Killzone Visual Design
Ga me plan Celebrating 15 years of the FPS, this lovely collection of art also offers insights into the video game design process
Editor Ashley Cowles Publisher Cook & Becker Price £32 Web www.candb.com Available Now
Most collections of video game art are mostly of interest to fans of the game itself. But this artbook celebrating 15 years of Killzone, the first-person shooter developed by Guerrilla Games, may appeal to a wider audience because of its “radically different” design philosophy.
Most games studios hire a team of artists to create concept art for a game, which is usually impressionistic, rather than being a completely established game world. At Guerrilla Games, though, a ‘vis team’ starts by investigating how the game will work first, and designing functional systems of behaviour: it’s only when those are in place that they start thinking about aesthetics. It’s this difference in design philosophy – common to other areas of design but rare in the gaming world – that adds extra interest to this collection of Killzone concept art.
From hand-drawn concepts through to final in-game renders, and including alien environments, Helghan soldiers, weapons and vehicles, the visuals are all given space, and the attention to detail is staggering. Yet there’s enough text to keep it interesting including, most intriguingly, excerpts from the company’s own style guide.
Helghast troops in action, using guns that the style guide says should be “heavy and cumbersome, not lightweight and comfortable.”