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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

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Developing A Visual Style For Deus Ex: Human Revolution
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

The Critical Bit has posted a new interview with Deus Ex: Human Revolution art director Jonathan Jacques-Belletête. The artist discussed a variety of topics including developing a unique visual style for Human Revolution, some of the areas which didn't make the cut, and the importance of visual elements in telling a story.

Tell us about the importance of visual allegory and motifs in games. How do they affect the player’s perception of the world? How do they impact the narrative?

I believe these are some of the most important aspects of the production design of a video game. Sadly, my personal opinion is that very few game developers understand this. Visuals in a game should be as much about communicating as decorating (probably the former even more than the latter). The world we live in is a world of visual messages and constant visual communication. Our brains are constantly assessing and analyzing situations, people, and places, based on their respective visual stimuli. We do this at a conscious level, but even more so at an unconscious level.

Because of all this, I believe it’s imperative, through production design, to infuse a video game world with higher meanings and motifs in its foundational art direction. If done right, it creates a soul and a potent flavor for the game. When you Combine a highly crafted world with a passionate attention to detail and mise en scène, the world suddenly starts living inside the player’s head, long after he turns off his console.

As far as their relationship to the narrative, I believe it’s a two way street. For example, in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the concept of the Renaissance analogy, the Icarus myth, and all their related motifs and symbols first came from the production design side. But, they were fully embraced by the narrative designers who began juggling with all those variables as well. It ended up being a constant dialogue of ideas between the two departments, and they both highly influenced each other as to how they would treat those main ideas in their creations. Basically, it made the concepts even stronger!

Head over to the following website for more.

The Critical Bit: Deus Ex Art Interview
Feral Interactive
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Ultimate Edition
Buy Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Ultimate Edition

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