As all the whole group of Master Professional Games Development (Mprof) delve into our modules briefs and choosing our professions by developing their skills to become masters. I have learned one thing, is that the more I learn about art, 2d illustrations and 3d model, the less I know and there is so much to learn. I like that.
Over the last couple of months it was on the back of my mind, it has stood out to me as an artist and as a consumer, is stylized looking games . As an artist, the art style of the game inspires me and some aspects influence my art style. As a consumer, the look of the game stands out from the traditional looking realistic games and is a form of escapism from the real world. For me when games have a stylized look, they have an identity that draws me in and I play them as I find the visual style stimulating and with an increased focus, the added benefit is that it suppresses me getting distracted and I could lose hours. Realistic graphics / art styles in games are amazing and have an audience. However, I find myself losing interest in them as it becomes tougher to play as I get distracted from other various things. I think this aspect delves into the world of Neuro Science, visual cortex behavior and extrastriate cortex, something that is not in my field. All I can say is that it seems that there is multiple stimulations are vying my attention. Something I may explore and research further to see if there is a reason to as to why.
One example of a game that did not have my attention before its change in direction with the art style was Borderlands. The early visual style referred to by Gear Box as “Brown” Syndrome, not a euphemism, it was down to the game looking dull and boring and they needed to change it. As stated by Randy Pitchford and Brian Martel at GDC Talk, “the art direction was changed at the last minute was to Embrace the Fun, Stand Out From the Crowd, break our plausibility shackles and make a beautiful game.”
By changing from the gritty, realistic look that made the game another generic shooter, it pushed towards a new direction with the visual change of a cartoon and comic book look and stood out from the other generic shooters and got my attention. However, again that was a last minute drastic change in the artwork and as Gearbox have referred to as do not try this at home.
As mentioned before, the Borderlands art style was changed at the last minute which was something not done as it is a high risk. While other games traditionally go through the process of design and prototyping, however, developers have their own various approaches and take different methodologies. An aspect that is done is proof of concept (POC) video, this is to highlight the main aspects of the game in a form of a vertical slice and the main focus is to pitch the game to interested publishers. The main aspect of the POC is to sell the game with playability, marketability and applicability with visual style doing two things, stimulate and engage the potential publishers and keep them focused on the POC video.
There is an article I read at over at Gamasutra, Postmortem: Drink Box Studios’ Guacamelee!
A well written postmortem of the game development and an aspect that appealed to me was the concept video, it felt that I wanted to do the video like them. Have a read of the Article and watch their video.
I have added the original trailer for Borderlands and the new look version for the game. I like both and both the trailers are well made. However, the new look grabs my attention and stands out. It is a very different looking game from the original version.
Lastly, I do apologize for the badly written post, something I will try to fix..
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