Game Environment Sketching

At the beginning of this term I promised to help a follow student gr0up with some videogame artwork, and should have had something presentable for the group today. The problem was that I had not begun working on the environments for the game until late last night, so today was spent structuring ideas and making a core composition of a level background, so that I can return with some ideas and a drawing on Monday instead. Game production can be a bit unstructured at times, it tests your skill to adapt, especially if you have a game project of your own that is demanding quality time. 

I began by reading the environment part of the game design document carefully and jotting down the important key information and questions I needed to create the setting, and then I tested with some fast sketching what kind of ideas I could add to that. After knowing somewhat of where I was headed I looked at what height I should place the horizon line, on to where all the  vanishing points will be drawn. I opened a document in Photoshop to make a useful template, also made sure that the scale of the image was right because the game is going to be able to scroll (move) both up, down, left and right. Don’t want to scrap images because I made some wrong calculations in the beginning of my work.

Next I began creating a composition of all the elements I wanted to see on the level, step by step testing different ideas and also trying to map out some basic values of dark and light in the image. I’m a really slow drawer so this is not in anyway the process of a pro, but in the evening I felt that I had something up and running. The level talked back to me (a important part of the design is “listening” to the work you create) and gave me some interesting solutions of how enemy’s can enter the level, and how it could support the games setting even further than I first had intended, by making some minor tweaks.

Other than drawing I re-worked my information sorting procedures, so paper notes and all kinds of digital content is more effectively sorted depending on how valuable they are. I also watched lot of truly interesting and inspiring seminars as usual, I’ll post a batch of links for the curious. Enjoy!

TEDTalks : My championship season – Aimee Mullins (1998) – She lost her legs when she was one year old and still became an awesome championship runner when she grew up, truly the power of believing that anything can be done.


TEDTalks : Great design is serious (not solemn) – Paula Scher (2008) – About the honest original design process.


TEDTalks : Understanding comics – Scott McCloud (2005) – What comics can become, what they are, and some interesting info about Scott.





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