In a recent interview, Team Fortress 2 visual designer Moby Franke discussed art direction in videogames, saying, among other things, that no available titles provide any source of artistic inspiration.
“If a company hires you on your Photoshop skills they’re making the wrong move,” Franke told Gamesindustry.biz, emphasizing the importance of understanding art before working with digital tools to manipulate it.
“You might know everything about Photoshop but if you don’t have that foundation in art, those design and art skills, then you’re pretty much useless,” he continued.
Franke said Team Fortress 2 was the first game he’s worked on and noted his background is in fine art.
Speaking about the visual direction behind Team Fortress 2, Franke said character animation, silhouettes and overall simplicity were central to aiding the gameplay experience.
When the interviewer asked why Franke didn’t mention other videogames as helpful to his work in Team Fortress 2he responded, “There’s no inspiration to pull from other videogames.”
He asserted that games were currently unbalanced, with too heavy a focus on realism.
“Everybody’s focused on the smaller treatments and they are not solving the global problem which is the marriage between game design and visual design. Once you put visual design and proper gameplay together both of them can complement each other,” he said.