DevBlog

A VOXEL CINEMATOGRAPHIC EXPERIENCE

Hi everyone! Welcome to this DEEXIT’s new devblog post. I’m Gabriel Jiménez Cabrera, creator and director of DEEXIT, and in this post we are going to talk about the cinematographic language in the videogame and what applying it to our work implies.

Cinematography in the videogames

Films and videogames share a lot of similarities from their very beginnings, we need a camera (virtual in the case of videogames) for the viewer to be able to receive the information through the screen. Throughout the history of videogames, these have been adopting cinematographic language in order to deepen into concepts from filmmaking and adding a visual and sound value to what the player is interpreting.

 

The videogame evolved from a bunch of points in a screen to full and complex 3D worlds with its characters and stories. A world has been created in which we can empathize. The more the sector evolved at a technological level, the more fronts were opened to express feelings or emotions within the videogame, which made possible to create moments as memorable as in the films, with the difference that in videogames it’s you who lives the history. This is the biggest power of a videogame, you don’t limitate yourself to watch or read the story, but you feel it yours under the interpretation of the main character, and to reinforce that power, some techniques such as films were adopted due to its visual compatibility.

The best connection between the effect of films in videogames is found in cinematics, a way of narration that is adopted directly from media such as films or television itself. Cinematics in a videogame are used to tell the story at the most important points in the plot. Although the videogame has its own language and means to tell you a story while you are playing, cinematics are used to give a narrative reward to the player after completing a key objective of the videogame, objectives that are usually linked to important events in the plot itself.

 The cinematics is totally opposed to the exclusive language of the videogame, which is based on interaction, but thanks to this resource, you can explore and deepen what the story wants to tell us. It is a moment of pause in which we go from being players to spectators, like in the cinema, so we are not allowed to participate in the story. We receive information without interaction, information that may be linked to knowing the background of the characters, the current point in the plot or the game world, for example.

Nowadays we have the concept of the cinematographic videogame. This doesn’t mean that the videogame is exclusively based on showing you cinematics one after another, but rather that it works the virtual cameras, the screen effects, the angles, the setting or the lighting in such a way that it seems that you are within the sequence of a movie. It makes you believe with that set that you are inside a cinematographic work with the difference that you are the main character, you are the one who controls the camera and the movement of the character, you are an actor, director and player at all times and that added to the fact that technological evolution nowadays allows ultra realistic graphics, invites you to play in a different way, trying to avoid the mistake, a mistake that perhaps playing another videogame that doesn’t contain these elements, you wouldn’t mind to have committed. The cinematography in the videogame allows what tells us the story, to have a deeper value, it invites you to play in a different way and helps you to create the role you are playing. Directly reinforces the language of the videogame through the visual aspect.

DEEXIT cinematography

DEEXIT is a videogame that presents a major story. The main guiding thread talks about death and memory, about the value of individual will and about our actions in the face of an act or social impact. It is a story that presents a series of connections that can define it as dense, when it comes to understanding it in its entirety, since it works on the the history of the world and the story of the main character on the one hand and on the stories of the individual characters that inhabit the world on the other hand.

Cinematic language helps DEEXIT set the tone for the videogame. By means of a visual environment which accompanies it helps to support what is being told. The visual environment can be defined as the elements that help to feel an action, for example, a tremor in the camera when there is instability in the scene or dust spots on the lens when dirt is raised in front of the protagonist. In a way, giving credibility to what is happening has more impact than it may initially seem. Making look what you are seeing more alive.

The use of cinematics in DEEXIT reinforces the narrative value of the game, creates a point of interest by emphasizing and giving strength to those moments to make them more unique. At the end of the day, as we said at the beginning, the cinematics makes you a spectator and the main interest of you being a spectator is that you don’t get distracted by the interaction of the videogame, giving you the freedom to attend to the detail of what is shown in screen. The cinematics, in order to appear and disappear naturally and that the player knows when it starts and when it ends, display small sequences that connect the gameplay to the first and last camera of the total assembly.

The cinematic language also reinforces the game’s Voxel art style. It isn’t common to see this language in games of this style since its aesthetics seem very simple and you always choose to do other types of works. However, with DEEXIT a balance has been achieved where the Voxel aesthetic (which presents a more polished detailed work within the genre) shows some openly friendly characters, merely for their aesthetics, but that due to the cinematic tone of the game they acquire a background, importance and seriousness that wouldn’t be possible if this component weren’t present.

This mixture of Voxel with the tone or cinematic language is what makes DEEXIT have a differential value

When the idea of creating DEEXIT began, it always had a series of values, or basic pillars, regarding feelings. The goal has always been to try to come up with something that really feels like you’re trying to go beyond just being a videogame, delivering a message. From the beginning, when I identified that on a visual level what I could afford for myself was Voxel, apart from trying to create a style within the genre that makes the game to be identified by itself, I tried to give the necessary seriousness or impact through the cinematography, so that the whole set of the game has real value when it comes to telling what it wants.

Currently DEEXIT is being developed with SandBloom Studio, who have obtained with their knowledge to enhance the mechanical and visual aspects of the game.

That was all for now. Hope you liked it and don’t hesitate on telling us what you thought on social media. And,  if you want to help us to improving and making DEEXIT grow, join our Discord server!

Discord : https://discord.gg/fx3dMh5

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