Friday, July 20, 2018
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3D Graphics Development In Video Games Over Decades

Modern video games have extraordinary levels of graphical fidelity. From entire fantasy worlds created from the ground up, that exhibit staggering levels of detail, to human characters that appear so real they could almost be mistaken for the real thing. Today certainly is a good time to be alive for those who love stunning video game visuals.

But it is often overlooked just how far video game graphics have come, especially considering video games that could display only 4 colours were not that long ago. In fact, seeing how far graphics have come in such a short space of time is absolutely dumbfounding. At this rate, video games that appear indistinguishable from real life are certainly just around the corner.

Let’s take a look at how 3D video game graphics have developed over the years.

First 3D Games

Contrary to popular belief, games using 3D objects have been around longer than iconic games such as Quake. 3D Monster Maze is a little known game that used a 3D perspective, in 1981. The game did not render any real 3D images, but emulated a 3D world with 2D images.

The first game to use real 3D polygons was I, Robot, released in 1984. The game did not see much success, despite being a technological marvel of the time. Gamers at the time were simply not grabbed by what they were witnessing, and I, Robot has more or less been lost to time.

The concept of 3D only really gained public attention in 1993, with the now infamous 3D shooter Doom. Although, against the beliefs of many, Doom was not in fact a real 3D game, by technical definition. Doom can be referred to as 2.5D, as opposed to real 3D, given that the 3D perspective is only an illusion. Regardless, the concepts of 3D gaming were ignited in player’s minds.

The Birth Of Modern 3D

Following the success of Doom was Quake in 1996, a shooter that demonstrated real 3D graphics in a major way. The world, and enemies in Quake were true 3D images, and gamers were blown away. Following Quake game developers clambered to advance 3D graphics technology, and the advancements came quickly and relentlessly.

Unreal, releasing in 1998 can arguably be said to have elevated 3D graphics to an even higher level. Featuring graphics technology that was ground breaking at the time, including the now commonplace volumetric lighting technique, gamers could scarcely believe their eyes. And although not as successful in the gameplay department, Unreal set new standards for other developers to live up to and even sites like River Belle casino sat up and took notice of the change in graphic quality.

Current 3D Graphics

In 2007 Crysis set a benchmark that would not be surpassed for many years following, and this event all but broke the bubble of graphics technology. Crysis was the best looking game of all time, but was also so demanding on computer resources that few could fully appreciate it. This peak of graphics technology pushed games into a new era, where graphics were somewhat less important than actual gameplay.

Graphics continue to advance, but are less and less focused on, and instead superior gameplay has become more centre stage. Either way, video game graphics will undoubtedly be incredible in ten years time, considering the advancements of the previous ten years.

Bob Buskirk
the authorBob Buskirk
About 10 years of computer experience. Been messing around with electronics since I was 5, got into computers when I was in highschool, been modding them ever since then. Very interested in how things work and their design.
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