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Thuning, Fredrik, 2018. Landscape architecture in video games : a design experiment of a virtual landscape. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (from 130101)

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Abstract

The video game industry is growing and is by some considered a strong actor in the field of architecture. Virtual landscapes, in particular those in video games, can be considered architectural as they are a simulation of physical space in a virtual realm. They can benefit from spatial theories such as those from urban design and landscape architecture, however, these theories are rarely brought up in literature regarding the design of virtual landscapes in video games.

The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to the discussion of the link between virtual and physical landscapes and how theories regarding landscape architecture can be incorporated in the design of virtual landscapes in video games. This paper features a theoretical framework concerning navigation, orientation and spatiality as well as the structuring and symbolism of a city. The theoretical framework are then interpreted and converted to design patterns, which are then applied in a design experiment of a virtual city for a video game.

The design experiment was carried out through analog sketching and 3D modelling and resulted in a design
intended to suggest how some spatial theories can be translated into design patterns. Designing a virtual landscape is a balancing act of applying spatial theories from physical landscapes while still considering the effects the virtual setting has on the perception of landscapes. Virtual landscapes could potentially be designed by landscape architects but it forces them to somewhat approach landscape design in a different way.

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Spelutvecklingen går snabbt framåt och vissa anser att den har en stor inverkan på arkitekturfältet. Virtuella landskap, i synnerhet de som återfinns i spel, kan anses vara en sorts arkitektur då de är en simulering av det fysiska rummet i ett virtuellt plan. De virtuella landskapen kan gagnas av att de som ansvarar för designen har teorier om landskapsarkitektur i åtanke under designprocessen. Trots detta tas dessa teorier sällan upp i litteratur ämnad åt blivande spelutvecklare och speldesigners.

Syftet med den här uppsatsen är att bidra till diskussionen gällande förhållandet mellan virtuella och fysiska landskap samt hur teorier om landskapsarkitektur kan appliceras på de virtuella landskapen. Uppsatsen innehåller ett teoretiskt ramverk som tar upp generella teorier om navigation och orientering i landskapet, rumslighet samt symbolik och strukturering av arkitektur. Det teoretiska ramverket har sedan tolkats om till olika designverktyg som i sin tur applicerats på ett designexperiment.

Designexperimentet togs fram genom analoga skisser
samt 3D-modellering och resulterade i en virtuell stad vars intention är att påvisa hur landskapsarkitekturteorier kan appliceras på virtuella landskap. Att designa virtuella landskap handlar delvis om att applicera dessa teorier samtidigt som effekterna av perception i ett virtuellt plan hålls i åtanke. Virtuella landskap kan designas av landskapsarkitekter men erfordrar att landskapsdesign i sig tacklas på ett annat sätt.

Main title:Landscape architecture in video games
Subtitle:a design experiment of a virtual landscape
Authors:Thuning, Fredrik
Supervisor:Westin, Anders
Examiner:Farsø, Mads and Wegren, Kristin
Series:UNSPECIFIED
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2018
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LY002 Landscape Architecture Programme, Alnarp 300 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (from 130101)
Keywords:virtual landscape, video game, navigation, orientation, Level D
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-10046
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-10046
Subjects:Landscape architecture
Language:English
Deposited On:18 Dec 2018 14:39
Metadata Last Modified:27 Feb 2019 10:46

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