How to be an explorer

For this task I have been working with Ross, Josh, Josh, Kiaran and Bethan. We have been tasked with collecting 3 concept arts from games that contain foliage, analysing them using several techniques and then using questionnaires to gain qualitative and quantitative data. The questionnaires can be considered primary research, similar to the Westgate gardens research trip, where we learned more about real foliage and gained many resources in the form of photos and audio recordings.

Image 1: Elder Scrolls Online

Source: https://www.vg247.com/2012/08/29/elder-scrolls-online-concept-art-shows-skyrim-deserts-and-more/

This concept art displays scale through its use of an expansive forest stretching into the distance past mountain ranges, the colours of the forest and snow are bright and thus convey a sense of life. The mountains are not overbearing and the area between the mountain ranges appear spacious and not at all claustrophobic, creating the appearance of an explorable environment without making it appear intimidating. Our results show that many people considered this an appealing environment and as such would visit if they could, most people considered the environment to appear non-threatening and even calm.

Image 2: Halo 4

Source: https://slashleyluke.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/self-initiated-project-for-games-design-sketches-2/

This concept art uses dark colours and density of foliage to convey an oppressive environment, it is designed to make the character appear isolated and vulnerable. The light shafts highlight how most of the area is obscured from direct sunlight, the areas to the edge of the image are darker, suggesting the surrounding area is dangerous to the character. The results below display how people considered the environment to be alien, as it was mostly considered a sci-fi game set in a mysterious environment untouched by man, either an unexplored part of our world or another planet entirely.

Image 3: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Source: http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2010/09/20/enslaved-concept-art-gallery.aspx

In this concept art colour is used to great effect, it gives a sense of flourishing life through its use of colours reminiscent of sping, bright reds and warm greens make the environment inviting, even amidst the abandoned appearance of it. The use of flowers and birds suggest the environment is habitable, even after it has been left by humans, overall this art aptly conveys a sense of flourishing life through its colour pallet, though this is juxtaposed to the theme of humans abandoning the area. The idea of juxtaposition is also shown in our results, people were mixed between considering this environment eerie or tranquil, they were also quite mixed on whether or not they would visit if they could as the image conveys themes of both isolation and flourishing life.

Qualitative questions:

  • How do you feel when looking at this image? (Question 1)
  • How does the foliage affect the atmosphere? (Question 4)
  • If you could/couldn’t improve the image, explain why. (Question 6)

Quantitative questions:

  • What genre would you associate this image with? Fantasy/Horror/Sci-fi (Question 2)
  • Would you visit if you could? Yes/no (Question 3)
  • Could you improve this? Yes/No (Question 5)

Results:

Qualitative table:

How to be an explorer Qualitative table

(Click to expand)

Quantitative graphs:

How to be an explorer Quantitative charts

(Click to expand)

The results we gathered allow us to quickly see what people thought about each image, I believe our results were good as we had 6 questions, 3 images and 10 participants with an even split between qualitative and quantitative questions and the research was primary as we collected the information ourselves. Our results show information such as the fact people unanimously considered the Elder Scrolls Concept art to be Fantasy and that most people found all three environments appealing enough to visit, with the Halo one seeming the least inviting due to its more threatening appearance. We also found that people generally didn’t consider any of the concept arts intimidating enough to be considered horror, which is good as none of them were so the art accurately conveys the genre. Overall I don’t think the research could have been improved without simply asking more questions or asking more people to improve the accuracy of results.

Raw Data:

Person 1:

Elder Scrolls Online

  1. Powerful
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Adds mystery
  5. Yes
  6. The colours are too soft

Halo 4

  1. Small
  2. Sci-fi
  3. Yes
  4. Alive
  5. No
  6. It makes a bold statement

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

  1. Abandoned
  2. Sci-fi
  3. Yes
  4. Overpowering
  5. Yes
  6. Dim the colours down

Person 2:

Elder Scrolls Online

  1. Peaceful
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Depth
  5. Yes
  6. Could be darker in foreground

Halo 4

  1. Peaceful
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Like in Avatar
  5. No
  6. Good as is

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

  1. Distracted
  2. Fantasy
  3. No
  4. Busy
  5. Yes
  6. Less foliage

Person 3:

Elder Scrolls Online

  1. Uninterested
  2. Fantasy
  3. No
  4. Foliage compliments the image well
  5. No
  6. No interest

Halo 4

  1. Entertained
  2. Sci-fi
  3. Yes
  4. Adds mystery
  5. No
  6. No need to improve

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

  1. Curious
  2. Fantasy
  3. No
  4. Overgrown
  5. No
  6. Atmosphere is just fine

Person 4:

Elder Scrolls Online

  1. Dull
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Mysterious
  5. No
  6. Clearly shows the world

Halo 4

  1. Intrigued
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Unnerving and creepy
  5. Yes
  6. More animal life

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

  1. Depressed
  2. Horror
  3. No
  4. Eerie
  5. No
  6. Juxtaposition works well

Person 5:

Elder Scrolls Online

  1. Free
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Natural rough look
  5. No
  6. Looks fine

Halo 4

  1. Adventurous
  2. Sci-fi
  3. No
  4. Sets the scene
  5. No
  6. Looks alien

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

  1. Weird
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Aged look
  5. No
  6. Plants give desired look

Person 6:

Elder Scrolls Online

  1. Endangered
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Shading/dark areas
  5. No
  6. Fine as it is

Halo 4

  1. Amazed
  2. Sci-fi
  3. Yes
  4. Range of colours make it seem alive
  5. Yes
  6. Brighter colours

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

  1. Isolated
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Shows abandonment
  5. No
  6. The colours make it unique

Person 7:

Elder Scrolls Online

  1. Adventurous
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Makes it look expansive
  5. No
  6. Conveys scale well

Halo 4

  1. Lost
  2. Sci-fi
  3. No
  4. Trees make the area dark
  5. No
  6. Seems like somewhere to explore

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

  1. Calm
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Makes it seem peaceful
  5. No
  6. The area looks beautiful

Person 8:

Elder Scrolls Online

  1. Powerful
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Looks like it can be explored
  5. No
  6. Gives a good sense of adventure

Halo 4

  1. Exposed
  2. Sci-fi
  3. No
  4. Living
  5. No
  6. It looks fine

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

  1. Alone
  2. Fantasy
  3. No
  4. Desolate
  5. No
  6. It looks like an abandoned city

Person 9:

Elder Scrolls Online

  1. Like an adventurer
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Small trees give sense of distance
  5. No
  6. Shows size of world well

Halo 4

  1. Curious
  2. Fantasy
  3. No
  4. Untouched by man
  5. No
  6. Looks good

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

  1. Tranquil
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Taken over by nature
  5. No
  6. The foliage is used to good effect

Person 10:

Elder Scrolls Online

  1. Cold
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Makes it seem like winter
  5. No
  6. Fine as it is

Halo 4

  1. Nervous
  2. Sci-fi
  3. No
  4. The foliage blocks a lot of light
  5. No
  6. It gets the message across

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

  1. Calm
  2. Fantasy
  3. Yes
  4. Shows nature’s power
  5. Yes
  6. Add more animals
Advertisements