The Purpose of Concept Art

Concept Art
Concept art is a more important part of games development than it seems, a piece of concept art will give games designers an idea of what game they are creating, and it might also inspire games designers in some ways. All games have to start somewhere- they usually start with a few simple sketches, this then develop's into concept, and that concept art slowly evolves into a game; the art itself could even explain functions of the game, and this gives guidance to the programmers. Concept art could also create a mood for the game, this is important because sound designers will need context for the music and sound effects they will create. This also applies for the writers of the games story line, some landscape concept art will help writers come up with a setting for the game- for example if the concept art shows a run down, dismal image of the town, they will write the games characters to fit the scene.

Concept art is not promotional art, promotional art is art used to promote a game, concept art is used to start the build of the game. You might see images of "concept art" for games being "leaked", but actually this is promotional art, this art will more than likely look like its been finished to a professional standard. Concept art is actually quite practical, concept art is meant to show of designs in the process, its not uncommon for a design to get changed or rejected; and this is what draws the line between concept art and promotional art, because you wouldn't want to promote art which has different designs than the finished game.

 An example of a game that made a mistake by releasing concept are instead of promotional art, was "Might No.9"- this game was a homage to the Mega Man Series which was backed on Kickstarter for about $4 million, and this is what it seemed to be like through its concept art and early gameplay demo's; somewhere along the way the game changed from a dark and well shaded style of art, with challenging gameplay- to an easy and cheesy-looking game. The main problem is that they released footage og the game, to the backers of the game whilst it was still using Unreal Placeholder Assets- this means they were not the development teams creations; 3 years after this, the game was released, and it looked worst than the demo.
Concept/ Promotional art

Demo of game made in a week

Final Game- gives off a different atmosphere

Here is some concept art from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim(2011). The art shows off the first city the player  can enter-Whiterun; though you are free to roam wherever you want in Skyrim, this is just where the main quest starts to unravel. This concept art says a lot about what the developers were trying to get across with the characters in Skyrim. The art shows some drunken townsfolk, hanging around at night, this gives off the impression that the townsfolk are rowdy yokels- which is what they were in the finished game. However this piece of art shows a scene which isn't in the game, and I think this is what makes this a good piece of concept art, because it did more then just show what a town will look like, it also suggested what the people in the town will act like.
This peice of concept art also shows what the weather of Whiterun will be like, there is a little bit of snow on the ground- so we know that the climate is cold, and you can also look at the colour schemes used- they give of the impression of winter time, because of how dark and gloomy it is. There are also mountains in the background of the image, this shows that the region is mountainous, this setting takes inspirations from the Scandinavian region in Europe- even the architecture of the buildings backs up this theory; in fact many locations in Skyrim take inspiration from this game. The mood of the concept art is quite Cosy in my opinion, because it looks very cold and dark in the outside areas of the art. But the light from the buildings gives of a warm cosy atmosphere.
You can find this piece of concept art in the Official Skyrim Art Book-
Here are some sketches from the development of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege(2015), this sketch shows the character "Sledge". In Rainbow Six Siege, you can choose an character, to play against others online, each character has their own special ability; and Sledge's is to use a sledgehammer. The Sledgehammer is used to bash holes in walls- as you can see from the sketch. These sketches are used to show a concept for the game- so it a piece of concept art in it's early stages. 
Here is a more detailed piece of art, focusing on the sledgehammer itself, this picture is surrounded by text, this text is an important feature in concept art, as it can help people other than the artist understand the purposes of the certain features of the piece of art.

Here is a piece of concept art for the same Character, but without the sledgehammer, I think this was drawn to show what the character looks like without their special ability, because it's important not to let the characters special ability define them completely; I know from playing this game, the characters have their own backstory, and personalities.

And here is the game art used in the actual game. It shows off the sledgehammer more than the previous piece of concept art.

Stages of Concept Art
The definition of concept art is "an artistic rendering of an element or elements in a film, TV show, or video game, created as part of the development and visualisation of characters, costumes, environments, etc."  This means that concept art is more of a process than a singular piece of art, concept art starts with an idea in your head, it then becomes a quick sketch, and maybe a couple more sketches, each sketch might differ- this is a good way of comparing different ideas and concepts for whatever you are creating. The sketches don't have to look amazing, but its good to add shading, and improve some detail- this can help others understand what the art shows. Adding colour is important to a concept art piece, because different colour schemes can create different moods. After the concept art is complete, the piece of art should be made into a digital graphic- this could mean a 3D model, or a 2D sprite.

My Concept art
 Now I will show some of my own concept art I made for my game, I am no artist, but I am working on improving my drawing skill.

The image above shows the characters I plan to put into my game, the characters on the left are the police officers in the game- the female one on the left is going to be the protagonist, and the guy on her right is going to be character who is going to be captured. On the left are the three classes of clowns in the game, you probably cannot see the writing around the clowns, but it's basically saying each clowns stats, for example the one of the left is weak and quick, the one in the middle strong and slow, and the one of the right has medium strength and speed; it would of been good to draw them in size order, but I didn't.

Here is some concept art of an area in my game, the building on the left is a community centre/town hall, for a small town in America. A circus tent can been seen to left- this is meant to be more hidden in the woods- which surround the area. In the background is a mountain which looks over the town.

Here is a Sawn-off shotgun which will be used by the clowns in my game. It was supposed to be longer, but I sometimes struggle drawing scale.

Here are a mixture of weapons and items I plan to create for the game. It includes concepts of handcuffs- which would be used to restrain an enemy. It also shows different concepts of a healing system- a syringe and a first aid kit are shown- a syringe would favour a more realistic game mechanic- but to achieve this realism you would need to animate a syringe going into the players body. A first aid kit- or a "Med Kit" is a concept used in many games. The concept has become a bit of a cliche, it involves a player walking up to the "Med Kit" and healing themselves instantly. There are also some pink weapons, which I thought would be a way of giving the clowns a weird set of weapons.

Here is a drawing of a cocktail bomb.

This is an axe, I might use it for melee enemies in my game, for example the weak and quick clown might run at the player with this weapon.

Here is a sub machine gun the clowns will be using.