Art Direction

edited December 2011 in Discuss
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:

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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.
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Comments

  • edited February 2011
    Just to clear it up for ya, the first and last images were from my remake, by Infamous Adventures. The middle one is from AGDI's upcoming KQ3 Redux - ours is more of a 1:1 remake, while theirs includes a few new story elements tying into their "Father" storyline from KQ2+.


    Bt
  • edited February 2011
    Just to clear it up for ya, the first and last images were from my remake, by Infamous Adventures. The middle one is from AGDI's upcoming KQ3 Redux - ours is more of a 1:1 remake, while theirs includes a few new story elements tying into their "Father" storyline from KQ2+.


    Bt
    Ah damn, I'm sorry. These projects are very confusing and I seriously thought I had the right ones. Please don't take offense.
  • edited February 2011
    What did you think of the art design in The Silver Lining? To me, it felt like they were going for something halfway between a traditional adventure game look and a more "cinematic" Telltale sort of look. The character models were 3D, but they had hand-painted textures, and I think they did try to stick to the "storybook" sorts of color schemes you described. The camera angles were very much like traditional third-person adventure games when you were moving around, but when you were interacting with objects and other characters, it would switch to more cinematic-looking close up shots. I actually really liked what they were going for overall, but I thought it could have been executed a little better.
  • edited February 2011
    Who ever worked on the Jurassic Park concept art should work on KQ... See what I mean?

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  • edited February 2011
    Irishmile wrote: »
    Who ever worked on the Jurassic Park concept art should work on KQ... See what I mean?
    ...Okay, you're badass.
  • edited February 2011
    Paul Newman IS King Graham!

    Anyway, a storybook feel is essential, but I'm not quite sure how that would be pulled off in the Telltale Tool. Maybe if whatever technique it was that made SBCG4AP look like a Brothers Chaps cartoon can make KQ look like a painting...
  • edited February 2011
    Richard Gere always reminded me of Graham when I was a kid.
  • edited February 2011
    I agree about the storybook feel, particularly for vistas and forests and stuff like that. King's Quest needs lush landscapes that may be difficult to achieve with Telltale's current engine, but I'm sure they'll find a way to make it work. Since they worked very hard on the facial animation systems and depth of field effects since W&G and TMI, perhaps now they can concentrate on some scenery technology to enable more complex backgrounds? I don't know, just a thought.

    But yes, in short: LUSH landscapes, please! ;)
  • edited February 2011
    Push the TTG engine to its limits for things near the camera.... Detailed hand paintings in separate layers for everything in the distance that you can not actually reach.... the outcome would be decent I think.
  • edited February 2011
    That's something I want to see for a real, honest-to-goodness professional King's Quest game. Real, unresized, uncompressed paintings. Lush painted backgrounds in layers in 3D, like Irish said, painted with oils or acrylics on canvas, painted character portraits, perhaps a painted screen border, and 3D characters made to fit into the environment. This is something that has never been done before that I'm aware of, and exactly what I don't expect Telltale to do. I am sad.

    TSL did something like this, but not with hand-painted layered backgrounds.
  • edited February 2011
    Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island tried hard to do it... but their 3D characters just didn't seem to fit in the beautifully done backgrounds.... I think TTG can do it... its just they do not want to because it would be more challenging in the time frame they work in.

    Their deadlines and file sizes have noticeably compromised their games on occasion.
  • edited February 2011
    That's true. I remember being very impressed by both A Vampyre Story and Ghost Pirates for their nice use of background "planes" or layers. Immersive stuff.
  • edited February 2011
    AgO9I.jpg

    Give me something like this.
  • edited February 2011
    I think Magicka has a pretty good art style. I think that, especially for a low budget indie, it's got a pretty damn good fantasy look to it. It's an action game, so it's environments are better than it's characters, but for the look of the world, I think it shows that 3D can look pretty good for a painted fantasy land.

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  • edited February 2011
    Very interesting! Hey, is that Graham model from TSL?

    Can't say I like Magicka though, especially since it has an isometric perspective. I mean, there's no sky at all! King's Quest NEEDS SKIES! ;)
  • edited February 2011
    If you mean my mockup, yep. They did a great job on textures, but I'd like to see Telltale take it the extra mile.
  • edited February 2011
    Irishmile wrote: »
    Who ever worked on the Jurassic Park concept art should work on KQ... See what I mean?

    Awesome. This would be perfect.
    Give me something like this.

    Background is too much like Kincaid's work. Which I REALLY don't like. Is this just me?
  • edited February 2011
    Giant Tope wrote: »
    Background is too much like Kincaid's work. Which I REALLY don't like. Is this just me?

    You mean Thomas Kinkade? He's my favorite painter of all time. Not a surprise you'd hate him then, but his style would be my first pick as an inspiration for painting a new KQ game.
  • edited February 2011
    you mean thomas kinkade? He's my favorite painter of all time. Not a surprise you'd hate him then, but his style would be my first pick as an inspiration for painting a new kq game.

    ...

    Ha! Haha! Haha! What a kidder, you!
  • edited February 2011
    I'm not joking. What are you gonna do about it, bitches?
  • edited February 2011
    Okay. What do you like about Thomas Kinkade's art?
  • edited February 2011
    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.

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    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?
  • edited February 2011
    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.
  • edited February 2011
    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.
  • edited February 2011
    Well said. Still, that painting in your last post is really beautiful. I like it a lot.
  • edited February 2011
    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:

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    ...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:

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  • edited February 2011
    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-

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    -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.
  • edited February 2011
    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
  • edited February 2011
    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.
  • edited February 2011
    Giant Tope wrote: »
    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.
  • edited February 2011
    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.

    Whoa there, calm down. Tope actually suggested that I edit my post to include that piece, but I said it was too dark in comparison to Kinkade and not what you were looking for, so if there's anyone you should be yelling at, it's me. Either way, don't be assuming that she's trying to antagonize you, because trust me, she's not. >8(

    By the way, I didn't reply back because I kinda realized that there are very few artists who do that cottage-y thing that Kinkade does, and while I could post paintings with candy-coated color schemes and bright lighting that I like, it still wouldn't be the same subject matter. I just don't really like his stuff, and the reason I thought you were trolling earlier is that Kinkade's pretty unpopular among artists, both high-brow and low-brow. It's just unusual is all.
  • edited February 2011
    I'm completely calm and my post is not directed at any form of antagonism. I'm simply saying to assume that that piece is outside of my tastes is so beyond the truth that it shows a very shitty understanding of my tastes at all.

    You thought I was trolling? You know, it's times like that that make me want to stop screwing around on these forums. I won't, but the comparison to real trolling does give me the incentive. I also kind of wanted to quit replying because I didn't want every other post in this topic to be mine, but I did kind of have to set Tope's assumption right. I never knew Kinkade was unpopular.
  • edited February 2011
    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..

    Erm..

    I wasn't expecting you to not like it, I was just posting it as an example similar to what you described liking.

    You say quick judgments are bad, and yet you judged me as to think that I think of others simply. I really don't, nor was my post even attacking you. In fact I was trying to extend an olive branch, but if you don't want it, then fine. :(
  • edited February 2011
    You thought I was trolling? You know, it's times like that that make me want to stop screwing around on these forums. I won't, but the comparison to real trolling does give me the incentive. I also kind of wanted to quit replying because I didn't want every other post in this topic to be mine, but I did kind of have to set Tope's assumption right. I never knew Kinkade was unpopular.

    Yes, Kinkade is unpopular. Saying you like Thomas Kinkade is like an aspiring singer saying he likes Justin Bieber. Does it really matter? No, but making a statement like that will raise eyebrows no matter what.
  • edited February 2011
    Giant Tope wrote: »
    Erm..

    I wasn't expecting you to not like it, I was just posting it as an example similar to what you described liking.

    You say quick judgments are bad, and yet you judged me as to think that I think of others simply. I really don't, nor was my post even attacking you. In fact I was trying to extend an olive branch, but if you don't want it, then fine. :(

    You're right that I judged you, but it was no quick judgment. It's one I've developed over time. And again, I didn't say you were attacking me. Your whole post reeks of more extreme assumptions. I feel I've caused this topic to go in a very silly direction. Despite that, I obviously misinterpreted your original post, so I apologize. Forget it.
    Yes, Kinkade is unpopular. Saying you like Thomas Kinkade is like an aspiring singer saying he likes Justin Bieber. Does it really matter? No, but making a statement like that will raise eyebrows no matter what.

    I'll have to read more of that link, but I would definitely love to be able to "paint circles around this guy". Maybe I should go to Art Center. :D
  • edited February 2011
    guys

    can we talk about art with dragons in it now
  • edited February 2011
    Sure thing! Let's talk the Brothers Hildebrandt, my next choice for an inspiration for King's Quest.

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  • edited February 2011
    I've always loved Ivan Bilibin's style, though I'm not sure if it would really fit with the with the game. What do you guys think?

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  • edited February 2011
    I don't see one dragon in either of those pictures.
  • edited February 2011
    Maybe you're not squinting hard enough.
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