Thursday, 20 November 2008

Great parties but no art

The title of this post is slightly irrelevant but I just really liked the quote. Taken from ‘The Art of Computer Game Design’ by Chris Crawford.

When reading the preface of the article, what jumped out at me were the comments on how game art can be compared to such masterpieces by Da Vinci or Picasso.

Quite easily.

Well at least to me they can be. What we have to understand is that this article was originally published in the early 1980s. Back then games were still in their early stages. Consisting of pixels and restricted colours, of course game art wasn’t vital. Early games were left in the hands of programmers and so artists took a back seat.

However in today’s society, Game Art is just as vital as any other aspect of game production to achieve the all important Game play.

I’ll admit I was originally confused by the phrase ‘Game Play’. What exactly did it mean and to what extent? A board game plays differently to a card game, which in turn is different to a computer game.

After reading through some intriguing web pages, I have come to interpret ‘Game Play’ as an experience.
Game play is the level of interaction determined by in game aspects such as environment, the rules and the goals. In turn, these aspects of a game enhance the overall experience of the game. I partly arrived at this interpretation due to my own expectations when playing a game.

In a good game I look for suspenseful storyline and intriguing characters, but I also like pretty environments that make good use of the graphics. However, these expectations apply more to single player games, which implies that different games require different priorities during game play. Single-player games need good storylines to keep the player interested, whereas multiplayer games need a bizarre concept that will enhance the experience. A racing game will need different level designs to a horror-survival game.

Overall, the ‘Game Play’ a production company tries to achieve will always vary from the players ‘Game Play’ as everyone has their own preferences and experiences.

Watch this space…

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