Sunday, 14 December 2008

Middle history

In July 1980 Atari released the infamous Asteroids which was one of the first games ever to be copyrighted. Asteroids along with Pac man and Space wars became invading everywhere in the form of coin operated arcade games. Adventure, RPG’s and strategy games became to popping up everywhere such as Empire and Age of wonders. Towards the later 80s fewer games where released however new companies started to arise such as Lucas Arts.

When the 90s hit new ideas started arriving about the ways programming, the interface and Graphics. Along with theses new ideas new companies started arriving which are still recognisable today such as Westwood and Bullfrog. Games were becoming more and more popular and actually started to become profitable which is in part due to the popularity of games such as Doom and Underworld.

Pac man was release in Japan in May 1980 and was a simple but compelling maze. Pac man is a 2D maze were the character ‘Pac man’ eats the dots whilst avoids the ghosts which kill the character. As the levels progress the levels become gradually harder but there is no real end to the game however on the 255th level a bug makes the level almost impossible as only half the screen is visible.

Doom is a RPG were the player takes the role of a hardened ‘space marine’ and have to travel to different planets and destroy the evil creatures which threaten to destroy anything, finally he has to go to hell and destroy all the creatures…alone.

Both Doom and Pac man both have been amazingly popular but the advancement in technology has allowed for completely different kind of game play in doom. There is only 13yrs between the games but in the short history of games this is like a century. Pac man has short levels which have a simple goal, the whole level is also visible, doom is more like a novel, it is split with episodes and within each episode are the levels. The creatures are satanic and the game goes out of its way to scare the player.

Games and Technology have always gone hand in hand, as computers became more advanced so did the games, however a side effect to this is that less attention is being paid to the narrative and more to the Graphics. I have come across some visually stunning games but if the game is shallow with little narrative I lost interest quite quickly, nowadays we should look back on these games and try and take some of the qualities to create somewhat more compelling games.

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