clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Video game architecture is full of secrets

Let’s look at ‘em

Simone de Rochefort has been producing & hosting YouTube videos for Polygon since 2016. She co-directed the upcoming documentary The Great Game: The Making of Spycraft.

Architecture plays a huge role in games. It’s most obviously associated with aesthetics. Think the Art Deco underwater city of Rapture in Bioshock, or the Brutalist concrete in Control.

But architecture is more than surface-deep. It keeps players immersed, it reinforces story, it tells us how to play, and it messes with our emotions. The cool thing is, it does all that in real life, too.

Architects consider every single part of a building, from the layers of material in a wall to where your toilet will go. They measure the light that enters each room, and they think about how people will behave in the finished space.

And with the advent of new game technologies like ray-tracing, architecture and game design are more simpatico than ever. We spoke to several architects, as well as Stuart Macdonald, the world designer for Remedy’s Control, about how the secret language of architecture manifests in games. Watch the video above to see how game designers, thinking like architects, are changing the way you play.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.