One of the key things to consider for composition in games is the player’s perspective. The way elements are based in the level will all come down to how the player looks around, how you want them to react in your world. This of course is a difficult task, since you do not know how someone will play a game. Everyone sees the world differently and has different motives and feelings. Therefore, you have to consider these factors while designing the composition of a game.
Another important thing to consider is where you want to place important elements, like hero assets or things to pick up. They must be placed in such a way as to show off their purpose. For example, for a hero asset, a key element in the game, you want the player to discover it in the best way possible. They could walk out of a small confined space like a cave, and then it opens up in a burst of light to the wide expanse of the outside world, and in front of the player could be a giant mountain or a tower. Those kinds of series of events lead up to that point, and it can only be achieved by carefully placing the elements in the game to create these effects.
The way composition develops is important, whether its within a 3D game environment or a 2D concept piece, it is always a key thing to consider. With regards to 2D work, let’s say that you are going for an interview, looking for a job in the games industry, and your portfolio has many 2D pieces within it. One of the key things they will be looking for is your artistic skill, defined by the composition of your work. Factors that will be examined will range from the colours, to focal points, to objects in the scene, right down to how the overall piece works and where the viewer’s eye is led throughout each individual work. These will be the things they look for to decide whether you have the technical skills and good artistic judgement. These things will land you a job if they are obvious in your work.
As for 3D work, the main things still apply. You have to consider the objects in the scene, perhaps it’s a level, you have to also consider the focal points, the way you want to lead someone through the scene, is it crowded and confusing? Are there too many objects and clashing colours and themes which could be causing the area to be too crowded? While it is nice to have some form of a visual feast, with many points of interest, you have to be careful not to go overboard. If you go over the top with objects and lights etc., you risk making a busy scene, which would not be pleasing to viewers, and it would also not portray very good compositional skills. There must be order to the chaos. If you find this order and balance, the composition will work and it will make your art look all the more interesting because of it.