What do Legos, hammerhead sharks, and deep-sea submarines have in common?
Believe it or not, they all play a key role in influencing the visual design of the Dead Space franchise.
The beauty of video games as an art form is that they manage to dip into so many different mediums that other works don’t. They have gorgeous musical scores, can deliver masterful storytelling, and often feature impressive feats of visual artwork thanks to the hands of master creators.
While the thought of Dead Space probably makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up more than tickles your art fancy, it’s still hard to deny that the franchise is a highly stylized visual marvel. Everything from the design of the Necromorph’s demented forms to the eerie environments Isaac walks through have an impressive amount of detail inherent in their construction, and it can all be appreciated in its most intimate form through The Art of Dead Space.
The 193-page book from Titan Publishing is the most recent release from the company featuring page after page of concept art, original drawings, developer and designer insight, and commentary about the creation of the Dead Space universe.
Featuring works from all of the games and some of the expanded universe content, everything in The Art of Dead Space is carefully crafted in order to make the book a compelling and interesting read. It doesn’t contain volumes of text detailing each and every facet of the series’ creation, but what it does include is fascinating insight as to what inspired the developers to add in certain elements that have come to be iconic for the franchise as a whole. The limited text is complemented well by page after page of concept drawings, paintings, and diagrams of the creation process that do a great job of showing the reader rather than telling them. The result is an aesthetically pleasing experience that allows the reader to drink in the universe of Dead Space in a way only visual art can deliver.
Everything from the first ideas of Isaac’s suit design to the twisted way developers play around with the creation of the Necromorphs is explored in The Art of Dead Space. You’ll learn about the tools he uses, the vehicles found in the game, the world and culture of the game’s universe, gain more insight about the ways of the Unitologists, and even learn about the creation of Isaac’s character, all through developer quotes and various art pieces.
Being a casual Dead Space fan, I was surprised at how engrossed I became in the book. Maybe it’s the art geek in me that was hooked by it, but the book really does a great job of giving you a taste of Dead Space while peeling back some of the mysteries of development that led to the ultimate design choices in the games. It’s a must-buy for those with an interest in video game design and art geeks like myself, and definitely belongs on the coffee table of any fan of the Dead Space franchise.