Concept Art and Game Design
I like to use concept art as an alternative way to think up game design ideas. Here is a quick illustration I came up with today for a game I am creating.
I have done a few illustrations for this game working through various game mechanics, styles, and ideas.
This is a useful creative tool for me to rapidly try out different concepts and see what they might look like before I even write a single line of code or start creating any game assets.
Creating concept art becomes a way I can immerse myself in the world and atmosphere of the game ahead of time because as I am drawing these illustrations I am imagining the various aspects of the gameplay occurring. This can even include me making hand gestures and sound effects without me realizing it as I try out the game in my mind’s eye. As embarrassing as that might sound for some people it has been something I’ve done unashamedly since I first started drawing as a child. It makes the experience that much more involved and creatively useful for me.
The mechanics of the game are fluid and easy to change when I am prototyping with illustrations so I can work through many ideas quickly as I form my plan about what to implement in the first prototype. It also serves as a way to get myself psyched about the game and really feeling the emotion and experience I want to try and create for the player.
This latest game has been inspired by a specific title I came up with yesterday. I’ve been brainstorming various game ideas for it and think I’ve finally settled on a concept I want to implement a prototype of. I’ll keep the title in reserve for now but I expect to make a few more updates along the development cycle.
If you are a game designer feel free to let me know a little about your creative process when you are beginning with a new game. I have used many different approaches and there are obviously many ways to do it. I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has used a concept art driven approach to good effect with their games.