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Video: The art direction of Saints Row: The Third

Volition's Frank Marquart offers a behind-the-scenes look at the unique world of Saints Row: The Third in this free video from GDC 2012, courtesy of the GDC Vault.
[Note: To access chapter selection, click the fullscreen button or check out the video on the GDC Vault website] If nothing else, Volition's Saints Row: The Third certainly has a sense of style. Its colorful, irreverent world gave the game a very unique voice, and went a long way toward establishing its tone and trademark sense of humor. During a detailed lecture at GDC 2012, Volition product art director Frank Marquart shared the overall thought process that drove the aesthetic design of Saints Row: The Third. A video of that lecture is now available (above) for free, courtesy of the GDC Vault. As Marquart explains, Volition set out to create a game that was decidedly more "over-the-top" than prior Saints Row entries, but even when your game is full of wacky, bizarre, and occasionally gaudy art assets, it still needs to have a coherent vision. That's why Volition set out to establish some overarching art tenets and shorthand checks to make sure that everything in the game worked together as a whole. "First, we came up with 'I.C.E.,' which stood for Impressive, Cohesive, and Expressive," Marquat says. "When you're working on something, you can give yourself a little self-test -- is it impressive, is it cohesive, or is it expressive?" It was a simple mantra, but it provided the artistic backbone for what Saints Row: The Third would eventually become. Simply click on the Play button above to start the video.

More Free Videos

In addition to Marquart's lecture, the GDC Vault has added two additional videos, which cover tips for staying creative and creating browser games in HTML5. In "Kinematics and Other Techniques for Managing the Creative Process," WB Games Seattle's VP and general manger, Laura Fryer, offers some business-focused advice to help teams stay creative while still looking out for a company's bottom line. Using examples from Crimson Skies, Gotham City Imposters, and more, Fryer explains how to uphold successful creative processes, even as the industry undergoes rapid and unpredictable change. [GDC Vault free video] Elsewhere, Swrve lead engineer Marc O'Morain discusses some useful programming techniques for web developers in "A Practical Guide to Building Browser Based Games Using HTML5." Here, he outlines what developers should expect when making HTML5-based titles, particularly outlining the idiosyncrasies programmers need to be aware of. [GDC Vault free video]

About the GDC Vault

In addition to all of this free content, the GDC Vault also offers more than 300 additional lecture videos and hundreds of slide collections from GDC 2012 for GDC Vault subscribers. GDC 2012 All Access pass holders already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription Beta via a GDC Vault inquiry form. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can send an email to Gillian Crowley. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins. Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more free content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from upcoming 2012 events like GDC Europe, GDC Online, and GDC China. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. GDC and the GDC Vault are owned and operated by Gamasutra parent company UBM Technology.

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