Game Design with Unity3D (Practical Experience II)
Tutorial 3
Mathias Fuchs, mathias.fuchs@leuphana.de

Aesthetics of Games and other Artistic Artefacts

To conduct an aesthetic analysis one might want to look into these aspects: The sensory, formal and the expressive qualities of an artefact.

Sensory qualities

Shape & Form: geometry (having a regular shape/form such as square, oval, circular), organic (having an irregular shape/form such as blobs, animal/human forms)
Colour & Hue: lightness/darkness of a colour: saturation, opacity (is it see through or not?)
Texture: rough, smooth, ridged, pebbly, grooved, high relief, low relief, etc.
Spatiality: space that is taken up by the object in relation to the whole

Formal qualities

Balance: Imagine a line through the object. Are the sides balanced? How do colour, line, and texture contribute to a feeling of balance? Is the object symmetrical (the same on both sides) or asymmetrical (not the same on both sides)? Is it top-heavy (more visual weight at the top)? Or bottom-heavy (more visual weight at the bottom)?
Unity: Are all the parts harmonized? Do the texture and decoration make sense with the form?
Proportion & Size: How would you describe the size of the object? Think of length, height, width, volume, weight, thickness. Do the proportions of the vessel make sense considering its function? If a sculpture is representational, does it accurately copy the proportions of a model? Are the proportions unusual, and how does this affect the overall object?
Movement and Rhythm: Are any designs or shapes repeated? Are they repeated in the same way each time, or do they vary? How? Do the designs or textures feel fast or slow?
Emphasis: Does one area grab your attention more than others? Why? How did the artist emphasize that part?
Pattern: Are the patterns random or planned? Are they because of repeated lines, colours, shapes, or textures? Think of words like radial (radiating from a centre point), grid, alternating, border or band.

Expressive qualities

Mood: happy, mysterious, reflective, calm, quiet, witty, whimsical, playful, clumsy, sad etc.
Tension: What kind of energy does the object have: tranquil, dynamic, powerful, relaxed, conflicted, heavy, etc.
Ideals & Concepts: Does the work represent an ideal or concept? Heroism, feminity, nobility, evil intent, etc.