The Art of Video Game Design: Balancing Gameplay and Aesthetics
Okay gamers, today we’re going to talk about something cool – the art of video game design!
For those who have been gaming since the days of Pong, and have seen it all, from the early days of Space Invaders to the latest triple-A titles like The Last of Us Part II and Cyberpunk 2077, there have been some incredible advancements over three years. The days of sharp-edged characters and pixel heavy backdrops have been left in the past and, although there are some games that will never lose their retro charm, the modern gamer looks for incredibly realistic graphics that the new waves of consoles have allowed.
Video games – like casino games at Bovada – transport us into fictional worlds with immersive details and as interactive forms of art, our environments and story lines change according to the actions of the player or players. You cannot compare video games to music, but that would be like listening to an album that speeds up and slows down according to your own mood or how you are dancing!
The latest gen consoles
Regular gamers will already know that the latest gen consoles are the recent rivals of Sony’s Playstation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. These two divide opinion and tend to have quite ardent supporters who can almost be tribal when it comes to picking one.
But rather than weighing up which is better, we are here to celebrate both, as games available on each such as Hogwarts Legacy and Resident Evil 4 have shown the amazing possibilities that modern video games possess.
Hogwarts Legacy is a fine modern example of the artform in action
Now, some of you might be thinking, “Oh, it’s just another Harry Potter game, what’s the big deal?” But let me tell you, this game has the potential to be one of the greatest RPGs of all time.
First off, the game takes place in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, which is already a rich and immersive setting. The attention to detail in this fictional world is a great example of how aesthetics and gameplay combine, with interactive buildings, side missions and characters making for a stunning play.
From what we’ve seen so far, Hogwarts Legacy brings gamers into a truly deep and engaging RPG experience that is at the pinnacle of the modern artform of video game design. Players create their own characters, attend classes, and learn spells and potions. This modern game allows for the potential for choice and consequence.
Players make choices that impact the story and their relationships with other characters. This means that each playthrough could be a unique and personal experience depending on who is playing and the decisions they make.
Super Mario 64 changed the game
Perhaps one of the most exciting parts of the artform in question is that whenever new developments arrive, they are always captivating. As an example, when compared to a modern title, the now humble-looking Super Mario 64 must look quite minor. And yet, when that console and that game were released, it was a game changing moment!
And for the sake of this article, and not being able to leave Nintendo out of the discussion, we simply have to pay homage to the 1996 release. The game’s use of 3D environments was a game-changer and paved the way for many other 3D platformers to come, leaving behind the 2D worlds that saw Mario and his friends only really move from side to side, or up and down.
That 3D roaming gameplay combined with the colorful aesthetics of the crazy cartoonish world where a generation of video game players probably still feel at home. Clouds moves, flowers dance and the world very much changes as you move around, completing new levels and meeting new characters.
The game introduced a new level of freedom and exploration to the Mario franchise. Players were able to move Mario in all directions, jump, dive, and even fly with the help of power-ups. The game’s open-world design allowed players to tackle the game’s challenges in any order they wanted, giving them a sense of agency and control that had not been experienced before.
Without this game, there is arguably not GTA or not Red Dead Redemption. Each level is meticulously crafted with its own unique challenges and secrets to discover. From scaling a giant mountain to swimming through an underwater labyrinth, the game offers a variety of gameplay experiences that keep players engaged and entertained, rather than the repetitive nature of games that came before.
Throw in the game’s iconic soundtrack, composed by Koji Kondo, and even 30 years ago who had an immersive game that nailed the art of balancing gameplay and aesthetics.
So just imagine what the next thirty years will bring.