Tuesday, 6 December 2011

A history of computer games, part three: 2000s

Which was one of the earlist magazine
that covered the 'mircocomputer
revolution. Published from 1974 untill
December 1985
Interesting to know that.
By the late 1970s to 1980s games were developed and distributed through hobbyist groups and gaming magazines, such as  'creative computing' and 'computer gaming world'

Founded in 1981 by Russell Sipes
as a bimonthly publication
and final issues 2006

Creative computing covered the whole spectrum of hobbyist/home/personal computing, while Computer Gaming introduced a quarterly newsletter that focused on topics like game design, game hints and scenarios and game developments. However, the newsletter never really took off and only two issues were publish in 1987 of autum and winter.

Nevertheless, in 1983 there was a serious event that brought an abrupt end, to what is considered the second generation of console video gaming. This crash happened in North America. This second generation were sometimes referred to as the early 8 bit era. So the crash almost destroyed the industry and led to bankruptcy of several companies producing home computers and video game consoles in North America.

A few years later the video-game industry was revitalized mostly due to the widespread success of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) which was released in North America in 1985.
The NES offered a bundle with SuperMario Brothers and was an instant success, for over 20 years. Super Mario Bros, was the best-selling video game of all time ( lol before it was outsold by Nintendo's own Wii Sports in 2009 )
Funny to know this was released
 on September the 13th 1985jp.
 It's the same month and
 day for my birthday, though
 I was born 5 years later lol.

The play controls Mario throughout
the Mushroom Kingdom.
Mario abilities can changed by
picking up certain items

So the NES dominated the Market in both North America and Japan until the rise of the next generation of the consoles in the early 1990s. Since other markets were not as heavily dominated, this allowed other consoles to find an audience.

October 1985 in Japan, Sega released Sega Mark III it was also released to North America in 1986 and 1987 in Europe, with the name Master System.

The Master System was released as a direct competitor to the Nintendo Entertainment System in the third video-game generation. Sega had it's consoles in European, Oceanic and Brazilian markets, this allowed Sega to outsell Nintendo, due to its wider availability.  However the NES sold by far the most units of any third generation consoles in North America and Japan. This was due to its earlier release, its strong lineup of first-party title. The Master Systrem was finally discontinued in the late 1990's, while Nintendo of Japan continued to repair Famicom systems untill October 31, 2007.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

A history of computer games, part two: 1980s - 1990s

It is Interesting to investigate 1980's because only Ten years later, I existed in this 3rd dimension reality.
 Plenty of goodies in this era, so here's my little take...

In the 1980’s the gaming industry experienced it’s first major growing pains, because of the relatively low publishing costs for personal computer games which allowed for bold, unique games.

However some early 80’s games, were just clones of existing arcade titles. They say, that there is no consensus as to the exact time period, but based around the 1980 margin, “The Golden age of Video arcade games” was a peak era of video arcade games popularity, innovation and earning.

The Golden Age generated a lot of revenue, though in contrast the best-selling arcade games of the Golden Age, were space invaders and Pac-man. They both  sold over 360,000s and 350,000s copies, with each machine costing between $2000 and $3000.

Thought this image was interesting because it's the world smallest Space Invader, machine lol.

So it's a shooter game in which the player controls a Hyperlink laser cannon by moving it horizontally across the bottom of the screen and firing at descending Aliens. The player-controlled the laser cannon which shoots the aliens as they descend to the bottom of the screen.

This is an ipod docking station disguised as a Ms.Pacman Arcade machine.

Pac-man was developed by a nine-man team. It’s obvious but funny to think it was based on the concept of eating, which in Japanese terms was called “Pakkuman”. You find the Japanese always get their names from such things that exist in reality. So the Japanese onomatopoeic slang phrase Paku- Paku taberu, where the “sound of” the mouth movement when widely opened and then closed in succession.

There were  Genre innovations
When the Golden Age of video arcades games, reached its highest point in the 1980s, it brought with it many technical advances and genre-defining games.            
Action role playing games, Adventure games, Beat 'em up, and more Action adventure games like ...

That helped establish the action adventure genre, combining elements from different genres to create a compelling hybrid of a lot of genres.
Atari 5200
Atari 2600
New and better consoles from the 70's such as Atari 5200 that was introduced in 1982
That was a higher end complementary console for the popular Atari 2600 and the later one Atari 7800 that had origally been designed to replaced Atari 5200, but in 1984 was temporarily shelved due to the sales of the company after the video game crash. 

Atari 7800

In January 1986, the 7800 was again released and would compete that year with the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Master System. However the Atari 7800, had simple digital joysticks, also the main treat of this console was that it was almost fully backwards-compatible with the Atari 2600 and for that, it was the first console to have this with out additional modules.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A history of computer games, part one: 1950s - 1970s

Interesting enough what I believe is that, to know our answers now, we must search the past, that helps us figure out the present.
So the video game history started in an unusual and complicated way, so it’s apparent to avoid confusion with what happened in the 1950’s and 1960’s. 

It states that the real video game history started with Ralph Baer as early as 1951.  In the 1950’s and 1960’s, computers were not only exceedingly expensive, but the technology was lacking, because it could not allow integrating them into a video game system. Only mainframes could allow playing a few games. These games qualified as Computer games, not Video games.

In 1947, there were requests for an invention, that became known  as 'Cathode ray tube amusement device' which was the earliest known interactive electronic game,which any person using the knobs and buttons to manipulate a cathode ray tube beam, could simulate firing a 'airplane' target.

In 1949 -1950 Charley Adam, created a 'Bouncing Ball. However, the program was not yet interactive; it was a precursor for games in the future. In 1958, Tennis for Two was a game on an Analog, computer, which simulates a game of tennis or ping pong on an oscilloscope.

Tennis for Two was Exhibited for two seasons before it was dismantled in 1959

This was created by William Higinbotham, that Tennis for Two showed a simplified tennis court from the side, featuring a 'gravity-controlled ball that needed to be played over the net, unlike its successor Pong. Pong has a box shaped controller, that was  equipped with both a knob and a button for hitting the ball.
This is Spacewars! one of the earliest known digital computer games

It  is a two-player game, with each player taking control of a spaceship and attempting to destroy the other. Steve Russell, Martin Graetz and Wayne Witaenem from the fictitious Hingham Institute, conceived of the game in the 1961 which they implement  on 'DEC PDP-1' which is a programmed data processor, and was the first computer in digital equipment corporation. Amazing to think when Russell began finishing his first version, it took him approximately 200 hours of work to create the initial version.

As early as 1951, a young 29 year old TV engineer named Ralph Baer worked at Loral, a TV company. Amazing to see that his chief engineer, Sam Lackoff (haha jackoff) asked him to build the best television set in the world. Designing a TV set was child play for Ralph, however he wanted to add a new concept that his boss did not understand: playing games on the television set. The video game concept was born, but could not been implemented since the boss refused the idea. In 1966 Ralph Baer came back to his 1951 idea of playing games on TV sets and started to build the first video game prototypes.

Ralph Baer is accordingly, credited as the inventor of the video game

In 1966 Ralph Baer, had a co-worker called Bill Harrison that he engaged into the project. They created a simple video game 'Chase'. This was the first to display on a standard television set.

He designed a series of seven prototypes that played several video games. Chase consists of two squares chasing each other. The last prototype built in 1968 (also known as Brown Box) played Ball and Paddle games, Target Shooting games and more. After several demonstration to TV manufactures, Magnavox signed an agreement in 1971 and the first video game system was released in May 1972: Odyssey.

 The history of PONG games and derivates had just started, and would spread all over the globe and die in the early 1980s

Monday, 10 October 2011

A bout me :D

Hey there D:
My name is James Farrell, I am 21 years of age and from the West Midlands Birmingham. Happy to announce I is a first year student of De Montfort University, studying Game Art Design course. I am very proud of myself and grateful to think I have achieved a place in a University and finally a course that feels consciously connected to me.

“A new chapter of my life has just begun. Please enjoy the experience with me”
Well, I had to climb up the ‘ladder you could say’ because, soon after I left school. I struggled to what I want to do; to keep it short. I did a ‘Game Development course’ I left after six months, because it didn’t feel right with me, I wanted to practise within the traditional realm.
   So I did First Diploma Art and Design, for one year then rolled onto the National Diploma Art and Design for two years after. So I’ve done a lot of catching up to do, within understanding the practical and theoretical of ‘Art’ itself.  I had a lot of dislikes towards the course structure or topics, because I just solely wanted to learn how to draw and paint, however felt this was a very limited and narrow view. So I appreciated what the course offered towards my own path and education, because I have gained x amount of skills and I feel a lot more confidents and knowledgeable person in the crafts of understanding and being an Artist.

Like many other students on this course, I have also been interested into video games/ cartoons/ movies, because the visual creation just excites me. However video games I find a lot more unique then cartoons and movies, while it show and tells to us.  In videos games ‘you’ are the engager. The narration, characters, artillery, environments and the overall visual design, always been very fascinating to me and now I feel to be a part of it, the part of the creation.
I have also had a growing interest into different cultures and history that led to many off-peak hours, and also researching and understanding the essence of life, creation, the world and the universe.  I feel I am a ‘truth seeker’ because the truth is what shall set us free and the light of it all is, there are many fearful events that has  happened and will happen on this earth and in the cosmos that, as an developing artist, find it thriving and inspiring, to see and feel this.
   Growing this exploration feel of ‘must know’ giving me this thirstiness, I want to travel to many other countries, learning it’s cultures and others and by being an artist, I can document it, by my skills that I am developing.
I have being learning to play an instrument for couple of years (off and on). The piano/keyboard, always felt a dying passion and interest for me. Music in general (not mainstream) but more so, from Video games, cartoons and movies and other genres of music, that I never really focus on the lyrical side of songs, but more so, how the frequency and the fluency of how ‘that’ music, makes you feel. So trying to gain this ability to become a musician on the side, that is gaining and aiding me attributes towards ‘I-me’ as a whole.
I am never afraid of learning and doing something new. I was before, I feel I have left my old software self behind and now in the improved progressive state of being now, that I want to try and keep it consistence and thus improve beyond this, endlessly…
I do aim to get into the industry but I do not aim to chase success. I am here to gain the knowledge and wisdom of the course, students, tutors and the environment of the university; this will help provide me the right skills, I wish to acquire. I am a very open person and thinking what artist I would like to desire, I do not want to narrow in given time, because I do not want to disregard anything else. So I am leaving myself open, so I can engulf and digest everything.

However, I would love to work for Sega, or Square nix, Capcom, because these companies, really inspire me on their art direction.
-Year one goal.
Master my fundamentals
Get into deeper practise of learning /studying of course time and personal time
Put that extra dosage of spirit and energy of effort in my work
Learn and understand what I can and keep an open mind.
And more…..
Thanks for reading ^_^ hope it’s been somewhat inspiring :D ;-;