Monday, 24 September 2012

A change of plan!

After speaking to the tutors today in our second lecture I was advised that i shouldn’t be thinking of a game idea (That's a game designers job) .. As that just wouldn’t happen in the games industry for a concept artist. Which i did think of in my previous blog post, but because I was working alone i just presumed i would have to do this for the project. 

So I sat down with Mark penman that teaches all the 2D work, and started talking about different interesting books that i could use as a starting point for my project. He also went on to show me a blog of an artist who is also reading a book and designing the characters and the world etc as a personal project, this is exactly what I want to do. The next task was finding a book that would cover all the different areas of concept art, and something that would be interesting enough and readable in the amount of time I have.This way it will show of my concept art design skills, sticking to written descriptions like it would be in the industry.

Here are a few books my tutor told me about:
  • Player of games
  • Use of weapons
  • Sea of ghosts
And this is the link for the blog by Justin Oaksford which is very interesting.

 Although all these books are very interested i was most fond of the idea and story of 'Sea of ghosts' 
After purchasing the book i plan to read though, taking notes of character descriptions, names etc and use these descriptions to start designing these characters, environments etc.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book.. So I best get busy and get this book read so I can finalise my project plan.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Researching our world

The task i am faced with is to come up with a game idea that would be interesting visually, so i can do all the concept work. One theme i first started with was science and technology, Here is a great website i came across about the evolution of electronics= This lead me to think about Leonardo Da Vinci and the inventions from the past. Its known that some of the inventions such as the flying machine actually didn't work but its great inspiration for a game idea, as games don't have to be in reality or scientifically correct. Leonardo is a good inspiration because most of his ideas you can imagine how they would of worked even if they actually don't.
Drawing of the first helicopter design.
Leonardo Da Vinci's life, (N/A) Leonardo Da Vinci inventions. Retrieved from

Just starting with Leonardo Da vinci i can brainstorm many ideas:
-Steam Powered-Crank mechanism-hydraulic pumps. 
With these basic ideas in mind these could influence many design elements such a more advanced technology inventions, weapons, vehicles and even items people use. 

Another theme i wanted to go down was Ancient cultures such as the Mayans, ancient Egypt etc.
-What if these ancient civilisation didn't die out? what would the world be like now?
-What beliefs and religions would exist?

The main idea that comes to mind from researching, is something to do with a civilisation or a culture that hasn't the technological advances such as electric, fuel but more primitive power sources such as Hydro power and steam to create inventions and weapons.  
 Example of a steam powered vehicle. 
Red Clay,(2006) Muscle Machines, The Steam Age. Retrieved from

Another idea i really like, which i mentioned before about the ancient civilisations. For example what if the roman empire did not die out, how would the world look now. This immediately gets ideas flowing and inspiration for a starting point for a theme. 
Example of roman architecture.
About Roma, (N/A) Colosseum. Retrieved from

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Start the ball rolling

Starting and coming up with a game idea is not an easy task as there are so many areas that need to be explored and researched in order to come up with something new and interesting.
To start this process i created a simple mind map to help with the cycle of creating a game idea from a visual side. This mind map shows a process that kind of snowballs and develops itself from a basic idea, whether that may be a story idea or a themed idea this can then develop to visualise what type of environments this game may have and how the world will look. From environments you can think what will live in this area of the world, how will the architecture look and so on, each element of the mind map should influence the next. For example if a character was designed then elements of that design would then influence what type of weapons or accessories that character might use, and even to the point of what vehicles that character might use.

To put this mind map technique into action i will first need to research heavily to get a basic idea to start the snowballing process. Having being tutored by Joe shorrocks today in class (Contextual studies tutor) he talked about taking reference from the real world and significant events that have happened in the past to influence the future, were not aloud to choose anything game related.....which seems a little strange at first but if designers are looking at past games for inspiration you just wont think of something new and exiting that no one has done before, so i think this is a great starting point for me to really think outside the box and start with something fresh and see where it takes me. 
After i have chosen an event from the past or even a culture that is significant i will then research game genres and see what each genre usually contains. 

Next post i should be posting images, mood boards etc.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Post #1

Starting the Honours project in my last year of university gives me a great opportunity to really push my work and achieve a collection of professional work ready to be put in my portfolio and for potential employers to see.

After studying for two years on the games design course at Futureworks working through the different areas of games design from Art, both 2D and 3D, Design, level design and more i have chosen to focus my Honours project on 2D concept art, as this is the position i would like to work in the games industry.  Im aiming for this postion Mainly because i think it is my strongest area and something i find the most enjoyable, so i would like to really push my skills by analysing my processes, workflow and my design capabilities.

So what is the job of a concept artist? 
The role of a Concept artist in a game company is very important, they are not only artists but also designers. The game designers would usually come up with the actual game idea, characters mechanics, weapons, environments and even the main story to the game. Then these ideas are given to Concept artists who will then design the world in 2D, making the game interesting, new and exiting for the player. Concept artists can sometimes specialise into different areas of concept art such as characters or just environments, although because the job of a concept artist is so competitive, great artists will have the skills to do anything the company asks of them making them highly sought after and making it much more easier to get a job in the industry.
So for this reason i have listed all the areas that would need to be designed for most games:
  • Environments
  • Characters
  • Weapons
  • Vehicles 
  • Creatures
  • Props/Assets
These are the main areas a concept artist would have to design.

So what do i intend to do?
For this project i really want to push myself so i will be putting myself in the shoes of concept artist working for a game company. First of all i will need a vast amount of research to establish a game idea including the world and everything that will inhabit this world for the game. Although i would not do this in a game company the  game designers would, but because this is an individual project i will need to do this section in order to progress to the concept art stage. So once i have created a document on the game idea using tons of references i will then be able to start designing the game, i will be covering all the areas mentioned above of what a concept artist does.
Things i need to include:
  • Reference images heavily annotated
  • Thumbnail sketches and drawings
  • Black and white concepts, moving onto different colour ideas
  • Final designs
Once i have designed everything for the game idea i will create an art book to showcase all the work i have done.

What next?
The first thing i need to do is research different game genres, films, concept art and even sources from the real world to gather inspiration to create a new game idea that would contain interesting design ideas from a visual point of view. I will also need to gather research to establish an art style and research what style is mostly used within game companies.

Hopefully this research will enable me to start forming a project plan and a time schedule for the rest of the honours project.