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Landscape architect uses video game development software to rethink digital landscapes

The digital world of video games has changed over time thanks to architects and their expertise in spatial design and designing 3D environments. Digital model building are skillsets architects use everyday, so who better to help design these digital worlds? For landscape architect David Fletcher, the opportunity to help create the landscape for the video game "The Witness" was another way his San Francisco-based, Fletcher Studio, to create new digital infrastructures and explore 3-D modeling platforms.

Image still from video game "The Witness" © Jonathan Blow, Thekla Inc.

According to Erin Hudson of Narratively "David Fletcher had to reverse-engineer the past to create an island where its present-day environment would give players enough clues to piece together what happened. It was an infinitely harder task and the reason its developer, Blow, decided to hire architects like Fletcher."


Image still from video game "The Witness" © Jonathan Blow, Thekla Inc.

The game was released in 2016, by developers Jonathan Blow and Thekla Inc. However, since then, the video game industry and it's collaborative projects with architects and landscape architects has grown. According to Hudson, Fletcher shared, "After helping design 'The Witness,' Fletcher shifted his entire studio’s work into game engines. 'We don’t design two-dimensionally; we always design three-dimensionally,' he says. 'I don’t trust flat things.'


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