Artbook review time!
I don’t remember if I have ever made a post about the Starcraft 2 art book I had before, but now I am because I just beat the first expansion of the Starcraft 2 game series. Honestly, I did not appreciate it as much as I do now. I bought it because I found it on Ebay for a really good deal. And I always thought the artwork Blizzard produces has been some of my most inspirational and contemporary influences. I even have a very old Warcraft artbook from the first games, and you can see how much Blizzard has improved since.
There is a lot of irony in all this simply because back last November when I had gone to CTN Expo, I met a really cool artist there and he told me NOT to play games. Like, I’ve been told this countless of times, but actually, I didn’t listen. It’s not because I don’t value their opinions. I really didn’t plan to play. They told me that there are videos online that you could watch on youtube that has other people playing. However, sometimes, I get these urges that don’t go away till they are satisfied. I blame it on my genes because I think that my family may have addiction problems? And these are my addictions…? hahaha… I actually did stop playing a lot of games, and I only began to play again after graduating from college. I didn’t own any of the new game consoles, and I almost feel ridiculous saying this to a gamer as much as I hate telling bacon lovers or anyone that I hate bacon. (I know, I can hear the gasps from all around even through space.) Can’t really be called a gamer anymore if one stops playing?? There was one occasion a good friend of mine lent me his DS to play The World Ends With You, which is an all around fun and very interesting fun game to play! The mechanics on that is pretty neat not to mention good music. And I love good music!
But overall, I feel like I should start understanding games again, because I am too out-of-touch with the current games now. Like, what does a gamer actually look for when they play a game anyway? Maybe this is a bad thing that I think too much. I analyze too much. But actually, I would rather work for a company that thinks about its consumers a little more instead of creating stupid games that are just all design and no content. This is almost all too apparent. I appreciate good design, but I’d rather it have some quality in other areas too. But it also goes a lot to say, that at least companies know how to market and so they invest in good designers.
Also, a side note. I finally got a taste of Far Cry 3 and its really interesting..!
In essence, though, as I flipped through the book, I had a revelation, that although this book may have a lot of artwork — it is completely filled, front and back with art, this is probably only a quarter of the art they had to produce. Why? Well, as I played this game, there were so many units to memorize, so many building constructions to remember to build (not to mention, you need to remember what comes out of those constructions), and there are upgrades for almost a lot of those units and constructs. Plenty of characters, we all know Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan, and new additions like Tychus — who is helping me develop a southern accent, Arcturus, etc. Concept art for those guys!
The comments inside the book did say that the main focus of this first expansion was the Terrans. So there was more Terran art than there was Protoss or Zerg. I have yet to play the second expansion of this game, but I can only imagine the main focus of the next two games are going to be about each of the other two races. I’m guessing, but I need to play the next ones, ey?
My appreciation comes from the fact that since I now know these units better, such as what their role in the game is, the artwork makes more sense to me. The book itself has very little captions for all the pieces in here, in fact, it only gets wordy at the very beginning with the ‘foreword’ and introduction. Concept art is not about pretty art like regular fine art. Concept art is a solution to a question. What is this thing’s purpose? How does it function, and how does it serve the story? One should always ask this when one decides to create concept art. It’s just not all about the pretty little gadgets that you think makes it look cool. It’s aesthetic and its good design at the same time.
Anyway, here’s some pretty photos from the book to look at.