A lookback to the Origin of Computer Games
Trade Wars, Myst, The Sims, StarCraft, Rogue: The Adventure Game, M.U.L.E, SimCity, Sid Meier’s Civilization, Doom, World of Warcraft- any idea what all these are? A small clue- all these are GAMES!
Are they just games? Well, these are all games that most of us grew up playing on our computers. Let us, through this write-up understand more about COMPUTER GAMES and about GAMING.
It can be said that history of computer games are a byproduct of technology. Games of the past relied heavily on the ability of technology to handle huge amounts of data. Apart from data handling, the success of these games lay in representation in a manner such that the user was able to relate to them. Looking back in time, ‘Spacewar’ is regarded as the first computer game that was developed in 1962. All that it involved was two players playing against and shooting each other. It took a decade before the next game was launched called ‘Pong’. Pong was as a video game which met with a lot of success.
This ushered in a revolution of sorts as video games of the following themes were being developed:
Though, as mentioned earlier, Spacewar was the first computer came, the evolution took its own time. The next level of computer games was the console games followed by arcade games. Those days, computer games meant that they would be played by connecting them to TV screens whereas arcade games on public spaces and individual cabinets. All the games that were in existence were all single players and it was only in 1993 that the first multi-player game was launched. Called ‘Doom’, it saw to several PC’s being connected and many people playing simultaneously. Also, Doom made use of 3D graphics and marked the first step towards reality in computer gaming.
Whatever it maybe, a video or a computer game, the appeal remains the same. From the point of view of an animator, the challenge is the same. They have to understand how each model or prototype should physically look and how to make it move. For this, knowledge of 2D and 3D animation becomes absolutely necessary. Further to this, awareness of Photoshop, 3DS Max, Maya, Softimage XSI, Blender, Houdini, Modo, Zbrush becomes equally important. This would enable a skilled artist to do CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) as well as industrial design successfully which would be a reflection of knowing subjects like art theory, art history, composition, colour, form, space, and light.
Gaming on PC’s has come to stay and will always remain evergreen despite the advent of consoles and other hand held devices. The main advantages that these PC’s have over others are:
- Ubiquitous nature.
- Being able to couple as gamepads.
- Relatively inexpensive when compared to others.
- For being ‘stylish’.
- Absence of piracy.
- Flexibility of playing in one’s own living room!
With the advent of super-fast processors and digital graphics of Xbox and PlayStations and wave of virtual reality based video-games, it’s easy to forget that just few years back digital gaming was only available at game parlours and cyber café.
Thank You for Reading!
Article composed and compiled by an alumnus of Animaster Academy, a leading animation and graphics college, in Bangalore, India. Thirsty for more? Try another article from us- Imagineering.