Monday, 11 February 2013

Elements of game design, part five: planning and concepting

Concept art is something I have always been interested in, over the last few years especially. I have collected a library of concept art books and art books in general. If a game is released with a concept art book, I probably own it. I enjoy looking at concept art work for games, characters, environments etc but all that awesome can also depress me.

Guild Wars Concepts = Horribly awesome

As much as I enjoy concept art, I think I have got the idea of it wrong. Most of the concept art we all see is very polished, finished, impressive work by some of the best concept artists in the game industry, this is depressing. My idea of concepts is ideas, rough sketch's, quick paintovers, just lose pretty rubbish art that helps get an idea across that other people can visualise. So when concept art becomes this polished stunning artwork, it makes me feel that is what I have to produce as a concept as well. With so much amazing input I find it hard to break away from all that and just do what I'm capable of.

Dark Siders Concepts = Depressingly awesome

It seems unlikely that concept artists would be producing such finished pieces of work at the concept stage when all you're doing is idea generation. Or they are just that awesome its easy for them, which is also depressing.

It would be nice to see the real concepting going on. The first ideas, planning and experimenting with the brief before everything is decided on. This would give an insight into how the game was made, how people think and work together and what artwork really helps shape the look and feel of a game and gets people inspired into working on it. It would hopeful be less depressing and more inspiring.

Some Bioshock concepts = interesting, not depressing!

It would be nice if the idea everyone has about concept art was reset, it wouldn't just be stunning digipaints that fill the internet, but much more basic ideas and sketch's that help give you ideas, rather than depressing thoughts of not being good enough.

Basic concepts, interesting and creative.

Planning, something which I am rubbish at. I make plans then don't stick to them, which seems to be what a lot of people and games companies do. But plans can change. There are often things that get in the way of plans, like me breaking my thumb during the summer. Game companies will start with a plan, of what they want to make, when they want it done and how much it will cost but things get in the way and plans change, games are often released much later than their original release date, or in some cases not at all. Some reasons for these problems might well be the lack of good planning in the first place, meaning things never get done and the game is never finished.
What my daily plan consists mostly of.

Despite all the things that can go wrong planning is vital, without planning nothing would get done in the first place. Randomly doing things would be pointless if there wasn't a plan to follow with an outcome. Game companies set up teams, objectives, limitations and deadlines. They plan everything out, even if they don't know what the end result might be exactly, they still need a basic plan, even if it ends up changing down the line.

No comments:

Post a Comment