audacity and various free sound websites to compile special location noises that I edited together in different environments. My favorite track that I made was definitely Lake Ferina. I edited the sounds by repeating tracks, pitching up parts, adding reverb, and various filters to fit the moods that I wanted. I chose the most important settings to make soundscapes.
Overall, it was a very time-consuming and creative project that I am incredibly proud of. I used some learned graphic design skills to create an interesting map. I especially took audio mixing skills from this course. Before this, I had no experience with it at all. As a creative writing major, it was fun to have freedom to create something that I really wanted.