What is the Difference Between Game Art and Game Design?

Game development is a broad field that encompasses several disciplines. Game art and game design are two of them. Because many of us are unaware of the work that goes into creating games, we frequently conflate game art and game design.

So, what is the difference between game art and game design?

Game art is the visual look that conveys the game’s vibe, whereas game design is the game’s concept.

Understanding the difference between game art and game design is essential if you are a game lover, an aspiring game developer, or someone wishing to employ a game development firm to create immersive video games.

Let us get right into the idea of game art and game design.

What is Game Art?

The development of visual aspects in a game, such as characters, environments, special effects, props, game assets, and user interface elements, is referred to as game art.

Let me demonstrate with a classic Candy Crush example. It’s a straightforward puzzle game. The game had visual aspects such as beautiful and colorful backgrounds, sparkling and brilliantly colored candy, attractive figures, and little creatures that added to the players’ enjoyment.

Game Art Types

Game art is divided into several categories, ranging from concept art to character art to VFX. I’ve given a basic overview of the various forms of game art here.

Conceptual Art

The initial artistic vision of the game is created through concept art. It aids in communicating the initial design concept to other game artists and developers.

Many sketches of character models in various poses are developed, with various actions imagined. It undergoes numerous revisions and modifications before settling on a single model. After minor changes, concept art can be used for other uses such as advertising.

What is the Difference Between Game Art and Game Design

Character Art

Character art is the process of designing a character by generating visually appealing face characteristics, clothes, weaponry, and texture using sculpting, editing, rigging, and other techniques. Character art entails the creation of 2D drawings and 3D models, as well as the ability to make the character move.

Art Prop

You may have seen “Crates” in video games. Crates are the most commonly used items in numerous games. Props are components that can be found throughout the game that help it but are not actually a part of it.

Props such as containers, barrels, and trains do not interact with the game features. Props such as guns, automobiles, boats, and weapons interact with the characters. Prop art may not appear to be vital, but it is since it adds life to the gaming scene.

Environment Art

Environment art creates the fantasy game world by incorporating landscapes, scenery, buildings, props, and colorful backgrounds that complement the game design.

The environment artists collaborate with other artists and level designers to create the intended game world in which the players interact. To create a fascinating game, the environment artists pay attention to every aspect, from landscapes to minute game assets.

Visual Effects (VFX)

By incorporating visual components and effects into the game, visual effects enhance the entire gaming experience of the gamers. They are neither actors nor props.

Some of the visual effects you may have seen in video games include gunfire, rain, and explosions. Visual effects are most commonly used in RPGs and combat games.

It is divided into two categories: gameplay effects (such as gunfire) and environment effects (such as lightning).

Who is a Game Artist?

Game artists bring the game to life by producing 2D and 3D models of game assets in software such as Adobe Illustrator, 3D Max, Nuke, and Unity.

They design the game’s special effects, characters, backgrounds, props, gaming objects, and user interface features.

What is Game Design?

A video game’s concept, gameplay mechanics, rules, and user experience are all part of its design. The storyline, characters, stages, rules, directions, goals, and awards were all established at this stage to offer a basic foundation.

Let us use Candy Crush as an example once more. The game principles in this game require matching three, four, or five candies to shatter them.

The game’s levels are easier at initially, and the difficulty grows with each level. Similarly, the powerups are intended to inspire and motivate the user to continue playing. In-app purchases, social connection, and life sharing were added as icing on the cake, making the game more entertaining and engaging for the users.

What is the Difference Between Game Art and Game Design

Types of Game Design

There are numerous types of game designs, and I have provided a quick explanation of each for your convenience.

Game Mechanics Design

The logical interaction of the game components with the characters to maintain a smooth gameplay experience is referred to as game mechanics design.

Jumping and sprinting, for example, are the fundamental core motions in Super Mario. In this game, Super Mario jumps and runs to overcome obstacles, beat opponents, gather money and power-ups, and reach the flagpole at the end of each level.

Level design entails establishing levels, missions, achievements, goals, and events that make the game more interactive and engaging for the players. They foster an environment that fosters a sense of accomplishment and inspires participants to go to the next level.

Level Design

Let me give you an example to help you understand. When you initially start playing a game, the first few levels feel easier, as if you intuitively understand the game. After a few levels, the difficulty level will gradually climb, making it more difficult to accomplish the level.

Narrative Design

The primary goal of narrative design is to provide a nice gaming experience through the creation of interactive conversations, scripts, and story arcs. This does not include writing a tale, but rather constructing the game based on the story pitch provided by the game writers.

Simply defined, narrative design determines how the player interacts with the video game. For example, establishing quests to keep players engaged in the game.

UI Design

UI Design The implementation of visual interactive features such as menus, icons, buttons, color schemes, and typography is known as UI design. This improves user engagement and navigation during gameplay, resulting in a better user experience.

UX Design

To improve the user experience, UX designers use wireframes and layouts, visual hierarchy, game flow, interaction, and feedback. This is a crucial feature since it targets the user’s pain spots and remedies them while keeping a smooth game flow and a positive user experience.

Sound Design

Creating the game’s soundtrack is part of the sound design process.  It gives the game a more realistic sense.

The sound design included the background music, the sound of the character’s actions, and the object sound. Sound design examples include gunfire and the sound of a roaring river.

What is a Game Designer?

The vision of the game is created by game designers. They design the game’s mechanics, rules, levels, and user experience.

Their job begins with the creation of the game’s first concept and continues through the final testing stage. They collaborate with other game creators to improve the overall gaming experience.


You should now understand the distinction between game art and game design. You may also have a rudimentary awareness of different styles of game art and game design.

To summarize, game art creates and shapes the game’s characters, environment, objects, gaming materials, visual effects, and user interface. Game design, on the other hand, entails creating the concept, game mechanics, rules, stories, plots, levels, and user experience.

Despite their differences, they are both vital processes in game creation that go hand in hand with one another.

We are a top-tier game art outsourcing studio with several years of video game development experience. Our team of game artists and designers collaborate to create aesthetically stunning and engrossing games. Juego Studios will take care of all game development services for you, from pre-production to game launch and even post-game launch.

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