Video games

The hidden arc in the design of Mass Effect

Ben Kuchera for Polygon:

Any two images from a Mass Effect game look like they came from not only the same game, but the same world; there is a sort of visual coherence that most games lack, or even worse, that most games simply share with each other instead of coming up with their own.

So how did the artists at BioWare pull that off? As it turns out, the secret lies in large, graceful arcs. Curved lines. It’s something Bioware used to get away from the known designs of the Star Wars series after the company’s last game, and it worked in spectacular fashion.

Great piece on one of the little design tricks the team behind Mass Effect series used to create a distinctive look for the games. It’s so interesting to me that with such a small little detail like adding curves to everything they were able to bring about an aesthetic that felt original, distinct and, most importantly, completely invisible.

It’s something I feel a lot of people who would play through the games and keep an eye on the details would notice but never were quite able to pin down just how often it repeated itself.