Game Boss

Evolution of Video Graphics

The first interactive electronic game was patented by Thomas T Goldsmith way back in 1947. It was based on the radar technology of World War II and marked the beginning of innovations and breakthroughs that allow us to enjoy almost life-like graphics 70 years later. Video game graphics had one hell of a journey, so let's review its key milestones.

Arcade Games

The emergence of programmable microprocessors led to what is known as the golden age of arcade video games, spanning between the late 1970s and mid-1980s. It gave us legendary games still talked about today — Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders, along with Mortal Combat and Street Fighter II during the second birth of the industry in the 90s.

Those machines had limited computing powers and used sprites to produce images. Developers used visual tricks to add 3D effects. Racing games, such as Sega's Turbo from 1981, used changing scenery and perspective to create an illusion of driving past buildings and trees.

Home Consoles

Another giant leap in computer graphics was the start of the 8-bit era marked by the release of Nintendo's NES and Sega's SG-1000. The technological advancement of the 8-bit architecture brought large improvements to the visual and audio capabilities of home consoles. They had a larger color palette, supported a higher framerate, and could process more colors simultaneously and handle more sprites. Combined with a larger resolution, these advancements allowed game developers to make more detailed worlds, design better animations, and create higher quality pseudo-3D effects.

The third generation gave us such iconic titles as Super Mario Bros., Castlevania, Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Metal Gear. As you can see, many fabled game series that are still alive and regularly please their fans with new games started here.

The following generation of 16-bit consoles improved the progress made by its 8-bit predecessors. Those consoles featured even better performance, boasted 16 times more colors, and allowed multi-button controllers. Moreover, it drew the attention of more companies to the growing home console market. As a result, Sony joined the game with their first iteration of the Playstation in 1994, followed by Microsoft's Xbox in 2001.

The Age of 3D

Though Sega Dreamcast didn't sell well, outshined by the mighty Playstation 2, which still holds the record for the best-sold console of all times, it is considered to be ahead of its time. It has a number of prominent and innovative games like Taxi Driver and Sonic Adventure. But what's more important, it allowed players experience a real 3D.

Talking about 3D, you can't mention the legacy of original Doom. Though it wasn't an "honest" 3D, it managed to feature balconies, pits, stairs, and enemies located in a different plane than the player. Doom is considered the cradle of the FPS genre.

Modern Days

The most recent breakthrough in computer graphics is ray-tracing technology. It is a rendering method that simulates the physical behavior of light, creating life-like beams of light, reflections, and shadows. Also, thanks to increases in computing power, VR games are becoming much more realistic and immersive. As Half-Life: Alyx has shown, VR can house serious plot-driven projects, not just arcade-like mini-games.