I designed my magazine “Ready Player One” (RPO will be used as a shorter name) to be a magazine that explores videogames of this modern era and have the discussion whether they are art. It was a topic that I was very interested in as I myself am an individual that plays videogames on the regular and am constantly taken away with how amazing they look. I have seen other videogame magazines and whilst the content is good, I find that they are always littered and way to busy to find in any way pleasing. I really wanted to create a magazine that is not only clean, but modern and aesthetic for readers. I was looking for a magazine that people would gladly take out to the café and people would know no better than it to be a ‘geeky’ magazine about videogames.
As posted on the class blog, my initial mind map explores the base idea that I have kept, Art in Videogames. Whilst I decided to go for a different aesthetic in the end I followed my general idea pretty on point.
Also posted on the class blog was my mood board for my magazine. This was also something that differed from the final product. I had initially planned to go for a more neon and arcade feeling for RPO, I wanted to give a feeling of nostalgia to the reader. Yet as I explored the design for my magazine more, I found I did not like the way it was coming across. Maybe this was due to my own skills in illustrator and InDesign, but I just felt like I couldn’t express that vibe in a beautiful and aesthetic vibe.
Eventually as I continued making the design and I had realised it just was not working, I decided to scrap it and take some of the elements I did like.
Above is the original image which shortly after that, was scrapped and recycled. I found that I could not portray the right feeling with the black background and whilst I had gathered a neon symbol later, it just did not look the way in which I wanted my magazine to be. Starting from a clean state, I began designing the magazine which in the end I was really happy with. Looking at the Ambrose & Harris process model (2010) I am able to look at my content from a wider perspective and feel confident in the way that my magazine has been portrayed.
For my cover, I found that I really enjoyed a symmetrical use of the hexagons with the image clipped on each one individually – which in the end turned out to be quite a lengthy process but I caught on pretty quickly. The cover has an image from the game Firewatch, and I just felt it really gave a clean and aesthetic look to the theme. The hexagons and the use of the computerised text gave the ‘geeky’ but stylish look I was aiming for.
From here, I had to design the inside pages and organise the content for each one. I really wanted to keep the hexagon theme throughout my magazine but also have a spread that was completely different. I believe that part of what makes videogames different is that everyone is different, and to have my pages each with their own style was something I really wanted to depict in RPO.
My contents page was something that went through some deeper iteration. I was struggling to find an equal balance between similar characters and the negative space on the page. Reflecting I feel that I should have made use of the lower right corner, but overall, I am quite happy with how the page came to in the end. Once again, I adopted the use of hexagon images and also used a character from a videogame – here I had to research how to get rid of the background as we had learnt in class, as she had a patterned background before being placed into the file. The image below has the initial design for my first spread which included the use of dots, no background for my contents list and the hexagonal image was too bright which had a lot of elements fighting for attention.
Another spread that went through a process of iteration was the 2nd spread.
This was my favourite to create out of all the magazines. Here I had included images that I
had screenshot myself from some of my favourite videogames. These are all accessible images as they are screenshots from video scenes in the game, I used my Play Station 4 image capturing to capture the image and then send them to my email. These images really encompass the idea of art in videogames. They are bold, some are bright, and they really speak for themselves. Initially, they had no particular definition, my original design, similar to the first spread, was over busy, there was too much going on for the eyes. So, with some feedback from another graphic design student I know, I decided to add a drop shadow to the hexagons, and it really made the difference. I also made the text boxes opaquer so that the text could be read easier.
To gather the information for the text, I also used text from 2 websites on this spread. The first being CG Spectrums webpage titled “How Videogames are made: The Game Development Process”. I used this for content on the bottom left text column with some edits. The text really portrayed the way I wanted to express how much work really goes into creating a video game, it is not just whipped up out of nowhere.
The other resource that I used was Newsgatesman.com, I used their website to find an example of a game that is considered art. This game is called Papers, please. It allows the players to immerse themselves into a fictional universe, faced with moral and ethical decisions. This was a useful source as I could write about a specific example for the magazine.
Below is the original work that was edited to make the final. As you can see the images blend in too much and looks far too busy to be easy on the eye.
Overall, my last spread and the cover were not as complex as the others, so there was not very much to iterate on. The use of a green tone created a similar yet different vibe. The dark green whilst matched with the original images in the spread, also depicts a similar computer coding green. This colour hopefully felt subconsciously similar to the readers, and it was not something as strange to them. I wanted to follow a more traditional magazine spread in this one, the images with the 2 clear columns of text on each page. But also kept a similar aesthetic with the use of the same heading text and body text.
To continue, another source I used for this spread was Game Rants website, the page “The 15 videogames with the most impressive graphics, ranked”. I used this page to gather more details about some of the games that are the most stunning. I wanted to know information as to why these are the most impressive games, what makes them so great? I also wanted to focus on the developments in technology that made this happen, so there is a large focus on how we have developed our work to move forward in the future.
My back cover, whilst looks quite simple, was something that took a lot of thought. I wanted something that would match the cover but also speak for itself in terms of a magazine. I used another image from a video game, I did have to decrease the opacity however as it was a little to bright, but again encompassed the use of the hexagonal shapes. I added a drop shadow on these however because I wanted them to stand out as there was not enough of them to look like one image. I also wanted to use the elements accessible to us to make a Gameboy. Almost represented the beginning of where videogames come from. There are no words as I hoped it spoke for itself.
I believe I have learnt a few things that are useful for use in the future. The first being colour scheming. I found myself being able to match colours a lot easier in this assignment, through the use of the eye dropper tool, I could explore similar pallets and find colours that worked with the ideas that I wanted. Another thing I have learnt from the experience which is my favourite tool so far is the clipping mask. As seen in my entire project, I used the clipping mask took for many features, and whilst it took a fair amount of research to do, I learnt the process pretty quickly and have enjoyed the results it comes out with.
Overall, I am quite happy with how my final product turned out. It is not expressed in the way that I initially intended, but as all things do, it went through a process of ideation and different trail and errors. I believe that everything I have learnt in this assignment is something I can carry on into the future and use with all my assignments. Ready Player One turned out as a product I am proud of and something I will use in my portfolio.
Bush, S. (2018, September 12). NewStatesman. Retrieved from https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/games/2018/09/after-decaderevolution-can-we-now-call-video-games-art
Carr, J. (2020, August 22). The 15 Video Games With The Most Impressive Graphics, Ranked. Retrieved from Game Rant: https://gamerant.com/video-games-most-impressive-graphics
Stefyn, N. (2019, October 23). How Videogames are made: The game developer process. Retrieved from CG spectrum: https://www.cgspectrum.com/blog/game-development-process