Last week we discussed about VR technology and its impact on the gaming industry. While today it is clear that we might see VR games in the very near future, only until five years ago, VR technology still seemed quite sci-fi, at least when it comes to gaming and gaming technology.
In the past there have been quite a lot of phenomena that seemed sci-fi, but they are quite real now. If the history of video has taught us anything, it is that nothing is impossible and that every technological advance can have an impact on game developed and can be used to improve gameplay and give us more realistic games.
The Early Days of 3D
3D graphics are pretty much the norm nowadays, but most of us remember the days when 3D games were still considered revolutionary. You may be surprised to learn that the first 3D game appeared in the 1980s, but it is safe to say that all games before 1990 were 3D only in the name. In other words, the ingenious developers and designers used various tricks and techniques to make the graphics appear 3D, but there was no real 3D dynamics. If we compare those games to ones that we have today, nobody would even say that they are 3D.
The developers in the early 1990s had to compromise a lot when it came to 3D and graphics in general. Firstly, as 3D technology was still in its infancy, there were a lot fewer options at their disposal. Employing 2D graphics usually meant having a lot more options in terms of gameplay and overall game feel, but on the other hand, developing a high-quality 3D game meant a greater appeal.
Wolfenstein was probably the first game with groundbreaking 3D graphics, at least for its time, and considering that the game was released in 1992, it has to be said that the graphic features were quite impressive, even though the gameplay was still basic. There are weren’t a lot of available options, after all.
What the Future Holds
By the mid-nineties most first person shooters and action games featured what was cleverly called 2.5D graphics, i.e. they all appeared 3D, but they were actually created in 2D technology. The maps appeared 3D, but developers used clever tricks to make it seem so. Quake was released in 1996, and many experts would agree that it killed off the so called 2.5D games.
Then, during the following 1997 the first video cards especially created for 3D games appeared and that changed everything. Then game developers started adding shaders, and without shaders we can’t even imagine modern 3D games and their advanced graphic features. Shaders made bodies and characters look at lot more realistic.
One might wonder what the next major thing would be when it comes to graphics and it would be silly not to assume that developers might try to create games that require 3D glasses. After all, if there can be 3D films, why not 3D games in the actual sense of the word.