Videogames are everywhere. We play them on desktop screens and on devices that we hold in our hands. At home, on the bus, alone and together. But what do you actually know about the creative visual worlds behind the screens?

Bridging technology and imagination with artistry and craft, the artists, designers and developers making videogames are building alternate worlds. The broad array of visual styles that contribute to the field attests to the complex and collaborative creativity that videogame design demands.

Studios often share common points of origin. Hand-made pencil sketches and models blend with digital animation and code to imagine worlds that entertain, puzzle, and immerse us. Characters are sculpted, narratives are scripted, and the end result—the games themselves—range from the playful to the cinematic.

Videogames and the culture that surrounds them connect, affect, and inspire us. The analogue material behind a game, however, is often buried or forgotten. This exhibition elevates a group of creatives to reveal the visual craft behind one of Sweden’s most important artistic fields.

Studios

Avalanche Studios → 
Coldwood Interactive → 
Landfall Games →
Might and Delight →
Neat Corporation →

Interviews

Emma Richey (Might and Delight) →
Martin Sahlin (Coldwood Interactive) →
Zeke Virant (Avalanche Studios) →
Linnéa Östedt Harrison (Neat Corporation) →

The exhibition is a collaboration between Illustratörcentrum and ArkDes with support from Stockholm stad and Region Stockholm.

Curator: James Taylor-Foster
Co-Curator: Sofia Östlund
Initiators: Caroline Agné (verksamhetchef, IC) och Josefine Engström (f.d. ordförande, IC)
Film Production: Karin Ekberg AB (Karin Ekberg, Patrik Forsell, Claes Hedberg, Isak Lundberg, Edvard Stokstad)
Light Design: El & Scenteknik AB
Installation: Stefan Mossfeldt
Programme: Elisabet Schön
Graphic Identity: Studio Reko →

About Illustratörcentrum

Illustratörcentrum (The Centre for Illustration and Graphic Design) is Sweden’s largest provider of visual communication. Funded by the government through the Swedish Arts Council it acts as a go-between, connecting creative talent with clients. Since its inception in the 1970s, IC has been dedicated to promoting its members: more than 1,300 professional illustrators, graphic designers, animators, game creators and cartoonists, with an unparalleled diversity of expression and cutting-edge skills.

Illustratörcentrum →

Yarny, Medusa och en elefant Booklet → Interview with Effie Karabuda on the craft of videogame design (2021) →Never-before-seen material from five Swedish studios that produce video games forms the core of ArkDes' exhibition about this rapidly developing creative form. Dezeen

Images from the exhibition

Concept art for Shelter 3 titled “The Herd Seen From Above” (2019) by Emma Richey for Might and Delight. © Might and Delight
Scenic view from 'theHunter: Call of the Wild' of the fictional reserve Layton Lake District (2017) by Expansive Worlds for Avalanche Studios. theHunter: Call of the Wild™ © 2017 Expansive Worlds AB, an Avalanche Studios division. theHunter: Call of the Wild is a trademark of Expansive Worlds AB. Developed by Expansive Worlds.
Scene from Unravel titled "Watch the Waves" (2015) by Martin Sahlin for Coldwood Interactive. © Electronic Arts
Concept sketch for Unravel titled "Berry Mire Water Puzzle" (2014) by Dick Adolfsson for Coldwood Interactive. © Coldwood Interactive
Scene from "Totally Accurate Battle Simulator" titled “Stone Thrower” (2019), by Pontus Ullbors for Landfall Games. © Landfall Games
Environment for the Medieval Faction in Totally Accurate Battle Simulator (TABS) titled “Medieval Lvl 1” (2019) by Johan Lund for Landfall Games. © Landfall Games
Key art for Budget Cuts (2018) by Linnéa Östedt Harrison, Filip Tengwall and Jenny Nordenborg for Neat Corporation. © Neat Corporation
Photo: Viktoria Garvare
Photo: Viktoria Garvare
Photo: Viktoria Garvare
Photo: Viktoria Garvare
Photo: Viktoria Garvare
Photo: Viktoria Garvare
Photo: Viktoria Garvare