Friday, January 28, 2011

Sure it looks good, but is it art..?

The game world might be closely related to the world of any other artistic medium. This may draw stares of shock and disbelief, but games have evolved into a true art form. Looking back at the history of where computer games and video games came from, a simple electronic version of table tennis. A few dots connected in a way that represented and resembled a real world game. By today's standards it may be considered primitive. But then again, by today's photography and animation standards the ancient cave paintings were considered the same.

Perhaps the elegance and beauty that is within a game is not solely in the graphical representation of an alternate or replicated world. Perhaps it is found in the simplicity of its story. Don't get me wrong, I love the amazing graphical power that the game engines of today are able to process. The engineering that brings life to vectors and nodes wrapped in meshes and textures. From the logical and mathematical sense what is able to be created is in a word: Awesome. (Who knew math was so much fun. My Algebra teacher would've loved to hear me say that) But behind the visual artistry, beyond the mathematical logic, often is found the core of any game: its design and story.

I imagine everyone has experienced a movie where it ends and you're left feeling like you've just lost 90 - 120 minutes of your life that you'll never get back. (Argue if you may, but Napoleon Dynamite comes to mind.) Games that are weak in design and plot can feel a lot like that. They may be visually and artistically masterful, but the connection and immersion in the game world is not as deep. Conversely, you may come across games that lack the pixel pushing power of the latest AAA game, but have a strong design and story that makes the game enjoyable and memorable. How many games can you think of that match that description?

That's one thing that Game Crossing Studios is hoping to properly mesh together. The exterior beauty joined with the interior foundation and engaging game play that will entertain everyone that plays. And if we can't have both, we hope for the latter. We would much rather have solid and enjoyable game play that a pretty image that is a pain to watch and play.


  1. Beautifully written, Rob! Although, I have to admit, I still Love playing the old table tennis on the Atari Flashback. Can't wait to see what you put out!
    All the Best,

  2. Thanks Amber. No doubt! The classics are definitely classics because the beauty lies in the simplicity and actual gameplay over the stunning graphics. Thanks for the post.

  3. I agree with you on Napolean Dynamite! I couldn't stop laughing at your reference to that movie. :D

  4. I agree. WOW has amazing landscapes - when I watch Larry play that's all I'm watching is the background - but I really don't see the draw. The kids and I have revamped the Lambchops song - "This is the game that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends - some people started playing it not knowing what it was, and they'll continue playing it forever just because - This is the Game that never ends....." :) I am looking forward to seeing your game!

  5. Hey Michelle. Yeah WoW is very addictive. From the MMOGs that I've played there is a general feel of "smoothness" that Blizzard has built with that franchise. I know that there are many other MMOGs that are VERY popular, but this one really fits my personality and the artistic style I like. Chelsea has a demo version of my game, and I believe I sent the same link to Kailey. I've added a lot more since then, but its a good start.