Painting-Like art styles

Some games attempt to create art styles that take influences from movements in art history. If they fit with the theme/timeline the game is set in, it can create a very appealing art style. These are usually identifiable by a heavy colour focus, stylised textures/models that showcase brush strokes or paint like effects. Another way of handling this is to take a popularised art movement and create a game that clearly invokes this. One key example of this comes to mind and it was the PS2 game “Okami”.

Okami uses a style of Japanese painting called “Sumi-e” as inspiration for its heavily stylised visuals and mechanics. Every object in the game has an outline that varys in thickness depending on distance to camera and its curvature in a way that simulates brush strokes. This, combined with its traditional colours and imagery, creates a style that immediately feels its heritage and pleases the eye. In motion, the brush stroke visuals also add an element of dynamism to all of the animations.

There are other examples of this such as “The bridge” designing both its mechanics and visual style around the works of M.C Escher and “Cuphead” Drawing its inspiration from the early days of commercial animation. By choosing a pre-existing art style, if chosen where appropriate, can both strengthen your games visuals and help elements of the design.

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