Video Game Developers : More Than Just a Team of Computer Programmers

Video game development starts with an idea that has to be drawn and researched by the Concept Artist. After which, the Character Artist and the Environment Artist proceed with the sketchworks done by the Concept Artist; creating 2D and 3D models of everything that will be incorporated in the game to tell the narrative of the story on which the video game revolves.

Now how do those visual arts transform into becoming a video game that computer programmers will complete in the final stages of video game development?

The goal is to integrate the art assets as components of a video game without taking away the aesthetic values, whilst staying confined within the limits of the gaming company’s platform. Bridging the gap between artists and programmers calls for the contributions of the Technical Artist.

What is the Role of a Technical Artist in Video Game Development

Actually, the Technical Artist’s role may vary according to the requirements of a gaming company. Basically though, a Technical Artist (TA) must have both artistic and programming skills. That way, he or she can effectively link the visuals of an approved game concept and their presentations as 2D and 3D models by creating a workflow of the art production once they advance to the actual game programming stage.

Actually, a TA is a nascent career in the video gaming industry that aims to free programmers from the more tedious aspect of reviewing art packages. As an artist who possesses both artistic and computer programming skills, they are tasked to decide on the appropriate tools to use, and if necessary, to look for new techniques that can be useful in going forward with the development of the art into a video game.

That way, programmers can fully devote their concentration on game codes, while the character and environment artists can concentrate on creating models that will be integrated as part of the workflow. That being the case, Technical Artists must have the ability to draw, sculpt or design and at the same time, possess programming skills.

Technical artists therefore have the capability to effectively present and explain the art assets to the creative director, to the lead artist and the lead programmer.

Once all optimization and preparations have been approved for the next stages of game development, the technical artist ports the art to the game engine. The role of these artists as technical contributors continue by monitoring the performance of the assets in accordance with the standards of the workflow that was designed for the production pipeline.

Overseeing includes proper implementation of rendering techniques such as defining color highlights and surface shine using specular maps and pixel shaders; or the rendering of the games physics by way of particle system.

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