I know JCU has a large gaming community, and 2021 is a year of celebrations for many fandoms including Diablo, Pokemon and Tomb Raider. To celebrate twenty-five years of Tomb Raider and ten years of Tomb Raider in my life, I created “A Snapshot of Lara’s Life” for my creative art class in SP1 2021. A large part of this assessment was pushing yourself to work in ways you haven’t before. I have never built something like this, nor do I draw digitally much. I believe I was incredibly successful in producing something out of my norm during my fortnight working on it.
This artwork is an interactive website with six pages that viewers can explore. Viewers can access four animated scenes from the load screen, which capture personally impactful or nostalgic Tomb Raider moments. These scenes correlate to specific games and are animations with audio aiming to capture the moment’s atmosphere. I produced the drawings on a Huion Pro 13 digital tablet with the Adobe suite. Webflow and Elfsight were used to create the website.
This article shows just the artworks, but if you wish to visit the site itself (if it is still active) you may go here OR alternatively you may see a recording of the site you may go here.
Load Screen Artwork
The figure in the middle is a personified save crystal. The viewer is in her dimension where they can peek into different parts of her story. The artefacts on the home screen are organised top to bottom, left to right in the order the games were released (Red, Tomb Raider 1; Green, Tomb Raider 2; Yellow, Tomb Raider The Last Revelations; Blue, Tomb Raider Chronicles). This is not the chronological order of Lara’s story, which would be Tomb Raider Chronicles, Tomb Raider 1, Tomb Raider 2, and finally Tomb Raider The Last Revelations. This artwork does not attempt to force the viewer into a linear plot as a film might. Instead, it follows the direction the game took emphasising choice. Each scene has a feature colour that aims to make each save game unique and speak to Lara’s emotions.
Tomb Raider 1: Lara Croft, The Scion, and Natla
The red scene features Lara Croft in front of the Scion (a powerful artefact) which in the hands of Natla (the mutant she is facing) could unleash havoc upon the world. The composition is block-based, aiming to capture the graphics of Tomb Raider 1. The viewer may not know the history of the artefact or Natla, but they should understand the tension and that the glowing artefact has importance for each character.
omb Raider 2: Lara Croft and The Dagger of Xian
The green scene showcases Lara Croft discovering an unknown artefact: The Dagger of Xian. Lara has her guard up, shown by her holding the pistol out of its holster, as she approaches carefully. The intended atmosphere the viewer should recognise is eeriness and curiosity.
Tomb Raider The Last Revelations: Lara’s Demise
The yellow scene captures Lara as she enters the lowest period of her life, and the end of classic Lara Croft. The descending notes in the music match Lara as she falls from the ledge into darkness, her adventure flashing through her mind. Her attire changes throughout the three artworks, and her physic becomes more realistic as it is after this event that she enters the era of the Playstation 2 in The Angel of Darkness. I intended for this moment to be calm and have a sense of acceptance as she processes her fall.
Tomb Raider Chronicles: Lara’s Beginnings
The blue scene shows Lara looking out into the world in a defiant pose. This is the moment she leaves her home, choosing a life of adventure over comfort. The rainy, cold environment and music help convey melancholy and excitement as Lara looks outwards.
This artwork is primarily geared towards other members of the Tomb Raider community. Nonetheless, it can still provide insight into Lara’s adventures for those who are not as familiar with the franchise. Through these particular interactive instances, viewers should experience her curiosity, fearlessness, and determination. Ideally, this will allow the viewer to better understand, or reminisce, on Lara Croft’s global impact on the many who grew up with her during the 1990s and 2000s, myself included.