News: Viktor Antonov, art director on Dishonored and creator of Half-Life 2′s City 17, believes game worlds haven’t made the same progress that graphics have, resulting in “a lack of variety.”
Many developers would welcome a comparison between their game and BioShock. Art director Viktor Antonov wouldn’t, but only because he feels there’s absolutely nothing else in recent gaming years that he can compare his own Dishonored with.
Antonov, known for his work on Half-Life 2‘s City 17, is currently at Arkane Studios making the world of Dunwall come alive. His issue lies with the fact that he’s working on “a historical, retro-futuristic piece, which has pretty much nothing to do with BioShock except for the fact that it doesn’t take place in the far future, but has references to the past.”
“Unfortunately, BioShock and Dishonored are the only two games that go into that fiction for the past – how many years? So, lack of variety in what’s in the market leads to associations like this. There should be more historical realistic worlds out there. And too bad there are not,” Antonov says in an extensive Eurogamer feature. “There have been too many sequels, and too many established IPs that have been ruling the market. And a lot of them are war games.”
Given the staggering amount of work that went into Dishonored’s game world, Antonov is surprised that other developers aren’t taking similar risks. “Artists and art directors should make their own life a little bit harder by pushing management to take more artistic risks, and use the technology to a better, higher level.”
According to Antonov, the technology is there and ready, but the creativity to match it is not. “We were always waiting for the next generation of great worlds or great graphics. Well, great graphics came, but the worlds that came with these graphics are not up to the level of the graphics.”
With Dunwall, Antonov believes he has outdone himself to such an extent that City 17 pales in comparison. “If you take City 17 out here today (and 2004 was a long time ago), Dunwall is far superior by quantity of design, quality of design and precision,” he ventures.
You know what? I don’t think he’s bluffing. Here’s why.