Thursday, 29 April 2010

11th hour change - Realism vs Cartoons

For any one that may have been watching the progress of Borderlands, a action rpg set on the planet pandora will take note that the game at the start had a realistic art style, and yet changed that art style very late in the development stage. This was due to the fact that at the beginning they had created a range of art styles, so that they could decide which one was for the game.

Problem was that this need for high quality artwork for the game meant that A - it was difficult to make and there were various levels of quality in the work created. B - It took long to make and it wasnt a problem that would be fixed by throwing money at it. Plus since the games action was over the top, (people exploded when shot, massive boss monsters and a ridiculous jump height) it didnt mix well with the realistic art style. And so after looking at their earlier concept art, the art director decided to risk it all and make a secret prototype, this would come to be the Borderlands we knew.

And because it caught the artists interest, didn’t require them to make extremely high quality assets, meant that most of the artists on the team, regardless of talent would be able to create the work. This continued until they showed the prototype to 2K, which thankfully they loved the work and so now instead of a realistic art style, they could work to a more cartoony art style.

This shift in art style meant that the action was no longer over the top, it stood out from the crowd of other fps games and it still looked pretty good. This story of Borderlands shows that making games is difficult, especially when people demand realistic high quality graphics, this puts a huge amount of pressure on the art team, who may not be up to the task, but they dont have to give in, as by changed the art style you can create a different look for the game, which still looks good, yet is far easier to create.

No comments:

Post a Comment