Finished my essay a few days ago, thought I make a quick post about it. My essay explores the production design of Valve's 'Team Fortress 2', a classed based multilayer game released in 2007 as part of the Orange Box package. Since the games' release, there's been a total of 97 updates for the game, 97! That's roughly one update per week - talk about supporting your product.
As mentioned before, the visual style changed dramatically throughout development, later favouring a cartoon 50s - 60s industrial look with key design and gameplay issues in mind, such as the need to quickly identify character classes from each other. Thus, some areas I looked at was their inspiration for the art style such as rim highlighting, character design lead by silhouettes and impressionistic environments.
I'm a little up on the word count, which I hope is fine. Other than that, I quite enjoyed writing the essay learning the way in which Valve approach their games in production design.