A Serious House on Serious Earth
April 12, 2012 8:36 PM   Subscribe

Arkham City Art Direction And Semiotics part 1, part 2, part 3.
posted by Artw (9 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
As a man I'm flesh and blood: I can be ignored, I can be destroyed. But as a symbol, as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting.
posted by mediated self at 9:35 PM on April 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

I haven not yet had time to completely dig through this article but I have recently had the art of level design rattling around my head. The idea that level design can be as strong of a narrative and artistic force in a game as dialogue and cutscenes is a really cool one and one that, in my opinion, is going to be necessary concept to tackle on the mediums way to being an art.

For an art to move forward people need to start digging into what makes the medium linguistically unique. Paintings have illusionistic space and modeling, film can capture and play with time and motion. Video games have this idea of explorable space to play with in ways that other mediums (even sculpture to a certain extent) don't have. In my mind how designers choose to utilize mise en scene, how they choose to dress their sets, will be just as important as how filmmakers choose to edit their films. It will be an integral aspect of the mediums communication.

Thanks for the post, Artw.
posted by sendai sleep master at 9:41 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

For me, it read like something written by an undergrad who has just learned about this thing called Semiotics and now can't wait to put it to use. All of it. He starts with a few broad definitions, then demonstrates how these might be applicable in the context of what he's trying to do...and then does exactly nothing with all of it. His analysis is interesting, especially Part 3 of the series (I really liked the diagram about the genealogy of the visual language of Arkham City), but it could have been done just as well or even better without wasting all that space to define what Semiotics is, or what an icon, an index, or a symbol is.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:44 PM on April 12, 2012

East Manitoba etc: I'd read/watch/play the hell out of Shards of Glass Man.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:47 PM on April 12, 2012

>it could have been done just as well or even better without wasting all that space to define what Semiotics is, or what an icon, an index, or a symbol is.

I'd have to confirm by re-reading Charles Sanders Pierce (or at least Wikipedia), but I don't think the author even got those (extremely abstract) definitions correct.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 11:49 PM on April 12, 2012

Interesting points he raises, such as the Arkham City / INGSOC 1984 logo. I never noticed that. I've linked to his web comics before, but here's Jay Pinkerton's take on a sort of 'semitotics-be-damned, what if Bat-Man was pretty dumb?'
posted by Zack_Replica at 12:39 AM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

This is a phenomenal find! It's really hard to explain semiotics — this was so perfectly accessible and so neatly applied to Arkham City. Great stuff!
posted by iamkimiam at 4:03 PM on April 13, 2012

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