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Art Direction

posted by Rather Dashing on - last edited - Viewed by 3.6K users

Okay, I think this deserves its own thread:

What kind of general art direction do you wan the game to take? What is your favorite game in terms of in-game art?

I personally would love something that looks similar to the AGD Interactive and Infamous Adventures remakes of the first few King's Quest games:

XNHox.jpgQDcxt.jpgPpX1A.jpg

A lush, "painted" look with a vibrant, storybook color palette. I think looking at the game should give a similar impression as looking at the box art for previous games, I-V specifically. I think a storybook color palette(erring on the side of "earthy" tones) is really important, and I would love to get the impression that the world exists on a storybook page, possibly with a perspective to cement that(with a camera similar to that in the earlier King's Quest games for atmosphere purposes). I don't think King's Quest is a franchise whose roots are in cinema, unlike Police Quest which draws from police dramas and Space Quest which draws from science fiction "Flash Gordon"-type influences, so a "cinematic" approach to the camera would seem wrong, like an "adaptation" of a fairytale on screen being adapted into a game, rather than adapting the fairytale itself in game form.

101 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Okay. What do you like about Thomas Kinkade's art?

  • The soft, warm colors, the warmth, the lighting (especially the golden light in the windows), and the dreamy, friendly atmosphere. I also absolutely love warm baby colors, something Don Bluth, another of my favorite artists, used a lot.

    N2Oni.jpg

    This is a great scene. There is something magical to me about the places he paints.

    I love his wintry scenes the best, especially his nighttime ones, as they radiate friendliness and warmth. They kind of remind me of the sort of painting you would see on Coca-Cola advertisements during Christmas, which I also love. I just get a good feeling from looking at his art. I love cottages, cabins, and woods.

    The only thing about Kinkade I don't like is that it feels like he's made himself into a brand somewhat.

    Out of curiosity, what do you dislike about it?

  • I'd prefer vibrant storybook colours. Shrek vibrant. (but not Shrek funny) The soft palette may work in some instances, though. Either way, it's gotta feel like enchanting storybook fantasy.

  • I agree. I'm not saying I would look at just Kinkade to do backgrounds for a KQ game, but that it would be an "inspiration". I would look at a wide variety of styles, and settle on one's that ended up being what I considered the best. Basically, I only talked about Kinkade because it was brought up, and I wanted to mention I like him. Kinkade never drew dark, foreboding castles or suspicious, viney, mossy, dark forests, or lava flows within deadly volcanic caverns, all things present in King's Quest games. So no, I'd never suggest basing an entire KQ game on his style alone. Never.

  • Well said. Still, that painting in your last post is really beautiful. I like it a lot.

  • @Secret Fawful said: Out of curiosity, what do you dislike about it?

    Other than the fact that he's a complete marketing whore, he really doesn't have a good understanding of light and composition, two elements that are pretty darn crucial if you want to be a painter! Every cottage he paints has an unearthly glow, no matter what time of day it is. Using that picture you posted, notice how inconsistent the direction of light is half the time. For example, that tree on the far left should be covered more in shadow from where we're looking at it, and the cottage is too far away to have a reflection in the stream. As for composition, Kinkade has a tendency to cram as much stuff as possible into his paintings without considering how to lead the viewer's eyes around it. Now the painting you posted is less terrible in this regard, but then there's stuff like this:

    bambifirstyear.jpg

    ...which is just uggghh. Honestly, he isn't the worst painter ever, I just think there are far better painters who do/did the same kind of stuff but more competently. Here are some examples:

    turner_450.jpg1766_Fragonard_The_Swing-WR400.jpg350px-Caspar_David_Friedrich_071.jpg

  • @DoctorCello said: Every cottage he paints has an unearthly glow, no matter what time of day it is.

    I've always had the impression that this is a stylistic and symbolic thing of some sort with him. I personally like it because it evokes atmosphere, and one that I really like. I don't believe his paintings are meant to evoke any sort of realism, whereas I get an impression of realism from the ones you posted, except for the Swing, which is also as far from Kinkade's style as possible. I have a feeling you have a wide knowledge of this field though.

    Using that picture you posted, notice how inconsistent the direction of light is half the time. For example, that tree on the far left should be covered more in shadow from where we're looking at it, and the cottage is too far away to have a reflection in the stream. As for composition, Kinkade has a tendency to cram as much stuff as possible into his paintings without considering how to lead the viewer's eyes around it. Now the painting you posted is less terrible in this regard, but then there's stuff like this-

    I will admit that the painting you posted is terrible, and one I've never seen before. I'm having trouble believing it's a real painting, especially as some of the deer don't fit at all, however these are the sort of paintings I like from the man-

    oJJkc.gifgxND9.jpgKS58Q.jpglHL4W.jpgwPQsF.jpg


    -nothing like what you posted. Now that you've pointed out some flaws in his paintings, I admit I'll probably be looking for flaws more now, as I never considered it before, but unless someone can find me a painter with an extremely similar style who has a better mastery over it, I don't think I'll move on from liking it. I'm definitely not against liking a flawed artist. Personally, if I could gain a greater mastery over his style than he has, I would. I'd love to be able to paint scenes with that sort of glow and atmosphere to perfection.

  • The thing about Kinkade is that he is sort of boring and safe... I understand why people like his stuff.... its meant to appeal to the masses and not make you think... I think a lot of other artist resent his stuff because of the mass appeal and no real challenge to your thoughts its all just right there.

    But its not like I'm an art snob... one of my favorite painters is Todd Lockwood... I tend to like fantasy art... I like it... Even if its not what is considered "serious" art... do not get me wrong.. I like things that make you think or make you a little uncomfortable... stuff like francis bacon did... who WAS a serious artist

  • I guess what bugs me about kinkade is how, quite frankly, his pieces just feel so bland and corporate. It just seems like it has no heart of itself. I like stuff that feels really warm too, but that's a bit different from your tastes and I can understand that people have different tastes, so it's cool.

  • @Giant Tope said: I guess what bugs me about kinkade is how, quite frankly, his pieces just feel so bland and corporate. It just seems like it has no heart of itself. I like stuff that feels really warm too, but that's a bit different from your tastes and I can understand that people have different tastes, so it's cool.

    I like how you automatically assume I wouldn't like that piece. You're really shitty when it comes to figuring people out, Tope. Try harder or quit trying. Here's a hint: quick judgments are bad. No one is as simple as you make them out to be.

    Two of my favorite artists of all time: Gustave Dore and Edward Gorey. As far from Kinkade in tone as possible. Oops. Oh shit, bet you didn't expect those two names from a little' ol Kinkade fan.

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