Artistic Design in Video Games

Terraria

AND Design

OR Art

NOT Movies

Terraria Banner

[I believe that this post is geared towards someone who has an interest in the visual design and artistic form of Terraria. My reader is someone who is looking to find content about the various styles and designs that are used in Terraria. However, they will not find content about films considering the keyword “movies” is completely excluded.]

What can be accomplished through the use of modern video game design programs is almost limitless. Prior to the 1990s, video games were rendered in 2D and were often very linear. Despite the countless 3D modelling programs available to us today there are still some popular video game franchises that rely on two dimensional game design. An excellent example of this would be Terraria, an action-adventure sandbox game, which uses a two dimensional 16-bit style.

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What separates Terraria from other 2D games is its use of vivid colours and particle effects which contrast a relatively simple landscape. Also, The sprites included in Terraria are very detailed and are hardly ever reused more than once. Although most 2D games are very static, Terraria manages to make the game feel relatively dynamic by making the background move in relation to the player. The background also changes based on the characters environmental/biome location. For example, if a player were to enter a cave biome the background would switch to an underground theme. This adds to the game’s artistic diversity considering there is a new visual theme for each individual biome.

Terraria seems to encourage players to alter the game’s standard landscape into something more abstract and colourful using the various tools the game has to offer. Being a sandbox game, the landscape essentially becomes the player’s canvas allowing the construction of intricate structures such as this. Player’s can collect and colour various blocks to use in the construction of whatever they choose whether it be a monument or a house.

Having invested several hours into Terraria, I never once found the game’s visual design bland. This is because the environment was always being changed either by me or by the game itself. Overall, Terraria makes use of arcade style graphics while adding a modern kick through the use of unique visual effects. This ultimately results in a continuously refreshing video game in an artistic sense. Personally, I have never been a fan of retro style graphics because of how bland they are aesthetically, however, Terraria is anything but bland.

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2 comments

  1. kmccandl · October 10, 2015

    You should check out Starbound too! It’s still in development and the beta is pretty sweet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kieran CR · October 12, 2015

      I am very temped to be honest! Currently playing through Terraria’s 1.3 features but I will definitely check out Starbound once I’m finished!

      Liked by 1 person

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