Art Director….Art Director…….ART DIRECTOR.
Doesn’t matter how many times you say it, it sounds really important. So what exactly does the role involve? Well it seems that the games industry (and film) works very much like an ordinary business with management ‘breathing down’ on employers’ backs, getting them to work harder and faster. An Art Director is very much like “management” and instead of ‘breathing down’ on employers’ backs they simply inspire and motivate creativity. The Art Director works closely with the game designer to set the style, art and overall gameplay. They ensure that the art team maintains the objectives set and works within the budget for the game resources. Good directors can affect the outcome of a game’s visuals and the 3D components. An art director for a game has a slightly different role to that of a film art director. Film art usually involves setting and designing scenery, clothing, characters and props. All the things designed are either found or made in real life and viewed through the camera. Only the things seen in the shot need to be designed. With games; the scenery, props, clothing and characters have to be virtually made and everything within the player’s environment has to be included. To become an art director for either film or games is not easy and that is probably why it pays well. You need a lot of previous experience in the field that you want to go into. For games you need to have worked as a lead artist on a major project or worked on two to three successful games that went on the market. You can’t simply jump into the role since the more experience you have the better your understanding of creating a successful game and the better your creative judgment. An Art Director doesn’t do the actual art for the game, but they influence the project. I personally would like to become an Art Director at some stage in my life but would definitely love to build up the experience to get to that stage. I can’t imagine working in the industry and not having done any art for it at all. For me to be successful in the role I would make sure I also have the skill to be able to motivate and appreciate good artwork. To hold the responsibility of defining future game artwork is a major responsibility and therefore the title or “Art Director” is fitting for a role of this importance.