In many fields, it’s the most popular applications of technology that lead the way for innovation. One of the greatest examples of this is in the field of graphic design, where video game developers are pushing the boundaries of graphic design and computer animation to new heights.
Contrary to what many would assume, it isn’t the beloved animated children’s films that seem to be more prevalent than ever at multiplexes around the nation or even the Frank Miller inspired films of Zack Snyder and Robert Rodriguez that best capitalizes on cutting edge technology. While films are certainly popular and, when well produced, profitable, they are eclipsed by the sales of video game titles. Video game sales have exceeded the film industry’s annual box office over the last several years and are directly responsible for rapid developments in computer related products, from sound and video cards to central processing units.
With the release of titles such as Halo 2 and Doom 3 in late 2004 and early 2005, the video game industry seemed poised to compete for bigger, better, faster and far more intensive graphics arrays through the perfection of gaming engines designed to make life-like realism available for the length of an entire game. It hasn’t dissappointed since. In an industry fueled by competition over graphic design quality, the race for the next big thing is always being run. There was a time in the recent past when the opening, ending and cut scenes used to propel the storyline of most gaming titles were a far cry from what was experienced during actual game play. Today, the contrast is far less evident.
Additionally, video games developers and publishers are going beyond graphic design to stay competitive, with many utilizing well recognized voice over talent from the film industry and background music from popular recording artists. Subject matter has also become more “Hollywood”, with the most popular titles aimed at a decidedly adult audience.
What the future holds for video game design and development remains to be seen, though one thing is certain. As the popularity of the gaming industry grows, expect future efforts to offer more elaborate design elements that will blur the line between what appears real and what genuinely is real.