At GDC 2016's Level Design Workshop, graduate architect and game maker Claire Hosking gave a great talk about how architectural design can help level designers achieve their intended mood and add depth to their levels, particularly how spatial design can anticipate and complement art design.
Hosking shared some basic urban design principles and looked at how architecture (in both real life and games like Mirror's Edge) emphasizes mood as its main experience, and how it uses atmosphere rather than symbolism.
As a practical example, she points out than architecture doesn't communicate a regal space through crowns and thrones; it uses geometry, material, texture, color, lighting, construction, and so on to create a grand and formal space that sets the necessary tone for the audience before they encounter more direct methods of storytelling.
Hosking's talk was brief and fascinating, especially if you spend any time designing virtual spaces or just have a love of architecture. If you didn't catch it at GDC last year, now you can watch it for free via the official GDC YouTube channel!
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