Art games

New releases and general discussions.

Post » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:07 pm

I'd like to make an art game, and some of you might want to as well. If so, I think it's important to ask a few questions.

1 - What is art?

2 - How can I convey 'art' through a game?

My answer to 1 is "Something that creates a reaction in the viewer". It can make you think, feel, or anything else if it's well crafted.

2- For me, the issue with games as art is that the art component should come from the gameplay itself - not from the attached visuals/music (although those are hugely important as well). I also think that this is best done subtlely - let the player come to your message, don't shout it at them.

I think that Shadow of the Colossus is a beautiful environmentalist game. To me, it said "We're killing these big, beautiful natural things for our own benefit, and there are consequences." The exquisitely agonizing death sequences of the monsters go a long way towards creating that message for me. Now, I'm not sure if that was intended, but a mark of art is that you can read multiple things into it.

Anyway. In your art game / if you were to hypothetically make an art game, what message would you try to convey, and how would you do it?
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Post » Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:17 pm

[quote="ZeroFlowne":de8tkp94]1 - What is art?[/quote:de8tkp94]

I don't mean to be a stick in the mud, but this is a fruitless discussion. There are as many answers to this question as there are works of art.

As for my personal take on games as art: First and foremost you should concentrate on games as games. A game should be fun. Any art, message, or feeling you want to convey comes second. It's a limitation of the medium. Just as you can't sculpt with watercolors, and you can't paint with marble. If you make a game that's not fun, or isn't really a game (i.e., it's just an "interactive experience"), then you've failed at making a game, and any message you intend runs the risk of being lost.

I think the idea of games as art is nice, but in reality I've never seen any gameplay mechanic that was integral to delivering the artistic message. Yes, I thought Shadow of the Colossus was moving, but it was the imagery, the music, and most of all the story that moved me. But those are simply art elements that are incorporated into the game. They are secondary characteristics of the game as a whole (or, if you like, the game is a secondary characteristic to the story). The gameplay itself was similar to many other games that I've played, but I had no such reaction to those games.

So, can a game be art? As a whole, yes. But unless you are terribly clever, a game mechanic on it's own isn't likely to be art. If you were to remove the music, imagery, and story from SotC and recreate the gameplay with simple colored blocks it would lose all meaning, or at the very least take on a different meaning. Games are dependent on other forms of art to make them art. Games are the canvas on which you create your art, not the art itself.

Also, on an unrelated note, you seem to suffer from "wrong-forum-itis." This thread belongs in Open Topic, and your other thread belongs in Help/Tech :P. Just sayin'.
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Post » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:17 pm

Speaking of art games, I recommend Braid. TO EVERYONE.
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Post » Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:03 pm

[quote="ZeroFlowne":bx0on8hh]I'd like to make an art game[/quote:bx0on8hh]YES someone is making a Mario Paint in Construct![quote:bx0on8hh]2 - How can I convey 'art' through a game?[/quote:bx0on8hh]Are you trying to make Art or a Game?[quote:bx0on8hh]2- For me, the issue with games as art is that the art component should come from the gameplay itself - not from the attached visuals/music (although those are hugely important as well). I also think that this is best done subtlely - let the player come to your message, don't shout it at them.[/quote:bx0on8hh]A cake is a lie lol.[quote:bx0on8hh]I think that Shadow of the Colossus is a beautiful environmentalist game. To me, it said "We're killing these big, beautiful natural things for our own benefit, and there are consequences." The exquisitely agonizing death sequences of the monsters go a long way towards creating that message for me. Now, I'm not sure if that was intended, but a mark of art is that you can read multiple things into it.[/quote:bx0on8hh]That some male was killing big monsters to ressurect a girl? Cliche. (oh and stupid as hell)[quote:bx0on8hh]Anyway. In your art game / if you were to hypothetically make an art game, what message would you try to convey, and how would you do it?[/quote:bx0on8hh] I want to make games that entertain people not lecture them, if they see some moral of the game its all good but dont try to make some kind of hidden propaganda message ffs.
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Post » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:50 am

I would say all games are an artform in themselves The only thing that changes is the style, as with any other medium.
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Post » Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:33 pm

Ah, a topic I have strong opinion on (IE: All my opinions. :( )! Anyways I think Deadeye is right, through and through. Which saves me a lot of posting, but I will still elaborate.

First, I think the definition of art is something that needs to be understood a bit. Okay. To a degree, everything is art. A teacup made by a silversmith, even if plain is still a form of art. It is art as a craft. Basically every human creation can fall under this to some degree or another. But that definition is not important. We need to be talking about SIGNIFICANT art. If your definition includes "All games are art!" Its not really a useful distinction from a discussion point of view. The same applies for all media. Epic Movie and Citizen Kane should never be in the same category of 'art'. From here on out when I say 'art', I mean significant art.

What type of media has the highest percentage of 'art' in professional works? Paintings, clearly. Why is this? Paintings are a limited media. You can not tell a narrative in a painting (unless you use several!). It's hard to be 'funny'' in any significant and long lasting way in a painting(but it of course, is -- and hard enough to then roll back to being art). You have to be very symbolic, expressional and technical to portray a feeling, emotion or lesson with any sort of accuracy.

Movies on the other hand , while definitely possessing artistic entries, has a wiiiiide variety of indulgent movies. Comedies, slashers, big explosions. They don't need to be art and sometimes we don't WANT them to be art. But still, the controls are in the hand of the director and crew and, when desired, an artistic vision can come forth.

Games are like this only worse because you have to compete with the players desire to 'express' himself. The more 'art' you inject into your game of a significant level, the more restricted you are -- granted this is true for almost any gamer addition -- but art does not directly add to the game experience.

Everyone oozes over Passage. I think it's garbage. It's spoon fed symbolism with no actual "game". Why? It wanted to be art more than a game. It crafted it's artistic message and then, shoehorned a game in there. It's like cliche student art films that barely qualify as 'movies'.

Braid and SoTC were designed with no story in mind and no art inherent to the core concept. Jonathan Blow literally made Braid and phoned in for the art and plot (okay maybe not literally, but it was all done after the majority of the game was made). If you watch the early SOTC trailer, you see they clearly had no idea what they wanted to do, plotwise. They wanted you to kill giant, awesome things. They then crafted a beautiful story that fit into those confines, rather than fitting a game into the confines of the story.

and hell, sometimes games are just better as 'not art'. I liked Bunny Must Die a lot more than I liked Braid(not to diss on braid). It was awesome in ways that would not lend it's self well to being art, even though it and Braid were designed with the same base mechanical idea (time control). Jonathan Blow wanted something gentle and friendly that wanted to at least lend it's way to some nice, relaxing, artsy style (he just didn't care what it was yet). BMD gave you a cat girl in a bunny suit with a machinegun.

Besides, no one can agree to what 'significant art' is anyways. Being art is over rated -- and I'm an artist and game developer (IWBTG was totally not art)!

As for the art game I'd make... I'd make an art game meant to pander to the indy game jerkoffs who eat up the dribble that qualifies for 'art' to them and then have the ending rub it in their face -- that they got suckered in by a game with no purpose and meaning.
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Post » Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:03 pm

imo games can be art, not in the same way as a painting but they can be, a game can be called art for a single element in it, or as a whole, they have more layers of depth than a painting and all of them dont have to be art to make the game art. Donkey kong country 2 is an awesome game, the graphics arent really art, the story is inexistant but the way the game plays feels and sounds (and omg it sounds good) can be considered art, like any art, a game can be interpreted as crappy art, not art, or awesome art. an abstract painting IMO is shit, but a leonardo painting is beutiful. dont compare games with paintings, its like comparing music to painting, both art, but completely different. a game which without a doubt could be art is oot, or majoras mask, the games are great and the effect they have on you is awesome. this affect is what sets games apart as an art form, the way they can captivate you. the way they give you the ability to become something you are not, be it monkey smashing barrels in a crocks face, or a weird elf kid slashing through the face of a spider while a timer goes down in days. games are unique because of the way they borrow elements from other art forms, smash them toghether and make a truely amazing experience that no toher medium can even compare to, an experience where you are in total control of something. games are the ONLY art form that can do this, the only art that can make something impossible seem real, and this is due to the fact that they are an oragnism of different forms of art. 3d modeling, painting texturing, spriting, writing, cinematics, music, sound effects and many more, are all the organs, cells of this organsism, and we are the mind, telling it what to do. that my friends makes it art.
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Post » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:10 pm

[quote="AsparagusTrevor":3syhmm2w]I would say all games are an artform in themselves The only thing that changes is the style, as with any other medium.[/quote:3syhmm2w]
[quote="kayin":3syhmm2w]First, I think the definition of art is something that needs to be understood a bit. Okay. To a degree, everything is art. A teacup made by a silversmith, even if plain is still a form of art. It is art as a craft. Basically every human creation can fall under this to some degree or another.[/quote:3syhmm2w]
See, here's why I say "there are as many answers to this question as there are works of art."

Your definition of craft as art is arguable. When I was at the Art Institute, one class tried classifying fine art as "something man-made that is neither trash, nor tool, nor craft." (Craft being separate from art because craft has a functional purpose as well as an aesthetic purpose.) It's a very basic, and very ambiguous definition. Especially when you realize that even a hammer can be art if you hang it on a wall and your name is Marcel Duchamp.

Rather than trying to set a specific definition, or even a set of guidelines, for what constitutes art, you should instead hold up any prospective work of art and judge it on it's own merit.

In other words, instead of asking "what is art?" you should ask "is this art?"

As for the distinction between art and artform... well, I suppose games could be considered an artform, in the sense that drawing is an artform (some drawing is art, but not all drawing is art.) At least, games are in the process of becoming a viable artform. It has to do largely with public perception.

Whether or not a game is art, or is merely artistic is something that must be decided. And there is an important distinction there. If I draw a stick figure on a napkin, it's not art, it is simply artistic. It has certain elements of art. I would say that every game is artistic, but only a few are actually art. In my opinion SotC is art, whereas RE4 is merely artistic (though it was a damn fun game).
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Post » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:15 am

We surround ourselves with art everyday. Every household item is art in it's own respect.... they pay some designer to sit there and make it "look good"... therefore even the most mundane of things these days can be considered an art form.

Cars, computer cases, the sofa you are sitting on, the chrome toaster in the kitchen... etc etc

~Sol
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Post » Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:12 am

[quote="SoldjahBoy":y58zezi1]We surround ourselves with art everyday. Every household item is art in it's own respect.... they pay some designer to sit there and make it "look good"... therefore even the most mundane of things these days can be considered an art form.

Cars, computer cases, the sofa you are sitting on, the chrome toaster in the kitchen... etc etc[/quote:y58zezi1]

That's design :P

(I'm just quibbling semantics here, don't mind me :D )
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