Kingfisher

 

 

I didn’t manage a good photo of these birds — they were fast! I’m pretty sure this is a common kingfisher — so pretty in its bright blue and orange. I love imagining masses of them flitting through the water garden, diving for the fish.

(Were there fish in some of the gardens? There should have been some pools with fish, surely….)

 

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Concept Sketch

I am just so grateful for Kel Bachus and Dana Steinhoff and Rad Magpie, for giving me the chance to try to bring a little bit of Sri Lankan story vision to life. Here’s a quick preview of one of Kat Weaver’s concept sketches for Sigiriya (the video game!), based on one of my photos from the December trip.

LOVE. Seriously, it makes me tear up a little. It’s hard to explain how much it means, seeing this piece of my history, my world, being visited and loved like this.

Okay. My main task for today is to try to finish posting the Sigiriya photos at least, so the the game designers have them as a reference going forward. Onwards.

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Reservoir Dogs

 

 

Oh, while we’re talking about wildlife, mustn’t forget the dogs. This kind of dog is all over Sri Lanka, and there are actually lots of groups working on helping to rescue and take care of street dogs — we bought some souvenirs in the airport from a shop run by one of those groups, with the profits going towards medical needs and adoption efforts.

There are some street / community dogs native to Sri Lanka, such as the Sinhala hound (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinhala_Hound), which were trained for hunting (accompanied by bow and arrow) by the indigenous Veddah community. And there is evidence that goes much further back:

“The skeletal remains of dogs from Nilgala cave and from Bellanbandi Palassa, dating from the Mesolithic era, about 4500 BC, suggest that Balangoda Man may have kept domestic dogs for driving game.”

 

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Sigiriya Gardens

 

 

I admit to being a little obsessed with the water of the Sigiriya gardens. One of my first ideas for the video game was to simply do an irrigation game — sort of a cross between the physics and puzzle-solving of Where’s My Water? and the aesthetic pleasures of something like Gardenscapes.

In the end, we went in a different direction for the main game, because I really wanted us to do more with the cultural elements of Sigiriya specifically, but I still think that would be fun to develop.

Gardening games = love. There’s a little card game called Lotus, which is simple but pleasing — you build flowers out of petals. So nice.

I just picked up a board game called Photosynthesis (I know I said I wasn’t buying more board games until I played all the ones I owned, but in my defense, it was on sale! it’s research!), which is all about growing forests competitively, fighting for the available sun. Fascinating.

 

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Serenity

 

And then in some areas of the garden, the water is still moving. Again, not sure if this is a deliberate choice by the archaeology department, to restore some parts of the irrigation system and not others? Or just a function of how much rain they’ve had lately? I’d love to talk to someone who works there….

(Love the sounds here, of the water and the birds. So serene. Would make a great background track for the game. Maybe I can coax one of my local friends to go out there and record for us, sometime when there are no tourists around….)

 

And then in some areas of the garden, the water is still moving. Again, not sure if this is a deliberate choice by the archaeology department, to restore some parts of the irrigation system and not others? Or just a function of how much rain they've had lately? I'd love to talk to someone who works there….(Love the sounds here, of the water and the birds. So serene. Would make a great background track for the game. Maybe I can coax one of my local friends to go out there and record for us, sometime when there are no tourists around….)#sigiriyagame

Posted by Mary Anne Mohanraj on Wednesday, January 30, 2019

 

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Irrigation

 

 

The water levels would rise and fall, depending on rainfall, to some extent, I think. (I don’t think I really have a good grasp on the complex irrigation system at Sigiriya yet.) But I’m pretty sure (based on my guide’s comments) that you should picture this particular structure as full of water, covered in blooming white lilies.

 

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