What I’d like to focus on in this course is the more general importance of story – the one “royal road”, in my opinion, for escaping the trap of “been there, done that” in concept design.
I’ve recently been inspired by the work of Simon Stålenhag, a guy I think really nails the place of story:
The distillation of his approach: Take the familiar and juxtapose upon it the unfamiliar; and ensure your characters have a fleshed-out backstory.
To this end, I’m thinking of trying out his approach in telling a story about a John Carter-esque female astronaut working her way across a landscape that resembles something she left, but just skewed 45 degrees. A little vague, I know, but that’s where the inspiration’s been taking me the past few days.