What artist/place would inspire a great videogame aesthetic?

What artist, piece of art, or natural environment would you like to see inspire the visual aesthetic of a video game?

I’ve been planning on starting a thread that asked this question for a while, but my temptation to hijack the post about the Moebius-inspired new game project was a good excuse to actually do so. I’ve for sure drawn heavily on inspiration from Moebius for a handful of my probably-never-to-be-released game projects.

The main thing that made me want to start this thread was Anno’s Journey. It looks somewhat like a lot of isometric strategy/RPG games, but he draws every blade of grass and every brick and rooftile. I’d love to see an action/rpg in the vein of Zelda in an environment like this.

A Tomi Ungerer-inspired game could be pretty beautiful too


Has a civ/exploration game been done that perfectly imitates the style of old maps? A lot of games affect elements of the look, but I can’t think of one that takes it to the level we’re thinking of here.


See also: Cuphead is amazing. There’s nothing uncanny about it: it is a perfect execution of the early animation style it’s aiming for.


Not that I know of. On another thread, I mentioned a sqaud-based sea-monster hunting game that I’ve had planned for a while. I waver still on how much to make the in-game aesthetic hew to the “thar be monsters” style of sea-beasts on old maps:

It’s not profound or nuthin’ but I really love Where the Wild Things Are, and notice something new on every reading. I had a near-ASMR full body reaction when I realized ho much the wild things look like medieval / early sea exploration etchings, including the rendering of the clouds (can’t really see in this pasted image, but all the edges are etched and hatched together). That, on top of oil-painted waves is my jam:

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Civ VI does something like that for fog of war. It’s not as pronounced but areas you can’t see are more sketchy


A mystery/puzzler based off David Hockney’s set pieces for A Rake’s Progress


Uh, fuck yeah. Layered paper sets needs to happen. Combining photographed cut paper with the gameplay mechanics of 90’s sierra adventures with a murder mystery theme. Dang. That would be some kickstarter magic right there.

I wouldn’t kick Edward Gorey off the project either:

Something like this aesthetic also always pops into my head in a scene of a fairy-tale inspired game where a caretaker is fighting off tigers in a forest to protect young children. Layers of one-dimensional trees and bushes with heavy shadows.


The very 70s airbrushed landscapes of Roger Dean have been proposed several times (by himself) for video games, but none have ever come to fruition.

Combine those with some Chris Foss spaceships and boom, retro sci fi heaven.


For some reason that made me remember Samorost. I love ground textures, moss, stumps, and various miniature natural landscapes. Amanita makes great games, and has been pretty prolific, but I hope this becomes a whole genre.

Oskar Stalberg, the maker of Brick Block had some pretty great stump-castle photo collages on his blog

apparently the ground-cover of my local playground wants to be a videogame backdrop…


Also, a sidescrolling NES-era RPG game like faxanadu, but in the style of a golden-age illustrator, (many thanks to fuckyeahvintageillustration.tumblr.com for being an aggregator of divine inspiration)

Ivan Bilibin

Kay Nilsen

Just to name a couple


I would be so down for a game with Mucha inspired graphics


Especially odd when you think how thoroughly it was mined by Psygnosis as box art and, here and there, in-game splashes and backdrops. But they never made a game around it.


Back in the days of Psygnosis, Dean didn’t think the graphics were good enough to do his art justice.

He and a group were working on a “Floating Islands” game a few years back, but I think all of that got derailed when he tried to sue James Cameron for blatantly stealing his work for Avatar (and lost).


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