The Art of Braid Index

April 20th, 2008

Braid is a time-bending video game by Jonathan Blow, for which I’ve created the graphics. This ongoing series of articles aims to explain some of my thoughts and processes for those interested.

For a one-page overview, visit the Braid page in my portfolio. Also check out Jonathan’s blog, where he posts about Braid and other topics related to experimental/artistic/indie games.

• Part I: Early Abstracts

    Some of the first work I did on Braid were these abstract experiments in color and mood.

• Part II: No Shame in Tracing

    One primitive screen shot receives multiple divergent treatments.

• Part III: World 2 Comes First

    How we settled on the look for the first world, and started to produce useable assets.

• Part IV: Developer Mode

    Behind-the-scenes of how my illustrations are assembled into worlds.

• Part V: The Emotional Experience

    Art is not just visual; it is emotional.

• Part VI: Castles and Flags

    A descent into madness.

• Part VII: The Title Screen

    Wonder where title screens come from? It’s not the stork…

• Part VIII: Tim’s House

    Numerous considerations influenced the design of this key location.

• Part IX: World and Story Screen

    This unique area was built primarily from particles.

21 Responses to “The Art of Braid Index”

  1. // Write something witty here » Blog Archive » The Art of Braid on Gamasutra Says:

    [...] Art of Braid columns by David Hellman have been posted on Gamasutra, the rest of them can still be found on his blog. Even if you don’t like the particular art-style of Braid, they are a real interesting read [...]

  2. auntie pixelante › braid Says:

    [...] other thing i’ll add is that david hellman’s art is beautiful and perfect. david is a genuinely humble person, and his humility balances jon [...]

  3. David Hellman » Blog Archive » Strana Igr publishes Art of Braid in Russian Says:

    [...] The Art of Braid has been picked up by Russian gaming magazine Strana Igr … in Russian. Here’s a pdf of the first installment, offered with permission. [...]

  4. Kashkin.net · Books and Braid. Says:

    [...] While I know that none of you are the Braid fan that I am, David Hellman has released artwork from the game. At the very least, they make for great wallpapers. If you’re interested in the process behind the game’s artwork, read up on it here. [...]

  5. David Hellman » Blog Archive » Strana Igr Continues Art of Braid in Russian Says:

    [...] gaming magazine Strana Igr continues to publish The Art of Braid … in Russian. With permission from the editors, here are the first three installments … [...]

  6. Brian Lingard Says:

    David Hellman you are a genius! Thank you for such a beautiful game. Of every videogame I have played this year, Braid is by far my favorite. Can’t wait to see what you do in the future.

  7. Ryan W Says:

    Amazing looking style, as was said in the video review this is an important game and kudos for you on making it. Funny I was actually searching for ‘managing risk in game development’ and found this site via some of your old articles you have written.. Glad I did as I have sent all of my artists here to show them what true innovation and courage with a brush looks like..
    Well done

  8. Fede Says:

    Hi!

    Are you planning to complete this series? :)

  9. David Hellman Says:

    I do have some plans, although I’ve been side-tracked.

    The next thing would be to talk about some of the functional objects like gates and switches.

    There is also a discarded version of world 3 that few have seen (a nighttime forest).

    And I wanted to write about the characters, and show how Edmund McMillen’s designs have a strong influence on the finished game.

    Hopefully I will get to some of that!

    Thanks for your interest.

  10. Fede Says:

    Thanks, I am looking forward to see more! :)

  11. Braid graphic artist spills all - Spankys mutterings Says:

    [...] Hellman, the graphic artist behind the masterpiece that is Briad. David has posted several topic’s covering the different aspects and problems facing generating the artwork. It is certainly worth a [...]

  12. Conversations with the Communications Sector : Game Development vs. Game Content Says:

    [...] Braid is a really fun game to play.  The developer and art creator wrote a series of blog posts describing the process of creating the game.  The index to the blog series is here. [...]

  13. Тедди Says:

    Cool game! All of us must play!

  14. The Beauty Of Braid Says:

    [...] If you have nothing to do today then you can’t go far wrong than reading through The Art of Braid. Created by Braid’s artist, David Hellman, it provides some insight into the thought process that [...]

  15. Inspirational Figures #2: Jonathan Blow « Otter Space Says:

    [...] The Art of Braid [...]

  16. MrDeadmann Says:

    I fell in love with the artwork from Braid. So many emotions on so many levels. Do you sell any Braid artwork? I’d love to get my hands on the opening scene with the burning city!
    Thanks

  17. Game Design | Pearltrees Says:

    [...] » The Art of Braid Index Braid is a time-bending video game by Jonathan Blow, for which I’ve created the graphics. This ongoing series of articles aims to explain some of my thoughts and processes for those interested. For a one-page overview, visit the Braid page in my portfolio . Also check out Jonathan’s blog , where he posts about Braid and other topics related to experimental/artistic/indie games. [...]

  18. Huseyin Says:

    i love the braid.

  19. N0t Hyped: Braid (PC, Mac, 360, PS3) « 0verhyped Says:

    [...] an impressionistic painting. And apparently it was all drawn by one guy no less (Not Jonathan Blow, this guy). Also the art, like everything in Braid, probably contain clues to the the game’s [...]

  20. Stephen Says:

    Wow, a truly fascinating look at one of the most notable indie games of the past generation! I must say this has given me a new appreciation for the subtleties of Braid both in artwork and execution.

    The only thing I am left very curious about is the unwritten character animation/art article, that is, if this would ever be finished (Not terribly likely, I suppose, as it was written four years ago, and I wouldn’t ask you to finish it just for me!) Either way, this was an highly interesting read, and looking at your blog, overall your art is very beautiful, so thank you!

  21. dryrunwell Says:

    [...] If you’ve ever wanted to see the process of art design for a game step by step, there is no better reference online than David Hellman’s nine-part write-up on The Art of Braid. [...]

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