Page 1 of 2 12 Last

Thread: A While Coming- Video Game Art in Jonathan Jacques-Belletete's Eyes?

A While Coming- Video Game Art in Jonathan Jacques-Belletete's Eyes?

  1. #1

    A While Coming- Video Game Art in Jonathan Jacques-Belletete's Eyes?

    Hey there all. It's been quite a bit since I last visited here, but I've but caught up in stuff and such. Seems to be a fit place still, and I'm glad for that. After suffering so many delays, it's good to be held together by our mutual love over this game. My own love over it led me to go check out their demonstration at PAX East, which is where this story (and inquiry) lead in.

    After failing to find anything really profound over by the "Pitch Your Game Idea" booth, I went over to get in a bit late to the Deus Ex: Human Revolution demo in the main theater. A nice little segment later and people were called up to ask for questions. I was sort of shocked by it, else I would have sat closer. Nevertheless, I made my way up towards the front and got in line to wait. My original question was going to be about modding, but someone else took that. Not wanting to miss the opportunity for the game makers to see that I was dressed as Adam Jensen (did I forget to mention? I was dressed as Adam Jensen) I quickly came up with a new question.

    Reaching the second to final person to be answered, I did my gravely voice so they could see me in my epic get-up I spent two days preparing. After a bit of a laugh, I asked Jonathan Jacques-Belletete:

    "Where are some of your major artistic influences forms in terms of other works such as specific movies or other games?"

    The question went on for a bit (not that I blame him) and he told me a bit about the cyber-renaissance era and how that came into being with the ideals of the game. Then he said something rather odd to me:

    "I don't usually reference games, because they're kind of circular."

    What he meant by that is that if he references games for an artistic measure, then he'll end up repeating himself and not getting much influence at all. This sort of shocked me, but I didn't interrupt because he had a lot to say beyond that such as how he "doesn't want it to be exactly like The Matrix or Ghost in the Shell". Exiting the theater after it was all done, I spoke my queries into a recorder about the video game comment.

    While I got the context of the answer, I didn't exactly get why he said it. What I'm assuming from it is that he's saying that games to not have a wide artistic art pallet and thus referencing them would be fruitless in terms of crafting art. I can definitely attest that many 16 and 32 bit games looked nearly identical (especially on PC), but looking at a lot of the big names that popped up from before 2007 there is a very keen eye to variety in definition of visuals. Before the cutting-edge graphics days or even the solid graphics days, there was a lot of imagination in the industry I feel.

    But I suppose that merely stating my opinion out would make this just a self rant. How do you all feel on the topic? Is Jacques-Belletete right in the fact that referencing games for direction will get him nowhere? Is there something more to the statement I didn't understand? Were you at PAX East? Post below.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    19
    lol.. i heard/saw that on youtue... so that was you?

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by Ganjadk
    lol.. i heard/saw that on youtue... so that was you?
    Didn't know there was a video. I'd love to see it!

  4. #4
    Me too, I would love to see that.

    I'm not really sure to see a problem with the answer he gave...

    Video games are not as artistic as other forms of communication, to me... (Was it clear? Like I said, my English is awful...)

    By the way... What is JJB's job at Eidos Montreal? Art director I think? What does he do?

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by Facebyface
    Didn't know there was a video. I'd love to see it!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jySngK4S4g

    You're at 8:25.

  6. #6
    Ninjaed

  7. #7
    i dont want video games to become "art"
    http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/1554/deusexhumanrevolutionna.jpg
    the best dx hr screenshot there is no one has seen it!

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by mahmoudd
    i dont want video games to become "art"
    1. Problem for you: They all ready are.

    2. I'm talking about artistic direction.

  9. #9
    Damn! I love how he answered that! I think he meant that constantly looking into video games for influences is a circular way of seeing things. I think he was trying to say how much it can become a vicious circle... In French, "cercle vicieux" is a common "expression"...

    EDIT: In order to create something original, you must live inside a complex world full of numerous references: History, politic, visual art, literature, etc.

  10. #10
    gave me a good laugh this
    Play games for the story

  11. #11
    What?

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by philippemorin123
    EDIT: In order to create something original, you must live inside a complex world full of numerous references: History, politic, visual art, literature, etc.
    I never said it was a bad thing he was pulling from man sources. It is, indeed, the best thing you can do. What he said though is that he actively avoids looking to video games for inspiration.

  13. #13
    Maybe I don't understand JJB correctly, but I hear him saying in the video, at 10:07: "My references are always, like... so many things that are very rarely directly game-related."

    So... I didn't understand that he avoid all that. When did he say that?

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Facebyface
    Not wanting to miss the opportunity for the game makers to see that I was dressed as Adam Jensen (did I forget to mention? I was dressed as Adam Jensen) I quickly came up with a new question.

    Reaching the second to final person to be answered, I did my gravely voice so they could see me in my epic get-up I spent two days preparing.
    You're that guy! We have an interwebs celebrity guys! Hehe. Seriously though, I laughed when I heard you in the PAX Q&A video. Good job!

    Originally Posted by Facebyface
    "I don't usually reference games, because they're kind of circular."
    I thought JJB's answer was brilliant tbh, and the kind of thinking the industry needs more of if it's to avoid the homogeneous trainwreck it's so close to becoming, not just in terms of art design but overall game philosophy. Games nowadays aren't even close to realising the medium's true potential, and so looking inwardly and continually self-referencing will never get anywhere - but when it comes to overall game philosophy the whole issue gets a lot more complex, so I'll forget about that now and scale it back to just the art, which JJB was talking about. (I realise this paragraph is very circular.)

    When I think of great art design in games, the first game that springs to my mind is Bioshock - it may not be the best game ever made, but artistically it was phenomenal. Part of the reason for that is that Irrational Games (then 2K Marin) looked outside of the gaming industry for inspiration: if they'd only looked at other games, we'd have never seen the art-deco style that so defined the game (I genuinely can't think of any other games off the top of my head that use art-deco, if anyone else can please let me know!) and we'd have probably ended up with an underwater version of Gears of War's generic war-torn city. Continue looking only inwards, and over time variety gets less and less as different ideas are discarded as unpopular or currently unfashionable, until you end up with only one art style that all games use. Yes, it's a reductio ad absurdum, but the point stands: looking inwardly stifles variety. You've got to look out of your own area to excel.

    I particularly like JJB's mention of looking at opera for inspiration: it's something I'd never considered with regards to DXHR before, but now he's mentioned it, I can see the influence there. If nothing else, DXHR is a very visually unique game - in my opinion, in a very positive way - and this attitude of looking externally for isnpiration is obviously the primary cause for that. As much as I think the gold filter is overused, I'd rather that than another grey Gears of War clone.

  15. #15
    Ah Ashpolt, I can always count on you.

    There is a bit of a truce in what you say of a "homogeneous trainwreck it's so close to becoming", but that's only when you look at games made in the last 5 years or so. Before then, there was a wide array of people pushing the expression of their designs through the less-than-advanced technology in order to make their game pop out more. One of the major sorts that springs to mind are those titles in the 64-bit era that went from 2D to 3D like Metroid Prime (which I know DX:HR borrows heavily from in the design sense).

    I don't at all see looking at other games for inspiration as "looking inward". It's like saying that if you at all reference anything in your medium, it's going to turn out exactly the same. Take a look at Inception, heavily inspired by The Matrix, but having its own unique style to it. There's nothing wrong with looking to other games so long as you look past the melding stuff that we have in today's AAA industry.

  16. #16
    Originally Posted by Facebyface
    1. Problem for you: They all ready are.

    2. I'm talking about artistic direction.
    music, artworks and 3D models are not artistic enough to be considered "art" by "artsy" people (lack for a better word)

    although baba yetu recently received a grammy
    http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/1554/deusexhumanrevolutionna.jpg
    the best dx hr screenshot there is no one has seen it!

  17. #17
    Originally Posted by mahmoudd
    music, artworks and 3D models are not artistic enough to be considered "art" by "artsy" people (lack for a better word)

    although baba yetu recently received a grammy
    Art is not just what arty people think. It's what everyone thinks and can experience from it. There are reputable people who do video game awards shows (BAFTA) so it's impossible to deny that it is art. If your only definition of art is what "high class" critics tell you, I feel mighty sorry for you my friend.

  18. #18
    I would agree with the OP question, yes not much point in looking at other games for inspiration.

    Also the average player hardly speaks English, let alone is capable of a discourse on the difference between Botticelli and Cimabue's work. So referring to anything too esoteric is a waste of time too.

    When JJB was asked about the polygons, pyramids and triangles in the game, this particular answer wasn't thoroughly explained, but still everyone could understand... it's a reference to the illuminati.
    signature image

  19. #19
    "Hello, i'm Adam Jensen."

    Lol what a hero!
    Play games for the story

  20. #20
    Originally Posted by sonicsidewinder
    "Hello, i'm Adam Jensen."

    Lol what a hero!
    Barely my good sir. I had evidence to back up my claim!

  21. #21
    JJB is avoiding creating a simulacrum, in a visual sense. This is a very normal response from someone who works in any creative industry.

  22. #22
    Originally Posted by Facebyface
    Art is not just what arty people think. It's what everyone thinks and can experience from it. There are reputable people who do video game awards shows (BAFTA) so it's impossible to deny that it is art. If your only definition of art is what "high class" critics tell you, I feel mighty sorry for you my friend.
    art is pretty much the most subjective ever

    why would i bother taking the definition of video game as "art" from anyone? will be subjective in the end
    http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/1554/deusexhumanrevolutionna.jpg
    the best dx hr screenshot there is no one has seen it!

  23. #23
    Art is not subjective. Good art is subjective. That is why Roger Ebert is wrong.

  24. #24
    Originally Posted by Ashpolt
    I thought JJB's answer was brilliant tbh, and the kind of thinking the industry needs more of if it's to avoid the homogeneous trainwreck it's so close to becoming, not just in terms of art design but overall game philosophy. Games nowadays aren't even close to realising the medium's true potential, and so looking inwardly and continually self-referencing will never get anywhere - but when it comes to overall game philosophy the whole issue gets a lot more complex, so I'll forget about that now and scale it back to just the art, which JJB was talking about. (I realise this paragraph is very circular.)

    When I think of great art design in games, the first game that springs to my mind is Bioshock - it may not be the best game ever made, but artistically it was phenomenal. Part of the reason for that is that Irrational Games (then 2K Marin) looked outside of the gaming industry for inspiration: if they'd only looked at other games, we'd have never seen the art-deco style that so defined the game (I genuinely can't think of any other games off the top of my head that use art-deco, if anyone else can please let me know!) and we'd have probably ended up with an underwater version of Gears of War's generic war-torn city. Continue looking only inwards, and over time variety gets less and less as different ideas are discarded as unpopular or currently unfashionable, until you end up with only one art style that all games use. Yes, it's a reductio ad absurdum, but the point stands: looking inwardly stifles variety. You've got to look out of your own area to excel.

    I particularly like JJB's mention of looking at opera for inspiration: it's something I'd never considered with regards to DXHR before, but now he's mentioned it, I can see the influence there. If nothing else, DXHR is a very visually unique game - in my opinion, in a very positive way - and this attitude of looking externally for isnpiration is obviously the primary cause for that. As much as I think the gold filter is overused, I'd rather that than another grey Gears of War clone.
    ... and every once in a while there is a really damn good post.
    Your effort to remain what you are is what limits you.

  25. #25
    Originally Posted by Facebyface
    Art is not subjective. Good art is subjective. That is why Roger Ebert is wrong.
    Why would it even matter if games were "art" or not (and, no, there has never been an actual definition for the term)?
    What, precisely, would change if games were suddenly considered art?

    I never understood this fixation on something so meaningless. I see it as people who feel the need to justify a hobby they have to the general public by giving it some grand, sweeping narrative that is completely irrelevant to the form.

Page 1 of 2 12 Last