Ask any serious video gamer about the most important aspect of a good game, and they will tell you about its architecture.
A lot of people may think that the characters, the gameplay, or the difficulty levels in a video game are what makes it interesting and exciting to play. However, what people don’t understand is that the architectural aspects of video games are one of the most vital parts of designing a good game.
From the background of the game to the sound effects, character costumes, and spotlight, video game architecture is single-handedly one of the most ignored yet essential aspects of game design.
In this article, we will guide you through the various aspects of architecture in video game design and tell you its significance. So, sit back, and keep reading to know more about it!
What Is Architecture In Terms Of Video Game Design?
What we know as “architecture” in our world is not the same in the gaming world. Architecture in the gaming world refers to a setting or mood that is created within the game. It is how users experience the world within a game and how they interact with it. This built-in ambiance and environment are known as the architecture of a game design.
This is the job of a game architect. These talented individuals create a realistic virtual background and scenery for each video game, making the interaction and experience for the player more realistic and exciting.
The experience of a gamer hugely depends on how well the game architecture is built and designed. Moreover, good gaming architecture can convey subtle emotions, thoughts, ideas, and concepts to the player without using overt signs and signals.
The Importance Of Architecture In Video Game Design
Now that you know a little about what architecture in video game design refers to let us talk about its significance. Without proper gaming architecture, any video game can seem incomplete or uninteresting. However, there are several more aspects that you should know about.
Let us take a look at them below.
It Creates A Realistic World For Gamers
Most gamers will tell you that getting immersed in the “unreal” or virtual world of gaming can be an enthralling and exhilarating experience. The ability to step away from the “real world” and be a part of another, make-believe or fantasy world, where you can interact with the different characters and environment, can be a thrilling experience for most.
However, the experience can be subdued if the architecture in the game design is shoddy. We have all come across various video games where companies have hired sub-par designers who cannot create a world that is real or believable enough. This can ruin the experience of otherwise excellent gameplay.
On the other hand, you will also come across video games that are designed to look like a version of our real world. Many video games take cues from our real world and environment to create a make-believe world that is immersive and captivating.
The experience of being able to hear soft footsteps behind you as an enemy approaches, the sound of a sword being drawn is what makes a video game more realistic and fun. Imagine being able to almost feel a fire-breathing dragon near you or hearing the battle cries of the enemies you have slain. These can be extremely thrilling and take your video gaming experience to the next level.
Well, it is up to the game designers and game developers to create this ultra-realistic atmosphere within a game that is so captivating that you can forget about the real world for a couple of hours.
With the advent of better technology and more talented and skilled game designers and developers, we can now see video games being created in hyper-realistic formats. This makes the gaming experience all the more exciting for gamers of all kinds.
It Triggers An Emotional Response
For a lot of gamers, the experience of playing a good game can trigger an emotional response. Say you find yourself walking down the streets of old Rome, only to be confronted by an alien species that has invaded earth. Or maybe, you are the last person standing in a zombie apocalypse and you need to find a way to get out alive.
Navigating your way through the game to reach the end of it while experiencing the incredible virtual world created by talented designers is enthralling. Often, it triggers an emotional response from gamers who are heavily immersed in the activity.
Without good architectural design in the game, which includes sounds, lighting, the use of space, design, concepts, characters, and the storyline, the game would be incomplete. It can be difficult for non-gamers to understand how players can be so involved in a game that they can lose track of reality. However, the hallmark of a good game design is precisely that.
It Helps Players Immerse Themselves In The Gaming World
We all have a hectic life and busy schedules. Most of us hardly have any time for ourselves, and we are so immersed in the real world that we forget to take some time off to breathe and relax.
Fortunately, gamers have just the solution to escaping from this humdrum existence. Certain video games offer a completely immersive experience where players can get lost in the mind-numbing hues and shadows, the beautiful gameplay, the storyline, and the mesmerizing scenery of the game.
Immersing yourself in the world of gaming for a couple of hours can help relieve stress and take a load off your mind. Furthermore, it enables you to connect with other players who are looking for the same escape.
Of course, you will find plenty of single-player games that don’t require the participation of other players. These games can be an incredible stress-relieving, relaxing, and engaging source of comfort and entertainment for players.
None of this would be possible without good architectural design. The best and top-rated video games in the world are known for their immersive gameplay and graphics. Of course, good architecture of game design is more than just graphics. It involves triggering all the senses of a player to help them have a complete experience of the game.
It Leaves A Lasting Impression
Do you remember your favorite video game? Maybe it was Diablo, Assassin’s Creed, or anything else. What makes the game so nostalgic to you now, and what made it your favorite all those years ago?
Well, the answer to that is never simple. To design a good video game, a game developer needs to tackle several aspects at once. However, all these aspects combine to form a lasting impression in the gamer’s mind. You will come across several serious gamers who are continually on the quest to find their old favorites.
Of course, modern video games use much higher quality graphics, and audio and create “better” gameplay compared to the old classics.
It Allows Designers To Use Their Imagination
Good architecture in video game design isn’t just exciting for gamers but also designers. It enables designers and game developers to let their creative juices flow and design some of the most fascinating game universes.
One of the best aspects of architecture in game design is that the developers aren’t tied down by real-world constraints. These include time constraints, financial, space, labor, materials, and other such tangible aspects.
As such, game developers and designers can create ultra-realistic, luxurious game universes that capture the hearts of players. Moreover, they can design the game universe without following the rules and constraints of the real world.
What Is The Function Of Architecture In Video Gaming?
Now that we have talked at length about the significance of architecture in video gaming, you might be wondering what its functionality is. As we see in the real world, architecture creates the building blocks for all the structures and spaces around us. Without architects, we would probably be left with large, empty spaces that we wouldn’t know how to use.
Architects build a world around us that we can navigate with ease and interest. In the same way, game developers and designers build a storyline and gameplay that makes the video game what it is to players.
As such, there are five primary functions of architecture in video gaming. Understanding these aspects will help you learn more about the importance and need for good architecture in games.
One of the most common gameplays we can come across in video gaming is the aspect of exploration. The game developer designs the video game like a maze or a puzzle that the player needs to explore. They have to overcome obstacles and explore the various parts of the game universe to get to the next levels or reach places within the game.
Many designers provide players with a map within the game universe. This allows them to navigate the new world more easily. However, if the game does not have a map, the players must rely on memory to explore the universe and remember their way around it. They might have to go back to certain spots in the game to find hidden aspects or unlock prizes.
Designers must make use of lights, shadows, subtle movement, and sounds to guide the player through the game universe. This gives them auditory and visual clues about where to go next and how to approach the gameplay.
Another fascinating aspect of using architecture in gameplay is to conceal objects, tasks, or other players within the game universe. Designers make use of various elements within the game to create hidden challenges that the players must overcome. It also adds an element of surprise and intrigue while constantly keeping the player on their toes.
Some games involve complex or straightforward rules where the players or objects can and cannot move in certain ways. These rules are designed by the game players to promote certain gameplay that makes the game what it is.
Architecture in video game design establishes rules that govern how certain players or pieces can move within the game. It also establishes the boundaries within which the players have the freedom to use the tools or weapons in the game universe.
Finally, architecture is used in video game design to build obstacles that players must overcome to reach the next levels of the game. These can be in the form of jumping, climbing, sliding, or avoiding obstacles. It makes the gameplay interesting for players and creates a sense of curiosity and intrigue within the game.
Several popular video games present obstacles or tasks that require the players to show certain skills to overcome them. These may be casual or serious gameplays depending on the video game.
By now, you must have a better understanding of why architecture is an essential part of in-game assets. Like the building blocks that make our societies, good architecture in games is what makes them popular.
Do you have any favorite video games whose architecture and design inspire you? Let us know what you think in the comments below, and tell us what your favorite video game is and why.
Well, that’s it for now. Stay safe and happy gaming!