Graphics Processors and Displays

  • investigate Graphic processors: types; speed; cache; address/data bus; two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) processor, eg pixels, polygons, nurbs; speed; graphics memory

Speed – The greater the clock speed, such as 2 GHz vs. 3 GHz  does not automatically mean that the later graphics card will have twice the performance.  Sometimes 3 GHz clock speeds are slower than 2 GHz if they are based on an inferior GPU architecture.

Type – Older PCs will have Advanced Graphics Port (AGP) type bus slots for installing graphics adapters.  Newer PCs have x16 Peripheral Component Interface Express (PCI-E or PCIe) as the standard way to connect the graphics card to the motherboard.  PCI-Express offers roughly twice the data transfer rate of 8x AGP, so if you have a choice, use the PCI-E slots.

interface device: game devices

Joypad
Joypads are a type of control that requires you to hold it with two hands by the handle. It is the most used and produce type of controller due it does not focus in any specific  area so most use them. It also is one of the oldest types of controllers which was first started on the NES and is still being used till today. A first person shooter that used an XBOX 360 would use the RT button to shoot, LT to throw grenades , LB to switch grenades, RB to reload, A to jump, B to melee, Y to switch guns, X to interact with vehicles, left analog stick to move, right analog stick to move the camera, dpad to moves, start to pause and select to bring up the score. Whilst in real time stratgy game on it you would use start to pause the game, select to see the score, A to select units, B to deselect, right analog to spin the camera, left analog to move the camera, dpad to navagate the menus, RB to quick select units, LB to plot a units course, RT to bring a menu, LT to move the camera qucker.

Mouse
Mouse is a type of controller that is mainly only used on a computer. Mouse are not just limited to being used for games as it is the main way for users to control the cursor.  Mouse are used in many different types of games such as in a first person shooter you would use track pad to move the camera and you would use the left click to shoot meanwhile  in a point and click adventure game you would use track pad to move the cursor and you would use the left click to interact with things.

Virtual reality devices

Human-Computer Interface

It is very important for computers to have user friendly controls because people want to navigate computer systems easily and quickly, they will become frustrated will poorly made controls which are not responsive.

ergonomic design

Ergonomics must be taken into account when designing any new product, it must be made to be comfortable for use in its environment. Modern computer equipment has to be made ergonomically because it is used for long periods of time. Technology designers have to do research into the shape of the human hand, and find the most comfortable way of resting it on a mouse or keyboard.

button configurations

In addition to having hands rest comfort of computer equipment it is also important to keep buttons and keys in easy to use places. Keyboards must follow a conventional layout so that users can use them without needing to relearn key locations. This can also be seen in gaming controllers which are specifically designed to be easy to use all of the buttons.

user-centred design

The design of new technology’s must be focus on how the user will use it. There are a number of areas which must be looked to in order to ensure a design will be easy for users to handle.

specify the context of use: Identify the people who will use the product, what they will use it for, and under what conditions they will use it.

Specify requirements: Identify any business requirements or user goals that must be met for the product to be successful.

Create design solutions: This part of the process may be done in stages, building from a rough concept to a complete design.

Evaluate designs: Evaluation – ideally through usability testing with actual users – is as integral as quality testing is to good software development.

portability

With modern smart devices such as mobile phones it has become more and more important for devices to be portable. Nowadays almost all smartphones will use a touch screen so that buttons can dynamically change with the screen and also removes the need for buttons which stick out. Devices such as the Nintendo switch have controls which are very versatile as they can be removed from the device, combined together or used separately giving users many options when playing games.

Consoles

Modern Consoles

Nintendo Switch – Developed by Nintendo, the Nintendo Switch is both a console and a handheld portable console. the Switch has a built-in screen with a video output of 720p but can go up to 1080p on a TV. For its CPU it uses an NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor. Some of its limitations is that it has low battery life that lasts up to around 6 hours.

Xbox One – Developed by Microsoft, Xbox One is a console that has a 500 GB hard drive and uses a 8 core AMD custom CPU and also uses cloud storage to improve performance. The problem that people have with the Xbox One is that it has is that user’s activities are shared constantly so, Xbox doesn’t have good privacy settings.

PS4 – Developed by SONY, PS4 is the console rivaling Xbox One, it also has a hard drive of 500GB but does have a 1TB option. The PS4 uses an AMD Jaguar 8 cores processor. The PS4 also has a 1080p video output and supports 4K.

WiiU – Developed by Nintendo, The Wii U released in 2012 it uses a IBM Power multi-core processor with AMD graphics. Games on the Wii U can both be played on the TV or on the Wii U game pad which makes the Wii U  semi portable. Its limitation is that the portability of the console is limited to range like when the game pad is too far away from the console it will disconnect the user from the game.

Older Consoles by the Current Companies.

XBOX 360 – Developed by Microsoft
PS3 – Developed by SONY
Wii – Developed by Nintendo

XBOX – Developed by Microsoft
PS2 – Developed by SONY
Gamecube – Developed by Nintendo

PlayStation – Developed by SONY
Nintendo 64 – Developed by Nintendo

Handheld Portable  Consoles

PSVita – Developed by SONY
Nintendo 3DS – Developed by Nintendo
PSP – Developed by SONY
Nintendo DS – Developed by Nintendo
Gameboy Advanced SP – Developed by Nintendo
Gameboy Colour – Developed by Nintendo
Nintendo Gameboy – Developed by Nintendo

Time Lines of both Consoles and Portable Consoles.

Console Timeline Portable Console timeline

Mobile Telecommunications Device Games Group Composition

Old vs New Phone
Old vs New Phone

Handheld Mobile Devices

Mobile gaming has come a long way. Over the past few years we’ve gone from simple distractions like SnakeWords With Friends and Doodle Jump to full-on narrative experiences crafted specifically for Android and iOS devices. What’s more, at least a few traditional console game developers have shifted entirely to mobile at this point, and, in a bit of a reversal, they’ve ported their games to consoles. By 2012, game-design tool sets like Unity and Unreal made a charming indie designed for mobile devices indistinguishable from one you’d play on a PlayStation or Xbox. As such, for the purposes of this list, we’re focusing on games that have been released within the past five years. There is a growing market in mobile gaming and continues to grow in conjunction through the development of console games.

Mobile Phone Timeline
Mobile Phone Timeline

As seen in the time line above the use of mobile phones have come along way. Back in 1983, there were mobile phones but they are too heavy and bulky to carry around let alone game on them. They did not have the technology and the user interface to have some serious and small games on it. Moving onto late 90’s and early 2000’s the break through in small mobile gaming came along such as the very popular “snake” game which is still popular in some nostalgic people. As time moves on, the technology advancements is mind blowing such as better graphics, bigger screens and faster processors have allowed for better development of games. Companies such as Apple and Android have developed app stores to allow for developers of games to create their own mobile game which is good and publish them on the app stores for people to play.

Snake

Snake VS Angry Birds
Snake VS Angry Birds

The two images above show how far games have come. Both games are played on mobile devices but look very different graphically. As seen in the image with the Nokia “Snake” was a stand out integrated game which many people played in their spare time. To this day people do play this game for a trip down memory lane. It it a pixel based game where you have to control a snake and get it as big as possible within a confined space. With Angry Birds, it is more complicated as you have to fire the birds via slingshot and aim for the pigs in order to progress onto the next level. Even with this brief description, the Angry Birds game sounds more complex as there is levels and you have more than one objective which is good.

GSM

GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) is a digital mobile telephony system that is widely used in Europe and other parts of the world. GSM uses a variation of time division multiple access (TDMA) and is the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephony technologies (TDMA, GSM, and CDMA). GSM digitizes and compresses data, then sends it down a channel with two other streams of user data, each in its own time slot. It operates at either the 900 MHz or 1800 MHz frequency band. This allow for online gaming perhaps and being able to connect to the internet to play against other players or games that are based off of servers such as world wide popular Clash Of Clans which in which internet connection is need in order to play the game.

3gpp

3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is a collaborative project aimed at developing globally acceptable specifications for third generation (3G) mobile systems.The 3GPP caters to a large majority of the telecommunications networks in the world. It is the standard body behind UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), which is the 3G upgrade of GSM. Most cellular networks on the planet are based on GSM. This is an evolution of GSM, this is more reliable and faster when having access to the internet and is used on mobile phones during this modern day. 4G has now been released and is said to be faster than a standard 3G connection so it can be better for gaming which is good on mobile devices.

Mobile Gaming Limitations

  • Some games cost money to download of the app stores.
  • Have to download the game to be able to play it.
  • Lag and advertisements within the game with may cause irritation to the use.
  • Not all phones support flash e.g. some windows phones.

Mobile – Limitations

Picture02

Mobile games have to deal with a number of limitations, due to the platform they are being developed for. Often times mobile games are much smaller in scope than games for other platforms, and if said games are being ported to phone then they usually need to be scaled down. This has always been the case for mobile games – due to the small and portable nature of their hardware.

Processor

Due to their size, phones are not able to include and make use of the fastest and most powerful tech available to the modern world of gaming. This is the case for all mobile components, but most importantly the processor. The processor is the part of a computer/phone that processes all commands and its speed will determine how fast applications (such as games) can run.

Mobile games cannot handle as complex games and calculations, due to their processor limitations, therefore they are much more simplistic in nature.

Screen / Input

The screen is another limitation of mobile phone games, it not only acts as the display to render graphics, but also as the standard method of input for phone apps. Compared to consoles and PCs a phone is much more limited in its input, as it must use virtual controls (those that appear on screen – responding to touches).

Graphics

Finally, the graphics are another area of limitation. Processing graphics is currently the most intensive aspect of any game. As a result, phones – with their simplistic hardware – cannot handle modern graphics. Usually they will have to be simplified to run acceptable, and appear nicely on the smaller scale phone screens.

Console Timeline

Games consoles have evolved throughout time to handle a variety of different capabilities. This includes handling TV streaming, 3D games, and much more.

Some consoles from generation 7/8 have evolved to act as less of dedicated console, and more as a home entertainment device.

Generation One – 1972

  • Console
    * Magnavox Odyssey
    * Epoch TVTennis
    * Home Pong
    * Binatone TV Master
    * Coleco Telstar
    * Color TV-Game

Generation Two – 1976

  • Console
    * Fairchild Channel F
    * Atari 2600
    * Bally Astrocade
    * Magnavox Odyssey
    * Intellivision
  • Handheld
    * Game * Watch
    * Milton Bradley Microvision
    * Epoch Game Pocket Computer

Generation Three – 1983

  • Console
    * SG-1000
    * NES
    * Master System
    * Atari 7800
    * Commodore 64

Generation Four – 1987

  • Console
    * PC-Engine
    * Genesis
    * SNES
    * Neo Geo AES
  • Handheld
    * GB
    * Lynx
    * Game Gear
    * TurboExpress

Generation Five – 1993

  • Console
    * FW Towns Marty
    * 3DO Interactive
    * Atari Jaguar
    * Saturn
    * PS
    * N64
  • Handheld
    * Nomad
    * Virtual Boy
    * GB
    * GBC
    * Neo Geo
    * Game.com

Generation Six – 1998

  • Console
    * Dreamcast
    * PS2
    * GameCube
    * Xbox
  • Handheld
    * GBA
    * N-Gage
    * Tripwave Zodiac

Generation Seven – 2005

  • Console
    * Xbox 360
    * PS3
    * Wii
  • Handheld
    * DS
    * PSP

Generation Eight – 2012

  • Console
    * PS4
    * Xbox One
    * WiiU
  • Handheld
    * 3DS
    * PSVita

PC – Limitations

Hardware

A limitation of PC gaming is the hardware, every few years games become more demanding and hardware becomes outdated.  This means that there is a need to purchase new hardware every few years if you wish to stay up-to-date with the best hardware available.

A lot of the time games are built for consoles and then ported onto PC, this means that console players don’t have to worry about their consoles being able to run games. On the other hand, PC gamers have to purchase hardware powerful enough to run the games, which means that if a new games comes out and your system is not powerful enough, you won’t be able to play it optimally.

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Drivers

In order for PC gamers to use their graphics card optimally, they must keep up-to-date with their drivers. However, with drivers sometimes comes unexpected problems which can impact the player’s experience.  For example, there can be driver crashes with some driver iterations and certain graphics cards. Another problem could be bad performance with certain drivers on games. This means that some people cannot play certain games due to limitations from drivers.

Cost

Cost can be a major limitation to PC gaming, some computer systems can cost upwards of £2000 in order to have all the top-end hardware in them. This would be a lot more powerful than consoles, but this might be the price to pay in order to future proof the computer system for future games, the same way consoles run games until a new console comes out.

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Arcade Game History

The first popular “arcade games” included early amusement-park midway games such as shooting galleries, ball-toss games, and the earliest coin-operated machines, such as those that claimed to tell a person’s fortune or that played mechanical music. The old Midways of 1920s-era amusement parks (such as Coney Island in New York) provided the inspiration and atmosphere for later arcade games. In the 1930s the first coin-operated pinball machines emerged. They lacked plungers or lit-up bonus surfaces on the playing field, and used mechanical instead of electronic scoring-readouts. By around 1977 most pinball machines in production switched to using solid-state electronics both for operation and for scoring.

Electro-mechanical games

In 1966, Sega introduced an electro-mechanical game called Periscope – an early submarine simulator and light gun shooter which used lights and plastic waves to simulate sinking ships from a submarine. It became an instant success in Japan, Europe, and North America, where it was the first arcade game to cost a quarter per play, which would remain the standard price for arcade games for many years to come. In 1967, Taito released an electro-mechanical arcade game of their own, Crown Soccer Special, a two-player sports game that simulated association football, using various electronic components, including electronic versions of pinball flippers.

Continue reading Arcade Game History

Arcade controls

DDR (dance dance revolution) was made in 1999 and changed the way that users play games with the use of new controls. DDR was a game where users had to follow arrows on a screen and match them by pressing on the correct arrow. This was done with the use sensors that tracked what button was being pressed on. DDR was a popular game in Japan until it became more competitive and came over to western audiences. The popular aspect of this game and controller scheme was that it relied on fast reaction and to some sense a form of physical finance to stay in time. This was not seen from games of the time. It saw the owner of the game Konami double their net income. This was mostly down to the simplicity of the controls and the fact that the game was safe for all audiences.

DDR

Later into the 2000s racing games started to be popular this was due to the use of racing wheels that gave the user a level of realism that was not seen before with the use of basic joystick controls. Wangan Midnight MAXIMUM TUNE 5 was one of the games that included this type of control. As well as this some system included a gear stick and foot pedals. This was an early simulation experience.

Wangan-Midnight_arcade

The invention of the joystick was in 1910 in England. However, it was only used in games from the early 70s with notable games like space race. This allowed the player to used two joysticks with one to make the character go left and right and a second to make the character go up and down. This was revolutionary at the time as before player where only restricted to one axis of movement. This allowed a more enjoyable experience with more user freedom. This was later improved in the 80s when Pac man came out. This combined the two joysticks into one creating an easier player experience. This could be done with the improvement of circuits so the game easily knew what direction the joystick was.

pac man

Popular Arcade games

Some of the most popular arcade games from the 70’s on PacManwards

  • Pong(1972)
  • Space Invaders(1978)
  • PacMan(1980)
  • Ms PacMan(1981)
  • Donkey Kong(1981)
  • Mortal Combat(1992)
  • Tetris(1984)

Pong:

Pong is considered the first arcade game, it was released in 1972. Pong is a simple 2D tennis game, it was published and developed by Atari.

Pong Arcade Machine
Pong Arcade Machine

 

 

 

Space invaders:

Space invaders was played from a table top arcade machine which required you to enter a certain amount of money before you could play. The original space invaders is a single player game.
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Pac-Man:

Originally released in japan on may 22nd 1980 by Namco in Japan and was later released in North America on October 26th 1980

Pac-Man_split-screen_kill_screen
Pac Man Bug
11235_1000x1000
Pac Man Arcade Machine

You play as a yellow circle, there are 255 levels, there would be more but a bug makes it impossible to progress any further. You were unable to go over 999,990 points, if you were to go that score the game will only keep the final 6 digits of the score.

 

 

 

Donkey Kong:

Donkey Kong in game
Donkey Kong in game
Donkey Kong Arcade Machine
Donkey Kong Arcade Machine

First released by Nintendo in 1981, Donkey Kong is a platform game, where the player has to dodge various obstacles thrown by Donkey Kong. you play as “JumpMan” who would later become Mario. By 1982 Nintendo had managed to 60,000 units and make $180,000,000

 

 

 

 

Tetris:
NES_Tetris_Box_Front
Released in 1984 by Alexey Pajitnov, the name Tetris is a mixture of the greek word of “tetra” and Alexey’s favourite sport Tennis, the game is the first game to be released from the Soviet union, The game was first released on the Electronika 60 which was made within the Soviet Union. Tetris is Nintendo’s 6th best selling game for the NES

Original Tetris
Original Tetris

Original Tetris theme ^^^^