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The influences of gothic on games design

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Jack Tidy

on 4 April 2014

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Transcript of The influences of gothic on games design

The Influences Of Gothic On Games Design
Impact On Level Design
A Gothic theme within games design would force the designer to think differently about level design, instead of placing a church in a town, they may separate it and put it up on a tall hill to dramatize the building making it more intense/scary. Isolating it making it feel lonely creating emphasis on the horror atmosphere.
Times and Eras
Gothic will influence heavily on the aesthetical design of the game, making the designer think more about the era or time in which the game takes place to make it aesthetically correct to fit the atmosphere. For instance a game set in the victorian times would want to focus heavily on the Gothic theme to make it more eerie/scary, whereas a modern game would have little focus on this and have fewer gothic themes.
Different Realities
The gothic theme is also driving in players by creating an interesting paradox of worlds where they are taken away from reality and placed into a new and exciting world of dark adventure or horror. Its interesting to consumers as they are differentiating from the norm, its shaking up what they are used to and giving them something completely new that throws them off and catches them by surprise.
Genre changes
The gothic theme is beginning to bleed into multiple genres within the gaming industry, including kids games with ip's such as Alice in Wonderland which previously is known as a joyful fantasy have now been adapted by the gothic theme to create new alternate versions, featuring dark elements, such as level and character design.
Increasing the Industry
It also gives the consumer something relevant and common known to them as the dark elements surrounding the gothic theme are instantly related to scary/eerie/uncomfortable feelings with the dark semiotics and symbols making them feel or act in a certain way therefore they know what to expect and can also drive veterans of the the theme to get involved with games even if they previously haven't. An example of this is The Witcher series, where the games have been developed from the books, so previous harcore fans of the books who have never played games properly before, will see this and be encouraged to play. Because they relate to the relevant Gothic themes within the game and it invites them as the familiarities within the theme entice them.


An example of this is in the inudstry is shown clearly architecturally by assassins creed where the large gothic churches are always the largest buildings shooting into the sky drawing the player toward them and emphasizing them.
World of Warcraft:Cataclysm uses heavy Gothic influences to create an eerie atmosphere in the zone Gilneas. This works well and is very effective as the time zone of the game correlates well with the Gothic theme making the scenes and design work effectively transmitting the experience to the viewer; it doesn't create feelings of happiness and joy.
Even Ip's in characters such as Disney's Mickey Mouse which is widely known as an innocent, cute children's icon, has been developed into a darker, more sinister game with Epic Mickey, broadening the target audience to a larger audience.
Silent Hill is a great example of a Gothic influenced game that creates an alternate reality which would amaze the player placing them in a universe that awes them and changes their norm.
Thief is another great example of a gothic inspired game that places the user doing something they never do, stealing, again changing their perception of normal forcing them to do tasks new and intersting to them.
Other examples can be found in newer IP's such as dark souls which feature the relevant themes but also introduces a new world and story which invites players to experience the new yet still familiar content
Gothic Textures and Industry Development
Level designers within Games Design will sometimes use Gothic influences in their textures, even if the object is not directly related to Gothic Architecture or influences. They will take pictures of existing real world materials used within Gothic Architecture and apply them to their work, and other areas, helping to develop industry due to websites such as CG Textures which are commonly used by Students & Novices to help further their progress and abilities, also improving the quality of their work. Gothic therefore is helping drive the industry inspiring upcoming games designers on a daily basis.
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