An Architectural Approach to Level Design – Chapter 1, Exercise 1

Writing Prompt: Name a game with fictional architecture that is based on real-world architecture. What does the use of that style convey about the in-game builders of that architecture? What mood does it create?

The subject for this prompt is the city of Lindblum from Final Fantasy 9.

After studying a number of architectural styles. I believe a major architectural influence on this cities style is the Gothic style. In particular the Gothic Revival and Gothic Victorian style on its civilian structures.

What does the style convey?

In the world of Final Fantasy 9, Lindblum is regarded as the most technologically advanced nation who is making amazing progress. Their architecture seemingly melds a colorful Victorian Gothic style with sophisticated metal work in a high density of buildings. In addition sections of the city we see in the background are mind defying steep leaving on in wonder of how this is even possible? Additionally:

  • Clocks appear several times often embedded into buildings. This could imply a ‘precise society’.
  • The Gothic style is popular in the fantasy game genre. Given this is such a game the combination make for an interesting style to create the sense of a technologically advanced fantasy city.

So given the contrast of comparatively less ‘technologically advanced’ architecture styles the player has encountered before. The result I feel creates a mood of ‘wonder’ and ‘buzzing progress’, and leaves an impression that the builders are highly advanced.

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