The Art of Braid, Part III.

David Hellman has posted The Art of Braid, Part III over at his blog. This entry goes into a lot of detail about the early art concepts, as they developed once we became serious about trying to lay out a level.

World 2 Background

This entry makes it sound like I just kept saying “No, that’s no good! That’s no good either!” about 100 times. Hmmm, maybe that’s how it was.

7 thoughts on “The Art of Braid, Part III.”

  1. It makes sense for you to be picky though, and the end result looks all the better for the multiple iterations.

    It reminds me of a recent agreement a friend and I made. He’s more of a programmer than an artist and I’m more artist than programmer. We were going to do an art-for-code exchange where I’d make 3D assets for him and he’d help me with my coding. On second thought, however, we realized it would be much better to do a “3D-tutorial for programming-tutorial” type thing. The reason being that he and I both knew that while I would get good code from him, he might disagree with the aesthetic of any assets I made and I’d have to remake them indefinitely. Also, the whole “teach a man to fish” thing.

    Obviously your situation is different since you paid for David’s work. That would have been an interesting turn of events if instead you had paid him to teach you to paint in his style. However, no doubt it would have increased Braid’s production time significantly if you had essentially gone to art school for the project.

  2. Hi Jon,

    Sorry to post this here, but I couldn’t find an email contact link.

    Anyway, are you aware that there’s a bunch of links to spammy medical sites hidden on your website? If you “view source” on the main news page, and pay careful attention to the post about ‘first draft asian language translations’, you’ll see hundreds of links and “googlebait” text for prescription drugs, hidden away inside a zero-width zero-height box. Your site visitors can’t see it, but Google can, and either (if you’re lucky) merely boosts the spammers’ rank a little as a result of the links, or (if you’re unlucky) you get slapped down in the ranks for linking to them.

    I just thought you should know. They seem to be embedded in the news post, not the comments, so I would recommend changing your password and/or upgrading your blogging software to get the latest security updates.

    Hope that helps,
    – c

  3. Thanks. Arrgh, I thought I had fixed this, but apparently it persists. There is some kind of bug in wordpress and-or mysql that lets spammers hit the machine like this. I am not sure how to stop it at this point…

  4. I think the search for the ‘right’ art style has been worth it, even if it meant saying ‘nope, that’s not it either’ a lot of times. Braid is incredibly unique and good looking. It’s obvious that only good artists can accomplish this; also look at for example Aquaria and it’s excellent art. I’m sure it’s always difficult for an artist to figure out what kind of art direction would fit (even if they are the actual ‘game designers’ themselves).

    @Seth: It seems to me you two are making two games, right? Why not choose the most appealing project and work on that together?

  5. In response to Erik:

    Well, I’ve tried that tack a couple of times. Unfortunately we seem to have fairly different ideas on game design so it turns out that one or the other of us would end up not very enthusiastic about the project. And for indie projects enthusiasm is the lifeblood, currency or whatever other metaphor you’d like to use.

    Basically, we both want to see our own visions without compromise. A little like Mr. Blow here, I guess, and a big part of the reason he was so picky with the art for Braid. There, now I’ve brought it full circle and avoided hijacking the comments.

  6. Really cool to see. Sadly this is about ten times the iteration the art style of your average “triple A” game gets.

    For my weekend project I’ve found myself doing separate “aesthetic prototypes” for resolving questions about the art style I’m going for… sort of like concept art carried one step closer to looking good in-game. Most devs are familiar with the idea of prototyping for gameplay mechanics, but if you have a new and unproven art style in your head I find it’s useful to solve those problems separately before integrating both into the game in earnest.

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