Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Gaming Consoles 1980's.

   The 1980 through to the 1990’s were a big year for the generation of computers. These were the times where computers really began to take off, and in essence, the gaming industry with it.

     In 1981 the “Play Cable” system was created which allowed audiences to play games on there regular TV, by adding a converter created specially to allow downloads of games onto their gaming consoles. The down side of this console was that it had very small memory, and with the ever changing games that would be downloadable each month which starting being produced as 8K/16K of RAM which the 4K of RAM that the “Play Cable” had couldn’t adapt too ment that this system starting becoming unattractive to customers as it could only support older games. It was later discontinued in 1983 as audiences wanted the newer games. However, it is a rare collectable for Console collectors.

         In 1982 Atari produced it’s next console known as the “Atari 5200”. It was a more popular version of the “Atari 2600”. This console featured an analogue joystick with a keypad and buttons. This offered more control than it’s predecessor as the “Atari 2600” only offered a four-poisition joystick whereas the “5200” offers a fully movable stick. This moved on the gaming revelation as it began to offer a more versatile and stimulating gameplay.

      1983 was the year that the North American video game crash happened. This was a consequential event that devastated the gaming industries. It wiped out the Second Generation type console gaming which lead to a downfall for the business that produced them resulting in many companies becoming bankrupt. There were many factors which helped produce the downfall of the industry but it is believed that the main cause was supersaturation of the market with multiple low quality games which made the audiences loose confidence and interest in them. Many consoles such as the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Coleco Vision and the Magnavox Odyssey2 were produced at the time of the crash. One of the most famous  games to help the downfall of the games industry was “E.T the Extra Terrestrial” based on the well known film was hastily made for Atari resulting in it being very poor.

      Nintendo nowadays is a very popular gaming console. It began in 1983 with the realise of the “Nintendo Entertainment System”. It was orginially realised in Japan and later throughout the years realised in Europe and Australia. It was produced my the manufacturers for an audience of a “family unit”.  They made it a Family Computer  and helped revitalize the US gaming industry after the video game crash.

    Sega then went on to produce consoles throughout the years of 1983 -1985 starting with the “Sega SG 1000” which was the first entry from Sega into the home video game hardware business. It was a catradge based console which provided a potential basis for the more successful models yet to come. The “Sega SG 1000 II” was created next, it was very similar to the “SG 1000” except the shell had been restyled and the plug in keyboard socket had been moved to the front instead of the back. The “Sega Master system” then continued the Sega console in 1985.

   In 1990 the Commodore 64 Games System was another cartridge based console similar to the Commodore 64, this meant that the cartridges from 64 were compatible with the 64GS.

     In conclusion, the 1980’s were a very important era for the gaming industry, as they learnt a valuable lesson about over-producing poor games which ended in the games console crash, from this they managed to move on and produce better quality games which lead to a thriving industry for games.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

History of Game Pt 1

    In 1849 Charles Babbage built what is considered to be the world’s first computer. It had over 8,000 parts, measuring 11 feet long with a weight of 5 tonnes. This computer however, was manually driven via a handle that the user would have to rotate in order to get the desired output making it a mechanical calculator. The main reason for the making of this computer was to illuminate human error, The machine would print out the accurate numbers, and also imprint them onto a soft material for recall later. The military was behind the first computer as they wanted to be able to predict where enemy missiles would land.

       In 1939 the Hp audio oscillator 200 (Created by Hewlett) was used as an instrument which generates one tone or frequency at any one time. Over the years the Oscillator were used for telephones, radios and other audio equipment. This was also an analogue computer. The problem with it was that it had to obtain a constant level of output over a full decade frequency range. However this was solved by inserting a non-linear element, which would control the feedback.

       The 40’s was a very busy year for the history of computing. In 1941 the Zuse Z3 which Konrad Zuse made was the worlds first working programmable computer. Before this, computers would have to be pre-programmed. Project Whirlwind was created in 1943 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was the first real-time computer which also used video displays as an output. It was used during WW2 to train plane bombers. It was the first flight simulator, before this, pilots had to train in a real plane. This would be very dangerous and would cause a lot of un-necessary deaths, but with the flight simulator you could train pilots without them being at risk of killing themselves. Also in 1943, the colossus was made by Tommy Flowers to break codes and decipher encrypted German messages during World War 2. It was used to find possible key combinations for the Lorenz machine (The German encryption machine).

        A year later, in 1944 the Harvard Mk 1 was devised by Howard H. Aiken and was built at IBM. It began doing computer calculations for the US Navy. It was described as being “the  beginning of the era of modern computer”.

         1950 was the year that the computer started getting smaller, specifically for home use. The British believed that computing was for large businesses. However, computing would be a great addition to the home. The NBS Seac was the first small-scale computer which was designed quickly.

           Ten years later in 1960, the Dec pdp 1 was made, it was the first personal computer, which had a monitor as an output. This computer developed the very first games. Pong was the first game created on this computer. It originated as a radar demonstrator, it was then tweaked into a 2D game. Spacewar was the first 3D game created on  the Dec pdp 1. This was the start of the computer gaming era.

         The altair 8800 was made in 1975 and was the very first console especially created for gaming purposes. The problem with it was that it took ages to load and every time you died you would have to wait for it to reload.

           In 1977 the Atari Vcs prototype was made. This revolutionised the gaming console as it was the very first prototype designed specifically with gaming in mind, as the Altair 8800 was very slow, the Atari Vcs was much quicker. The Atari Vcs was the beginning of the gaming revolution.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Task One!

    Hello! My name is Samantha Fletcher! I’m very talkative and I love a good laugh! But this doesn’t mean that I can’t be serious as well! I’ve lived in Leicester all my life, and I really love it here!  My interests other than gaming are socializing with my family and friends, going clubbing and basically having a good time. I also adore theme park rides, they are my main love. There is not enough hours in the day for me to fit in all the things I would like to do, which is good because I’m kept busy! I also like spooky stories and things that make me scared, because the adrenaline rush is great! I’m incredibly energetic and hyper most of the time!

    I have come straight from my A-levels of Information communication technology, Film Studies and Fine Art. The reason why I chose to study Game Art at De Montfort University is because I love the escapism you can get from games. The way people project their ego’s onto the character creating an “alter-ego” is really fascinating. As well as having great admiration for the realistic 3d rendering and vigorous emotions portrayed in the art from games. It’s difficult to be able to draw, but to make someone feel some kind of emotional connection is even harder. I love sharing the feeling that the artist had creating their image. I’m not specific to any type of area of art, which is why I am so excited about learning digital imagery, 3D rendering and drawing techniques. Drawing is a great hobby of mine, mainly drawing cartoon animals, creating characters and making stories with them. I have learnt most of my techniques by trail and error. My main aim is to become the best artist I possibly can be.

    For the future I’d like to be a character or concept artist, but failing this I’m happy with any job that pays well and that I’m happy with. I want a job where I can express myself because I have a very active imagination and I would like to share my creative ideas with the world.

     Anything in the gaming industry would be classified as my “Dream Job”, however recently, I have come across a job that sounds very interesting to me, it is a Senior Environment Artist (For Activison). For this job you have to have 3+years of experience in photoshop, maya and experience with next-gen textures. Being a Enviroment Artist means I would make the environments in which the characters would move, making them realistic and believable. I would therefore need to have good knowledge of lighting and texturing. I am going to need to develop these skills further as I have only just started on texturing. To develop these skills I am going to need to practise and practise loads. The more I try the more I will learn which will result in the best of my abilities!