THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS ARCHIVES
"Everything worth having or knowing is already recorded...
If one knows where to look and has the resources to dig deep enough."
– Luther Rouzic, Librarian Honorarium
In creating stories or artwork I usually work alone, cut off in an icy fortress of solitude at the top of the world. Well, that might be a fanciful image, but it is true that it often takes months or years to mull over long-running narratives and allow characters to evolve. If the world one is trying to create is to be believable, then it will need time to cohere and settle.
On the other hand, it is a delight to discuss and brainstorm ideas with friends as a way of giving some half-formed notion more substantial form. Often the wider possibilities of an idea do not become apparent until they have been aired, shared, or been committed to paper. And there is a very special kind of excitement in storm-fire exchanges of ideas with someone on the same wavelength. It is a process that can yield some surprisingly impressive results, far greater than the sum of the individual parts.
Specifically, in relation to the Angel of Darkness, there were constant ongoing discussions about every aspect of gameplay and story elements. Suggestions would be incorporated or fine-tuned wherever possible, so long as they dovetailed with the overarching ideas that were being introduced into the franchise. The foundation of Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft was well established, of course, and there were parameters and defining elements that had to be adhered to. But there was also plenty of room for innovation and establishing new territories to explore with our gun-toting heroine.
So, if you are reading these documents – especially those created before the game’s release in 2003 – you are urged to treat these documents as work-in-progress project files. They should not be viewed as gospel, but as windows into the ongoing creative process with documents changing and evolving over time. Attempts have been made to sort documents chronologically, but this can only be approximate. You will also notice some documents are presented complete, while other, longer ones are shown as only samples (these latter documents end with “...”). All documents are available to download in their full, original format.
Since before I was old enough to read, I thrived on images and illustrated story telling in comics, books, and films. Since that time, all forms of imaginative expression across all media have gripped me. There are so many worlds that are already established in the vast, shared universe of the imagination in books, films, comix, or any other form of mass communication.
In the process, it is useful to cherry-pick ideas from everything that one can read, watch, or listen to in the public domain. In fact, it’s impossible to divorce yourself from everything that you have been exposed to; but, as one of my personal heroes, Philip Pullman, says, “Always pick from the very best and create something that is uniquely your own.”
It doesn’t therefore take a Sherlockian mega-mind to look at the world of AOD and The Shadow Histories and identify many shared themes and ideas from widely scattered sources. No one has a monopoly on good ideas. In fact, everyone has ideas – sometimes excellent ones. It is what you do with them that counts. Take all you can and make them uniquely your own. “Semper te ipsum”: Always be yourself. Keeping those ideas locked away in closely guarded sketch books or on flash drives isn’t going to stir the imagination of anyone in the outside world.
Just think: there might people out there waiting to be inspired by YOU.
– Murti Schofield, 2021 –