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I like to think I see both. While designers are more mechanical & metaphorical to me this is why the role of the artist goes beyond someone who can use photoshop or zbrush, or even paint. Its having that understanding of culture and symbology. Having never worked at another games company I've often wondered if everyone sees it that way, or if its just me.


Totally agree. It depends on the studio whether it's appreciated or not.

Marty Rabens

I can't imagine a _player_ not seeing Rez as a living gallery. For a game developer to miss that - well, that would just be beyond sad.

I agree with Mrbouffant about the role of the artist. Hopefully, the designer is engaged in the artist's vision, and uses a tight iterative process with the artist when designing. Otherwise, the designer just builds a cold, utilitarian structure that the artist then tries to paint with the aforementioned culture and symbology. And it shows.


This is why designers and artists should be working in tandem as much as possible, and why designers should have a working understanding of the art tools and methods just as the artists should have some kind of a(for lack of a better term) liberal arts background complementary to their technical training.

Without this back and forth flow between the artists and designers many of these signifiers will be muddied and lost in the muck of design by committee.

Of course, if you do achieve this kind of working relationship, you have to hope you are at a studio that sees the value in diverting resources to this kind of work.

Sinking further into this commercial whirlpool: Someone once said that movie studios are businesses that use art to make money. I believe that this is equally true of video game studios. And from this statement one might lay to rest the meandering 'are games art' debate - while bringing up a more relevant one: 'how to make numinant* art that is commercially successful'. Art which will satisfy the urge to create something meaningful while also keeping those who feed us happy.

*if I may be so bold

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