Learning To Make Art For Computer Games

Trying to help/nudge Number One Son toward Learning To Make Art For Computer Game-s.

Framing questions:

  • why?
  • What are the various possible art-related roles in game production?
  • What are some of the games that represent the kind of art I’d like to make?
    • Not the style, but the complexity, etc.
    • Style, not complexity
  • How does a game artist fit into the overall process?
  • What role does hand-art-making play in the process?
  • What software do artists use?
  • Are there any games where it’s cheap/free to stick your own art objects into (mods)? For each one, note the (a) file format needed, and (b) software used most commonly to create stuff. Include Virtual World environments.
  • What online communities are there for game artists? What conferences do they attend? What's being discussed in those places?

Some intro links:


  • Fundamentals of Game Development (2010) ISBN:0763778958 - gives a sense of the roles and macro process for a decent-sized company, but not much on the details of art process.
  • How to Create Fantasy Art for Video Games: A Complete Guide to Creating Concepts, Characters, and Worlds ISBN:0764145045 - understanding of process I got, not sure I believe how "standard" it is...
    • initial concept art is done by hand (drawing, painting)
    • if game is mostly 2D, then analog art is often scanned and hand-traced to jump-start digital versions
    • if game is mostly 3D, then analog art is just a basis for digital creation from scratch, often by a totally different person.

Having read enough horror stories about places like Electronic Arts, my bias is for him to think in terms of Indie development. But of course the "coolest" games from his perspective have huge production values/budget... But still...

Action plan

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