So I lied to you all! Sorry! This week I will not start on the production phase of game development. Instead I want to discuss the different animation styles in video games.
Lets take a look at three video game trailers that have their own unique animation style. You don’t have to watch this whole video, just enough to get a feel of the animation style.
When viewing these trailers think about the difference in the details of the characters’ skin, gameplay environment, colors, sound effects and the soundtrack.
Mario & Sonic Olympic Winter Trailer
Mirror’s Edge 2 Trailer
The graphics in the Mario & Sonic trailer are stylized with a “cartoonish” feel. The user is aware they aren’t real and does not expect anything from the game to be realistic in these fantasy worlds. In Mirror’s Edge, the graphics are obviously more realistic. The movement of the characters, the sound effects, and the gameplay environment are all meant to make the user feel as if they are participating in a real world event. Borderlands can be seen as a mixture of the two. While the “look” of the graphics is stylized, the movement of the characters are more realistic than what you would see in Mario or Sonic.
Stylization vs. Photorealism?
When choosing an animation style, the designer has to the know the benefits and limits of each. While realism may look cooler and is more likely to make the user feel as if they are really there, users are more forgiving with games that have stylized graphics. With stylization, artists can focus more on art than imitation. In this fantasy world, users do not expect characters to have a realistic walk or run. They are more infatuated with the fantasy world the game developers have created. When imitating real life, users expect the opposite. The characters and the gameplay environment need to as realistic as the world we live in or the users become more focused on the imperfections than the actual story line. Let’s go deeper into this:
What do you think about where game graphics are heading?