The gaming design and video game concept art industry are undergoing a paradigm shift. Cloud gaming is slowly overtaking traditional PC gaming. As streaming technologies increase in speed, volume, and fidelity, the annoyances of PC gaming will be superseded by cloud gaming positives. Every year gaming consoles are receiving numerous upgrades. PlayStation and Xbox Series have always been at the forefront, but Nintendo Switch is not far behind.

Although the Switch is a wildcard in the perennial battle between Sony and Microsoft, almost every console has its advantages. The gaming industry and game art outsourcing studio enterprises are also at a crucial crossroad when it comes to game design. With the increase in mobile gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality, the game design must undergo a transformation. The subtle differences between a game and a movie have to be delineated completely. That demands a new type of game design philosophy.

Game design – why is it so critical?

Game design or video game concept art is a dedicated area of study and research in the context of gaming. Here the focus is more on the design than on writing the code. Multiple concepts related to user experience, engagement, and fulfillment pop up in the process. All of these concepts are important to not just players but to game developers as well. To the game creator, the game design will make or break a gaming experience. It will either transport the player to another realm, or the gamer will simply switch over to another game.

Game design by a game art outsourcing studio is not just restricted to creating visuals, visual metaphors, characters, colour schemes, animation schemes, storyboarding etc. It is a niche knowledge area that spans across areas such as game production, publishing, project management, and game marketing. It also involves market research, content design, environment design, gaming storyline creation, interaction design and several other disciplines.

A game designer can be a visual artist, video game concept art expert, game developer, or anybody with a creative streak and a strong sense of user experience. Game design is a multi-faceted function that is critical to the success of a gaming project. It’s not about a bunch of concept artists, illustrators, or animators anymore. It is about a team of user engagement and user-experience experts who are also well-versed with aspects of game design that were traditionally not under their purviews, such as marketing and market research.

Examples of good game design

The Last of Us

It is an action-adventure post-apocalyptic situational game – an exposition of talented art outsourcing companies. Released for PlayStation in 2013, it is one of the best-selling games. The game has been widely applauded by 2d game art outsourcing for its gameplay, narrative, sound design, visuals, and brilliant depiction of characters. The game has combat where players need not use weapons alone to strike enemies. They can use normal objects such as baseball bats, bricks and pipes to stun enemies. The game is backed by an artificial intelligence system that allows enemies to react to situations such as when enemies locate the player, they can call for assistance or seek cover.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:

Produced by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch, this game’s development including video game concept art lasted for about 5 years. The video game received accolades for its breathtaking visuals. Being non-linear action-adventure gameplay, Breadth of the Wild has no defined entrance or exit areas. Minimal instructions are given to the player. This aspect allows players to act as per their own discretion in a situation.

Undertale

This game has interesting gameplay – an inspiration for any game art outsourcing agency. The player controls a kid who has accidentally fallen into an underground tunnel. The child will have to navigate his way outside. En route, he encounters monsters of varying types and harms. The artwork is slick, to say the least. The gameplay is based on role-playing and requires the player to resolve numerous puzzles and riddles along the way. Choices made during these encounters or crossroads affect the outcome of the game.

Five pillars of game design

Concept and design

It is the pre-production practice during video game concept art creation where the idea is assessed with the simple question “Would I pay to play this game over and over again”? It will involve reasoning on the target group, their psychology, aspirations, excitations, motivations, etc. Proceeding from here, the game concept art, layout and color scheme is finalized.

Identifying the offering of experiences

User experience analysis is about objectively determining the type of experiences that the player will get. It could be of challenge, comedy, thrill, horror, sensation, fantasy, exploration, narrative, expression, and strategy to name a few.

Game writing

Building content in a game by a game art outsourcing company design involves writing dialogues, storyboarding, and scripting the game. Game writing is also about defining characters, they start and finish, their different situational cases, defining cinematics, start and cut scenes and in-game text.

Budgeting

Production could take several years to complete. Budgets need to be set up and tasks confined within these budgets. Every activity needs a budget. From adding textures to levels, to scaling and proportioning – nothing goes out of the ambit of finances.

Quality assurance

A game’s quality can be maximized by its quality of testing during video game concept art creation. Quality assurance is not usually done at the end of production, but along with the production at pre-defined intervals. Compliance testing also features here as the game has to comply with local laws and regulations.

Conclusion

Game design and video game concept art is a complex process. ZVKY Design offers a complete game design solution that encompasses all aspects of game design. Designing concept art is a mastery vested with few companies. ZVKY is one of them – a game art outsourcing company having an impressive portfolio of concept art projects spanning a wide range of mediums – from the web, to mobile and to desktops.

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