Designing a digital character and illustrated environment for a video game

Graphic Design

Študent: Tina Horvat

Tina Horvat is a graduate of the Media Production study programme at Academia, College of Short-Cycle Higher Education. She successfully defended her thesis paper in September 2023.


Diploma paper Tina Horvat

In my thesis I discuss some of the visual elements that are important in video game production. I look in detail at the creation of the main character, the concept of backgrounds, the animation of running and jumping and the illustrated cover for the video game.

In the first chapter I focus on the history of video games. How they have evolved over the years from simple black and white squares and lines on a screen to today’s graphical masterpieces with vast worlds full of interesting events and stories. I briefly introduce the types of two-dimensional games that we know today and how they are made.

In the second chapter I study the impact of colours and shapes on people’s wellbeing. Here I draw on the overarching theme of art, design and wellbeing. Through my research, I aim to prove whether colours and shapes can really affect people’s wellbeing. At the end of the chapter, I carry out a survey in which I ask people questions along with visual clips from the games and then summarise the answers they give.

In the third chapter I start to design a character for a video game, trying to come up with a final solution while consistently following the theory of how to design a character. I present the theoretical aspects of what elements contribute to a well-designed character and world. I describe the importance of a desktop research as an aid to the overall design of a video game, and the role that character’s personality and character play in their design. I design the character in such a way that it has a positive influence on people at one time, and a negative one at other times.  I briefly add the importance of props for the game.

In the fourth chapter I explore what concept art is and its importance in video game production. What role it plays and why it is a necessary element of production. Here I design the backgrounds for the stages of the game in relation to the overarching theme and the impact of colour on human well-being.

In the fifth chapter I create an animation and give the theoretical aspects of animation. I describe its role in game design and what animated video game characters are called.

In the sixth and final chapter, I explore how an illustration can visually convey the idea of the game’s content.  I then put the theory into practice by drawing an illustration for the cover of a video game box.



Diploma paper Tina Horvat


Diploma paper Tina Horvat

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