Jason Pook's Games Design Blog

Creative Futures – Production Design for Entertainment Media – Architecture

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Architecture is a key part of daily life all the building around you involve architecture and have there own time period of architecture, this also applies for gaming so when you design a proposal for a 2 story victorian house you have to go into research to find out what a victorian house could have styles of if you just texture it with any random brick it wont have the realism also it wont match what you proposed to do and is basically something completely different. this session was designed to make us realise that architecture can is a key point in our designing in current and future projects, knowing the difference between certain era’s of architecture similar or not could be vital in for example a game set in japan and you design all the buildings with chinese architecture thats game over right there straight away.

First we was given a extract from H.P Lovecraft:

“a coast-line of mingled mud, ooze, and weedy Cyclopean masonry which can be nothing less the tangible substance of earth’s supreme terror — the nightmare corpse-city of R’lyeh …loathsomely redolent of spheres and dimensions apart from ours“.

“…hidden in green slimy vaults… In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

– H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulu and Other Weird Stories

Many creatives have read that phrase and been inspired to try to pin down the look and structure of Lovecraft’s monstrous vision. The city has a different design to it, there is little amount of paralell lines everything looks very curved and warped with many strange alien looking symbols across its surfaces.

But what if you was designing something completely different a scrapyard on a graveyard planet? a steampunk themed victorian city hall? a apocolyptic supermarket? how would you go about figuring our the architecture for these ideas you have in your head? you would need the references for many different types of history in architecture aswell as architects. Well i wouldnt know much other than main parts of history. Due to this he listed some different architecural styles:

“Historical Architectural Stylesand some of the differences.

Roman vs Egyptian

Viking Vs Medieval Vs Tudor

Art Deco Vs Art Nouveau – Art Deco, geometric shapes and patterns, parallel lines… Seen in US gas stations, diners, cinemas and sky-scrapers… Art Nouveau, organic flowing lines, motifs from living things and natural forms… Seen in Paris Subway lights by Hector Guimard, and posters by Alphonse Mucha… whose work you can compare to the very Art Deco designs of Cassandre and other Art Deco Graphic Designers.

Russian Vs ArabicArabic onion shaped Domes and Cupolas might not be as common a cultural identifier as you would imagine, Victorian illustrators of the Arabian Nights and early production designers for theatre and film (along with Disney) have probably created a false image, Arabic domes being somewhat less ostentatious for the most part… whilst over the steppes in the former Soviet states the Classic Onion Shape is clearly visible…

Also the use of “Images” of living things is forbidden in much architecture in the Arabic world, decoration takes the form of elaborations of writing and scripts…

Japanese Vs Chinese – consider the use of decoration below and between the roof-lines, one is predominantly simpler than the other…” – Gareth Sleightholme architecture blog

we was then given examples of architects to see all of this lesson see Gareths blog, this lesson made us realise the importance of accuracy in our research as well as the need to broaden our knowledge of certain people in the fields of research and work we will be coming across. Another learning objective was that of the importance of observational drawing, recently for our street project we was told to go draw buildings we liked from observation and until we did that we wasnt allowed to progress, the reason behind this was for us to look, sound strange but actually looking and paying attention to the details of architecture and features on a building are often neglected so observational drawing will help us in our designs.

We then went into who would need to know this? well to be subject specific to my area of study Games designers would, so 3d artists, texture artists, environment artists, 3d modellers, concept artists and so on theres no doubt accuracy of the environment around you in a game which you have told the customer the specifications of the time period set makes the game way more immersive and realistic, for example Assassins Creed 2 its set in 15th century florence and modern day with the use of the animus if they had left both time periods in the same architecture style of modern you wouldnt believe the story as its said to be based on historical events but not looking historical.

Author: Jason Pook 3D

Current student at Hull School of Art and Design studying Games Design.

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