Broad overview of Art style history and Vision statement

In my previous Post, I realised that I had been referring to Pixels throughout gaming’s history with a focus on them as a rendering method rather then their artistic merits. I think a good way of moving forward at this point would be to briefly cover as many widely used Art styles in the games industry as possible for future reference. I will also briefly talk about my decided vision statement that I will be basing my future research around.

A brief list of popular art styles in the games industry:

  • Pixels

  • Hand Drawn (VECTOR OR PIXELS)

  • CEL SHADING

  • 3D (Realistic)

  • 3D (EXAGGERATED)

As I type these out, I have noticed something that I will need to consider carefully as I progress. In a similar fashion to how Game genres function, these categories are insufficient, broad stroking boxes that do not adequately describe what they are attempting to categorize. This is more an error on my part than the industries necessarily. Attempting to classify art styles is not an easy task considering its visual nature (Though not impossible, it seems harder to do in 1-3 words as genre classifications oft are). A good way of attempting to work my way through this line of thought would be to pick a wide variety of games and attempt to sort them via art style. I will make a note to pursue this more at a later date.

Having considered where my research has gone thus far, I have come up with a vision statement that I want to direct my research towards exploring. Simply put, my vision statement is as follows:

Art styles shape and are shaped by every element of the game

I have been wondering what constitutes an art style and what elements define it. I have stated before that I believe, whilst not as important to interpretation as gameplay, a game’s art style gives a game its identity to its players. I would like to explore what contributes to a games overall art stylings such as art direction (In both asset creation and rendering methods), Sound design and gameplay/narrative elements.

From here on out, I will be attempting to either support or rework my claim with my research. I hope to learn more about art direction in video games and how I can use this in my future works.

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