How it all started
If you’re a video game fan, you’ll know that consoles, graphics, and the way games have been played have evolved drastically since their beginnings. With these improvements, we also saw changes in how creators developed games. Video games started in the 1960s and were created for giant mainframe computers. They weren’t accessible to the public like today’s games and weren’t even commercialized. By the 1970s, computers had gotten much smaller, and the first gaming consoles, like the Atari, were widely available. In those days, one person could program an entire video game.
The processing power of computers and consoles leads people to want more and demand more. So developers went from a small group of video game creators to large groups and giant companies dedicated to the development of many different types of games. Companies were making millions of dollars in video games by the 2000s. Developers went from making games like pong where a little ball floats across the screen, and you hit it back to the other side to games like Grand Theft Auto, where you could travel through an entire living city.
How they’re made
Teams of programmers and software engineers assist in developing video games today. Choosing something you’re passionate about if you want to build is easy because there are many options. A video game developer can work on gaming physics, the user interface, characters, Artificial intelligence, rules-based decisions, and much more. Art, gameplay, audio, and quality testing must be balanced and work in harmony for the game to work perfectly.
Video games use some of the same languages as computer and app developers. It all depends on the console or computer it’s initially designed for. For PC games popular languages might include C, C++, or C#. Consoles were more limited and used to be written in Assembly (aka symbolic machine code). Now with increased processing power Lua is a popular stack-based API which lets you build off of the ANSI C language. Other game producers have developed custom scripts for their games. This makes it easier for them to build their own worlds and make games bigger and better. The most popular ones are Epic Games’ UnrealScript, and QuakeC by Id Software. APIs changed the game in video game development because you went from writing lines of code, to being able to program for multiple consoles at once, and create libraries to build your code on.
The opportunities for developing games are growing now more than ever. With the rise of platforms like Unreal Engine and Unity, anyone with a good computer can create worlds that may never have been possible. The gaming industry is constantly looking for new innovative ideas for games. Like the movie business looking for that next big blockbuster, the gaming industry is always searching for creative ideas.
The video game industry is a global business with almost $160 billion in 2020*. There are approximately 150 million video game players worldwide. The United States and Japan have traditionally dominated the video game industry, but it has grown significantly in other countries. For example, China has become one of the more significant consumers of video games globally. We are primed to see new developments with new technologies like Virtual Reality and the metaverse. Unreal Engine also released its latest development of software, Unreal Engine 5, which features physics, graphics, and ease of implementation like never before.
The doors are wide open for video game developers who want to join the industry. Young developers and video game enthusiasts have a bright future ahead of them. Especially if they are already playing video games now. Not only is the industry for consumers growing, but E-sports has also taken a foothold in today’s markets. With wealthy investors like New England Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft investing in the technology, among many others*. The future is undoubtedly bright for video game development, and now is a great time to start your path in this growing industry.