I Have No Words & I Must Design: Toward a Critical Vocabulary for Games

Greg Costikyan talks about the aesthetics of games and talks about questions that do help when analysis the aesthetics of games. I choose five questions from his novel that were the best for describing the aesthetics and why I thought they were appropriate.

“What pleasure does it provide?”. A good question in my opinion because the game has to visual appeal to the player or the player won’t play the game. The player will be looking at that game for hours and their gonna want to look at something appealing, however saying that, Doom doesn’t look appealing with all the gore but it still works as the graphics are high definition and look good.

“Do the visuals dovetail with the theme and approach of the game?”. Another good question as you want the game to stick a with a theme like fantasy or sci-fi as if you start to wonder from that theme, the game can start to look abnormal and un-appealing.

“Can they be made more Beautiful”. Every game can always look better as new software’s and engines are always being development and there is always room for improvement.

“Do they “feel right” in the context of the game world, and the fantasy it attempts to sustain?”. A good question to ask yourself if drawing fantasy as you want to keep it with the theme so by doing research, you can keep to the theme and it makes the game more appealing.

“Is it too hard, or too easy on the player”. This could be referring to the colours and landscape of the environment and how they may affect the viewer’s eyes. You don’t want them to be dazzled so this question may help you rethink about the colour and brightness of a game.


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