Art Style Drama

Towards the end of phase three, the team started to have different opinions on what art style we had envisioned for the game; this issue escalated until had a big discussion with our tutor to sort it out.

I personally had always seen the game with a pixel art aesthetic, partly because I am a huge fan of the style but also because I believe it would create an appropriate look that is doable with the time constraints that we have. I have made some mood boards for the style that are shown here. I believe the style would work because our game is all about a minimalist experience, promoting a stripped-back, less-is-more mindset which pixel art inherently complies with. In a metaphorical sense, this style could represent looking past a very precise and regulated facade to see the natural shapes within (which follows our games’ intentions) but I might be trying too hard at that point. Unfortunately, not all of the team where on board at this point and had other ideas for an art style.

Jamie was keen to push a low-poly 3D style as he was personally familiar with that style and thought that it also promoted a minimalist approach but with the ability to utilise more of Unity’s lighting and shader features. In my opinion, I didn’t want to go the 3D route as, while it may be ‘easier’ to some degree, I much prefer to use restrictions as a means to channel creativity.

Another style put forward was a more hand-drawn style to complement the more natural aspects of the game. I was open to this style but Adam was the one pushing for it the most as at the time we were assuming that he would be doing at least the majority of the art. We looked at a couple different variations of this style ranging from a realistic painted style to a sketchy hand-drawn variant. I was more keen on the sketchy style as I thought that it would bring a lot of personality and charm to the game but ultimately we couldn’t unanimously agree on anything.

Since we were each pitching a unique style that we were passionate about we had to get a third party to help us talk it through properly which in this case was out tutor. We talked through a lot of the benefits and negatives of each style using examples of existing games. For instance, one game that was suggested as a middle ground of each style was Knights and Bikes as it uses 2D sprites but in a 3D environment.

Having generally not been in a good mood that day, the whole conversation overwhelmed me somewhat and I wasn’t in the right mindset to be able to counter-argue my points so I made my leave quite abruptly after I assumed the discussion had ended. However, my team took this action to mean that I must have been especially upset that the game wasn’t going in the direction that I have envisioned (This was partly true). They continued the discussion without me so I don’t know exactly what was said; but when we next met up I found out that they had agreed to use pixel art and had given me a role with more creative control to try and keep me on board. While I appreciated this, these decisions weren’t made in the best circumstances or necessarily for the best reasons but at least we had an art style.

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