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1 1. Early History of Computer Games 1961 1961 Spacewar Spacewar Designed by Steve Designed by Steve Russell at MIT Ran on a PDP-1 Ran on a PDP-1 Distributed.

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Presentation on theme: "1 1. Early History of Computer Games 1961 1961 Spacewar Spacewar Designed by Steve Designed by Steve Russell at MIT Ran on a PDP-1 Ran on a PDP-1 Distributed."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 1. Early History of Computer Games Spacewar Spacewar Designed by Steve Designed by Steve Russell at MIT Ran on a PDP-1 Ran on a PDP-1 Distributed and played by 100’s of programmers and engineers Distributed and played by 100’s of programmers and engineers

2 2 Magnavox Odyssey

3 3 Video Games 1972 Nolan Bushnell starts Atari 1972 Nolan Bushnell starts Atari develops Pong as arcade game develops Pong as arcade game After playing ping-pong on Odyssey After playing ping-pong on Odyssey

4 4 Pong

5 5 Arcade Milestones in 1970’s 1974 Tank (Atari) 1974 Tank (Atari) First game to use ROM to store graphic data First game to use ROM to store graphic data 1975 Gunfight (Taito/Midway) 1975 Gunfight (Taito/Midway) First to use a microprocessor First to use a microprocessor 1976 Breakout (Atari) 1976 Breakout (Atari) Designed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak Designed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak 1978 Space Invaders (Taito/Midway) 1978 Space Invaders (Taito/Midway) First game to appear outside arcades and bars (restaurants, ice-cream parlours) First game to appear outside arcades and bars (restaurants, ice-cream parlours)

6 6 Space Invaders Hugely popular Hugely popular Caused coin shortage in Caused coin shortage in Japan until supply Japan until supply quadrupled quadrupled Cause of juvenile crime Cause of juvenile crime

7 7 2. The Crash of Video game business crashed Video game business crashed Bankruptcies Bankruptcies What went wrong? What went wrong?

8 8 Aggressive pricing of computers From US$1000 to US$500, then lower to under $100 From US$1000 to US$500, then lower to under $100 Commodore ads saying university/college bound kids needed a computer more than a console Commodore ads saying university/college bound kids needed a computer more than a console Computers more powerful, better graphics and could run other programs Computers more powerful, better graphics and could run other programs

9 9 Flood of products Hardware manufacturers lost control of software Hardware manufacturers lost control of software Companies rushed in after 3 rd party production declared legal Companies rushed in after 3 rd party production declared legal Stores became overload with product Stores became overload with product Ill-prepared companies produced poor games Ill-prepared companies produced poor games

10 10 E.T. Atari rushed ET (1982) to market (6 weeks) Atari rushed ET (1982) to market (6 weeks) Produced 4 million cartridges – sold 1.5 million Produced 4 million cartridges – sold 1.5 million Mass burial of cartridges in landfill in New Mexico Mass burial of cartridges in landfill in New Mexico After paying $20 million for rights Atari loses $536 million in 1983 After paying $20 million for rights Atari loses $536 million in 1983

11 11 Retailers Lost Faith Products distributed on sale or return Products distributed on sale or return With developers going bust, no return With developers going bust, no return So retailers discounted So retailers discounted From standard $34.95, games went for $4.95 From standard $34.95, games went for $4.95 So market for $34.95 games evaporated So market for $34.95 games evaporated Retailers decided video games a fad, so cut shelf space Retailers decided video games a fad, so cut shelf space

12 12 Results Long term console manufacturers gone Long term console manufacturers gone Mattel, Coleco, Magnavox Mattel, Coleco, Magnavox Atari damaged and sold off Atari damaged and sold off Most importantly, centre shifted from Japan to US Most importantly, centre shifted from Japan to US Third gen consoles would be dominated by Nintendo and Sega Third gen consoles would be dominated by Nintendo and Sega

13 13 3. Gaming Computers in the 80’s and the rise of the PC In the 80’s multiple computing platforms for games In the 80’s multiple computing platforms for games Commodore Commodore Atari Atari Apple Apple PC PC And others And others

14 14 Computer Hardware Apple II Apple II 1978 – – 8088 Adopted for IBM PC Adopted for IBM PC1981

15 15 Motorola Atari ST Atari ST Apple Macintosh Apple Macintosh Commodore Amiga Commodore Amiga

16 16 Home Computers - The 80’s 8-bit 8-bit Atari 400/800 & successors (8K/16K memory) Atari 400/800 & successors (8K/16K memory) Commodore 64 8 bit 64K memory Commodore 64 8 bit 64K memory Very popular Very popular Apple II Apple II IBM PC 1981 IBM PC 1981 Sinclair ZX Spectrum (successor to ZX80) Sinclair ZX Spectrum (successor to ZX80) 16 bit 16 bit Atari ST 512K (later 1,2,4 MB) 1985-¬1993 Atari ST 512K (later 1,2,4 MB) 1985-¬1993 Commodore Amiga Commodore Amiga Apple Macintosh Apple Macintosh IBM PC 1986 IBM PC 1986 Texas Instruments TI-99/4A Texas Instruments TI-99/4A

17 17 Commodore 64 Sound and graphics well beyond PC when introduced Sound and graphics well beyond PC when introduced International Karate version

18 18 Commodore Amiga Commodore bought Amiga to get into 16 bit market Commodore bought Amiga to get into 16 bit market Probably most advanced Probably most advanced of its time Original Amiga

19 19 Commodore Amiga Blitter (block image transfer hardware) Blitter (block image transfer hardware) Rapid copying of video memory Rapid copying of video memory Freed CPU for other tasks Freed CPU for other tasks Forerunner of Forerunner of separate GPUs separate GPUs

20 20 Atari ST Fully bit-mapped GUI Fully bit-mapped GUI First integral MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) support First integral MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) support Not as powerful as Amiga, but cheaper Not as powerful as Amiga, but cheaper Atari 520ST 1985

21 21 Apple II Good graphics and sound Good graphics and sound Heavily used in schools and universities Heavily used in schools and universities

22 22 IBM PC Initial failure in home market – 1981 Initial failure in home market – 1981 Graphics not taken seriously Graphics not taken seriously MS-DOS didn’t have an API for graphics MS-DOS didn’t have an API for graphics Not a serious player until VGA graphics Not a serious player until VGA graphics x colours 640x colours 320x colours 320x colours

23 23 Why the PC? In 80’s PC was not the game system of choice In 80’s PC was not the game system of choice More like 4th or worse More like 4th or worse So why did it supplant the others? So why did it supplant the others?

24 24 Some Clues EGA – 1984 EGA – 1984 Enhanced Graphics Adapter Enhanced Graphics Adapter 640,350, 16 colours 640,350, 16 colours VGA – 1987 VGA – 1987 Video Graphics Array Video Graphics Array 640x480, 16 colours 640x480, 16 colours 320x200, 256 colours 320x200, 256 colours SVGA SVGA Super Video Graphics Array Super Video Graphics Array 1024x768, 256 colours 1024x768, 256 colours

25 25 More Intel – 1986 Intel – bit 32-bit Intel Intel MHz MHz MHz MHz MHz MHz 1991

26 26 More Soundblaster Soundblaster Windows 3.0 – 1990 Windows 3.0 – 1990 First widely successful version of Windows First widely successful version of Windows Windows 3.1 – 1992 Windows 3.1 – 1992

27 27 So?? ??? (come back next week)

28 Online Gaming – Multiplayer FPS Quake – 1996 Quake – 1996 First to popularise it First to popularise it Unreal Tournament – 1999 Unreal Tournament – 1999 Another popular one Another popular one Counterstrike – 1999 Counterstrike – 1999 Team based Team based Battlefield 1942 – 2002 Battlefield 1942 – 2002 Another important team based series Another important team based series

29 MMORPGs Ultima Online 1997 First popular one But there were some graphical ones before it And if you want to really understand the history of these things, look up MUDs – multi user dungeons Everquest 2002

30 World of Warcraft 2004

31 There are many others out there There are many others out there You might want to look at the rise of free to play, combined with microtransactions You might want to look at the rise of free to play, combined with microtransactions And the difference between western and eastern designed ones And the difference between western and eastern designed ones

32 Social/Casual Games Think World of Warcraft is the biggest online game? Think World of Warcraft is the biggest online game? This thing beats it hands down This thing beats it hands down Farmville 2009 Topped out around 80 million, compared to WoWs 15 million Although considerably down on that now

33 Social Games Easy to play social games are a big market Easy to play social games are a big market Many played through facebook and other social networking web pages Many played through facebook and other social networking web pages

34 Casual Games Not everything is a AAA multi million dollar budget title Not everything is a AAA multi million dollar budget title Computer games didn’t start that way Computer games didn’t start that way And many games are still released that are simple and have mechanics that resemble those of the early days And many games are still released that are simple and have mechanics that resemble those of the early days

35 Bejeweled million copies sold Angry Birds 2009 Over 300 million downloads across all platforms

36 Independent Games One person or small team One person or small team You might like to look up You might like to look up Minecraft Minecraft Dwarf Fortress Dwarf Fortress But there are so many others, in so many genres But there are so many others, in so many genres


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