Friday, 14 November 2008

1990’s – The Maturing of the Games Industry

Once again I just cannot seem to fit in all the information within a 300 word limit so I’m writing a separate entry for the 90s.

As the title of this blog suggests, the 1990s were about the maturing of the gaming industry into a mainstream form of entertainment. Because of the success of the gaming industry within the last several years, more publishers took an interest; therefore there were increases in the budgets. There were larger production teams, and a connection with the music and film industries were formed.

The 1990s saw the rise of the 3D graphics, first starting off with flat shaded graphics, and moving on to simple texture mapping, a good example of this would be ‘Wolfenstein 3D’.

Shareware distribution gave the consumers the chance to try a small portion of the game before they invested in buying the full game. The main format for these was floppy disks. At the increasing size of games in the mid 90s publishers and developers began to mimic the shareware games and replace them with short demos on free CDs with gaming magazines and over the internet.

1992 saw the release of ‘Dune II’ this was not the first game in the RTS genre but it set the standard game mechanics for future releases such as ‘Command and Conquer’ and Blizzards ‘Warcraft : Orcs and Humans’ and ‘Starcraft’ and still very popular series of games to this day.

‘Alone in the Dark’, like ‘Dune II’ was not the first in the first game in its genre, but it set the stage for the survival horror genre. With games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill the main blockbusters of today.

Adventure games continued to develop with ‘King Quest’, ‘Monkey Island’. The creation of ‘Myst’ developed a new style of puzzle-based adventure games and was the first to take full advantage of CD-ROMs.

Maxis began to publish the successful ‘Sim’ games starting with ‘Sim City’ and continuing with ‘Sim Earth’, ‘Sim Ant’ and ‘Sim Tower.’

The 90s also saw the start of Internet gaming, with MUDs (multi-User dungeons). Quake was created with this in mind, and has now caused most FPS to have a main requirement of Inline play. But other games also started to offer this feature, such as RTS games, ‘Age of Empires’, the ‘Warcraft’ and ‘Starcraft’ series. MMORPGs such as Ultima Online and EverQuest became very popular, removing the play from solitude when playing games, and opening a whole new aspect of gaming.

Damn this has turning into quite a list of games and I’m already nearly 150 over the limit so ill make this quick.

Because of the popularity of home video games, arcade games quickly became “old Fashioned”

These were replaced by gaming systems that were not available for home use such as Sport games like skiing or cycling, rhythm games such as “Dance Dance Revolution”. Of course even these game style games are now being released for home use with the release of ‘Nintendo Wii’ and ‘Wii Fit’

The 1990s saw both the Fourth and Fifth Generation of Games Consoles.

The main consoles of the fourth generations (1989 – 1996) were the Saga Mega Drive and the Super NES (also known as ‘SNES’)

In the Fifth generation (1994- 1999), Sega released the Saga Saturn and Sony came on the scene with the Play station, both using 32-bit technology. After numerous delays Nintendo released the Nintendo 64 (as u can guess from the name it was a 64-bit console). ‘The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’ was the 3D debut for the Legend of Zelda Series. Nintendo's choice to use cartridges instead of CD-ROMs for the Nintendo 64, unique among the consoles of this period, proved to have negative consequences. In particular, SquareSoft, which had released all previous games in its Final Fantasy series for Nintendo consoles, now turned to the PlayStation; Final Fantasy was a huge success, establishing the popularity of role-playing games and making the PlayStation the primary console for the genre.

Well now I think it’s time for me to apologise to you all. This went on a little longer than I expected.

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