Things Artists Need To Study Before They Work On Video Games

I'm compiling a list of things I and my fellow artists might want to learn more about if we end up drawing concept art for a video game. For example, the closest I've been to a gun in real life is a paintball range. Here's some advice I got:

  • Bring in an expert. (I know some retired military members have offered their expertise on games and movies before-- although I can't remember specific titles)
  • Basic firearm anatomy and safe operation
  • Trigger discipline
  • Ammo vs. clips
  • The difference between full auto, semi auto, and single shot
  • Proper grip position
  • What does and doesn't count as a "bullpup"

In the person's opinion, the artist shouldn't go overboard with it. They didn't like how complex the guns were in ARMA, and it's not fun when video game guns jam, get rusty, break, etc. What else should I read up on? Cars and ships? Animal behavior? Please lemme know.

21 Comments
22 Comments
Posted by medacris

I'm compiling a list of things I and my fellow artists might want to learn more about if we end up drawing concept art for a video game. For example, the closest I've been to a gun in real life is a paintball range. Here's some advice I got:

  • Bring in an expert. (I know some retired military members have offered their expertise on games and movies before-- although I can't remember specific titles)
  • Basic firearm anatomy and safe operation
  • Trigger discipline
  • Ammo vs. clips
  • The difference between full auto, semi auto, and single shot
  • Proper grip position
  • What does and doesn't count as a "bullpup"

In the person's opinion, the artist shouldn't go overboard with it. They didn't like how complex the guns were in ARMA, and it's not fun when video game guns jam, get rusty, break, etc. What else should I read up on? Cars and ships? Animal behavior? Please lemme know.

Posted by EVO

Human anatomy.

Posted by ShadowConqueror

Architecture. You don't want to draw some impossible Escher-esque building unless that fits the universe of the game.

Posted by BraveToaster

Ranges of motion in humans and animals.

Posted by Vigil

Wait, whats the difference between semi-auto and "single shot"?

Posted by JasonR86

Art?

Edited by EpicSteve

@Vigil said:

Wait, whats the difference between semi-auto and "single shot"?

Semi-Auto allows you to continuously fire the weapon, single shot weapons have to be charged after every individual shot.

Guns shouldn't be too realistic in games. I shouldn't have to head space and time a .50 cal or worry about cyclic rates of fire.

Posted by A_Talking_Donkey

Actually, I think a hyper-realistic take on guns could lead to an interesting game. I don't know if it'd be fun, but it'd be worth someone experimenting with.

Posted by Sploder

Facial expressions when hit really hard in the genitals

Posted by AbsolutHysteria

@JasonR86: Thumbs up, damn right they do

Edited by Dagbiker

Biology, so many alien designs just dont make sense, sometimes physically, biologically, or both.

EDIT: I also learned when trying to write a story, and getting no where because I needed to look up every detail.

You don't need to know everything about your subject. Just enough to make your story believable.

Posted by LikeaSsur

How physics work as a whole. Unless you're going into fantasy, don't give me characters with large, comically oversized weapons, or buildings that have no right existing.

Posted by Video_Game_King
Posted by SomeDeliCook

@A_Talking_Donkey said:

Actually, I think a hyper-realistic take on guns could lead to an interesting game. I don't know if it'd be fun, but it'd be worth someone experimenting with.

Try those History Channel war games. It gets old quick

Posted by thedj93

@A_Talking_Donkey said:

Actually, I think a hyper-realistic take on guns could lead to an interesting game. I don't know if it'd be fun, but it'd be worth someone experimenting with.

quoted as a good idea

it could be fun if they could successfully encapsulate the patience/build up it takes to properly hunt real stuff in reality while still being a satisfying experience

Posted by sodacat

@medacris said:

  • Ammo vs. clips

Magazine, not clip.

In this case it's not an omission of ignorance, but a purposeful one. For instance, BLACK had this system during its beta phase. They took it out of the final game. Without a detailed inventory system there's no way to select the magazine you would want. In real life you'd be able to select them based on weight. Also, considering the massive number of cartridges a player avatar will go through during a typical video game splitting up ammo in this way would be kind of pointless.

Posted by SSully

@thedj93 said:

@A_Talking_Donkey said:

Actually, I think a hyper-realistic take on guns could lead to an interesting game. I don't know if it'd be fun, but it'd be worth someone experimenting with.

quoted as a good idea

it could be fun if they could successfully encapsulate the patience/build up it takes to properly hunt real stuff in reality while still being a satisfying experience

A game where you are a hitman. Kind of works like LA Noire where the case is built up over time, but in this case you research your mark and learn more about their habits over time. Eventually leads to the inevitable hit. Weapons are realistic, and extremely deadly. So you wont be doing shit like in hitman, you either get the kill right or you will have a hard time getting out.

That's the kind of game I would want, mainly because simulating military missions or hunting is dreadfully boring. Atleast with a hitman it becomes more personal and interesting.

Posted by SgtSphynx
@EpicSteve said:

Guns shouldn't be too realistic in games. I shouldn't have to head space and time a .50 cal or worry about cyclic rates of fire.

Yeah, and fuck changing that barrel, though I will say I want games to be more realistic with the Mk 19, they do not overheat after six rounds.
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Posted by sodacat

@SSully: I hope that Watch.Dogs will be like this. Accurately lethal guns would give you more than enough reason to focus on your internet super powers over just playing it like another cover shooter.

Posted by artofwar420

You mean to make video games with guns.

Posted by Thoseposers

@ShadowConqueror said:

Architecture. You don't want to draw some impossible Escher-esque building unless that fits the universe of the game.

where would be the best place to learn about architecture? are there any really good textbooks/books out there to learn from?

Posted by ManU_Fan10ne

Physics.