Yes. You can. You make a key member on a game development team because you breathe life into a game by creating what a gamer “sees” in a game.
As a game artist, you need a good understanding of art, art history, color, light, form, and space and use this understanding to create characters, theme, lighting, color, and motion.
A special mention should be made of art history here. Art history makes you aware of how art is perceived, created, and received by people of different cultures and times. A keen sense of art history can make you belong to a class of your own because you will understand how to conform and break free of perceptions to create drama.
A game plays out through the game’s characters. As an artist, you give form, color, and motion to a character and bring alive the feelings and emotions.
An artist typically sketches the characters on a paper or whiteboard, or even a tablet and then model the character on the computer using a modeling software tool, followed by giving an appropriate skin and skin color.
When you do this job, your team calls you a character artist.
After creating characters, you add motion. Motion displays emotion and intention of the characters. Can you recall the way Samba lowers his eyes in Lion King when accused of being the cause of his father’s death?
Motion is not limited to characters. Even the non-character elements of your game need animation. For example, the flowers sway in the wind. This is called scenic animation and brings the game environment to life.
After creating the motion, you have to record and integrate motion with the game. This is motion capture.
When you do all this and more, your team calls you an animator.
You will create a game’s theme. It includes the sports fields, forts, and fantasy worlds that form a game’s world. In essence, it is the make-believe world including the space and objects of the world.
And you are the environment artist.
How Important Are You?
Are you still wondering how important is an artist on a game development team? Well, the art department spends about 25% of a game’s budget. And game houses release artwork to generate excitement well before releasing a game. Need we say more?