The Crucial Role of Concept Art in Game Design

The Crucial Role of Concept Art in Game Design

Feb 13, 2024

Behind every captivating and immersive video game lies a creative process that begins with a blank canvas and a vision. The concept art phase is where designers dream up the magical and captivating worlds within video games. This phase is all about creating the intended look, style and visual ‘feel’ of a game. 

At Crea we make the concept art phase one of the most important aspects of pre-production, and work with the kids to sketch out drawings and references for all of the key elements that will appear in the game.   

Visualizing the Imaginary:
We present an environmental problem and build narratives on how to solve that problem directly from the kids’ imaginations. We have them create visual representations of environments and interactive objects which then provide an overview for the entire development team.

Setting the Tone and Atmosphere:
Concept art plays a pivotal role in establishing the visual tone and atmosphere of a game. Whether it's a dystopian future or a fantastical realm the art conveys the mood and emotions that the game aims to evoke.

After the initial sketch of ideas, we create board boards to determine the overall look, style, and mood of a project. Essentially a mood board is a visual tool that is used to  guide the development of a clear and creative concept. 

The Purpose of a Mood Board: 


  • Made to inspire and guide the creative process 

  • Convey atmosphere, emotions and vibe of a project


  • Mood boards serve as a communication tool between team members because they make it easier to convey abstract ideas to ensure everyone involved is on the same page. This visual foundation guides not only the art team but also influences the decisions of game developers/coders, animators, and narrative designers.

  • The iterative nature of game development requires constant refinement and decision-making. Concept art is meant to be iterated on. In our process we experiment with different visual elements before committing to a final design. This flexibility is crucial for adapting to evolving ideas and ensuring cohesive visuals for all of our themes. The concept art phase stands as a cornerstone in the design and development process, and weaves together creativity, vision, and technical execution.