Game artists are increasingly finding that second-hand source material, such as books, videos and photographs, are not good enough when attempting to recreate the real world.
For true artistic inspiration, they are seeking to go on location.
Nowhere was this more important than Far Cry 2, released today, which seeks to recreate Africa as realistically as possible.
Writing for Edge today, Far Cry 2 art director Alex Amancio reveals details of his trip to Kenya to search out a visual and atmospheric style for the game.
“When we chose Africa as a setting for Far Cry 2, our original plan was to research the continent extensively through literature, cinema, photo journalism, and even random safari photos people posted online from their vacations. However, it became apparent that something was missing. The universe that we were creating felt somehow hollow. It quickly became clear that we needed to experience Africa firsthand in order to do it justice in the game.”
He adds, “Being physically in the savannah, jungle and desert truly provided a sense of space that we could not have obtained from photos. One of our biologist guides gave us tremendous insight into the African vegetation, its seasonal cycles, and which plants and trees grow in proximity to one another. Walking up to the bushes and trees to take high resolution photos of bark and leaves was crucial in our goal to develop an authentic African landscape for Far Cry 2. “