Understand games and good game design.


The evolution of games (and good game design) started with simple blocks of pixels (sprites) that were manipulated via a joystick. As the games got more complex, these games were replaced with 3D. As more powerful computers were made it made the possibility for fluid animation in jungles, urban complexes and even under water.

Even the controller has evolved. Before it was a simple joystick, then replaced by sophisticated pointing devices that emulated a gun. The basic joystick controller got more evolved, and incorporated more than one joystick on a pad, with sensitive buttons. Even motion sensitivity were eventually embedded into the controller.

One major tradeoff in the earlier days of games was having better graphics or more intelligent gameplay. This eventually led to a tradeoff of more detailed graphics of characters or more detailed environments. More and more animation were added to make the character move more smoothly (rather than the jerky movements of earlier games).

Future gaming is going mobile, and one of the main things that is going to be incorporated is the ability to wear goggles that project an image. You are then able to be submerged into a true 3D environment.

Before the popularity of games became mainstream, movies were the big pasttime. It allowed you to emerge your senses into another reality or believe and live another life. As games got more sophisticated, it started taking over many aspects of movies. Now the future of movies is interactivity, and games are the natural extension of this. What games will need to do is to take the "climax" from movies and incorporate them into games. This would be a little different than having bosses that you defeat, as climax can come in many forms.

As games get more sophisticated, the processing power of the console or PC can have an effect on it. Those games with vast environments sometimes needs to have the scenery broken up into smaller "zones" and whenever the character moves from one zone to another, a loading message (with a loading time) usually results. Newer games use streaming methods and better level design so that there is never an interruption between one zone and another. This can be done by limited full 360 degrees view (via walls or corridors) or simply streaming the levels as one character moves into different areas.

Although there is a division between mobile and non-mobile console platforms, the future may end up with games spanning different devices and platforms. For example, the PSP can have a game on that is actually part of the PS3's gaming environment. The player on the PSP would thus be able to help out the main player on the PS3, and has access to two different screens, his PSP screen, and the larger PS3 screen.

One way to make games more fun is to introduce better interactive controllers. One would be to design a pointing device (like a gun) that can be used to point rather than using the analog stick (which is more difficult to aim with). Even using a Playstation Eye to capture movement can be incorporated into the game (dodging, etc).

Before, all the games were usually divided into different levels, and the goal of the player was to move between one level into another. Future games are more free-flowing, allowing the player to move in a vast environment, and the player's actions trigger the next "level", or unlock different areas for exploration. Good guidance is needed if the player is lost in these type of games.

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