Game art is a complex area in which, on the one hand, creativity and creativity are embodied, and on the other, a set of functions. The art that will be used in games has a lot of features.
Game art services are the same kind of art as all other types of fine art. What developers do today for games will someday take its place in the history of culture. Here the artist can find the same opportunities for creativity and self-expression.
But at the same time, the artist works with the whole development team and makes the art functional for the game.
Types of game artists:
- The concept artist is the most well-known and desired type for most artists who try their hand at the games industry and take their first steps in it. Everyone wants to draw concepts (especially characters).
- Character artist.
- Environment artist – creates locations, landscapes, and objects;
- The interface artist is a rarer and less well-known species. Not everyone knows that these artists exist.
- The lead artist is the most competent artist, the manager who designs the style of the game. It is good if the lead can direct the artists in his team.
Basic game styles:
Casual — a light style that evokes associations with others — cartoonish and childish.
In a casual style, many different directions and sub-themes have already appeared.
Three conditional styles are distinguished here: children’s, women’s, and men’s. The division of simple graphics into female and male is rather conditional, but, nevertheless, it exists.
Children’s style – the most colorful, cartoonish, and simple graphics. Creates images that are immediately understandable to the child.
Women’s style — in games designed for a female audience, conventionally feminine colors can be found: pink, and purple. Fantasy themes.
Men’s style — an example is World of Warcraft. The requirements for technology during the launch of the game were such that the graphics had to be simple. There are references to cartoonishness, simplistic shapes, and bright colors. However, it is no longer perceived as childish. At the same time, the gameplay of the game began as quite hardcore. Now there is already a whole cluster of hardcore games with simplified graphics, most often in fantasy style.
In fact, there are many more categories, but let’s pay attention to the most common types:
- Modern style — conditionally “realistic” games that in some form reflect our modernity and the events taking place in it;
- Historical style — games that are based on history, real or changed;
- Fantasy style — we can say that this is a style at the intersection of masculine casual and realistic because it uses bright and not quite real graphics. Unlike casual styling, real proportions, and natural colors are used. This is the world that we see with our own eyes, only with the addition of fantasy elements;
- Dark style — reality, but in a gloomy setting. Created, for example, the world of post-apocalypse or something similar with muted colors.
- Comics and anime — in terms of color scheme, anime is traditionally quite close to the female “casual”. But nevertheless, it also has very realistic features.
- Pixel art — when pixel art appeared – in the face of a lack of resources, it was the only means of self-expression for the artist. I must say that the artists did a great job with this, the classic pixel games were distinguished by a well-developed visual world. Pixel art is now making a comeback in games with a base of colored pixels and modern effects like blurs glow and so on.
- Low-poly — art stylized as models with a small number of polygons – for example, characters assembled from triangles. A very trendy design trend.
- Author’s stylization — anything else an artist can come up with. They are used in a huge number of games, especially in indie projects. On the one hand, it can be interesting – sometimes these experiments help the game stand out from the rest. On the other hand, when developers use the author’s styling, the audience does not quite understand what kind of style it is and what to expect from it. He may be interested, but he has to overcome the distrust and bewilderment of users.
First of all, they depend on what devices your game is designed for. For example, if you make a small game for Steam and draw some kind of “fat” art that does not work well on weak computers, users will be very unhappy.
If you are making a mobile game, then it is clear that no one cannot make super-polygonal 3D in it. There are mobile games designed for tablets and powerful smartphones that can afford to be quite demanding on the hardware because they position themselves that way. Which tools you use will depend on what is technically feasible.
By combining these three aspects and finding something in between that meets all the parameters, you will find the game’s visual style. The less known about them at the beginning of the project, the more rework will be in the process.
Game style design
Having passed the initial stage, you will save a lot of development time.
After you have determined the style of the game, you need to search the Internet for references. If you do devote not enough time and attention to this, then it will definitely turn out, for example, that someone has already done such a project.
To find the optimal solution, you first need to ensure a good level of “seeing”. Having collected all the found examples of games in the chosen style into a package, you need to highlight the positive features that can be used, and the negative ones – the errors that need to be taken into account.
A very interesting point. Even among developers with extensive experience in the gaming industry, not everyone realizes that this is a necessary development stage. There are two definitions of a fake screenshot.
One of them is quite marketing: when from the existing art in the game, screenshots of situations that have not yet been implemented, but will be soon, are collected in the development process. They are used for presentations.
The second is a fake screenshot created from scratch. This is the game screen with the most common situation. For example, the battlefield. If an artist has a lot of experience (including gaming experience, this is very important – usually artists don’t play much) and has seen enough, he has a rough idea of how the game should look like.
A fake screenshot is created in order to check if the game can be the way he imagines it to be.
To do this, it is not necessary to draw everything, you can borrow parts from other projects. But it’s no use trying to put them together if you don’t have a vision of what the screenshot should look like.
In this case, you need to move forward in small steps. First, make “skins” and estimate the necessary sizes for them, then the color scheme, then try out the style. When a picture forms in your head, you collect a fake screenshot.
At the stage of its creation, a lot of issues are solved: colors, visual styles, and relative sizes. The fake screenshot is viewed on as many different screens and devices as possible to make sure it looks good everywhere.
In our last project, working on a fake screenshot took a month. In the process, about a dozen solutions were discarded, which later would not have shown themselves very well. This was discovered at the very first stage.