Develop 2009: The Edge Panel: Architecture and Games

 

Viktor and Rory

The third talk of the day that I attended was a panel on games as architecture, which was extremely interesting mainly just from hearing Viktor Antonov's explanations of what input he had on Half-Life 2. It was also made up of Alex Wiltshire of Edge, Rob Watkins of Lionhead and Rory Olcayto of The Architect’s Journal.

Viktor Antonov had always been attracted to epic scale buildings, and similar iconic architecture as found in film, and he started off working in industrial design, but decided to go into video games.

Some key points that should be known pieces of information when looking over architecture found in games, and that I agree with are:

  • Everything in games are establishing shots – shots that will set up the scene that the player is about to experience.
  • The main tools tools available to direct a level to the player are by using architecture and light, these will aid in telling a story while getting the player to go along the correct path.
  • In order to create monumental buildings and views you must create a contrast by creating many smaller items and buildings, this helps to create the illusion of a larger presence.

Another means to lead the player is by creating strong perspectives and focal points, this then tricks the player into going the correct way through the level.
There are not enough surreal and subjective architectural experiences in games.

What was interesting was that Viktor did a talk on Futurism at an architecture school, and it then became apparent that all the students played games for a means of looking into architecture, especially Half Life 2. Which I find very intriguing as one of the questions raised at the panel was what can architecture learn from video games.

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Comment from: Steve Lee [Visitor]
Steve Lee
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An mp3 of the panel discussion over on edge-online:
http://www.edge-online.com/features/edge-panel-architecture-and-videogames

Pretty good stuff - Antonov (probably along with everyone else at Valve) is a dude.

25th July 2009 @ 15:30


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