Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Divers vs. Inception

I went into Inception with a "baseless hunch" about what seeing it would be like for me, one that turned out about 80% correct. Among the expected factors: It's got a ton of parallels to Divers (enough that it'll probably be the biggest "so it's like ___" reaction I get for the project from now on, quite a feat when Divers has parallels to EVERYTHING). It gave me plenty of ideas for antagonists. It's got my mind racing enough that I'll be up all night and should definitely harness this energy towards somethings productive (like this blog plost).

The two big exceptions:

-It didn't give me many ideas about the environments for Divers. The film was too well-grounded for that.
-By having such a thoroughly explored internal logic, Inception provides a reference that helps me better understand my own ideas.

There's a few clear realizations this has currently produced. . .
Where Inception is about the subconscious and our imaginations, Divers is about our intuition and feelings.
The internal logic of the Depths (in Divers) doesn't produce a world where things having match events that could happen in 'reality'; it produces a world where everything 'feels' right. Punching through concrete with your bare hands? Clearly couldn't happen in the real world, but show it to us in a movie or comic and we readily nod along.

Instead of being semiconsciously built from our imaginations, the depths in Divers are formed through the experiences we have- from our feelings, if "feeling" is a label you give to the process of experiencing something.

Inception's world is an increasingly hostile environment that forces you to "lay low", fueling adventures similar to heist movies. Divers' world is an increasingly symbolic/fantastical/significant environment; it fuels adventures where you discover more about the world around you as you fight to better it.
I feel like I've had one element of a personal agenda with Divers, one conscious moral I built into the world's themes. It's simple: Everyone can have qualities that make them worth respecting. Any random person- a surly blue-collar worker in his early 50s, an anxiety-prone housewife, an incoherent bum on the bus- can turn out to have extraordinary depths to them, sides of their character whose virtues would never see the light of day in almost any other premise involving decent action sequences. :P

Mind you, there's a corollary: Anyone can and will have terrible, pathetic failings. Anyone can be force for ill through the Depths, be it through ignorance, denial, or pain too great to bear. That includes the same people who're worthy of respect. That includes you.


Anonymous said...

I realize this isn't the direction you're developing this in, but I feel like your Divers would make a great novel.

Dagda (Brooks Harrel) said...

It pretty much is the direction I'm working in, actually. I build RPG systems and settings by envisioning the end results- the stories my mechanics and internal logic will foster. It's comparable to outlining a series of novels, each in the same setting but otherwise unrelated.