How to create an interesting game setting? Level Two: Graphics

    Discussions on whether the “grafon” is important have been ongoing since the advent of the first game. In this article, we will not consider the quality of the graphics, but rather its impact on the player’s worldview.

    In an article published on August 19, we discussed the influence of texts and setting on the formation of a sense of flow during the gameplay. But most players love with their eyes, so now we will focus on the role of graphics in the fate of the game project.

    Color gamut and lighting

    In the cinema, color gamut and filters are of great importance: sometimes only by these characteristics it is possible if you do not recognize the film, then at least determine its genre.

    In games, the color scheme determines a person’s feelings and directly affects his immersion in the game world. It must be selected depending on the setting, plot and genre of the game. At the same time, it will not be superfluous to get acquainted with materials on the psychology of color, and even better - to conduct several tests on living people.

    For example, a rich orange color in combination with red causes a feeling of fear and discomfort. It is in these colors that horror is most often performed in which you need to deal with monsters.


    Amnesia: the Dark Descent

    Silent Hill: Homecoming

    Shades of yellow and brown are associated with the disease: remember the game "Pestilence (Utopia)."

    Most people feel anxiety in the twilight bluish light. It is this color scheme that is characteristic of thrillers.

    Alan Wake

    Fatal Frame 5

    Over the years of the existence of color cinema and colorful games, certain stereotypes have formed in our minds, and developers can use them to adjust the player to a setting atmosphere.

    When choosing a color scheme for Plarium strategies, we analyzed the perception of various settings by players. For example, the setting for the “Rules of War” project is a post-apocalypse atmosphere similar to Fallout, but with sci-fi elements. Therefore, the game is dominated by brown, orange and steel shades: rust, scorched Wasteland and future technologies.

    Styling an interface The

    current trend of creating interfaces is to move from complex to simple. This can be seen in the evolution of many games:

    Dragon Age: Origins

    Dragon Age II

    Guardians of Middle-earth

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

    In social and mobile games, the user most often interacts with the interface, and it is he who forms the first idea of ​​the game. A convenient and beautiful interface is one of the main factors affecting retention. The devil, as you know, is in the details. Therefore, it is important to pay sufficient attention to the design of the interface, so that the player immerses himself in the selected setting as much as possible, and constantly pop-up windows do not knock him out of the stream state. It is necessary to create a balanced picture in which each element serves a specific purpose.

    The decoration of the drop-down windows will help tell a story or highlight some details. The sharp corners of the dies, the decorative elements in the form of blades look aggressive and can convey the sensations of a visit to the enemy's den. At the same time, curls and patterns indicate sophistication and peacefulness - such elements will be appropriate in the game about elves or other fabulous creatures.

    For example, to convey the Greek setting in the game Sparta: War of Empires, we used design elements such as columns, flags, helmets, Greek letters and patterns.

    The color scheme should meet the expectations of the player: green - yes, red - no. Win or lose, accept or reject.

    Background and locations

    In Western industry, the term “setting” is most often used to denote the scene of a game. If the details of the interface over time become familiar and almost invisible to users, then the world and locations constantly affect the player’s worldview.

    Mass Effect III

    Normandy’s familiar to Mass Effect players: sci-fi style design and many details - from collection figures and awards to family photos. The room gives the impression of a habitable place, and the ability to change the details of the environment helps the player to associate himself with the main character.

    In the nineties, developers could not afford to detail locations and add items that could be interacted with. But now there are many games in which the locations are unique, they have their own personality. And they influence not only the player’s feelings, but also better reveal the personality of the main character.

    The Wolf Among Us The

    correct background design helps bring the player into the setting atmosphere. Ensure the authenticity of what is happening on the screen.


    In social and mobile games, the background is often poorly developed, since the player's main focus is on the active area. In the game Sparta: War of Empires, we managed to move away from the traditional “square” concept by expanding the area of ​​interaction and visual rounding of streets. The player’s policy is surrounded by mountains and the sea, and dividing the city into levels allows you to create a three-dimensional effect.

    In the strategy “Conflict: the art of war” we created an animated background that enlivens the overall picture and gives the impression of constant activity of the environment.

    It is important that the type of locations, background and buildings create a sense of authenticity of what is happening. In The Walking Dead by TellTale Games, the background tells its own story: as you progress through the game, traces of destruction and dilapidation become more pronounced. The more the main characters despair, the darker the background becomes. An environment that does not fit the setting and does not fit into the overall picture of the universe is usually used to highlight or strengthen plot twists.

    The Walking Dead

    Inconsistency of background details to a setting or violation of the laws of physics is often perceived as a banter, and is relevant only if the fun is intentional.

    Goat simulator

    At the same time, there is no need for excessive reliability. The average person is used to seeing white Greek sculptures made of marble. If you follow the canon and paint the statues in different colors, users are unlikely to appreciate such authenticity.

    Characters and Techniques

    Game of Thrones

    The Walking Dead

    Character appearance is the easiest way to control a player’s emotions. Being in a state of flow, a person projects an idealized image of himself on the main character. And he will act on the basis of his own concepts of good and evil. A great example of manipulation at the expense of appearance is a banner ad offering us to save a seductive heroine.

    Moreover, every detail of the character’s appearance must be believable or at least justified.

    Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

    Text descriptions help you better understand the purpose of some weapons and defense details. But think broader even when creating an art or model: check to see if the unit allows its armor to shoot and move normally, and whether its image matches the general concept.

    XCOM: Enemy Within

    It is equally important to know the portrait of the target audience and act on the basis of the interests of potential players. For example, World of Tanks is popular among older men who are interested in history and value authenticity. A realistic setting forces Wargaming specialists to conduct detailed research and seek the help of history consultants.

    The “Conflict: The Art of War” strategy from Plarium is translated into 7 languages, and the military equipment in it corresponds to the real military weapons of different countries. Thus, although the action of the “Conflict” takes place in the near future, each player can find military units that are in service with their home country.

    At the first stages, the player masters the mechanics and tests the combat system - he does not have time to go deep into the details. But later, after exploring the surface world of the game, he begins to look for context. Additional hints and puzzles hidden in graphic elements help to enhance the feeling of flow. The more curious details in the character’s appearance, the more interesting it is for players to find and interpret them.

    Alice: Madness Returns

    We perceive most of the information about the game world visually, therefore graphics are one of the main means of conveying the atmosphere, atmosphere, setting. Modern indie games are an illustration of how you can captivate the user with an interesting picture, plot, music, without having at the disposal of a large budget.
    In the next article, we will discuss how music, voices, and sounds influence engagement in gameplay.

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