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Gaming Graphics: Road to Revolution
It has been a long journey from the days of multicolored sprites on
tiled block backgrounds to the immersive 3D environments of modern
games. What used to be a job for a single game creator is now a
multifaceted production involving staff from every creative discipline.
The next generation of console and home computer hardware is going to
bring a revolutionary leap in available computing power; a teraflop
(trillion floating-point operations per second) or more will be on tap
from commodity hardware. This leap in power will bring with it a leap in
expectations, both on the part of the consumer and the creative
The seeds of the present revolution were sown a long time ago.
Everything we do in games started with the telling of a simple story:
man against man, man against nature, man against himself. A kid sits
down in front of a television and fends off waves of identical invaders
marching down the screen toward his inadequately defended base; this
story was told a million times in the 1980s, as was the kid’s story
about himself: "I got the high score of 8,000 points, and there’s my
There’s more to telling a story than those simple scenarios, and
technology has always had a role to play. Every time our story got
better, we needed better hardware. We needed more colors, more memory,
better sound, better controllersand we needed faster processors.
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