Graphic Design in Video Games

by on July 9, 2022

Video games hold a unique position among the many industries we have in today’s society. The process of creating a game usually involves inspiration from multiple avenues, making it interesting to see how the final product came to be. Today, we will highlight the influence of graphic design in video games, giving you an in-depth look at the roll graphic design plays in bringing your favorite gaming adventures to life!

To most people, a graphic designer is probably just a logo designer, or the guy that makes t-shirts. Sure, that might be part of the job description in some businesses, but it isn’t all about 2D visuals. Through graphic design, we are able to enjoy some of the biggest video games today.

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User Interface Design

A graphic designer is someone that creates the user interface (UI) of a video game. If you’re not too sure what this term entails, its basically all the components that you can interact with in the game in order to access tools, monitor statuses, and manage settings. In a single video game, you’ll definitely encounter multiple user interfaces.

The user interface includes things like your character’s health bar, ammo count, stamina bar and basically every visual element that acts as a way to receive information. To keep players immersed, the UI design of a game needs to be unobtrusive while also being informative at a glance.

For example, in a game like Red Dead Redemption 2, the UI is one that is seamlessly integrated into the game’s world in some aspects. Sure, you have the regular health bar, stamina and their cores. However, when interacting with certain items like a shopkeeper’s inventory, it will be presented to you in the form of a book that is in the game world. This keeps you fully immersed in the game as you browse a catalog, watching your character flip through the pages.

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The UI also includes the main menu, settings page, graphics settings and other components that may not be part of the main game itself.

For UI designers, it’s their job to ensure that a UI is able to provide info to players in a way that won’t make them feel bored or overwhelmed. For some types of games like MMORPGs, the UI is still going to be overwhelming for casual gamers, but for lovers of the genre who prefer to see every stat for items and effects, this works perfectly. Therefore, a UI designer needs to be well-versed in the audience being catered to.

 In some single player video games, the UI is as minimalist as possible, with some titles electing to completely scrap UI elements to give users a completely cinematic gameplay experience. Most titles have an option to toggle off the UI, giving players looking to be transported to a new world a complete experience. For example, God of War which is a brilliant video game that you should play. It implements a minimalist UI that is gorgeous to observe in-game. If you’re looking to try this title out, you can get a secure and cheap God of War key from Gamecamp.gg.

Marketing, Branding and Promotional Materials

Every video game needs a logo, launch screen and social media profiles across the various platforms like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and others. Most important of all, a game needs visual elements that are memorable in the minds of players. Take Assassin’s creed for example, their iconic logo is one that they’ve stuck with since the first game, allowing for variations depending on the setting of their newest release. This practice is one that has led to many video games becoming iconic in the eyes of players. This is especially true for players that have followed a franchise since adolescence into adulthood. 

With the help of graphics design, a video game company can appeal to what players will prioritize. In the promotional material for a pre-order page, companies don’t just list what you’ll get with words anymore. These days, you’ll see a full-fledged set of images for the items you’ll receive as pre-order bonuses such as skins to fully entice you into buying a pre-order.

Graphics designers are also tasked with creating an instantly attention grabbing image from the get-go. This is famous with the color orange. For the release of Overwatch, the logo of the game with the orange highlight has become iconic within the gaming industry. 

Similarly, the Division franchise uses a glowing orange across the board for their UI, agents and promotional material. It’s done so well that you’d instantly know its The Division without even looking closely. That’s how video games become etched into your memory. Eventually, when you’re at the video game store, you’ll be more likely to trust buying The Division because it seems familiar, rather than any random title you’ve never heard of before.

Beyond that, Graphic designers also design the merchandise, posters, stickers and emotes that preserve the game’s popularity outside of the actual gameplay. This secondary income stream is extremely important to studios, so designers need to create items that people are actually interested in purchasing.

Consultation Services

In the video game industry, most of the folks in charge of gameplay and character art might not be versed enough in the art of minimalism, so they enlist the help of a graphic designer to offer advice. This usually centers around making a game simpler, easier to navigate and less overwhelming for a player to handle.

When developers get into heated arguments on how the flow of things should be, a graphic designer can be extremely helpful in figuring out the best ways to bring a vision to life. One of the best evolutions in graphic design can be seen in EA’s FIFA titles. In FIFA 22, you’ll see a full-fledged display of creativity in the interface. Luckily, you can also get the game with a cheap FIFA 22 CD key from the trusted Gamecamp.gg video game store.