Gavin Goulden Profile picture
Mar 24, 2018 12 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
During my portfolio reviews this year, one common point of feedback I found myself giving artists was that their pieces didn’t tell a story. I wanted to elaborate a bit in the Twitterverse, please feel free to add your POV #GameDev (1/n)
Generally, when you begin to think of the story behind your piece, it will begin to inform the choices you make during it’s production. The creativity behind the history of why something exists ca easily play into the technical benefits (2/n)
Beyond just making a knight character, and focusing on the construction of armor. Where does it come from? Have they been in battle? Is it a standard issue, or personalized? Etc. This can help give construction details to the armor itself (3/n)
By adding aging information, scrapes, maybe the emblem of a queen who the knight serves, chipping armor or making the fit asymmetrical to give the feeling that it is donned and not just cast on top of the character (4/n)
This can help take the basic fundamentals of what you’re doing (i.e. sculpting / modeling) to a new level by showing purpose and intent behind your design choices. In a lot of ways, it can help you focus more as well by defining rules (5/n)
Similarly, for environment art, I often saw ‘just’ a set piece with no lighting, or a flat shot of the environment. While the art itself checked the box of software competency (like characters), it lacked any reason to exist (6/n)
For example, being able to take a simple scene of a street, but then present it in such a way that shows mood, atmosphere, and functionality for gameplay. In a lot of cases, as we’re talking, the artist could take an element from that scene (7/n)
And begin to build out from this element by telling a story..changing camera angles, adding a light source to draw your eye in, managing detail to let the viewers eye focus more, give better context for the setting, etc. (8/n)
In the end, we are problem solvers with artistic abilities. Very often while working on BSI, we were asked “What’s the story?” to reinforce while elements existed on our art and how it played into the overall theme and narrative experience (9/n)
You can solve the problem of having a character show functionality in game be it for gameplay reasons like silhouette and color blocking, or narrative reasons like fitting them into a world and the role that they play in the story. Building out from there. (10/n)
In environment, you can focus on the one true element you want to sell in your piece and begin to work from that with lighting, propping, materials, etc. to build around that story and decide where to dedicate information and balancing out the scene. (11/n)
In both cases, my point is, that many people can use the software…but not everyone can tell a story that will pull you in. Make you want to play the character, or walk through the world you’ve built. When you start thinking that way, you make better art. (12/n)

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More from @GavinGoulden

Jan 20, 2018
Crunch is Dumb, A Thread. #GameDev
You’ve all heard stories about crunch being bad because of burnout, diminishing returns on productivity, mental and physical health, and it being a ‘management problem.’ But one issue I would like to mention, which doesn’t get brought up often IS….
Crunch doesn’t solve the actual problem. Crunch is a short term solution for a long term problem that is backed by all of those bad habits mentioned above. So, while you can get pressured into working overtime to finish a task that was never planned for, and it’ll get done…
Read 25 tweets

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