Virtual Landscapes: The Modern Era

Front Cover
Umran Ali, Sep 19, 2012 - Games - 123 pages
1 Review
The magical essence of natural landscapes since the dawn of man have been a source of intrigue, wonder and inspiration in art, philosophy and literature. With each new era in civilisation, new methods of creative expression have been used by artists, designers and writers to capture the rich natural landscapes, and with the 21st century and the emergence of new interactive technologies, this innate desire is being expressed through the digital domain.

From the giant mushroom forests of Morrowind, the Archipelago islands of Zelda: Wind Waker, to the tropical underground caves of Phantasy Star Online, Virtual landscapes have enthralled, captured and engaged player imaginations for over 30 years. Virtual Landscapes is a three part series attempting to, for the first time, visually illustrate, share and critically reflect upon the unique, virtual natural landscapes within Computer & Video Games.

Virtual Landscapes: The Modern Era visually illustrates the revolution in complexity and richness of virtual natural landscapes that occurred in computer & video games from 2000 to modern day. From the tranquil landscapes of Morrowind, the rolling forested autumn hills of Oblivion, the eerie landscapes of The Witcher, through to the beautiful deep crimson Maple forests of Phantasy Star Universe, the vast epic landscapes of Skyrim, and finally to the lonely landscapes of Dear Esther, Virtual Landscapes presents these virtual spaces for the first time, in stunning unseen digitally enhanced. high resolution and panoramic forms.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Umran Ali, BSc, M.A, PGCHE, FHEA, was born in 1978 in Manchester, England. After graduating (BSc in 2004, and later  with an M.A in 2005) Umran worked as a freelance 3D artist & creative designer, and then as a visiting lecturer and private tutor teaching across Art & Design, 3D, CGI and Animation. Umran later joined the School of Media, Music & Performance  at the University of Salford as a lecturer in creative media, and taught across a variety of areas from design, production, & project management for video games, specifically around creative design and production of virtual environments.

From 2006 to 2012 Umran acted as Programme Leader for the BSc (Hons) Computer & Video Games programme at the University and was responsible for curriculum design, programme management and developing the programme's partnerships with a variety of major industry partners. Many of Umran's students since, have gone on to work in the creative industries including the videogame industry 

Umran's freelance work included several large projects ranging from PlastiCity; a Will Alsop driven project visualising the regeneration of Bradford city centre in a fully interactive form, the Virtual Jean Claude virtual knowledge space project recreating the French composer Jean Claude Risset, into a 3D avatar, to working on projects in partnership with UK based organisations such as the DarkHorse organisation, BT and the Foundation for Art & Creative Technology (FACT). 

Umran currently works as a senior lecturer in creative media, at the University of Salford. and continues to explore virtual natural environment design through his teaching and research, maintaining a deep interest in the meaning, impact, and design of natural spaces.

In his spare time, Umran is a keen videogames player, and landscape photographer. 

Bibliographic information