Many game developers today were once just game fans, that begin a common inclusive story in itself.
From days of staying glued up in front of the screen like a hermit, playing hours away in frenetic video game exercises. To a time when we decided to create our own very first game, many a participant today have related to this path of progression.
Perhaps this evolution is similar to that by which readers become writers (a journey I happen to know a little about as well) and many other spectators become dedicated hobbyist - and then industry participants.
The writer in me will like to examine the game enthusiast in me and correlate a theory of the evolution of the game industry itself, relative to my personal journey in it.
The history of video games goes as far back as the early 1950s when academic computer scientists began designing simple games and simulations as part of their research. Video gaming did not reach mainstream popularity until the 1970s and 1980s, when video arcade games and gaming consoles using joysticks, buttons, and other controllers, along with graphics on computer screens and home computer games were introduced to the general public (Atari, Intellivision, Sega). With current generations raised on the lightning-fast processing speeds and crystal clear graphics of Xboxes and PlayStations (and with the tide of virtual reality-based video games fast approaching), it’s easy to forget that just 50 years ago, digital gaming existed in only a few laboratories around the world.
Back in the 90s, Video games were these blocks of pixels made to move in a kind of robotic way around the screen. The background itself had no fluidity, but a linear sliding of its stages with progression. Yet, the experience derived was stupendously satisfying, because we relied more on our imagination (than conceptualize the graphics features of the mega-games of today).
Forward to the next decade, video games were incorporated with the internet (Dreamcast was the pioneer back in 1998), upgraded with hardware and software capabilities (thanks to attempts of the Nintendo Wii), along with the emergence of cloud computing in video games (XBox Live arguably), interactive motion detector (Kinetic, Move and MotionPlus add-on from the three major console competitors), plus resident storage space; while mobile and portable gaming were upgraded also, then generally promoted and marketed judiciously.
The game industry was driven to highs by a 100 Billion dollar capitalization. In a way, the aggressive competition between companies of video game makers had churned out the superior features of video gaming to bring to us the excellent quality we see today.
After squandering my teens playing games (smile), I joined this industry to realize a burning ambition of contributing innovations that my player experiences had always craved. There is a new turf to work on now that the industry is stabilized after three decades of experimenting with all sorts of game stereotypes. Most of the earlier companies were already phased out too.
The golden age of video gaming has arrived! With progressively advanced gaming technology, coming coupled with integration capabilities for other technology platforms; Connectivity, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual-Reality, and most recently BlockChain, as intriguing enough as that sounds.
It seems incorporating extensions or hybrids is what the game industry looks forward to now.
With the gaming industry continuing to grow in size and value, some companies are looking into building games around Blockchain to take advantage of cryptocurrencies, tokens, and their benefits. Modern disruptions include Game Protocol; an independent, Blockchain-based online collaboration platform, which seeks to allow participation in the video-games economy, to interconnect in a reality-based digital economy.
GameProtocol is descriptive, a project to tokenize the video games economy. This platform will bridge the problems currently plaguing the various actors in the video-games industry, and through the process, bring about massive benefits to the global video-games community. Most importantly, the concept seeks to democratize the economy of the video game industry, creating a holistic community by bringing all the stakeholders and participants onto an integrated platform.
It's imperative that it maintains a thorough understanding of the complex challenges of the game industry and the Blockchain-based solution that the project offers is actually a reasonable approach to solve the end-to-end value-chain problem of the ecosystem. It’s no secret that many indie games – even good, critically acclaimed games – get lost amid a sea of other greenlit games. This is a project that brings into consideration the interests of all stakeholders of the video-game industry, i.e. gamers, game studios, publishers and financiers.
An unfolding phenomenon is Physically Collaborative Games. An advanced form of Virtual Reality and its experimental tech contemporaries are exploring new ways to incorporate the body as more than just an anchor to the physical world, but as the controller itself in a gaming exercise. Probably requiring game suits and other paraphernalia yet in the formative stage of development, there is much to look forward to.
The next step for mobile gaming might be holograms, projections and other widescreen display abilities. Active adult gamers appreciate the mobile, but better screen view has always been where the consoles had the upper hand.
As consoles evolve into something more resembling multimedia entertainment devices than dedicated gaming machines, (and there is little room for fresh entrants), it seems that every developer wants in on the widespread accessibility of the dominating mobile market model. Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail thinks this points the next stop for tablets and smartphones: “If mobile really wants to make the next step, what it’s going to do is connect to TVs.”
Coming last is the design that puts feelings first. This thread will be depending on the developers themselves - understanding the feeling they want to evoke in their users. Beyond the myths, it actually comes first to consider the experiences expected to be evoked in active gameplay.
We’ve already seen aspects of this in the mobile market, with games looking to reverse-engineer social situations people already find fun. Similarly, developers are starting to let consumers in on the creative process, to derive their pointers on game technology actually needed for a better experience.
Upon that is the true DNA by which further evolution of the game industry should develop. Of which, there surely is more to come...
“I think as developers we always want to do something slightly bigger, shinier, and more ambitious with each new project,” corroborated by co-founder and creative director at Roll7, John Robbins.
You can let your pointers, as gamers pour in too...