BBWCA - How to Make Props for the Video Games

Here are a few notes explaining how to design props for video games.

In some shape, form or fashion, “crates” have made an appearance in every game ever made, but are often overlooked and under-appreciated. They can be so mundane and uninteresting looking that the player just passes them by, or they can be “set pieces” that  not only look cool, but are over-designed to be functional, breakable, and/or intractable.  As a professional concept artist working in the video games industry I can promise you that at some point in your career, you will be tasked with designing a “crate”. In fact, since the need is so high, I’m willing to bet, that if you stocked your portfolio full of crate designs, weapons, and environment paintings, then you will have an abundance of job opportunities dropped in your lap.

That said, I should point out, that drawing “Crates” isn’t as easy as it sounds. A crate is a container that holds something else, and it can look like just about anything.  (And that’s where the problem comes in).  How do you design a crate that is functional, creditable, and unique, but still fits within the game universe?  I have developed a system that identifies the key points necessary to make the design of the prop a “success”, and how to design and implement on those points.  I hope this gives you an insight into my concepting process and how good reference can influence my final design.

The notes explaining how to design props for video games are taken from my “Intro to Concept art” Class, which I am currently teaching at Richland College (located in Dallas Texas). Right click on each image and “open it in a new tab” ( otherwise, you will be taken directly to the file).

Have questions? Ask away in the comments below, or drop me a line at: