Postcards from the Edge

Prehistoric Symbols

Modern Travel Symbols

Lately, I have been more excited than ever to check my mailbox when I get home. My best friend is on a grand tour of Egypt, and she promised to send me a postcard every time she came across something interesting. And true to her promise, I’ve received a postcard almost every day! I love the cards because they introduce me to new ideas and often turn into my inspiration for the day.

The last few postcards have had great photos of architectural monuments, sculptures, wall carvings, paintings and other decorative arts. From her notes on the back of the cards, I’ve learned that symbols were a big part of ancient Egyptian art and were used to depict scenes from various aspects of daily life, including rituals, festivals, medical procedures, and military victories. It is through these symbols that we have learned about the life and history of ancient Egyptian culture. The postcard I received today had an amazing closeup of a wall inscription in the temple of Amun Ra, telling the story of two Egyptian rulers.

I thought it would be interesting to depict a symbolic scene from my own life in Gamestar Mechanic. In Gamestar I had an existing toolbox full of ‘symbols’—in the form of sprites. All sprites already have meaning in the Gamestar world; combining them with others would allow me to add my own story. For example, the health sprite when combined with the dirt block might indi- cate a tough time. Enemy and Avatar speed could indicate a certain pace of life. Certain types of moving sprites could communicate hectic confusion in a particular scene. The design of the game space could show chaos or order. Clouds and grass blocks could communicate happiness or peace. Patterns of movement could be used to indicate a kind of routine. There was so much to experiment with that I soon found myself lost in my own world of Gamestar symbols.