Design a new building or level within the context of an existing videogame or translate favourite videogame into a real-life building.
Register: OCT/31/2022, Submit: OCT/31/2022, Eligibility: Anyone, designers, architects; individually, teams up to 4 members, Fee: 40 EUR (JUL/01 – JUL/31/2022), 55 EUR (AUG/01 – AUG/31/2022), 70 EUR (SEP/01 – SEP/30/2022), 85 EUR (OCT/01 – OCT/31/2022); +22% VAT, Awards: 2 Winners: 1,000 EUR each, 6 Honorable Mentions, 6 Editorial Picks, up to 35 Finalists, Nonaverse Winner (Non Architects Pro), Special Prize
In this competition, we encourage participants to come up with a visionary concept for a video game Architecture – only 2 drawings, absolute freedom of scale or program. Participants are asked to either design a new building or level within the context of an existing videogame or translate their favourite videogame into a real-life building. Make sure you understand the videogame you’re working on and what are the strong logics behind it and turn them into a tool to design your own architecture piece.
Gaming is the birthplace of the Metaverse, and gamers have been driving a revolution in digital experiences – by shaping a whole generation’s relationships to space, buildings, neighbourhoods, and cities. Very often, architects end up working in videogame companies – meaning we have the skills to work in the videogame industry.
As designers, what new perspective can we bring to the industry of videogames? What are the tools that empower designers to create these 3D environments?
Videogame Architecture aims to answer those questions with a particular focus on the virtual environment.
RE-IMAGINING THE VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT
With today’s technologies and cutting edge software, designers are experimenting with representations and reformulating what we define as architecture. Architecture is incorporated in gaming design to express a specific mood or setting.
Video games encourage a mindset that fosters creativity. In this generation of various technological advancements, the gaming experience is getting better every day with the help of Sandbox video games, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and the Metaverse. A game’s success is determined by a number of aspects, one of which is architecture, or the constructed environment.
Second Life, Minecraft, and Roblox were all part of the first wave of Metaverse development. In several of these games, players use virtual materials to build items that their avatars use, expanding the Metaverse’s metaphor for real life.
When the Metaverse was a philosophical plaything in fiction books, the virtual world was often used as a dystopian warning about the future. Today, the Metaverse game worlds act as social experiences. This is an opportunity for architects to be designing environments for video games as a way to learn what our future cities could look like.
The designers that work on the built environment provide a realistic backdrop for the game to be set in and make the gaming experience even more engaging and incorporates emotions, feelings, and sensations into the game.
However, architecture in video games can be much more than just a backdrop for a virtual metropolis or an authentic depiction of an existing one; it is a crucial component of transporting gamers into a virtual world that feels just as real as the real one, but with a boost of adrenaline.
A well-designed environment has the ability to transmit extremely subtle information such as emotions, feelings, and sensations. We normally create fake worlds in games, and we have complete creative control over our environments. We can rearrange objects, create impossible structures and materials, and assemble scenes in a way that doesn’t make sense but conveys the message we want to portray.
Similar to any architecture project, games are “constructed” and treated with material and textures. The added value, however, is not how accurate the city is or the HD quality of the graphics it is in fact the story-telling: the journey and experience of going from point A to point B and interacting with the environment built by the designers. It is building momentum through one’s engagement with the gamified urban composition.
There is a big difference between physical and virtual presence, and the problem lies in how to use architecture as a design experience that enhances this difference, and how to let it guide or inform the user without interrupting the experience itself. The goal is to fully immerse the player by engaging as many senses as possible, hence narrowing the gap between what someone might feel in real life and how it feels in virtual environment.
As designers, what new perspective can we bring to the industry of videogames? What are the tools that empower designers to create these 3D environments? How do you make it immersive?
Submission can address some of these questions. The proposal submitted could be a new building or level within the context of an existing videogame or translate their favourite videogame into a real-life building. Participants should apply the logic of the videogame in their design, understand the videogame they’re working on, identify what are the strong logics of it, and then turned them into a tool to design their own architectural piece. There is only one fixed parameter: the proposal must clearly reflect the environment of a videogame. The scale of intervention and program dimensions are not given, and they can be arranged by the participants to better suit their design.
This is an opportunity for architects to be designing environments for video games as a way to learn what our future cities could look like.
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