I’ve been doing some guest blogging for splendid architecture site BLDGBLOG. You can see my previous offerings here and here, as well as an interview here. The latest piece – here! – delves deeper into my obsession with GSC Gameworld’s Stalker games, and the wider fiction – and reality – surrounding them. Go have a read of the rest of BLDGBLOG, too. It will surprise you.
Posts Tagged ‘bldgblog’
In my second post about videogame architecture over on BLDGBLOG, I connect some ideas about the design of videogame cities to the possibilities of procedural generation. It’s a little bit speculative, especially when I start to link Half-Life 2’s Viktor Antonov (whose concept art for The Crossing is above) to Chris Delay‘s methods in Subversion:
“What parameters would we need in order both to understand and create a science fiction Edinburgh, or Sao Paulo, or Vancouver? Identify the necessary fantasy logic within a procedural city-building system and you could recreate cities with their alternate identity in an instant. An accelerated future Moscow, or a retropunk Venice, instantly sprawling out of the monitor.”
Games are my bread and butter, but there are few other things I obsess over. Such as buildings. One of my favourite blogs on that particular subject is BLDGBLOG, written by Geoff Manaugh. It’s an extraordinarily omnivorous survey of architecture, buildings, landscapes, and the ideas that hook into these subjects from an alphabet of supplementary sources, all knitted together by Manaugh’s speculative imagination. Last week I was pleased to be able to contribute to that blog with a post on evil lairs in videogames. This week Manaugh has posted a conversation with me about my 2008 book, This Gaming Life, and related subjects.
Manaugh’s book – a heavy illustrated compilation and extrapolation of his astute blogging project – is out soon. If you have even the slightest glimmer of interest in the world around you, you’ll buy it.
Daniel Dociu is the chief art director of the Guild Wars developers ArenaNet, and one of the best concept artists in the business. I was delighted to see that my favourite blogger, Geoff Manaugh, has taken some time out to interview him.
BLDGBLOG: So how much description are you actually given? When someone comes to you and says, “I need a mine, or a mountain, or a medieval city” – how much detail do they really give before you have to start designing?
Dociu: That’s about the amount of information I get.
Game designers lay things out according to approximate locations – this tribe goes here, this tribe goes there, we need a village here, we need an extra reason for a conflict along this line, or a natural barrier here, whether it’s a river or a mountain, or we need an artificial barrier or a bridge. That’s pretty much the level at which I prefer for them to give me input, and I take it from there.
BLDGBLOG, in case you’re not familiar with it, is an admirably progressive architecture blog, which regularly touches on subjects such as science fiction landscapes and videogame architecture. A peerless read.