As much as an architecture is, yes. Especially when a lot of great work is done on the art style and other clever things like with stuff with Dead Space.
@nyv I'm not entirely sure what you mean when you ask if an interface is an integral part of a game. Most games wouldn't make any sense if you just removed the interfaces - but in terms of how important the specific interface is to the game, that depends on which game you're looking at. In a real time strategy or turn based RPG, the design of the interface has a massive bearing on how the game plays, whereas in a shooter that just has a health and ammo display the interface isn't so important. Well, it's important that an interface is there but the specific interface isn't as important.
To answer your other question, I don't have any background in visual arts or in design. I'm studying music at universtiy, if that means anything.
"Game", i believe, is purely design but some games use artistic context to add more meaning to the structure of the game. "game" is a set of rules, or goals, that are to be fallowed for the sake of entertainment. ( if x has y then: a ) - this is "game"
Doesn't this defenition miss out a few things most people think of as games, and include some that people don't? When chess grandmasters or professional tennis players play in big tournaments, is it right to say that they're following the rules for their own entertainment? And if I play the trumpet in a brass band, I'm following a complex set of rules for my own entertainment, but I'm certainly not playing a game.
The best explanation of the problem with these kinds of defentitions that I've heard is the "family features" argument. The basic gist is - every strict defenition you write down will always incude some of the wrong things, or exclude some of the right things, or both - because there isn't one set of features that all the examples share. When we say "game", we're actually refering to a whole class things, that all draw from the same pool of common features - things like "competition", "enjoyment", "rules", "winning and losing", ect. Each game has to have some of these features, though no game will have all of them. The analogy is that it's like looking at the portraits of a family and seeing the family features appearing in different combinations on each face. You could even have two portraits that have no features in common with each other, but are still instantly recognisable as being from the family - one has the family nose while the other has the chin, for instance.
I'm not sure I've explained myself very well - if you're interested, here's the book where this idea was first proposed (section 66, page 19 of the pdf):
I didn't actually hear the idea from Wittgenstein's book - I didn't even remember that it was Wittgenstein who proposed it until I just did a google search now. Looking at the chapter, it's sort of strangely worded since it's a translation from German, but maybe he explains it better than me. Sorry that this has been sort of off topic from the thread, but I think a "family features" way of thinking is useful to clarify the defenitions of a load of other things that seem hard to pin down, like "art" or "courage" or whatever. It's an explanation of how everyone can use the terms consistently with each other, even though no-one can provide a good defenition of what they mean.
@Fattony12000: Well they do, but of course it depends on what tutor you get and how well you manage to hide the gaming thirst in it. Let's say it was not the easiest to come up with such thesis. Thanks for the sources (although I'll be a horrible person and tell you I have read them all, but the interview with Dino, so thank you really just for that :D). I am trying to work it out, but I can hardly write what I think and make a paper out of that (I wish it worked around those lines). I need you and your opinion. Have you ever tried designing user interface for a game(as you have all those sources ready)? Do you have any background in arts? Lastly do you think that the visual/aesthetic quality is what makes art (at least in games)? Cheers for the response, duder!
No worries, thank you for your reply to my reply.
I imagined that you'd seen those links before, I just dug them up after about 30 seconds of searching, glad to see that you got one nugget out of them though!
I have never had to design a UI or a UX for any video game in my life. I have no background in that field of development whatsoever.
Art, as an expressive medium, is not always visual, although a lot of it is. I would say that the UI in a game like Baldur's Gate II is, in and of itself, a work of art because it looks visually pleasing to the eye. It also happens to convey lots of information pretty clearly to the player, which is useful. Contrast that with how Journey handles that kind of thing, where all the relevant mechanical information (how far you can jump/fly) is pushed into the game world itself, in a simple and aesthetically pleasing way.
Art is usually either trying to express a point, or trying to please the eyes (or ears), or both. It's pretty hard for a video game to do that inside of a fairly minor aspect of the whole experience.
Oh. Killer7 has stuff in it that is visually striking, and ties into the fucked up themes of that game.