Earlier this year, The Into the Pixel exhibition, now in its fourth year, featured 16 works of video game art chosen by a panel of jurors spanning galleries and organizations including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Getty Research Institute, the Hammer Museum and Gas Powered Games CEO Chris Taylor.
But how does being a game artist fit into... being an artist? Gamasutra talks to Into the Pixel art exhibition winners from Lionhead, Relic, and Rare to find out the stories behind their submission, their creative role, and the sometimes neglected role of the concept artist in making great games.
Lionhead's Mike McCarthy, whose work on Fable 2
was chosen for the exhibition, says it's uncommon for people to be aware of what, exactly, he does -- noting that his family often mistakenly calls him a "computer game designer:"
"It’s easy to forget that everything computer generated on a screen has been designed by someone,' McCarthy adds. 'Very few people are aware of it, but it’s massively important. The look and feel of the world you are immersed in is very much at the forefront of the experience, even if it’s ultimately the gameplay that decides whether or not it’s enjoyable. I suppose art is one of those things that is only ever noticed when it’s done stunningly well or, unfortunately, when it’s done badly."
Ryan Stevenson, a concept artist at Rare, was responsible for the artistic look and feel of Viva Pinata
, and explains why he loves his work:
"Stevenson says players are 'walking through a world that exists in my head' when they play Viva Piñata, a common result of his efforts, it seems. 'As a concept artist I get the fun job of being involved right at the start to shape the world,' he says. 'I get to imagine creations that would be impossible to produce in the real world, but in the unique medium of games people can walk through them and experience a universe that lives in my head.'"
You can now read the complete feature
, which goes in-depth with each of these artists on their perspectives on the artist's role in the industry, and the process involved in their winning projects (no reg. required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).