Sunday, 30 January 2011

Game Environment Research (Part 3)

Following my research of looking a video game concept art I now turn to some used for the game: "Uncharted 2: Amoung Thieves". Thie piece to the right shows a himalayan type sctructure thats crearly falling apart. The use of clouds in the background do two things, show us that the building is obviously in a high place but also allow us to focus soley on the central structure. This image (and the others below from the Uncharted) is a mix of the concept art we've looked at up until now, showing all the requirements to express the type of atmosphere using high detailed images but it also shows the sceneray in which that the character will appear in, this is definetly just a step below a detailed floor map. The paitning style is much tighter and detailed but this piece is obviously for use nearer completetion of the design process as thought has gone into how a character might explore/traverse the area. Much of the artwork for Uncharted is like this and it's a great example thought and skill put together.

In this next section I decided to look at an actual level from a game, for this I chose the "Zakera Ward" from the game "Mass Effect 2". In the futurisic world of Mass Effect, Zakera Ward is the market place of an intergalatic meeting point known as "The Citidel" for the whole galaxy. In the level the player comes in contact with many different characters of different species, what should be noted is the high quality of the texturing in this area, everything is very clean looking but fits the atmosphere of the area, the neon lights help create the mood of a slightly shady area.

The most important part of looking at this level is that we get to see a level in it's finished stage. First the layout for the level is quite simple, spread out across several floors the designer has used a central podeum surrounded by a walkway. Around the walkway are alcoves that lead off to shops, stairwells and on one floor a cargo area, there is also a bar. Each floor has it's own theme, one being the entrance to the nightclub, one is just a collection of shop and the final one is a food court of shorts with some traders. In one area there is also an instant taxi like service to allow players to be transported to different parts of "The Citidel".

What makes this a great level is that the place is in habited by a variety of different aliens, the atmosphere fits the setting and tone of the game and the texturing creates a very classic sci-fi look. There's also a great amount of personality in the area itself that really makes it a treat for players to explore and keep coming back to also the amount of things you can interact with is impressive ranging from shops to people and even newstands. The layout is great as it's really quite simple but due to the various off shoots into shops and the detail of the area itself it really gives the idea of a very complex area, a clever trick that should be noted for when I design my own game environment. Below is a video of the Zakera Ward area that I found via youtube.

I'm still looking at game environment concept art but I'm going to start looking at more finished levels, start tuned for more!

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I must say here that i have also played Uncharted too, the Concept and the environment in game is too good but as an Indian I never felt that i am around India! They should have been Hired some good indian concept artist, it's not hard to find good srtist alteast in India, and we are the people who speaks good English as well. By the way i am also a Concept Artist worked for many International titles, we are also waiting to work for good titles.