Video Games as a Rock Band

You’re at a rock concert. Thousands of fans are cheering.

Who are they cheering for? The lead singer? The hot guitarist? Maybe they’re just there for the music.

Video games are a lot like a rock band. I’m not saying video games are like the game Rock Band, although there are some games like Rock Band, like Rock Band 2. I’m also not saying video game developers are like a rock band, although clearly they are in more ways than the video game itself is.

If all the components that make up a video game (graphics, audio, programming, design, production) were in a band, what roles would they play? How would they appear in the eyes of the casual observer? When they put on a concert, who stands out? Slap on your wristbands and find out.

 

Graphics – The Lead Singer

Their microphone is turned up the loudest. They stand front and center on stage. They are always in the spotlight.

For someone who knows nothing about music, they can at the very least comment on a song’s vocals. “That’s a nice voice”. Similarly, someone who knows nothing about video games will first comment on a game’s visuals. “It looks realistic!”

Sight is humans’ primary sense, so it is natural that graphics are the easiest video game component to respond to. Long before the first line of code is written, concept art is used to convey what the game might look like. It comprises the “video” part of the term “video game”.

Lead vocals are often the most defining aspect of a band. Without hearing any instruments, you can tell which band it is from the vocals. By the same principle you can identify a particular game from a simple screenshot. They often receive the most attention, much to the chagrin of their¬†band mates…

 

Read the rest of this entry »