Christopher Vogler: A Writer’s Journey

The Call to Adventure:

“It’s money and adventure and fame! It’s the thrill of a lifetime!… and a long sea voyage that starts at six o’clock tomorrow!” – King Kong, screenplay by James Creelman and Ruth Rose

The Ordinary World of most heroes is a static but unstable condition. The seeds f change and growth are planted, and it takes only a little new energy to germinate them. That new energy, symbolised in countless ways in myths and fairy tales is what Joesph Campbell termed The Call to Adventure.

Get The Story Rolling

  • Something is necessary to be a catalyst for the story.
  • This can come in many forms like a message.
  • It may be a stirring within the hero, a messenger from the unconscious, bearing news that it’s time for change.


  • A string of accidents or coincidences maybe the message that calls a hero to adventure.
  • It can throw two people together as if by the hand of fate.


  • The Call to Adventure may summon a hero with temptation, such as the allure of gold or a lover.

Heralds of Change

  • A character performing the function of Herald may be positive, negative or neutral, but will always serve to get the story rolling by presenting the hero with an invitation of challenge to face the unknown.
  • Heroes often get by on ‘crutches’ in their ordinary world, the job of the Herald is to kick out these supports and show the hero that the world must be put right.


  • A villain will try and find information on the hero, this can be a call to adventure. Alerting the hero that something is wrong.

Disorientation and Discomfort

  • The Call to Adventure can often be unsettling and disorientating to the hero. Heralds sometimes sneak upon heroes, appearing in one guise to gain a hero’s confidence and then shifting shape to deliver the call.
  • Example, The Hobbit, Gandalf forces Bilbo out of his comfort zone however it is necessary for his growth.

Lack or Need

  • A Call to Adventure may come in the form of a loss from the hero’s life in the ordinary world like a loved one or anything precious.

No More Options 

  • In some stories The Call to Adventure maybe the hero simply running out of options.
  • Example, Die Hard, Bruce Willis has no choice but to adapt. He is ‘Shanghaied’ into adventure.

Warnings for Tragic Heroes

  •  Not all Call to Adventures are positive, they may be dire warnings of doom for tragic heroes
  • Example, Harry Potter and the prophecy

More than One Call: Call Waiting

  • A story operates on many levels so it can have more than on Call to Adventure, it can also have a Call to the Heart.

New Semester, New Narratives

So we’re back for a new semester and this time we’re doing the module new narratives. For this module we have 3 assignments. Our first one, which we are working on at the moment, is a presentation on a book by Christopher Vogler called The Writer’s Journey. Our second assignment is for a group of us to study an assigned film. From this we will have to create 2 artifacts. What this means at the moment I’m not entirely sure but I’ll worry about that after this assignment. Our third assignment is a short animation and we have to pick our own teams. I’m looking forward to this semester but I’ll be honest I’m dreading the work and pain that comes with it.

Practising and Sketching

So just sketching and trying to draw more from life, also been using a site called pixielovely suggested to me by Rebecca from our class. It shows timed life drawing models. I’s really helpful and its good to use for a warm up. I also decided to do some anatomy drawings to try and get a grip on the human form more.


Make a World! Tulip Flower World!

Another world! Another Group!

This week we got passed onto a new world, the tulip world, to be honest this world is great since there’s so much colour that can be involved and this week we are going for colour adding it to our environments.  In our new group it is me, Ryan, Jack and Even, it’s a really great group since everyone is really having fun with the range of colour palettes that we’re working with. We decided to take a look at the previous groups sketches and tonal studies of their worlds environment then redraw them ourselves as well as add our own designs into their drawings, we also did some of our own environments and took influence from their work and added it into their own

Game Week!

For our final project we have a 2 week period to design and create a game that is playable within our world. We got sent to a new team and a new world. This week I was teamed with Thomas, Kristina and Rosie and we were put on the crystal egg world. We started off looking at some of the older groups work and what they did with the world and then began thinking about what we could do for our game, we came up with a lot of ideas, me and Thomas had a huge brainstorming session and wrote down a bunch of ideas.

thomas 1

Initial Concepts and Ideas

We looked at how in the world there would be different stadiums through out the world and how they would change based on where they were geographically. Thomas began researching some concepts for mazes.

Thomas then started to draw up some concepts for what the stadium could actually look like in the world.

We brainstormed for a long time writing down whatever came into out head no matter what it was since it could have been an idea that would spark brilliance. In the end the random ideas did actually help towards our final product as some ideas that we had originally ended up being in the final game, like the easter egg hunt style game.


However after all the brainstorming we were still fairly lost about what we should do with out game. So instead looked at what kind of game it would be played as. we first of thought that the best route to go down would be a board game like snakes and ladders that children of the world would play. Since the backstory of our world was that after a magical object worshipped by all the creatures was stolen a war broke out between the territories, the resulting expolsions from the war caused the crystall shell of the egg to crack and break apart revealing the inside.

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Development of Ideas

We thought that the game could be played by the children of the territories and this game would help bring the communities back together through their children. The game would be played as a board game, with a grid layout like snakes and ladders. The objective would be to reach the end first and you would claim the prize (this prize would have been the magical item worshipped by all that was stolen in the war). There would be short cuts in the game like climbing trees if you were playing as a forest character however this was far too similar to snakes and ladders in fact it was basically a re-skinned version of it. so we decided to scrap this idea. Another old idea that we had was an easter egg hunt. We thought that we could build the game around the idea of bringing the territories together. It would be team based, there would be 3 players per team, 1 from each area however we decided against the idea as it wasnt original enough.

Rosie had an idea that she put together, it was based around the characters moving up a social ladder, they would have to complete puzzles/ riddles to move up the ladder and the ultimate goal was to reach the top of the ladder to win. However it took away from the culture aspect of the world and focused more on the economical aspect of the world but the ideas that Rosie put forward for how the characters would advance in the game, stuck with us and they ended up being a major part in the final game.

With none of these ideas sticking and we were starting to get worried we decided to go  back to the drawing board and get a final idea. We looked at the snakes and ladders game, Dungeons and Dragons, cluedo, pac man and finally the maze. The maze idea was one of the only ideas that really stuck out so we looked into it more. We thought what way it could be done, a board game? a physical maze? we weren’t sure but we were just glad we have finally had an idea that was sticking. After this we thought is it really the best idea to have everyone getting along after the war? so we decided that we would have the territories still hate each other.

The Maze

The maze turned out to be a really great idea so we stuck with it. We initially wanted to keep it as a board game where the movement would be based on dice roles (You would move a certain number of tiles based on the number you role, this idea was taken from D&D and cluedo as they both revolve around a free roam of the world the game is based in). There would be 2 board games, forest and yolk, the two sides games are the similar with the same objective and layout however the enemies that you encounter in the game (to set you back tiles etc) are based of the opposing territory (eg. the yolk game will have forest creatures as their enemies). We decided to not include the crystal mountain area and instead have the mountains as a separating wall between the two territories and the creatures living their to be neutral. After working on the maze for a while, designing new mazes and researching how the maze would look in the world, we saw a big flaw in the game. The players could see the routes.

It was a board game so what would stop the players from just looking ahead see the path to the middle and just following it, it takes the mystery from the game, makes it far less competitive and makes the whole idea of a maze game too simple. One idea that we had was that there would be a cover over the top of the game and as the players moved through the maze the top would be gradually removed to reveal the route they’re going however the major issue with this was that it was too hard to try and create a cover that could be taken apart without again giving away the route of the maze. Another problem with this would be it just wouldn’t be fun to play or look at.

Here are some concepts created by me and Thomas. Thomas used a maze generator to get the design for his maze.

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After this we decided to instead bring the maze into the world itself and have it be a physical structure within the world itself. The origin of this maze is unknown however it is now seen as a rite of passage for the children of the territories. They must complete the maze to enter into adulthood. This maze is a tool of fear. It promotes hate of the opposing territories and continues the divide started by the war many centuries ago. This was when our idea finally began to fit together.

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After all the discussion and ideas put together i went onto the facebook group that we had and did a post to simplify everything so we had a finalised idea and a clear path for what we had to do. The post is as follows:

“okay so just a brief description of what we got so far and what we did today:

– Backstory has stayed the same
– Game has developed from a maze based board game to an actual physical maze within the world itself (a rough layout of the mazes location within the world is included below).
– We changed the maze from a board game to an actual physical maze because it was hard to design a maze on a board game without taking away from the mystery of the maze like what was around each corner and where to go.
– To include characters from the crystal mountain area of the world we have the mazes in the crystal area with the cuttlebears (one of the creatures thomas made) standing guard by the entrance as they are neutral to both sides
– The idea of the maze is to act as a rite of passage for the younger generations of each side of the world (the forest side and the yolk side)
– The maze was designed so to spread the hate of the opposing side and to keep them from merging and to carry on the grudge of the war that happened.
– The maze are identical on both sides of the world
– We have kept the enemy idea the same with enemies in the forest creatures maze being yolk characters and vice versa


– At different crossroads to progress through the maze the character must answer a riddle, they may know the answer or not. If they do not and they guess and get it wrong then the maze will point them in the wrong direction, if they get the riddle right it will point them in the right direction


– I believe the objective has stayed the same that they have to reach the centre and touch the ‘representation’ of the object that was once stolen by one of the sides (If im wrong or anyone has a better idea please say)


– Concepts for the maze, different layouts etc
– In game items, like shortcuts, enemies etc
– Riddles
– Thomas is currently working on a quick animatic of the character in the crystal maze looking at the riddle then progression just to show what it would be like

uhhhh i think thats everything anybody else got anything? oh also heres the rough plan i talked about above.”

My design for the world including the physical mazes

My design for the world including the physical mazes

Here is a concept designed by Thomas (below) based of my own (above).

thomas 2

After this we knew what to do and where to go, we were ready to develop the game. Finally we were on track and ready to roll. Thomas began to put together the animatic for the world that shows how the riddles in the maze work which turned out fantastic and really was vital in showing how the maze looked and how it worked.

Riddles and Concepts

Whilst I worked on the concepts for the world, Thomas worked on the animatic, Kristina worked on what skills the characters could possess and Rosie worked on research for riddles within the maze. Rosie did a lot of research and came up with the idea to incorporate children’s nursery rhymes into our game as our game is heavily themed around the creatures children. Rosie discovered that the back stories to children’s rhymes are usually very sad and dark, perfect for the atmosphere of our world. Rosie focused on the following nursery rhymes:

  • Oranges and Lemons
  • Ring a Ring a Rosy
  • Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
  • Sing a Song of Sixpence
  • Three Blind Mice
  • Humpty Dumpty

Rosie then created riddles and consequences based around the rhymes for our game. Here is an example of one

Three Blind Mice

Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice


The vicious farmer’s wife in this rhyme is believed to refer to Queen Mary I, the daughter of King Henry VIII. Mary, a staunch Catholic, was so well known for her persecution of Protestants that she was given the nickname “Bloody Mary.” When three Protestant bishops were convicted of plotting against Mary, she had them burnt at the stake. However, it was mistakenly believed that she had them blinded and dismembered, as is inferred in the rhyme.

Challenge Ideas

Possible another consequence for breaking the rules?
-The Characters start to loss their vision, eventually going blind as they hear the voice of Bloody Mary in their ear singing the Three Blind mice. They feel a knife go across their face, when she wishes them goodluck and leaves the to wonder the maze blind.

Rosie also brought up one of my previous thoughts about influences for the game, The Third Task in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Personally I found the book version of the maze task to be more influential than the movie version as at one point in the maze Harry meets a Sphinx who won’t let him past unless he answers her riddle correctly.

The Sphinx

The Sphinx – Pottermore Fan Forum

Kristina brought forward some excellent concepts for the characters allowing for us to see what the characters would look like as children which is a really important piece of work to show for our game. I worked on some character concepts myself and since Thomas has worked on it previously he gave us a look at some of his original character designs which were really useful. After Thomas showed us some work from his group before when they worked on characters in this world it gave us a better understanding of the characters in the world and allowed us to draw them more accurately

Thomas created some poster’s for our main character Gleep, he based it on World War 1 and 2 propaganda. It fits that they would have propaganda as the grandparents and parents have taught their kids that the maze is a part of life.

Thomas also did some alternative concepts for Gleep using a variety of colour palettes.

I also worked on some concepts for out world to bring it to life more. I wanted to show what the maze would actually look like in a 3D environment so i had a go at creating it. The 3 open squares are where there could be an exit so there are 3 possible exits but only 1 is real. I also decided to give the maze and smaller mini maze on a raised area just to give it more dimension. I also made an attempt at 3D modelling one of the characters that recurred through out the weeks and that appears as the main character in our animatic, this character is called Gleep.

One thing that I found that I was good at in a previous week was typography and a piece of work that I always found was awesome and had great typography in it was Tolkien’s maps from Lord of the Rings. So i decided to do a 2 page spread of a Tolkien style map of our own world. Later on after I completed this I wanted to do another because I was so happy with how the first had turned out but I didn’t know that many famous map designs but I was recommended to look at World of Warcraft and Game of Thrones and I found this great map from World of Warcraft that shows two opposing figures with maps of their areas beside them so I tried to recreate that. The Lord of the Rings map (below) was created by J.R.R Tolkien I believe and unfortunately I could not find the creator of the World of Warcraft Map.

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The Tolkien map shows the positions of the mazes in relation to each territory. Since the creatures from the crystal mountains are neutral and guard the gates to the maze we all thought it best that the location of the mazes be next to the mountains.

At this point we were coming to the end and we were finishing up with bits and pieces. Kristina gave us some more pieces of work that she spent a lot of time on and they turned out great. Basically since the characters are trained and taught about this maze for their whole life so when they enter the maze they will have specific attributes that they will have specialised in for the maze. Depending on where they are from they will specialise in different areas and they may not be able to specialise in areas where others can for example forest creatures can specialise in stealth and speed but not charisma or knowledge whereas the yolk characters can. This is based on their backgrounds since the yolk people have always been more civilised since the very first week when the world was made whereas the forest creatures were dangerous and predatory so it makes sense that they can be stealthy and fast whereas the yolk characters are more charismatic and knowledgeable. These attributes would be represented by certain objects that the character would wear before entering the maze as seen in the pictures below, for example the wizard hat represents wisdom and the shoes represent speed. In the picture of the forest creature he is wearing a wizard hat and shoes showing which areas he has trained in for the maze. This means he will get advantages relating to wisdom and speed in the maze like he will be able to get away from monsters faster or he will be able to answer riddles quicker.  She also did some beautiful drawings of the children being taught about the maze by their parents.

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So now that the ideas had been finalised and everything was coming together there wasn’t a lot left to do however Thomas thought of one last thing, Rules. He took influence from the rules in Maze Runner and these were the rules he came up with:

Rule #1: Retrieve the precious item.
Rule #2: Be prepared for all possibilities. For every corner, every shadow and every sound, could be the end for you.
Rule #3: Play by the rules, or the rules will begin to play with you.
Rule #4: Gear up – Choose your characteristics wisely. If not, it could be your downfall.
Rule #5: Think fast, act smart.
Rule #6: Answer all riddles wholeheartedly.
Rule #7: If you answer incorrectly and end up on an incorrect path, ensure you can retrace your steps effectively and get back on the right track.
Rule #8: Show passion and determination to succeed.
Rule #9: Know your enemy.
Rule #10: Survive.

He also did some further research into different types of mazes and terms used for them:

Unicursal – Maze without branches. Sometimes called a circuit maze.
Multicursal – Maze with branches and dead ends.
Blind Alley– Branch that is a dead end.
Island – A section of the maze containing walls not connected to the external wall of the maze. Sometimes also referred to as a detached wall.
Theta – A type of maze composed of concentric circles.
Braid Maze – A type of maze with branches, but without dead ends. All branches loop back to other branches.
Perfect Maze – Maze with no islands or isolated sections. A perfect maze has only one solution.
Delta Maze – Maze consisting of interlocking triangles.
Plainair Maze – A maze on something other than a flat surface. For example, a maze painted on the outside of a cube or sphere.

Last but not least we planned our presentation, bringing together all of our notes and research together to touch up for presentation, we also made a rough plan to keep us right.

Presentation Plan

Presentation Plan

This was the final animatic that Thomas touched up for the presentation, it got a great response and it turned out great (heads up earphone uses there’s a scream at 0:34 so watch out)

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