Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Elements of Game Design 2 – Art Direction

The art director is the one who sets the visual style and establishes a visual language for the rest of the team to follow. They are also indirectly in charge of all the things that appear in game. The art directors role is an over whelming task as he has to essentially decide all the major visual looks for the finished game.

I think Art direction in general is definitely a amore creative role than other other areas in the industry like the modellers but having said this he or she must also fulfil certain requirements and most of all please their managers and producers. The amount of input they have on the visuals is enough to entice any student.

Establishing an Art style is probably on of the most aspects and its always intersting to see how they maintain that. From the initial idea and style to the ingame footage 

It was really nice how they simplify quite a complex environment and then maintain that level of viual quality for the ingame

 One of my favourite games that had a distinct art style was the first Prince of Persia on the next gen consoles. This was one of the very few times I’ve seen a game give so much focus to the art style.  This game had a rich cell shaded look with an impressive colour palette,

This was an extract from Mattes in his interview for Prince of Persia

"Two and a half years ago, we knew we were using the Anvil technology [from Assassin's Creed]," Mattes said. "We knew that it was suited for large, open worlds with pretty animations and so on. We knew we wanted to keep the brand pillars, like the running and jumping and flipping and fighting."
"That's basically it. With everything else, we wanted to allow ourselves the freedom of doing new stuff. We didn't want to have the shackles of the previous Prince from the previous story of the previous Sands of Time gameplay mechanic, which we felt was beginning to get a little repetitive."
Mattes went on to explain that unlike previous Prince titles which the producer described as "games on a rail"the new game would embrace the best of both linear and non-linear gameplay, adopting the guided and choreographed experiences in key areas while allowing the player the freedoms of exploration in the title's massive world.
Speaking on the game's art style, Mattes noted that the new Prince represents a break from the more reality-focused art direction, now handily managed by Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series.
"We wanted it to feel like a playable illustration," Mattes stated. "We want it to feel like the concept art has been directly brought to life in an interactive way in this game so you have that sensation almost as if you were playing an illustration."

"Prince of Persia has always been in the realm of fantasy, and for a variety of reasons--not the least of which is that Assassin's Creed did realistic action-adventure really well--we said 'that's fine, let them take realistic, we're really going to embrace the fact that we have this fantasy universe' in terms of environments."



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