Grain: Default Settings, Design Principles, and the Aura of Videogame Production

  • Benjamin Nicoll
  • Brendan Keogh


This chapter considers Unity’s aesthetic impact on the cultural work it is used to produce, developing the metaphor of ‘grain’, from woodworking, to consider how users are oriented towards particular design methodologies. The chapter first considers how videogames inherit a nebulous ‘look and feel’ from their engines. It then charts the interrelationship between the design principles that are developed within a medium and the design standards that are imposed by software and that, in Unity’s case, become design principles. Finally, the chapter considers Unity’s dominant design standard of iterative design, which encourages Unity users to take advantage of existing assets. Here, the look and feel of a game engine is directly caught up with the aura, or lack thereof, of an individual videogame work.


Unity game engine Look and feel Game feel Grain Craft Videogame development 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Nicoll
    • 1
  • Brendan Keogh
    • 1
  1. 1.Digital Media Research Centre, School of CommunicationQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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