Architecture in Video Games: Designing for Impact

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Architecture in Video Games: Designing for Impact

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Architecture in Video Games: Designing for Impact

I am the founder of FOURM design studio and one of the architects for The Witness. This article is inspired by my experience working with the landscape architects and game developers on this project. It may be the first time all three have collaborated so closely to do so.

My experience working on The Witness the last five years has been one of the single most creative and exciting experiences of my career. While I am grateful that artists like Ronen Bekerman are advancing the quality of architecture in gaming, as I look at the architecture of most video games I feel let down by what I see. I wonder why do we not see more collaboration between experienced architects, landscape architects, and video game developers.

From the architect’s side, I know that we like to make stuff in the real world, and perhaps don’t think it will be rewarding. Architects often don’t play games or see how they can be of service. Many think it’s all about coding and that we need to have this skill. I also think architects may not see the value of the video game industry and its products, which is unfortunately an ignorance that I also possessed prior to working in the industry.

From the game developer’s side, they may think they do not need architects and do not understand their value. After all, they are not trained in the video game industry. My experience is that most game developers, including artists, just don’t understand architecture or landscape design. This is not a surprise, given that it is a highly specialized field where people study for up to seven years in college to absorb and develop design skills. Finally, many developers may also just think that designers like us are not affordable. […]

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