On Paper Moons and Plot Changes

changes to critical actions

East of the Sun and West of the Moon is a story about a girl who is convinced by her father to be given to a bear as his wife in exchange for riches for her poor family. She settles in and is even allowed to see her family but exposes the bear to be a human prince and loses him in the process.  She then goes on a long journey to find him in the kingdom east of the sun and west of the moon and to win him back from the troll princess he must now marry instead.

The entire story can be found here but for class this week’s class we’ve been asked to make changes to a few actions of the story and illustrate those critical points in some manner.

In an earlier class exercise to brainstorm changes, I chose to place this story in a circus on a winter planet that is orbited by 3 moons. I really like this idea! But as for the final output of this class, I know I previously threw out the idea of VR but wasn’t sold on it. Since then I’ve started to think of it as a possible puzzle game or similarly experience with possible downward projection. It would be great if I could actually partially build up the surface or table top and then map my projection onto it. But before that, this new story…

Our protagonist, instead of essentially being sold by her own father, chooses to contract herself to this circus in order to send money back to her (still impoverished) family. It is within this circus that she is partnered with the bear under the condition that she never be the one to feed him.

She and the bear form a great team and she does well for her family! But when her family comes to see her performance, her mother gives her sweets that she shares with the bear. This exposed him for the human prince that he is, voids his own contract, and he must return to the kingdom east of the sun and west of the moons.

This is where my prototype starts!

Still wanting to honor her own contract, she cannot simply leave the circus. She is instead told that she should visit the moons to figure out how to reach this hard to find kingdom and given candles that when lit, will allow her to travel there in her dreams.

Here is where the puzzles would be. There in an initial puzzle on the home world during the day and your score here affect how long your candle will burn at night. This is all the time you have to complete the puzzles on each moon. If it reaches day, you must try again.

In the story, on each moon she will gain a golden object before moving on to the next. Still not knowing the way, the final object allows her to summon the north star (instead of going through the winds as in the original story), who strings together the treacherous path she must walk (tightrope maybe?) among the stars in order to finally make it to the kingdom.

On her travels she discovers that the prince had contracted himself to the circus as a bear in order to pay his was out of a betrothal to a prominent family. She steps in and challenges the princess, using her golden objects to become victorious.

There are some things I’m still pretty flexible on, like maybe all of the objects actually are pieces of one whole? And I’m well aware that I probably will not be able to make all of this a reality in the timeframe of this class. But this is becoming a pretty fun project to think through…