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Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Artistic Styles in Video Games

Artistic Styles

In the games industry there are a variety of different art styles used for all games. I will be researching theses artistic styles and providing examples of each. Some of these art styles include photorealism, cel shading and exaggeration, yet there are some games that cross these styles and merge together.  


The art style of photorealism is the act of trying to create something in a game that looks as realistic as possible, whether that be an object, character or a background within the game. This is done by taking images of real objects and then texturing to make them look as real as possible. The Photorealistic style is mainly used in games such as first person shooters such as the Call of Duty series in order to add more detail to the world that they’re creating and the objects within the game, such as the weapons etc. This helps to add to the immersion of the game, and can help draw the player into the gaming world. In general, photorealistic games take up a lot more space, which is why they can sometimes come on more than one disk.
Call of Duty is an example of a photorealistic game where everything is made to look as real as possible, as shown by the realistic looking trees and the gun in the characters hand.

Cel Shading

Cel Shading is an art style within gaming that is used to make everything look hand drawn, usually used to make a game look more cartoon like. They are in general the opposite of the photorealistic style, and use bright colours in order to make it feel more like a comic book. It helps to give a more simplistic style to the game.
An example of the Cel shading art style is Telltales the Walking Dead series. The bright colours and the bold edges of the character help to give it a cartoon, hand drawn feel.


The exaggerated art style in games in more commonly used in anime games. This art style concentrates on using over the top graphics in order to create a game that, at first glance, may not look like it should be taken very seriously. It is usually used in party games such as Mario Party or Warioware in order to create a more fun game that doesn’t have to be taken very seriously. This art style uses exaggerated proportions in characters in order to create more dramatic expressions, whether that be for humour or otherwise. This is used to make the games look very similar to anime where the proportions in that are also much exaggerated. 
Final Fantasy X is an example of exaggerated art style, mainly showcased in the hairstyles of the characters, which are slightly exaggerated and out of proportion


Abstract art often involves lots of shapes and lines which do not represent any kind of real life objects. This art style is mainly used for arcade like games, but is still used in some games today. They generally use vivid colours in order to make the game stand out, such a geometry wars which uses bright colours to help enhance the fast paced nature of the game.
Tetris is a game that uses abstraction as its art style as it uses geometric shapes to create the game.


The retro art style generally refers to games that are usually a lot older, such as the old Legend of Zelda games. These games generally use pixel art to create their characters. Although this art style was used a lot within old games, it is still used today, and games such as Terraria use this art style in order to create their game. 

The Legend of Zelda is an example of a retro game style as it uses pixel art to create its characters and enemies, as you can see by the pixelated characters in the image.

Mixtures of art styles

In some cases, some art styles mix together and cross over in order to create a game with influences from both art styles.
In this image of the Legend of Zelda Windwaker, the games art style is a mixture of both cel shading and exaggeration. In general, the game looks very cartoony, which shows the use of cel shading within the game. However, the large eyes of the character show the use of the exaggeration art style within the game.

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