Video gamesBooks

The Art of Gears of War: a masterclass in game design

This book on the art of the famous sci-fi shooter offers a wealth of detail on everything from initial concept art to finished renders, says Rob Redman.

The 320-page book offers an insight into the entire process of creating Gears of War 3's assets

Words: Rob Redman

The Art of Gears of War 3 is more than just a glossy art book, although it fills that role with ease. This 320-page paperback is a monster volume, rammed with quality artwork, documenting the entire process of creating the game's assets.

It gives an insight into the huge amount of thought and work it takes to produce a believably detailed and textured world. The book looks closely at various elements of the game, from the main characters and environments right through to individual components and characters that didn’t even make it into the final game.

It’s fascinating to see the final designs alongisde the original concept artwork

The mix of concept art and 3D is spot on and it’s interesting to see how close (or not) the final designs were to the concepts. Many 3D artists are fans of weapon design and that area is catered for well, with pages dedicated to weaponry and vehicles.

The production images look fantastic, with collections, centred around a character, showing clay renders, clay wireframes and high-resolution ‘finished’ renders. This helps you to understand the production pipeline and how the assets were put together.

Level of detail

Although only fans of the games will benefit from the full range of content, there’s plenty here for everyone. It’s the sheer level of detail that makes this book so impressive; not just the detail in the models but in the book itself.

This is not a cheap cash-in but a thoughtful and analytical look at the world of game artists

Unlike other game art titles, this isn’t some superficial collection of screenshots – it’s an inspiring look into another world, created by artists. Although it has a narrow focus, this is a well-thought-out book that will interest many artists, not just Gears of War fans.

  • This article first appeared in 3D World magazine - the world's leading magazine for 3D artists

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