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CS481/CS681 Fall 2007 History of Video Games Summary 1931 Pinball machine 1971, first commercial game introduced 2 game market crashes $10,000,000,000 industry Seven generations of hardware What’s the future? Pinball Bally Manufacturing Williams Manufacturing Midway Games

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CS481/CS681

Fall 2007

History of Video Games


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Summary

  • 1931 Pinball machine

  • 1971, first commercial game introduced

  • 2 game market crashes

  • $10,000,000,000 industry

  • Seven generations of hardware

  • What’s the future?


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Pinball

  • Bally Manufacturing

  • Williams Manufacturing

  • Midway Games

  • Created the production, distribution, and consumer channels used by video game industry


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Japan (Pre-history)

  • Early coin operated companies established by foreigners

    • Taito, (Sega + Rosen Enterprises = Sega Enterprises)

    • 1966 – Periscope

    • Imported to the US and Europe, expensive

    • Set the 25 cent price for coin operated machines

  • Meanwhile, back in the US ... computers rising


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Electronic / Computer games (Prehistory)

  • 1948: Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device patent for electronic game. Vacuum tubes controlled missiles firing at a target

  • 1951: Transistors replacing vacuum tubes at university computers. Students want games.

    • Checkers (1951)

    • TTT (1952)

    • Nimrod played Nim (UK)


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Birth

  • Spacewar, 1962, MIT students wanted to “test” the capabilities of their new DEC PDP-1

  • Gravity, warp

  • Widely distributed by DEC

  • Other games were not distributed (no internet)


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Commercialization

  • 1971: Galaxy Game

    • Clone of Spacewar

    • Stanford, 10 cents in student union

    • Ran until 1979

  • Bushnell, Dabney created custom arcade hardware for Spacewar clone - failure...

  • June 27, 1972 Bushnell/Dabney found Atari Inc. ... meanwhile...


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Games on Television Screens (Consoles)

  • Ralph Baer

    • 1967 – chase game

    • Light gun -> shooting, paddles -> tennis

    • Prototype played multiple games

    • No sound, overlays

    • 3 dials for vertical, horizontal, and spin

    • Magnavox bought it, and managed to sell 100K units


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Pong

  • Al Alcorn, Atari’s first game engineer

  • 1972: Implemented Pong

    • Atari tried to get Bally’s to manufacture it

  • Machine malfunctioned during demo because it was too full of coins!

  • Atari decided to forget Bally’s and go into manufacturing!

  • Many Pong clones competed


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70s Creativity, new game genres

  • 1974, Tank designed by Steve Bristow

  • 1973, Gotcha, pursuit

  • 1974, Gran Trak 10, Driving/Racing

  • 1976, Night Driver, sit down cabinet

  • 1975 Breakout, SP Pong

  • 1976 Death Race


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Golden Age of arcade games (2)

  • 1978:Space Invaders, (Taito) high score, no name

  • 1979, Star Fire, (Exidy), initials

  • 1979, Atari Football, smooth scrolling scree, trackball controller

  • Many Companies entered the business

    • Konami, Namco, Irem, SNK, Technos Japan.

    • Galaga, Defender, Scramble, Moon patrol


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Maze Games: Pac-Man

  • 1980, Namco, Originally Puck-man but changed name before releasing in the US.

    • Best selling arcade game up to that point

    • First identifiable video character

    • Cover of Time

    • 1981, MIT students enhancement kits for pac-man ended up producing Ms. Pac-Man (4 mazes)

  • 1982, Namco, Pole Position, Racing, POV


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Platform Games

  • 1981, Donkey Kong, Nintendo

  • 1982, Donkey Kong Junior introduced Mario

  • 1983: Elevator Action


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Tech

  • 1972: handheld TTT

  • 1976: game cartridges

  • 1977: Joystick

  • Vector graphics

    • 1979: Asteroids, others (but died after 1983 and raster)

  • Laserdisc

    • 1983: Dragon’s Lair, animated sequences, interactive movie


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80s

  • 1982: EA born

  • PCs, game source code printed in magazines

  • Commodore 64

  • 1983, Snipes, first networked commerical text-mode game

    • Maze War (university research game)

    • Spasim (3d multiplayer space sim), precursor to Doom and Quake

  • Handheld LCD console


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Crash of 1983

  • Too many companies, too many bad games

  • So many ET the Extra Terrestrial game cartridges were left over that they had to be buried in a big hole in NM!

  • Lasted One Year!


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Video game consoles (3)

  • Nintendo, NES (Famicon), Super Mario Brothers

    • Gamepad

    • 8 direction D pad with 2 or more action buttons

  • 1986: Dragon Quest precursor to RPG

  • 1987: Final Fantasy, Role playing game

  • 1986: Legend of Zelda

  • 1988: Nintendo Power Magazine


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90’s (4)

  • Rising to match Hollywood

  • 3D graphics, sound cards, CDs, fast PCs

  • Internet based distribution, shareware,

  • 1992: RTS games, Dune II set the std.

    • Warcraft, C&C, StarCraft

  • 1993: Myst, and adventure puzzle game

  • Sim games: Sim city, SimEarth,...The Sims (2000)

  • Mods, Counterstrike, Half Life mod


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Internet Gaming

  • Multi-User Dungeons

  • 1996: Quake, FPS

  • MMORPGS: Ultima Online, Everquest

    • Persistent worlds, large numbers of players

  • Java/Flash back to simple games

  • Decline of arcades, rise of home consoles, PCs


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4, 5, 6, 7 generations

  • Sega Genesis, Super NES

  • Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation, Nintendo 64

    • DDR

  • Sega Dreamcast, Playstation2, Game Cube, Xbox

    • Sims, Halo, GTA, Halo 2, GTA San Andreas, Guitar Hero

  • PSP, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS

    • Spore Demo


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Future

  • Where is it heading?

    • Graphics

    • Physics

    • AI

    • Immersion, Realism, ...

  • Holodeck


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