Yesterday, I visited the National gallery as I have done before – although the 3D illusion of many of the painting hit me more than it has done before – one particular fact of the most noticeable paintings struck me and made me wonder about grandeur.
The most notable paintings were very large. Far larger than anybody’s computer screen ought to be, and if one had it as the screen for a ‘home entertainment centre’ then one would surely be the envy of all who saw it. It seems that when the game designer is up against such a rival – although I suppose the point is that they have an advantage that the game can’t rival – it seems going for grandeur is a fool’s errand, and although great paintings aren’t an everyday sight, the great cinema screens, or even advertisement billboards, are.
If one looked at my itch page one could easily respond by saying that its not painting and cinema I’m competing against, I’d lose to your typical full screen computer game. That is true. I’ve given up grandeur. The other type of painting that drew one;’s attention were those unusually shaped or unusually small. Those are the one’s I emulate, and their cute interesting features. They are never grand however.
Hopefully, I have beaten you down far enough that the glimmer of hope to come shall be welcomed. There is a third type that drew attention. The landscapes of Claude – and to be fair those of similar style. If you are unfamiliar with his works, I would urge you to look them up online. You shall still be unfamiliar with them, since the importance of scale mentioned in the second paragraph have not gone away, but they might have a certain familiarity. The grandness of those landscapes is being imitated by computer games. The example that I went immediately to was Dark souls, however the so-so organics at the front of a lush landscape is the bread-and-butter of many games in the current climate.
I think there is one way for the computer game designer to provoke grandeur, at least until we have larger screens, and it is one being well-explored by all studios. Those studios leave scale up in the air, Claude wouldn’t have done that. I’m happy that others explore this issue, but I’ll stick to my miniatures.