…And lo, I stumbled onto a mighty secret.
There is work that goes into video games, especially when it comes to art.
Watching game art go from comment to concept, concept to sketch, sketch to portrait, and then portrait to animation is something to behold. The word animate is literally translated as ‘To bring to life’, something that has to happen to every movement you see on your mobile device.
For example, take this piece of concept art from our upcoming mobile release:
And yet, in order to pump this out, one of our artists (you can follow Patrick’s amazing work here) took several hours to hand draw it in each one of its different positions, starting with the concept of an ‘Angry Oven’ and then push it, millimetre by millimetre, into a new frame.
Then, because video games require a touch more masochism than anyone ever admits to, he’ll do this seven more times. While the truth might be that the more you animate the better you become- the process never actually changes no matter how often you do it. It takes HOURS to inch art into a new position while having it remain believably lifelike within the context of the game.
To create the artistic assets in gaming is a labour of love, make no mistake about it. Pour your passion into several hours and then you’ve got a somewhat animated product- Something which then has to be given to your cohorts so it can be meticulously examined and then tossed back; All so you can repeat the process over and over again. This goes on ad nauseum until you have the finished product, which may only be on the screen for a few seconds before fading into the background.
This gif was a second long. Now think about doing that 10+ more times for every single playable character animation (over 25 characters slated for our next game) and you’ve got a tiny idea of what it takes to make this whole darn thing work. Don’t even get me started on the environments!
Hours and hours in return for seconds and seconds. This is the life of a video game artist/ animation designer. It’s no wonder it can take years for games in development. The split second existence of a character you just wiped off the map? That may very well have been months of work.
Think you’ve spent a whole lot of time in a game? Try making the .GIFS for it.
Follow Charlie Ze Newbie’s exploration of the world of indie game development on ZeMind Game Studio’s channels and don’t be afraid to interact with him or the studio: