Creative Reuse of Cultural Heritage in Mobile and Browser Games: Is a Subscribed Image Reference Library Possible?


  • Ivelin Ivanov


Pre-production has always been the most exciting, the most fun part of game development. This is the time when the team members can let their imaginations roam free, asking one simple question: “What is the best game we could possibly create?” A big part of the pre-production magic is finding the right visual style, and it always starts with gathering the right (image) references. If the production was handled by a high profile studio with a multimillion-dollar budget, then the pre-production fairy tale would become even more magical. Why not send a team of five or six people for one week to Prague, London, or somewhere in Africa? They would then return triumphantly with a precious load of thousands of high-definition, state-ofthe- art images of the right buildings, people, objects, and environment. This treasure would become the visual backbone of the prospective instant classic of a game. Even better, the art lead and the senior artists would literally immerse themselves in the spirit of the place to later on inspire the rest of the team. Yet, if pre-productions like this do exist, I have never been part of them. I have only read about them, wondering if it all was not just a PR stunt. In reality, gathering reference material is done mostly sitting at your desk, asking the Almighty Internet to lend you a hand.

Author Biography

Ivelin Ivanov

Ivelin Ivanov has 14 years of work experience in the game industry. He began his career as a marketing manager for the biggest local games retailer (Pulsar), started up a game art outsourcing studio later on (The SOURCE Studio), and has been working as a game producer for the last six years. He is currently the creative director of Imperia Online Ltd., the biggest Bulgarian developer of free-to-play mobile and browser-based games. 




How to Cite

Ivanov, I. (2015). Creative Reuse of Cultural Heritage in Mobile and Browser Games: Is a Subscribed Image Reference Library Possible?. Uncommon Culture, 6(2), 45–51. Retrieved from