The Spirit World Sculpture Game

7/25/16 Update! 

I have been hard at work on finishing the first half of the game environment. As of this writing, the sculpt is complete and the mold is done and waiting for me to open! My brother Jonathan has been creating the cards content that will basically run the narrative of the game. We will have a prototype ready to play soon! I'm very excited to start sculpting the other  side of the environment and make some miniature figures!!

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Above is an angled top view of the completed left half of the environment sculpted in Monster Clay. The brass tubing will serve as my vents in the case mold. 

Lucian and I are cleaning out the clay from the inside of the epoxy case mold jacket. I recently switched from using fiberglass to epoxy because of the VOC's (the toxicity and smell). All the clay is cleaned out, put into the two buckets you see then weighed. The weight of clay will determine how much silicone I will need to fill the mold. Clay was about 7500 grams. This figure is multiplied by .75 and give me a total weight of 5625, thanks Dick Smith!!  I always add an extra 300-500 grams to fill the pour tube and any clay that was pressure washed out of the mold. 

The case mold has just been filled with almost 7000 grams of silicone! The drywall screws are plugging my air holes. The are gently put in place after the hole bleeds out to ensure no air is trapped in the mold. All of these screws remind me of some kind of strange, tortured Hellraiser Pinhead thing...

All of my life, I have been an avid gamer. It started with a simple dice game my grandfather taught me when I was 4 or 5 years old. Then it gradually became an obsession. Over the years, I've played hundreds of games, video and board. I have a special fondness for playing miniature board games. There is something about moving characters on a map and encountering the unknown that really clicks with me. In games we can image any world presented to us, live in that place, conquer our fears, get the treasure and even experience a major ass kicking from a family member or friend, all in good fun. I'm always on the look out for new and innovative board games on Kickstarter and often spend hours in game stores looking at everything on the shelves or in display cases. Recently, I realized that the latest gallery art sculpture I am working on called "The Spirit World" was in fact, turning into a miniature game because of the way I was subconsciously making it!  A deep seeded desire to fuse my intricate art sculptures with my obsession of board games finally broke free of my subconscious and will not let me go until it comes to fruition! So what is this game about? Read on!

 

This journey started with a simple sketch inspired by my wife, Erica. I have changed the look drastically but this still remains my original inspiration and basic silhouette.

This journey started with a simple sketch inspired by my wife, Erica. I have changed the look drastically but this still remains my original inspiration and basic silhouette.

The above sculpture was sort of my practice for the surfacing detail I wanted to use on the terrain of this game environment. I was very inspired by the surreal painting of Zdzislaw Beksinski. To me, his work feels like something from the afterlife or a parallel plane of existance.

The above sculpture was sort of my practice for the surfacing detail I wanted to use on the terrain of this game environment. I was very inspired by the surreal painting of Zdzislaw Beksinski. To me, his work feels like something from the afterlife or a parallel plane of existance.

Once my little Beksinski Building was complete, I made a mold, and further experimented with different color pigmented, hollow castings. In each, I put a single LED tealight to see how the light shined through.

Once my little Beksinski Building was complete, I made a mold, and further experimented with different color pigmented, hollow castings. In each, I put a single LED tealight to see how the light shined through.

The odd thing was that the lighting that worked the best was the plain white un-pigmented, unpainted resin. The result is the first image at the top of this post. All the translucent pigmented resin did not refract the light within the hollow space enough to carry it up the building.

The odd thing was that the lighting that worked the best was the plain white un-pigmented, unpainted resin. The result is the first image at the top of this post. All the translucent pigmented resin did not refract the light within the hollow space enough to carry it up the building.

Sometimes it's the simple answer.

Sometimes it's the simple answer.

Now that I had experimented with the surface texture, casting thicknesses, and pigments it was time to start diving into the game environment. Below is a work in progress of the left wing of the sculpture made in Monster Makers Clay.

The very beginning of the sculpture.

The very beginning of the sculpture.

Close to being finished with the left side here.

Above you can see a little 28mm ghost figure I threw in the photo to give you an idea of scale. The game environment will be about 3 feet tall and 3 -4 feet wide and will be able to hang on your wall as legitimate, internally lit ART when you are not playing it.

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Above is a quick Photoshop mock up of the Spirit World game environment. My partner on this journey is my brother Jonathan Hite who also shares the same love for gaming as I do. There is still a lot of work we need to do and I plan to change the right wing to resemble the sketch below. It is a sister but not a twin. In this game players will traverse a spirit realm or astral plane in search of the lost soul of a little girl.  They will traverse the game environment on a horizontal and vertical plane, encountering spirits, demons, and other worldly beings of the spirit realm. I'll release more information on the game as we progress. I can't wait to show you what we have in store for this game!!!

The right side will be made to look like a surreal brick and mortar structure.

The right side will be made to look like a surreal brick and mortar structure.

I'll leave you with these WIP's of the female center figure. We are not sure if we will include her in the game for obvious nudity reasons but this is also art and, well, we have all seen beautiful nude women in art! Let me know if you think she should be a part of the game environment in the comments below. Oh and check back on this page from time to time to see more updates as Jonny and I progress!

-Jason A. Hite 4/15/16

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