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Ketchaval

Expressionist games =visuals + play !

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One of the things that I'm insterested in games is the various styles that they use. Consider Yoshi's Island http://www.ntsc-uk.com/features/SnesWeekDay6/16.jpg and then compare it with Silent Hill 2 ( http://www.ntsc-uk.com/reviews/ps2/SilentHill2/04.jpg ) . I see that there is an opportunity to make games where the VISUAL style reflects the PERSONALITY and FEELINGS of the game characters. As well as their thoughts and priorities. To represent the different ways that the characters see the world, visual stylisation of the levels would take place. A child might see a castle as a cool place to explore (so the sights and sounds would reflect this), but someone who was afraid of ghosts would be more aware of the shadows and the eerie noises of the wind. As they approach an unexplored doorway, it would loom at them ominiously and tension music would build up, and then they would see there was nothing there. Indeed maybe Expressionism is a technique that could help us to create more artistic and character focussed games, where you don't just see the world through the character's eyes, but you Feel it through their emotions.
Quote:
Expressionism wanted to impose the emotional feel an object invokes upon the object itself. An Expressionist painting is more about the artist than the subject.
From http://silentmoviemonsters.tripod.com/germanexpressionism.html (Bold is my emphasis.) So instead of games focussing on the external ie. there are monsters trying to eat the player, the focus would shift to the internal .. oh (£"£ there is a huge slobbering beast following me s$!t. It wouldn't be so much about affecting the outside world, but about how the outside world affects you. I'm not sure I can think of any examples of how to construct 'expressionist' gameplay. But, I believe it is possible. Any thoughts on this? [Edited by - Ketchaval on May 23, 2005 1:55:50 PM]

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Hmm, I suppose that there might be a problem with marketing it, how many heavily stylised games do very well?

Maybe if it was a short freeware (hobby) game?

Would the players get the idea of expressionism?

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I'm quite keen on stylized rendering myself, and I think it's becoming more common. There's the bloom effect is used in a lot of games, and cellshading like XIII.

An interesting rewrite of Quake had heavily stylized rendering. What's more, there was three different renderer you could switch between in-game, and they all used the normal leveldata. I think you could write a fourth renderer which implemented all the three styles, and then took three parameters that decided how much to emphasize each style, and then mix them.

You can read more here:

http://www.cs.wisc.edu/graphics/Gallery/NPRQuake/
http://www.cs.unc.edu/~adyilie/comp238/Final/Final.htm

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Nice links deformedrabbit.

How can we use "expressionist" level design to enhance the mood of a game?
I hear that Alan Wake is going to use the dynamic weather system as a part of the game, so as certain missions go on it will get darker and stormier and more difficult to drive. Thunder and lightning will no doubt add to the horror ambience.

What about a roleplaying game where the world around you literally changes (like the morphing landscape in Black & White) as the big evil character becomes more powerful, what starts of as an idyllic and beautiful becomes arid, dusty and overcast with smog. Assuming that the player enjoys the original aesthetic and doesn't like the "nightmare world" that it is becoming this should pack an emotional punch as they can literally see the land fall apart as it comes under the influence of the big bad Grinch.

Likewise, the characters in the game could slowly change becoming more "demonic" looking as the evil influence spreads. (Okay, this'd be a ton of work for the art department).

As the player won victories and completed certain quests, the evil would drain out different areas of the land and be a concrete reminder of their progress.

(In gameplay terms Evil areas would have more monsters etc in too.)

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