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Guild Wars 2 Column: That Rascally Diorama Contest

By David North on October 16, 2012

Halloween is just around the corner, and ArenaNet always has something planned as we found out with the original Guild Wars.  In the original game, we got to hang out with a crazy being known as the Mad King Thorn (something returning this year in Guild Wars 2).  We would be rewarded for playing his games with neat masks and delicious consumables. 

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Like every year before, ArenaNet announced that a Halloween contest would be held, to help kick off the holiday in Guild Wars 2.  Normally it’s an art contest, leaving a lot of room for fans to do what they want, but things are a little different this year.  ArenaNet has announced that their contest will require players and fans to create a diorama.

I’d like to go ahead and switch things up a bit this week, and help you all go through a brainstorming process of what you could do for your entry.   Let’s start off with detailing what a diorama is.  A simple explanation is creating a scene at a miniature scale.  It’s that simple.  The second part is that it must combine the themes of Halloween and Guild Wars 2.  There aren’t any rules that limit what we can use to create the dioramas, so let me give you some sweet ideas.

The artists out there probably have already thought of Sculpey as their medium of choice.  No big surprise there.  Sculpey is a neat type of clay that comes in different colors, and can be baked in a home oven.  Sculpey is pretty easy to use and can be found in just about any Wal-Mart.  I think the first time I used Sculpey was in the third grade.  However, there is a slight catch.  Even though Sculpey is easy to use, it requires a bit of skill to make a sculpture look good.  Now I may be great with a pencil and paper, but I suck at sculpting!


If I were to sculpt a pumpkin, it would look like this.

If you can’t sculpt, maybe you can build… with LEGO!  That’s right, LEGO could be the answer.   If you’re like me, and a bit weird, you kept all those bricks from when you were a kid.  Many of the pieces from the past featured fantasy themes, so armor, swords, and shields are actually pretty easy to find.  Making a mini-fig to look the part is easy, now you just need some bricks.  You can use LEGOs to build a cool looking environment.  They are easy to use, and easy to obtain.  Just don’t go around stealing them from kids! 


Fantasy LEGO sets have armor, weapons, skeletons, and even ghosts!

Making something look awesome is usually a main goal for many who try to win a contest.  But there are many different types of awesome.  Sure you might make a diorama so detailed that it wows the judges or you can make them laugh so hard that they throw up.  This next idea is easy to execute, and really opens up creativity.  Simply dress you and your friends in costume to represent your favorite characters, or you could just play all the parts.  Take pictures of the characters doing crazy and hilarious poses individually.  Print the pictures and cut out the characters.  Once you have them cut out, create some sort of stand so that the pictures can stand up.  Now arrange the characters to create your funny scene.  By sure to space everything out and layer your pictures for a 3D effect.

You could do the same for background elements, or just make one using some poster board.   Need some props? Go and find some action figure accessories, or furniture from a doll house.   Simple, easy, and it can capture the fun spirit of Halloween.


Here's a Charr mask to get you started. You're welcome.

Instead of using real people, you could take screenshots of your characters.  It may not be as funny, but we all don’t have friends that are willing to be part of our humiliating projects. 

These three options each require a certain level of skill, but all leave lots of room for creativity.  I hope I was able to help you figure out what you’ll be doing for the contest.  Some of you may like these ideas, and others may think of them as what not to do.  Either way, I hope it helps.  In the end you need to do what you feel lets you express your passion for Guild Wars 2.  So to the drawing boards everyone: time to show ArenaNet what you’re made of!

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