Game Design Theory Level 3 – Customization and Creative Design Techniques



Line is a very basic element of art that actually has a very complex and powerful purpose. As in math, a line is a series of points that combine in their closeness to create a new thing.  For artists, lines are used to create emotion and manipulate the eye of the beholder through direction. By using vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines an artist can guide the eye and create dynamics and action in the piece.




Shape is the form inside a connected series of lines. Color and value help define shape. Shapes are either geometric (square, circle, etc.) or organic (non-geometric or free-formed). Silhouettes are iconic shapes that represent an actual thing. The shape of Batman’s cowl is an example of an iconic silhouette. It is instantly powerful and recognizable as uniquely belonging to Batman. Shape can also be described as positive or negative. A positive shape automatically contrasts itself against its negative opposite creating a value scale. Notice how the simple lines give rise to shapes that the human mind sees as mountains, a landscape and a house. Coloring and shading are the final touch that tell the viewer for sure that the top of the picture is a skyline (blue) and the bottom half is a landscape (green). The additional fading in the background add depth to show that the two tall mountains in the middle are further back than the rest.