We’ve been told today that we’ve got an art essay to write. We have to find historical and contextual examples and decide how games have been developed using these factors. To be able to do this we need to research the concept art of games and films that have used a historical influence as their subject, theme or style choice.

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Some of the research I have done is around the Bioshock series of games; the first game in particular and the architecture that has been used in its creation.

Bioshock’s art style is taken from the 1930’s and 1940’s era in both terms of architecture and interior design. Building design is full of simple, solid shapes, “you can make something Art Deco and it’s automatically low-poly and fits into a game budget perfectly because of its large simple shapes.” – according to Shawn Roberston, lead designer on Bioshock.

Building design is directly influenced by the likes of the skyscrapers of New York City; The Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the Rockerfella Center. These buildings in turn have been influenced by  Art Deco specialists Raymond Hood and artist Lee Lawrie.

These simplicities stand out in the above screens. There are a lot of similarities in the colour tones used for decoration – the same browns, off-whites, marble and wooden floorings are used. The designs of the interiors are strikingly similar too; there’s lots of symmetry used throughout from archways, pillars, staircases, even to the positioning of wall decorations and hanging cloth for example. Patterns and designs repeat heavily and most things seem to be bordered making the eye focus in the centre. Everything is rigid and uniformed.

Also linking a couple of other games in here too; Resident Evil, particularly the GameCube remake where the gothic focus on the interior of the mansion could be fully conceived and brought to life. Bioshock uses a lot of the same tones as this; the repeating design, construction and colour tones especially of the main hall and corridors, the repetition of materials used and symmetry again.

Also the God of War series which used architecture from Greek mythology; smooth curved designs and surfaces created from marble with bronze and golden statues emphasising serenity inside while outer and surrounding buildings have a more harsh and basic design, colours of a darker tone suggesting turmoil and trouble.

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