Game art design

Last updated

Game art design is a subset of game development. It is the process of creating the artistic aspects for video games. Video game art design begins in the pre-production phase of creating a video game. The video game artists are visual artists involved from the conception of the game and they make rough sketches of the characters, setting, objects, etc. [1] [2] [3] [4] These starting concept designs can also be created by the game designers before the game is moved into actualization. Sometimes these are concept designs are called “programmer art”. [5] After the rough sketches are completed and the game is ready to be moved forward those artists or more artists are brought in to bring these sketches to life through graphic design.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Visual arts art forms that create works that are primarily visual in nature

The visual arts are art forms such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, photography, video, filmmaking, and architecture. Many artistic disciplines involve aspects of the visual arts as well as arts of other types. Also included within the visual arts are the applied arts such as industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, interior design and decorative art.

Contents

The art design of a game can involve anywhere from two people and up. The larger the gaming company is the more people there are likely designing a game. Small gaming companies tend not to have as many artists meaning that their artist must be skilled in several types of art development, whereas the larger the company, although an artist can be skilled in several types of development, the roles each artist plays becomes more specialized. [6]

Overview

A game's artwork included in media, such as demos and screenshots, has a significant impact on customers, because artwork can be judged from previews, while gameplay cannot. [1]

A game demo is a freely distributed piece of an upcoming or recently released video game. Demos are typically released by the game's publisher to help consumers get a feel of the game before deciding whether to buy the full version and/or keep it.

Screenshot image that is a snapshot of a computer screen

A screenshot, also called screen capture or screen grab, is a digital image of what should be visible on a monitor, television, or other visual output device. A common screenshot is created by the operating system or software running on the device. A screenshot or screen capture may also be created by taking a photo of the screen.

Gameplay is the specific way in which players interact with a game, and in particular with video games. Gameplay is the pattern defined through the game rules, connection between player and the game, challenges and overcoming them, plot and player's connection with it. Video game gameplay is distinct from graphics and audio elements.

Artists work closely with designers on what is needed for the game. [7]

Tools used for art design and production are art tools. These can range from pen and paper to full software packages for both 2D and 3D art. [8] A developer may employ a tools team responsible for art production applications. This includes using existing software packages and creating custom exporters and plug-ins for them. [9]

History

Video game art development began when video games started to be created. When game development started the game artists were also the programmers, which is often why very old games like Pong lack any sort of creativity and were very minimalistic. It was not until the early 1980s that art began to become more developmentally intricate. [10] One of the first video game artists who contributed more shape and two dimensional characters was Shigeru Miyamoto, who created Mario and Donkey Kong. [11]

Starting in the early 1990s art requirements in video games were allowed to increase greatly because there was more room in the budget for art. Video game art began to be in 3D around 1994, before which it had mainly been 2D art design. This required the artist and programmer to work in congruence very carefully, in the beginning, due to the foreign nature of 3D in video games. [3]

As the hardware of video games and technology on a whole advances the ability to develop art for video games increases exponentially. [5] [12] In more recent years many games have developed a much more realistic art design where some artists choose to have a more stylistic approach to the game. There are some games that aim for realism, modelling characters after real actors and using real film to create the back up the artistry to make it as real as possible like in Until Dawn. [13]

Roles

There are several roles under the art development umbrella. Each role plays an important part in creating the art for the video game. Depending on the size of the game production company there may be anywhere from two people and up working on the game. The fewer the people working on the art design the more jobs the people will have to create the different facets of the game. The number of artists working on a game can also be dependent on the type of game being created. For most games there are many roles that must be filled to create characters, objects, setting, animation, and texturizing the game. [11]

The video game artists must use the same design principles that any other kind of artists use. This adds to the aesthetic value of the art created for video games. The greater understanding of these techniques adds to games to make them have a unique experience. [14]

The art director/lead artist are people who monitor the progression of the other artists to make sure that the art for the game is staying on track. The art director is there to ensure that all the art created works cohesively. They manage their team of artists and distribute projects. The art director often works with other departments in the game and are involved from the conception of the game until the game is finished. [5] [15] [16]

2D artists

A concept artist works with the game designers, producing character and environment sketches and story-board and influencing the "look of the game". [15] [17] [18] [19] A concept artist's job is to follow the art director's vision. [20] The produced art may be in traditional media, such as drawings or clay molds, or 2D software, such as Adobe Photoshop . Concept art produced in the beginning of the production serves as a guide for the rest of development. Concept art is used for demonstration to the art director, producers and stakeholders. [15] A storyboarder is a concept artist who designs and articulates scene sequences for review before main art production. [21]

Storyboard Artists often work with the concept artists and designers of the game from conception. They develop the cinematics of the game. The storyboard artist creates an outline for the rest of the artists to follow. Sometimes this is passed on to other departments, like game writers and programmers, for a base of their work. The storyboards that are created breakdown scenes and how the camera will move. [11] [16] [21]

A texture/2D artist adds texture to the work that has been created by the 3D modellers. Often the 2D/texture artists are the same people as the 3D modellers. The texture artist gives depth to the art in a video game. The artists apply shading, gradients, and other classic art techniques through art development software. [11] [16] [22]

3D artists

The 3D modellers use digital software (Maya, Max, Blender) [26] to create characters and environments. They create objects such as buildings, weapons, vehicles and characters. Any 3D component of a game is done by a 3D modeller. [11] [16] [22]

Environmental artists are 3D modellers who work specifically with the environment of a game. They also work with texturing and colours. They create the land that is featured in a video game. Environmental artists build the world, the layout, and the landscapes of the video game. [11] [16] [29]

A lighting artist work on the light dynamics of a video game. Lighting artists adjust colours and brightness to add mood to the game. The lighting changes made in a video game depends on the type of game being created. The goal of the lighting artist is to create a mood that suits the scene and the game. [16] [30]

The animator is responsible for bringing life to the characters, the environment, and anything that moves in a game. They use 3D programs to animate these components to make the game as real as possible. The animators often work with technical artists who aid in making the characters able to move in a realistic way. [11] [16] [26] [27]

Compensation

In 2010 an artist or animator with less than three years of experience on average earned US$45k a year. Artists with three to six years of experience earned US$61k. An artist with more than six years of experience earned $90k. [31]

A lead artist or technical artist earned $66k with three to six years of experience; and $97k with more than six years of experience [31] and an art director with six and more years of experience earned on average, $105k a year. [31]

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 Bates 2004, p. 171
  2. Moore, Novak 2010, p. 85
  3. 1 2 Bethke 2003, p. 45-49
  4. Chandler 2009, pp. 23-26
  5. 1 2 3 Rogers, Scott (2010). Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 13–14. ISBN   978-0-470-68867-0.
  6. "Getting a Job as a Games Artist". www.cybergooch.com. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  7. Chandler 2009, p. 23
  8. McGuire, Jenkins 2009, pp. 116-118
  9. McGuire, Jenkins 2009, p. 281
  10. Bethke 2003, p. 45
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Rogers, Scott (2010). Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons. p. 14. ISBN   978-0-470-68867-0.
  12. "The Art of Video Games". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  13. "Creating the atmosphere of Until Dawn". www.develop-online.net. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  14. "Gamasutra - The Aesthetics of Game Art and Game Design". www.gamasutra.com. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  15. 1 2 3 Bethke 2003, p. 46
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Getting a Job as a Games Artist". www.cybergooch.com. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  17. 1 2 Moore, Novak 2010, p. 86
  18. Bates 2004, p. 173
  19. McGuire, Jenkins 2009, p. 280
  20. Chandler 2009, p. 24
  21. 1 2 Bethke 2003, p. 49
  22. 1 2 3 4 Bethke 2003, p. 47
  23. 1 2 3 Moore, Novak 2010, p. 87
  24. Moore, Novak 2010, p. 88
  25. 1 2 Bates 2004, p. 176
  26. 1 2 3 Bates 2004, p. 175
  27. 1 2 Bethke 2003, p. 48
  28. McGuire, Jenkins 2009, p. 283
  29. Moore, Novak 2010, p. 90
  30. McGuire, Jenkins 2009, p. 286
  31. 1 2 3 Fleming, Jeffrey (April 2010). "9th Annual Salary Survey". Game Developer . United Business Media. 17 (4): 8.

Related Research Articles

Animator person who makes animated films

An animator is an artist who creates multiple images, known as frames, which give an illusion of movement called animation when displayed in rapid sequence. Animators can work in a variety of fields including film, television, and video games. Animation is closely related to filmmaking and like filmmaking is extremely labor-intensive, which means that most significant works require the collaboration of several animators. The methods of creating the images or frames for an animation piece depend on the animators' artistic styles and their field.

Level design, environment design, or game mapping is a discipline of game development involving creation of video game levels—locales, stages, or missions. This is commonly done using a level editor, a game development software designed for building levels; however, some games feature built-in level editing tools. Level design is both an artistic and technical process.

A game programmer is a software engineer, programmer, or computer scientist who primarily develops codebases for video games or related software, such as game development tools. Game programming has many specialized disciplines, all of which fall under the umbrella term of "game programmer". A game programmer should not be confused with a game designer, who works on game design.

Poser 3D computer graphics program optimized for modeling of human figures

Poser is a 3D computer graphics program distributed by Smith Micro Software. Poser is optimized for 3D modeling of human figures and has gained popularity due to beginners being able to produce basic animations and digital images, as well as the extensive availability of third-party digital models.

Video game design is the process of designing the content and rules of a video game in the pre-production stage and designing the gameplay, environment, storyline, and characters in the production stage. The designer of a game is very much like the director of a film; the designer is the visionary of the game and controls the artistic and technical elements of the game in fulfillment of their vision. Video game design requires artistic and technical competence as well as writing skills. As the industry has aged and embraced alternative production methodologies such as agile, the role of a principal game designer has begun to separate - some studios emphasising the auteur model while others emphasising a more team oriented model. Within the video game industry, video game design is usually just referred to as "game design", which is a more general term elsewhere.

A video game producer is the person in charge of overseeing development of a video game.

Video game development is the process of creating a video game. The effort is undertaken by a developer, ranging from a single person to an international team dispersed across the globe. Development of traditional commercial PC and console games is normally funded by a publisher, and can take several years to reach completion. Indie games usually take less time and money and can be produced by individuals and smaller developers. The independent game industry has been on the rise, facilitated by the growth of new online distribution systems such as Steam and Uplay, as well as the mobile game market for Android and iOS devices.

Concept art is a form of illustration used to convey an idea for use in films, video games, animation, comic books, or other media before it is put into the final product. Concept art usually refers to world-building artwork used to inspire the development of media products, and is not the same as visual development art or concept design, though all three are often confused.

A game artist is an artist who creates art for one or more types of games. In video games, game artists are responsible for all of the aspects of game development that call for visual art. Game artists play a vital role and are often credited in role-playing games, collectible card games and video games.

A texture artist is an individual who develops textures for digital media, usually for video games, movies, web sites and television shows. These textures can be in the form of 2D or (rarely) 3D art that may be overlaid onto a polygon mesh to create a realistic 3D model.

The development of Doom, a first-person shooter video game by id Software, began in November 1992 and continued until the game was released in December 1993. Seven people worked on Doom, which is considered one of the most significant and influential titles in video game history. The initial development team was programmers John Carmack and John Romero, artists Adrian Carmack and Kevin Cloud, and designer Tom Hall; late in development Hall was replaced by Sandy Petersen and programmer Dave Taylor was added to the team. The music and sound effects were created by Bobby Prince.

Level (video gaming) in a video game, space available to the player in completing an objective

A level, map, area, stage, world, track, board, floor, zone, phase, mission, episode, or course in a video game is the total space available to the player during the course of completing a discrete objective. Video game levels generally have progressively increasing difficulty to appeal to players with different skill levels. Each level presents new content and challenges to keep player's interest high. The use of levels in video games dates back to Namco's shoot 'em up Galaxian, released in 1979 during the golden age of video arcade games.

<i>The Lost World: Jurassic Park</i> (console game)

The Lost World: Jurassic Park is an action-adventure video game developed by DreamWorks Interactive and Appaloosa Interactive, and published by Electronic Arts and Sega for the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn, respectively, in 1997. The Lost World: Jurassic Park is based on the film of the same name, which in turn is based on the novel by Michael Crichton. In 1998 a special edition of the game was released for the Sony PlayStation as a Greatest Hits title and featured several modifications to the gameplay.

Game testing, a subset of game development, is a software testing process for quality control of video games. The primary function of game testing is the discovery and documentation of software defects. Interactive entertainment software testing is a highly technical field requiring computing expertise, analytic competence, critical evaluation skills, and endurance. In recent years the field of game testing has come under fire for being excessively strenuous and unrewarding, both financially and emotionally.

<i>Descent to Undermountain</i> video game

Descent to Undermountain is a role-playing video game developed and published by Interplay in 1997. Based on the Dungeons & Dragons setting of Undermountain in the Forgotten Realms, it casts the player as an adventurer out to explore the treasure-filled recesses of the Undermountain dungeon. The "Descent" part of the name refers to the game's use of the 3D rendering engine from the 1995 game Descent.

The art pipeline is the process of creating and implementing art for a particular project, most commonly associated with the creative process for developing video games. In an era of high-profile video games, wherein the creative energy of the teams and the budgets for projects surpass even some Hollywood blockbusters, graphics are ever-improving and an increasingly important selling point. Video Game developers employ extensive teams of artists to carry a project's artistic goals through from the conceptual stage to the final release. A fully realized game asset, whether it is a character, background, building, object, or animation, is created in a deliberate process with different artists working on and contributing separate aspects in a step by step process to the final product. To facilitate this process, a number of software programs are marketed to developers as flexible tools for productively streamlining the transformation of elements created within a program to a fully realized game asset. These highly customizable programs allow users to apply plug-ins or add-ons to tailor the interactions each program will have with one another as an element moves along the pipeline from concept to completion.

An indie game is a video game that is most often created without the financial support of a publisher, although some games funded by a publisher are still considered independent. These games often focus on innovation and rely on digital distribution. Indie gaming saw a rise in mainstream popularity in the latter half of the 2000s, primarily due to new online distribution methods and widely available video game development tools.

A game design document is a highly descriptive living software design document of the design for a video game. A GDD is created and edited by the development team and it is primarily used in the video game industry to organize efforts within a development team. The document is created by the development team as result of collaboration between their designers, artists and programmers as a guiding vision which is used throughout the game development process. When a game is commissioned by a game publisher to the development team, the document must be created by the development team and it is often attached to the agreement between publisher and developer; the developer has to adhere to the GDD during game development process.

Game design game development process of designing the content and rules of a game

Game design is the art of applying design and aesthetics to create a game for entertainment or for educational, exercise, or experimental purposes. Increasingly, elements and principles of game design are also applied to other interactions, in the form of gamification.

CGI Artists create 2D and 3D assets used in developing video games and digitally animated films. A CG artist's work usually revolves around finding balance between artistic sensibilities and technical limitations while working within a development team.

References