@EXPLORING_GAMEART – DA

Concept

My Digital Artefact can be found here.

When starting BCM215, I was excited to study, research and create a project based upon video games. In the first week I had multiple ideas that I wanted to research and write about, and since I had recently finished The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015), Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014) and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus (2017), most of these ideas revolved around these three games.

One thing these all shared in common was their use of art in-game, and therefore I decided the topic of my project would be:

โ€œAn exploration of concept art, how it is used to shape video games, and how it is used in other capacities in both the game itself and its surrounding paratexts. To do so I will include games such as the Witcher, Wolfenstein and Crash Bandicoot series as a basis for my research.โ€

Methodology

After deciding upon my topic, the time came to decide how I would present it. I had three available options, a YouTube channel, Instagram account or a Website. In my pitch, I stated that I would most likely use a YouTube channel, however, I decided upon an Instagram account due to its ease of access and be able to post easily from mobile or laptop.

My Digital Artefact began with an introductory post, and 5 posts where I showed the games I would be discussing. I then shared my first two proper posts, where I introduced The Witcher 3, and discussed Gwentโ€™s use of Art. After researching this, I realised that what I was referring to as โ€œConcept Artโ€ was actually In-game art, concept art and promotional art, three very different things. I addressed this in my beta and updated my project statement to reflect this realisation:

โ€œAn exploration of video game art, how it is used in video game development, and how it is used in other capacities in the game and its surrounding paratexts. Using the Witcher, Wolfenstein and Crash Bandicoot series for my research.โ€

I also changed my Instagram name from @exploring_conceptart to @exploring_gameart, then continued with my series, and looked at both Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus.

Utility

During this project, I found that there was a very limited amount of research regarding video game art. Therefore, I hope to inform my audience on the type of art that is used both in the production of video games and in the final product, as well as open up conversation on the topic.

Feedback

Throughout the course of this project, feedback was mostly gained through the Pitch and Beta peer reviews and comments by other students. I also used Instagram stories to ask my audience questions to get to know them better.

One point of feedback that I managed to gain inspiration from was that I should take a look at the art of a game and compare it to the in-game models. I managed to mention this in my final post, however due to time constraints wasnโ€™t able to fully explore it. I also asked my audience whether they prefer to read text in an image, or in the posts caption, to which 60% of people responded with the latter, and so in my subsequent posts I kept image text to a minimum, with only quotes in some posts.

Analytical Framework

When undertaking this assignment, the approach I used was a structuralist approach, as this involves analysing the underlying structure of a text and how this influences features like Gameplay. This approach was based upon three frames I used in this project, which were:

–  What influenced the art when being created?

–  What purpose the art serves?

–  How the player interacts with the art.

Limitations and Successes

When undertaking this project, the major limitation I had was time. Completing 3 other subjects and working at the same time meant I was unable to fully dedicate myself to this project. This lack of time meant I was also unable to take a look at two games โ€“ Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy and Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled. When doing my research, there was also a distinct lack of conversation regarding concept art and video games. Therefore, I was unable to use a large range of academic sources and instead relied upon non-academic sources, such as interviews with game designers, for my project.

Despite this, I believe I was successful in what I achieved. During this project I was able to receive feedback and make changes to improve my digital artefact. I also believe my style of posting was effective, as I used the image portion of my posts to show the art I was talking about, with the caption containing the explanation of what I had learnt about each game. Though my project only achieved 21 followers, I was able to engage with them through stories and comments, which helped me know what was working and what wasnโ€™t. I also learned a lot about video game art from this project, such as the three types of art used in video games, and therefore believe this was extremely beneficial and successful.

Thanks for sticking by me and seeing how my project developed!

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