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cdosrun01

Art Vs Content

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Whilst working on a side project of mine, a question donned on me, which is better art or content? 

 

Personally, I like content better than art. Content as in, quality of story, writing, and game mechanics. I think art is important, but sometimes it gets in the way of what the game could truly be. I've seen many a game with fluid animation and stellar graphics, yet lacking in story, writing and overall game play.

 

Although I may be biased since I'm a programmer and can't draw to save my life :p (aside from a killer stick man if I do say so myself).

 

Which do you think is more important?  

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Can you define what art and content are to you?

e.g. I'm used to the definitions where the game is made up of code and content - if it's not code, it's content.

 

I guess you mean that all effort that's going into making the game look pretty is in the "art" category, and all effort going into making the game fun is in the "content" category?

 


I think art is important, but sometimes it gets in the way of what the game could truly be. I've seen many a game with fluid animation and stellar graphics, yet lacking in story, writing and overall game play.

Do you have any examples of games where great animations/graphics have directly caused the writing / gameplay to be constrained?

Edited by Hodgman

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Can you define what art and content are to you?

e.g. I'm used to the definitions where the game is made up of code and content. If it's not code, it's content.

 

 

 


I think art is important, but sometimes it gets in the way of what the game could truly be. I've seen many a game with fluid animation and stellar graphics, yet lacking in story, writing and overall game play.
Do you have any examples of games where great animations/graphics have directly caused the writing / gameplay to be constrained?

 

 

I think the art/graphics restrict the other content in pretty much all games since art requirements scale with the amount of content in a game. (its not just graphics though, things like voice acting also have a direct impact on the cost of adding more dialogue to a game).

 

Its basically a content quantity vs art quality vs art diversity argument, if you raise one you have to either reduce the others or increase the budget, apart from a few AAA titles with massive budgets most games today have to pick a balance between them. (It seems like art diversity is the first thing that suffers though)

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Personally, I like content better than art. Content as in, quality of story, writing, and game mechanics. I think art is important, but sometimes it gets in the way of what the game could truly be. I've seen many a game with fluid animation and stellar graphics, yet lacking in story, writing and overall game play.



Although I may be biased since I'm a programmer and can't draw to save my life tongue.png (aside from a killer stick man if I do say so myself).



Which do you think is more important?

This is my personal opinion:

 

Once you dig into the content vs art topic, you will see that it is tragedy. From my experiences, there are only really three ways to go for an indie dev. Either produce really appealing art (in this case content is secondary), produce really un-appealing art and you might join the club of curiosities, which could bless you with media coverage (in this case content will attract and hold a certain fan base) or finally produce real art.

 

Just having decent art is often not enough to please most of the folk (almost every one will find, that your game looks 95% good, but just this last 5% are more or less a showstopper sad.png ). People like to talk either about the rich/poor and beautiful/ugly things, but seldom about normal stuff. And you need people to talk about your stuff if you want to get awareness.

 

Therefor it might be an better option to stick to really low,unappealing art (e.g. ascii,8bit art) instead of investing lot of time or money to get to a decent  art level. Though if you really have the option to make some appealing, polished art, go for it. But remember to choose the right scope, art creation is really costly.

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There are some popular games without/with poor graphics but great content (Dwarf Fortress, Minecraft).

 

There is not even one popular game that got there on looks alone.

 

 

 

Of course it's best to have both :D

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which is better art or content?
Personally, I like content better than art. Content as in, quality

 

That's all wrong. Art = quality. Content merely = quantity. 

What you're asking is, "quantity vs. quality," but you've totally mischaracterized what quality is.

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one needs to strike a balance between resources spent on art and non-art content.  all content should be of relatively equally high quality, so none appears weak.

 

competition will tend to define the minimum content quality level required to be competitive.

 

a game where non-art content quality was low because the resources had been spent on high quality art would have a lot of eye candy but not much game behind the pretty pictures. might generate some interest amongst causal gamers / non-gamers (think Myst), but would probably not do well with the more hard core gamer audiences.

 

"pictures are for looking at,    games are for PLAYING!" <g>

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Whilst working on a side project of mine, a question donned on me, which is better art or content?

Which do you think is more important?  

I think this is a false dichotomy; it presupposes that content is not art.

 

Let's lay aside for the moment the work of musicians, and graphic artists that create the textures and models, and level designers who craft worlds; those can be construed as artwork.

 

But a category I almost never hear of being referred to as a work of artistic endeavor is the sculpting of behaviors the player will execute within a game. For example, in the Facebook social game Farmville 2 there's a cooking minigame. One of the things about that game that I find pleasurable is the way the player goes about crafting the recipes. It's a hierarchical system of constructing sub-components and finally finishing the main dish. And the mechanic is a drill-down arrangement that is to me just fun to do.

 

Crafting fun things to do: Is it art?

Edited by AngleWyrm

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I don't see how (visual) art and (programmatical) content are mutually exclusive.  You can add maps, stories, characters, items, etc... all day long.  

If you won't be making the art anyway, do what you do and look for (or hire) someone else to assist with the art.  You can have both.

Edited by Meatsack

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I think the art/graphics restrict the other content in pretty much all games since art requirements scale with the amount of content in a game. (its not just graphics though, things like voice acting also have a direct impact on the cost of adding more dialogue to a game).

While, yes, with voice acting; but that's not necessarily the case with textures and 3D models. More content requires some more art, but it doesn't have to take alot more art. Art from previous areas can be reused effectively in new areas. Not every area needs to have 100% unique textures. The first few areas would require a huge amount of art, and each additional area would require progressively less because of the existing library of art you're already using in the game. Some areas won't require any new art.

 

(Since art is content, I'm using the definition of content = maps/levels/areas, art = music/textures/3Dmodels. This is a bad definition, because that means new enemies = art rather than content, which is wrong, but when we're starting with wrong definitions in the first place, there's not much you can do)

Edited by Servant of the Lord

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