By Rodrigo de Deus

5 Differences in Skillset for 3D Artists Working in Architecture and Gaming

Architectural knowledge has been used in the gaming industry for quite some time now, as it helps create designs that can truly astonish players.

Since architecture and gaming are in the process of cross-industry collaboration, 3D artists working in both industries can use their skills to generate results that are innovative and beautiful at the same time.

Still, it's evident that gaming and architecture require a different set of skills. While gamers want their design to look good, architects want their design to be something more, to be as realistic as it can possibly be.

Today, most of the environments in games are landscapes and buildings, so it's more than obvious that 3D artists working on them will need skills in architecture and landscaping, aside from gaming design.

This is where a big difference between architects and gaming artists shows itself – for gaming, you only need a general design of an object, while architecture focuses on all the little details.

The advancement of architecture in gaming

If you ask many modern architects, they will say that working on a game is perhaps one of the most exciting but also most creative experiences in their career. Because of this, the quality of architecture in gaming is constantly advancing, making games more impactful, realistic, engaging, and detailed.

It's all because 3D artists with knowledge in architecture brought a sense of sophistication to the table. So, video game developers, landscape artists, and architects should work together as the end results are much better.

The architect's side

3D artists working in architecture are concerned with making their design as realistic as possible. To most of them, video games are all about coding and they don't see what gaming has to do with architecture. They aren't aware of how gaming could help them bring their design to perfection.

The game developer's side

On the other hand, 3D artists working in gaming fail to see the relevance architecture has when it comes to developing games.

They don't understand the value of architecture and how it can help make their games more realistic and therefore, more believable and impactful. This mostly comes from the fact that they don't actually understand how architecture works.

The truth is, landscape design and architecture require a highly specialized set of skills that 3D artists need to have to create what game developers have in mind. These skills often cost a lot which makes them non-affordable for most game developers.

But there's a bigger picture here. By working together, game designers and 3D architectural artists help expand the development and design of video games and architecture and make it evolve into a form of art.

Based on all this, there are some obvious differences between working with a game development team only and including landscape artists and architects in the process:

● Including landscape artists and architects in game development means bringing on experienced artists that work critically, iteratively, and conceptually.

● While there are some similarities in regards to tools and processes that architects and game developers use, the end products are quite different.

● 3D artists who work in the architecture industry are more focused on the user experience and how it contributes to the gameplay concept.

● 3D environments that architects create are able to enhance gameplay and foster deeper immersion.

● The biggest differences between gaming and architecture are technological advancements of virtual reality, rendering capacity, game engines, etc. This calls for a deeper knowledge of architecture.

● While gaming artists worry about the game itself, the architects worry about how the game will look in detail as today's gaming demands for digital environments to look more realistic.

So, 3D games need both architects and game developers to create digital environments that will be something more than just an enclosure as this will enhance gameplay and improve the gaming experience, making the game more enjoyable and believable.

When environments are just there for the sake of enclosure, they can become incongruent and even distracting.

Now that we know some of the main differences in how game developers and architects approach their work, we can point out some other differences that emphasize the importance of architecture in gaming.

1. Architectural narrative

The architecture and landscapes in gaming are based on real-world institutional, physical, and temporal constraints.

Therefore, 3D architects need to come up with customized environment designs. To do that, they need an architectural narrative as well as all the constraints that come with it.

This represents a big difference between game developers and architects simply because developers commit to one genre or style while architects see a bigger picture.

They are more concerned with how environments exist in the real world so they use their skills to give their environments a story, even a history, thus contributing to the entire gameplay.

2. Integrating architecture and landscape

When it comes to creating an integrated and realistic gaming experience, it all comes down to the integration between landscapes and architecture.

The development of this integration has to be as close as possible as this is a critical factor that determines the entire gaming experience. This is where 3D architecture steps in once more and helps to understand how to adapt natural, real-world dynamics to the gameplay requirements.

3. Building design

Game developers and 3D artists mostly view buildings as nothing more than sheer images while architects help make those buildings designed specifically. They are purpose-built for the game narrative, concept, and style.

Gaming states that buildings should be there while architects concern themselves with creating unique and amazing buildings that take the gameplay experience to a whole new level.

4. Details

Architecture is all about rendering details as it helps avoid space abstraction that takes away from the gaming experience. It also helps give a more refined and artistic feel to the game style. When it comes to the level of detail, consistency is everything.

This is where architects need to use their knowledge and skills to create realistic details with consistency as these details will guide gameplay perception and movement. Details have to be visually pleasing and rich.

5. Environment and characters

Every game can benefit from working with 3D artists who have knowledge in architecture as they can bring real-world architectural modularity and visual literacy to the gameplay. In a way, architects help players understand the world around their gameplay as well as the goals they need to achieve.

By creating believable characters and environments, the architects use their skills to improve the experience and clarity of the game, rather than being focused on the sheer design of both.

Modern games are all about providing the most realistic gaming experience to the players. That only means that architecture and gaming industries will continue to collaborate in order to create the highest quality experience in virtual form.

To do that, they need 3D artists with skill sets from both worlds to create games that make players feel deeply connected, embodied, and immersed.

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Architectural knowledge has been used in the gaming industry for quite some time now, as it helps create designs that can truly astonish players.

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