Short Exercise: Visual Design of Games







“The First Tree” is an indie adventure game developed by David Wehle. The game stands out for its visually striking graphics, which can be attributed to several fundamental graphic design principles that come together to create a cohesive and memorable aesthetic. Here are some of the key principles at play:

  1. Color: The game employs a carefully chosen color palette that sets the tone and evokes specific emotions. Soft pastel hues and warm earthy tones create a dreamy, serene atmosphere that invites players to explore the game world. The use of contrasting colors, such as the bright orange of the fox against the muted backgrounds, adds visual interest and draws attention to the main character.
  2. Size: The game uses size to establish a hierarchy of importance and create a sense of depth within the environment. The fox, as the main character, is prominently sized in relation to the surroundings, making it easy for players to focus on the character’s journey. The varied sizes of trees, mountains, and other landscape elements provide a sense of scale and depth, making the world feel expansive and immersive.
  3. Proximity is used in “The First Tree” to create relationships between visual elements and establish a sense of cohesion. Elements that are related or share a common function are placed close to each other, making it easier for players to understand their purpose and interact with them. For example, clusters of collectible items are often placed near key story points or landmarks, subtly guiding players towards the next objective while reinforcing the narrative context.

Additionally, two more components of graphic design principles come into play to amplify the beauties of the game.

Dynamic lighting plays a significant role in setting the tone and atmosphere of the game. Soft, natural light sources, like the sun or moon, create a dreamlike quality, while more intense, focused lighting is used to highlight specific objects or areas of interest.

The First Tree’s composition is carefully crafted to guide the player’s eye and create visual interest. The game uses the rule of thirds and leading lines to direct the player’s attention to important elements and guide them through the environment. The balance between open, expansive areas and more confined spaces provides visual variety and keeps players engaged.

The above is one of my favourite games and have introduced me to what aesthetic games are. It has the minimalistic feel with controls but maximises its aesthetics in its world.


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