Moving Forward by Looking Back: Using Art and Architectural History to Make and Understand Games

Moving Forward by Looking Back: Using Art and Architectural History to Make and Understand Games

Christopher Totten (American University, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0477-1.ch010
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This chapter explores art history to establish parallels between the current state of the game art field and historical art and architectural periods. In doing so, it proposes methods for both making and studying games that subvert the popular analysis trends of game art that are typically based on the history of game graphics and technology. The chapter will then demonstrate the use of art and design history in game development by discussing the Atelier Games project, which utilizes the styles and techniques of established artists and art movements to explore the viability of classic methods for the production of game art and game mechanics.
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Background: The State Of Game Art

Like in many industries, trends in game art dictate how artists earn jobs. Commonly, these trends are tied to the state of computer graphics technology in home computers and video game consoles. They can, however, also vary based on the size and structure of art teams for games. Large studios more closely mirror technological advancement, as they possess the resources to create “state of the art” graphics for games. Small studios, especially those identifying as “independent”– studios who create games without the backing of large publishers and often within a community of other independent studios (Crecente, 2013) – are more agile in adopting new styles, but are still subject to follow what is “in vogue” to meet consumer demand.

This section will establish art trends within the game industry and offer insight into how these trends are affected by studio sizes, technological trends, and accessible digital art software.

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