Concept art in video games is an integral foundational step of creating the visual language and world of a game. Concept art, as a whole, covers every visual element of a game. This includes character concept art, environmental art, weapon art, and so much more. A key thing to understand about game development is that the later changes occur in the development process, the more expensive they are and the longer they take.
A strong concept phase means the difference between the game development pipeline staying on track or it overshooting the required due date.
All art in video game development starts with a concept. There can be varying levels of concept, from early roughs and sketches, to fairly fleshed out designs and elements. These can occur at any stage and it entirely depends on the vision of the game, the current state of the development, and the specificity of the creator. Sometimes a concept created can be specific, sometimes it can be an exploratory process to discover how a character or environment might look.
In a more specific sense, concept art for video games is the visual bedrock. It is where the developers, artists, and designers discover what feels and looks right for the game they are creating. It is the work that shows the game development team what they are working towards. How do characters look, how do they appear to the player, what does the world look like, what are the sources and inspirations for the weapons and tools? All of these questions and more are answered in the development of the game through concept art.
There’s no official process or strict guidelines! Our own artists at Magic Media have a variety of approaches depending on the brief they receive. If you’re proficient or confident with art, you can create it yourself! Some key skills and talents can be found on this Screenskills page. Google can also help you to see how game concept art evolves.
If you’re not confident or would like a professional artist to have a go for your project, there’s a plethora of artists out there. Our own global group has a wealth of artists to cover any and all of your art needs from concept art to animation, 3D game art and much more.
The benefit of utilizing a third-party like Magic Media is a flexibility and ease of access. For outsourcing or outstaffing, our specialists have all the tools and experience required to fulfil your needs. Diving headfirst into your project, immersing ourselves in your world and ideas, these are the things that we deliver.
Like all art, that’s a very subjective question. But there are some answers, or at least a bit of direction, that we can give as dedicated AAA service providers of game art and game services. Despite it being art, it does serve a distinct purpose: to inform and educate those who see it of the visual world and language of your game.
Good concept art, therefore, is clean and unhurried. It shouldn’t be too busy and should focus on the core details on every element. Whether it be weapon, character, or environment, look for the most important elements. Colors, shapes, and details – focus only on the absolute core pieces that make up the world and story you wish to deliver to players.
At Magic Media we are veterans of the gaming, tech and entertainment industries, offering comprehensive services including game development, VFX, animation and full art services! Our main goal is to provide a one-stop solution for any project. If you’d like to utilize our expertize and experience in creating, game art and more, drop us a line and let’s create magic!
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