The Artist is not simply an individual anymore. No longer is something a product of a single man or woman’s vision. Instead it requires the dynamic feedback and cooperation between many peoples. When we see, buildings being constructed no one person is solely responsible for its construction. Instead it is the effort of many draftsmen and a group of investors who come up with the idea and then many construction workers and others to finalize its creation. This is like the creation of many video games.
This week I played a personal favorite of mine Total War- Warhammer by Creative Assembly and Sega, who are using in this game the intellectual property of Games Workshop Warhammer. Games Workshop Creative assembly has been creating Total War games for years now ranging from Imperial Rome, to the Napoleonic wars.Creative Assembly All of them have been based on historical time periods and the game progresses through them allowing for win conditions to be achieved by a multitude of factions and groups. This version is no different however this is not based but instead a fantasy world thanks to Games Workshop. Not only is this the first game without a historical context but also the first game to incorporate flying units and hero/monster units. Never before did you see mor
e than gunpowder weapons in previous games, but now dragons magic and steam tanks are fair game.
What makes this game interesting in terms of finding the artist is the fact that the intellectual property has already been fleshed out for years thanks to Games Workshop as it has had years of Table Top war gaming developing its setting and characters. But the face of this game is not what it really is. It’s Aesthetics per Robin Hunicke, Marc Leblanc, and Robert Zubek in MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research. You see they split the idea of Aesthetics on page 2, Sensation, Fantasy, Narrative, Challenge, Fellowship, Discovery, Expression, and Submission are what defines the game. In this game I, can say we have,
- Sensation, you feel good when you face the o
dds and come out on top.
- Fantasy, the added heroes, quests, and win conditions helps you role play to your hearts content.
- Narrative, the back and forth of power within the world allows for you to designate enemies as rivals even though they may just be Ai.
- Challenge, from maneuvering the world to controlling armies of thousands of units how you navigate the obstacles define how you win and lose.
- Discovery, every game is different and every round has the chance for something new, the Ai will not always fight or ally with you must learn this for yourself.
This aesthetics relate to the game play, although the designs are not their own how they interact with the player is what defines the game. So, when we look for the artists who have created this game we must look at the development team. Those who created the mechanics that allow us to roleplay, have a challenge or discover new options upon new. While the property of Total War is owned by Sega, and Warhammer is a property of Games Workshop we don’t credit them as Artists in terms. The mechanics and there for the aesthetics are all part of the development team at Creative assembly. “Mechanics are the various actions, behaviors and control mechanisms afforded to the player within a game context” (pg. 3) Every person at the development team is responsible for creating a mechanic of the game in some manner, from art rendering, to AI programming. They used the collective talents to create Total War- Warhammer.
Hunicke, Robin , Marc LeBlanc, and Robert Zubek. “MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research.” Game Theory Applications in Network Design (2004): 1-5. Web.