Thursday, 20 January 2011

My Personal History of Game

So i grew up with two elder brothers. Later on my dear mother gave birth to two other wonderful kids, my lil bro and my lil sis. But that's any other story. One with alot more... gore.
The three of us were close back then. We grew up in a single parent family (not that single parents don't do as well, it was just unfortunate that my mum couldn't get a job whilst caring for us) so we never had the 'latest' doo-daa's or the trendiest of clothing. The poor second born had all the hand-me-downs from the first and i got away with it because i was the only girl. No complaints there.
So when my eldest brother came home from school with an Atari one day (charity from another kid i assume) you could only imagine the gleam on our faces as we plugged it in and had a play on a console for the very first time. I can't remember the year exactly but i assume i was something like 7 or 8 (1997/1998) because my brothers were still in junior school.

Missile Command, Asteroids and Space invaders (shown below, missile command) were the very first games i remember playing. Kudos goes to my mum actually because she jogged my memory a few months ago when we were discussing how my course was going. She said "You've always loved computer games even when your brothers would play you would just sit and watch. Do you remember the Atari?" Well i did now! Ah yes the Atari. Lest we forget your stylish bulky brown physic and 8-bit gaming quality.
 One game i absolutely remember and LOVED was Shinobi. Purely because it was so ridiculously difficult and you'd spend countless hours trying to complete it. And we did one day! It was a magical day. That brave ninja finally rescued his love from the guy with the weird sweepy hair that kinda creeped me out as a kid.. (Below, the first boss)

 Yeeeah i remember the three of us all huddled round, taking turns to complete a level once one of us died. I guess i could have spent more time reading a book or doing my homework come to think of it.
And I guess when my mother saw how much easier raising children was with a console in the house she couldn't help herself. For Christmas a couple years later (around 1998) she got us all a SEGA.
Whenever i see that word in my head i always have to sing:
                 "Seygaa" ~ 
 With the little *bling* after it... If you've ever owned one you'd know what i meant :p ! And immediately i think of Sonic. But i didn't really want to mention sonic in this because of it's recent embarrassment in video gaming. It was great once upon a time but everyone knows sonic. No, the game i have to mention is 'Alex the Kid' or 'Alex the kidd in miracle world' which was built into the Sega. Brilliant game. It's sad that I've lost all the many game cartridges we once had. I left them in Derby when we moved to Leicester. Should have kept them for the nostalgia but what can you do.

Then there was the Dreamcast which was the first console i saw that took CDs. We had a Nintendo 64 after that. My favourite game of all time is Zelda ocarina of time. Down to this day. And it kinda makes me sad that that's the case, because the whole Zelda theme has been taken to a whole new level where everyone thinks it's super cool and super trendy to be into that. i really hate being apart of 'trends' but it IS THE MOST greatest game i've ever played. Oh cruel internet...
Then we somehow obtained a Playstation AND a Gamecube. My eldest brother had started working at the local Indian restaurant so these luxuries were a real treat... sometimes. When we'd have a tiff or a fallout suddenly we were banned from his consoles. It took a lot of sucking up and sweets to release said ban let me tell you.
I'm cutting a long story short here for your sake.
Then we had an xbox which by this time entertained all 5 of us (lil bro and lil sis included). And finally, an Xbox 360.
Well the three of us have all branched off now so we don't experience gaming like the old days anymore. We all still talk about the next releases and brag about achievements and gamer scores but it'll never be the same. Not like the days when video gaming was a release from everything in the world. School and home. When it was a time of bonding and the sibling togetherness. 
I guess when it boils down to it, video games are sometimes more than just video games. In my life personally, they played a big role in childhood and bring a lot of deep memories about that era flooding back to me. Maybe in a couple years time my little sister and brother will think back to when we used to play the xbox together and that will be their time.

Moving away from the deep personal aura ~

So now i look to the future! Where hopefully people will be fully immersed in gaming so much so that they never want to leave the game and all of society will collapse! Yeah!

Dead space gore... leading the way to even MORE gory games. Why not.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The History of Game, Now

Well it's alright getting hyped up about the next Call of Crap urm i mean Duty, or anticipating what the next xbox graphics will be like. You, the consumer, just buy the games and enjoy. However, behind the scenes gaming companies are under a lot of stress due to cost, competition and technology.

For example, back in the day a game would cost X to make and would sell for Y amount. Nowadays a game would cost X to make and would sell for Y amount. The problem today though is development of technology and expensive costs of X. Games today may sell for more, but they also cost a lot more to make. The cost of development is rising dramatically, whereas in the 1980's you'd have maybe a single programmer. Today it usually takes a team of over 200 people. Thus, Y rises also.
Below, an example taken from

"Even after adjusting for inflation, the figures below paint a striking story. The cost of developing high-profile games has increased exponentially over the last few years, with costs for the next generation of consoles expected to continue this trend. Estimates have ranged from a 20% to a 100% increase in development costs for next-generation titles."

 Another factor that hits developers hard is the competition, which links in with technological advances. Companies need to keep up with today's advances which costs more money. They also need to be aware of other competitor's consoles and systems to assure that releases are up to scratch.
Okamoto, chief technical officer for Sony Computer Entertainment said,

"Moore's Law is too slow for us,"  (referring to the long-held truism that semiconductor power doubles roughly every 18 months.) "We can't wait 20 years to achieve a 1,000-fold increase in PlayStation performance."

With today's new HD craze and soon to be HDRI (High Dynamic Range Imaging) progression, it takes a little more than a few programmers to create a game. And a little more than a clever man to develop a new console. The industry is under a lot of stress to keep YOU happy.

And speaking of HDRI and advances in TV and Video, What the heck!? I mean, they are trying to get imaging technology as powerful as the human eye. I ask, what's the point? We all have eyes (Sorry blind people) so why would you want a TV that reflects images like your eyes? Why not just... look! there we go, an awesome design already experienced. Go outside! Look at the clouds and the world through your own eyes. Not through a screen that resembles your eyes. How silly and pointless. Billions of dollars gone into this new technology that does something you could already do... for free. Yes it would make gaming experience more immersing but i ask only that people appreciate what they already have. Well aaaaanyway back to the point...*ahem*..

So next time you pick up the new Halo, give a thought to the trouble and hard work that's gone into that game. Remember the advances throughout 60 years! The advances that have changed the gaming world, and the advances that are yet to come.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

The History of Game. 1980's to 1990's

A continuation of  'The History of Game'

Before i get on to my very first game experience, let me tell you a little about the very first 3D game.

The first 3D game was 'Monster Maze' created in 1980 by a J.K.Greye and programmed by Malcolm Evans. The aim of the game was to escape the maze without being eaten. But it was in 3D! So no complaints there. It was the first of it's kind and it was the start of something much bigger.

However, the more popular of this decade were the home consoles. Such as Sega, Nintendo, Atari and the Megadrive. I'll name a few games from this era and you'll understand why this was THE pinnacle in video gaming.

Remember some of these? Or maybe you recall playing some of the modern day 'Mario Brothers' or 'Donkey Kong'. These are their originals. It was this time, the 1980's era of gaming, that I had my very first play. My first games were 'Missile Command' and 'Space Invaders' on the Atari joystick. I then remember my elder brother getting a Sega for Christmas. I played Sonic until my thumbs were sore. I also remember playing Bomber man and oh lest we forget... Alex the Kid (or 'Alex Kidd in Miracle World') which was built into the sega.

We were a decade behind, but it was a decade i would have rather been in for my first experience anyway. Enough of the nostalgia, let's move on.

This decade gave birth to many popular games today, however in 1983 there was what's called today as a 'Video Game Crash'. Where consoles were churned out in an attempt to make profit and poorly designed games made many people recline at the idea of spending money on more games. People lost faith and interest in games and consoles. Companies lost a lot of money or were eaten up entirely. Next Gen consoles saved the day. In 98 sega released Fourth generation Megadrive, after that the progress continued and the market recovered better than ever. (...some could say)

In the 1990's, gaming was rapidly advancing. And it was about the time that Japan began to take over the majority of the industry. 
 Some fun facts of the 90's:
Nintendo released  Super Mario Bros. 3 in North America which sold 17.28 million copies, making it the best-selling stand-alone video game of all time. (This record has now been beaten by CoD Black-ops... it pains me to say. Within the first 24 Hours 7 Million copies were sold.)
In 1992 the first 'Mortal Kombat' was released. (Right)
In 1993 Sega releases Sonic CD, Sonic Spinball, the Alien 3: The Gun arcade game, and Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (which i also remember playing).
In 1996 Tomb Raider was released for the PC, PlayStation, and the Sega Saturn.
(By this point it's not just lonely men in their mum's basements playing games anymore)
And in 1999 Sega releases their final console, the Dreamcast, before retiring from console making.

  Pretty interesting stuff, huh?