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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, track, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view GDC 2023 session details, speakers and share your favorites via social media. You will be able to build your schedule and access it during the show via export or with the Mobile App, once live. Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

Creating Context Art in the Open World of 'Saint's Row's' Santo Ileso

James Taylor  (Principal Artist, DS Volition)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Visual Arts

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

Creating an open world is hard—especially when that open world needs an appropriate level of signage, branding, landmarks, and road markers.

With over 400 fictional brands on display, Saints Row's Santo Ileso needed a new category of artist to name, design, and place most of the signs around town... and do their best to manage the rest. The context trtist is responsible for it all.

This talk covers what a context artist is, how the position came to be, how it evolved throughout the project, and how it may be a position other teams need for their next worlds.


Attendees will learn about the creation and use—and the techniques of—the Context Artist, and will learn if such a position is a good one for their next games. If they only need a partial solution, the talk will cover other methods of tackling the same ground.

Intended Audience

This is for environment artists, leads, or directors who may be tackling need for high levels of believable signage in their worlds. Other artists may find the talk useful with how it pertains to in-universe branding across multiple disciplines.