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September 18, 2020
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Chris Solarski's Blog   Expert Blogs


Chris Solarski is an artist-game designer and author specializing in the relationships between classical art principles and video game aesthetics. His two books are widely considered essential reading—offering an art and narrative-driven framework for creating adaptive gameplay aesthetics that influence the player's physical and emotional experience in unique and subtle ways. Chris' first book—Drawing Basics and Video Game Art (Watson-Guptill 2012)—has been translated into Japanese and Korean and is endorsed by id Software co-founder, John Romero. His second book—Interactive Stories and Video Game Art (CRC Press 2016)—has been described as gaming's equivalent to the screenwriting classic, Story, by Robert McKee and is endorsed by film director Marc Forster, and Assassin's Creed founding member Stéphane Assadourian: 

"The convergence of narrative in film, video games, and virtual reality will fundamentally change the entertainment industry in coming years. Chris Solarski's book gives content creators crucial insights into interactive story composition and how to adapt these concepts for transmedia storytelling."  
Marc Forster, Film Director and Producer incl. Monster's Ball, The Kite Runner and World War Z 

"The concepts presented in Interactive Stories and Video Game Art remind me of Joseph Campbell's powerful demonstration of a universal storytelling structure. Coming from a technical game design background yet being artistically inclined, I never considered that atomic elements such as shapes, lines of movement and transitions contain a vocabulary strong enough to sculpt our mood, whether consciously or unconsciously. This book creates that wonderful feeling of learning new letters, which soon prove useful to form new sentences for bringing new poetry to the world."
Stéphane Assadourian, Veteran Game Production Consultant and founding member of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed franchise

With kind support from the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia, Chris has given talks on interactive storytelling and game art at international venues and organisations including Disney Research, the Smithsonian's The Art of Video Games exhibition, SXSW, GDC Europe, and FMX. Chris is currently collaborating with internationally renowned artist, Phil Hale, and The Mocap Studio to develop an indie game based on the famous Johnny Badhair series of paintings. He also lectures at SAE Institute in Zurich and manages the IGDA Switzerland Chapter and Co-Chairs the IGDA Game Art Special Interest Group (SIG).

You can follow Chris on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Chris Solarski on Thu, 19 Mar 2020 10:33:00 EDT in Design, Art, Console/PC, Serious, Indie, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, VR
An introduction to 'Interactive Empathy and Embodiment' framework, and sensory-design for game design, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and cross reality (XR), as presented in my Google Tech Talk.

Posted by Chris Solarski on Thu, 12 Dec 2019 10:31:00 EST in Design, Art, Indie
Video games are undoubtably big business. Video games are so big, in fact, that they effortlessly out-earn the film and music industry combined. But what does the future of video games hold? Is it more of the same but bigger and better?

Posted by Chris Solarski on Wed, 05 Sep 2018 04:23:00 EDT in Business/Marketing
Promoting sustainable business practises is a key issue for the International Game Developers Association. This white paper aims to provide practical tips for sustainable management—featuring a series of points that have immediately actionable value.

This 2-part essay provides a disruptive game design framework based on shape language and traditional composition for heightening physical empathy and the sensory experience of players with a focus on art and narrative-driven games and transmedia.

This 2-part essay provides a disruptive game design framework based on shape language and traditional composition for heightening physical empathy and the sensory experience of players with a focus on art and narrative-driven games and transmedia.

Posted by Chris Solarski on Thu, 09 Feb 2017 10:10:00 EST in Design, Art, Console/PC, Indie, VR
This article concerns the dramatic value of player-character motivation and in story-driven games. The featured case studies illustrate techniques for adding a second narrative layer to game objectives, and how this layer can heighten player immersion.

Chris Solarski's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 04/05/2017 - 11:23]

Very happy to see you ...

Very happy to see you also enjoying the shape concepts Mike Nice article I thought that you may be interested to hear that my Gamasutra article has now been turned into a comprehensive book 'Interactive Stories and Video Game Art ' that also includes storytelling techniques. Great work :D

Comment In: [Blog - 06/21/2013 - 03:50]

Glad you like the article, ...

Glad you like the article, Lisa You may also be interested in another article I wrote on the aesthetics of video game art and design: aesthetics of game art and .php r n r nThanks for clarifying: I 've inserted the full title of the talk at the top ...

Comment In: [Feature - 01/30/2013 - 04:50]

Thanks for all the nice ...

Thanks for all the nice feedback r n r nIn answer to your questions: r n r ntb: Nope, I only experimented with the strongest shape contrasts the circle and triangle. r n r nArturo Nereu: The only shape change that happens is between level 1 and 2, where the ...

Comment In: [Feature - 09/08/2010 - 07:30]

Thanks for the nice feedback, ...

Thanks for the nice feedback, Yensei and everyone else The emphasis was more on studying somewhere where I wouldn't be distracted by the need to work and make a living. Warsaw was the perfect option because it's very cheap to live and study in Poland. My family is Polish so ...

Comment In: [News - 09/08/2010 - 03:22]

Hi Bobby Thanks for taking ...

Hi Bobby Thanks for taking an interest in the article but I would recommend that you read the full text first before coming to any conclusions the above is just an overview . Your points are discussed more thoroughly in the full text. The articles pretext is simply to pass ...

Comment In: [Blog - 07/28/2010 - 07:49]

Apologies for the self-promotion on ...

Apologies for the self-promotion on the back of your article, Paul, but I think it's relevant. : Gbanga - - comes under the Small Developer heading. We already have our location-based platform running on iPhone and most J2ME phones. We take advantage of viral marketing services like Facebook and ...