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Fri, Oct 14 2011 21:42:32 UTC

Japanese and Western gaming art styles

Square Enix spent a lot of time this morning at their NYCC panel talking about the differences in art styles between Japanese and western games. They had two panelists, Isamu Kamikokuryo, Art Director of Final Fantasy XIII-2, and Jonathan Jacques-Belletete, Art Director of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

The two talked for 45 minutes about their various approaches and influences. For example, a lot of Japanese games are heavily influenced by Anime and Manga. These usually try to depict a world no one has seen before, whereas western art is often more on the realistic side. There are of course differences, and Deus Ex is in fact quite futuristic, although it still sticks with realistic renderings of your environment.

They also talked about the fact that many Japanese game designers try to go for an idealistic view, especially when creating characters, whereas many western games provide gritty portrayals. Photo-realism is something that many games strive for in the west, something that is less present in the Japanese culture in general.

Finally the two said that the diverging styles can't really be adapted to the other market, but many things can be learned by both sides. What's important is to create something that resonates with customers. The talk ended with both men exchanging pictures they had drawn for the other.

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