Today, the video game industry is at the peak of its popularity. Many users headlong into the virtual world to spend their time in the most pleasant way possible. There are movies and books about this topic, such as “Trapped in a Video Game”. However, only some people realize how this industry has been evolving to take its place globally. The most significant changes have certainly involved graphics. Visual effects and video game fonts have evolved incredibly, turning virtual worlds into actual artwork. This article will explore the history of video games and examine how progress has completely changed the industry in just a few decades.
Pixels: Early Stages After Video Game Development
One of the starting points in video game development was the advent of colour graphics. Since personal computers were still a luxury in the late 1970s and 1980s, many people satisfied their thirst for gaming with arcade machines (read more about them on this page). That’s where the first colour games appeared. The table below offers some basic information about the games that became popular at that time.
|Pac-Man||One of the first games to use sprites for creating moving objects. They were two-dimensional images. Nowadays they can be generated with graphic editors, however, 50 years ago, developers had to find innovative ways to digitize a drawing. Sometimes, scanners were not used in this process as scanned images took up too much space on hard drives (and they were very expensive back then). Furthermore, it was impossible to transfer colors correctly, so artists had to digitize general features and contours of the image, and then complete the drawing on the computer.|
|Solomon’s Key||The game was released in 1986. It gained popularity among consumers quickly. It was a puzzle game featuring some action and strategy elements. When creating it, the artists had to use programming skills, as there was a need to use hexadecimal coding to digitize each cell of the sprite.|
|Super Speed Racer||This console game was released in 1979. The main task for the gamer was to drive a car on various tracks. Two modes of racing were available: single-player and multiplayer. This three-dimensional entertainment also introduced such an innovation as scrolling, thus, the scene shifted from top to bottom and created a feeling of movement. Later, this technology became popular and was used by many game developers.|
In general, pixel art has both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it was simple to develop, and there was room for creativity and experimentation. Moreover, such graphics had a unique charm for many consumers. However, pixel art limits the options to convey detail and realism if you look at the situation from a different perspective. Despite this, those original games are still top-rated among gamers to this day, for instance,
- Super Mario Bros.;
- The Legend of Zelda;
- Final Fantasy.
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A particular leap in the development of video games occurred when 3D graphics were utilized in them. It began to dominate in the mid-1990s, virtually replacing the pixel-based development method. This is unsurprising, as such a model makes the image more exciting and enticing. Of course, it cannot provide a complete immersive experience, yet, thanks to technological development, such graphics have made it possible to create a reasonably realistic picture.
Improved details and various colors and textures are some of the main advantages that can be highlighted in entertainment products with 3D graphics. The Superman video game, Doom, Tomb Raider, and Half-Life are some popular offers where this technology was used. It made the gameplay more dynamic and interactive. However, it had disadvantages. The main disadvantage of 3D graphics is a more complex development system and an increased resource and skill requirement.
Today, video games are quite a high-quality product that provides an unforgettable experience. They have gone through a huge path of development: from the evolution of video game consoles to the development of amazing entertainment for computers in a photorealism style. This graphics involves enhancement of the image to the extent that it becomes identical to reality. To date, such technology has not been fully implemented, yet it seems that in the near future, we will be able to enjoy such games as The Last of Us Part II and Red Dead Redemption 2 with complete immersion into their environments.