Video games have marked a milestone in the history of entertainment, as large software developers such as Rockstar or Activision have given a great magnitude of memorable deliveries with graphics that go beyond the unimaginable; however, it was not always like this. Before we had the quality of deliveries such as Forza Horizon V or the next (and somewhat late) GTA VI.
Thanks to the advances made in video game engines, both the game industry and technology in general have undergone major changes. For this reason, it is important to highlight the efforts of the people specializing in the field of the Professional Master’s Degree in Video Game Production and their efforts to improve it.
To better understand the importance of game engines, let’s learn more about them.
What Exactly Is A Game Engine?
This engine focuses on programming tools that help to ease both the graphics and code sections, streamlining the process of creating a video game. Its functions include character movement and interaction between characters and objects within the game, physics and lighting, collision points, AI and culling (coding to hide objects), among others.
In short, the game engines are the foundation of the game, making the development time required take less time than necessary, therefore, designers and programmers do not have to start from scratch, as well as focus on other tasks such as story or character/scenario design.
The Beginning Of Everything
Before the game engine, it was necessary for developers to make the game, which means that they not only had to create the software, but they also had to take care of the console design, i.e., the Atari 2600 had to keep everything simple, from its code to the hardware, due to the limitations of the console. It was not until the 1990s that this would change.
A young designer named Tim Sweeny would meet Cliff Bleszinski, who a few years later would create ‘Gears of War’ and Steve Polge, the future vice-president of Unreal, the company that would revolutionize the game engine. These young men would originate the term game engine within the context of first-person shooter games; thanks largely to the massive popularity of games such as ‘Wolfenstein 3D’, ‘DOOM’ and ‘Quake’. The algorithm would be used as a basis for creating game engines, which would additionally be implemented for medical studies and even for military simulations.
Developing The Engine
However, this would only be a small part of what this engine is, as in the ’00s, the implementation of a shading system was sought, thus efforts began to create an engine in which this was possible, thanks to the collaboration of Mac engineers with skills in shaders, as well as the collaboration of the engineer Joachim Ante, from Germany, the first mechanism that was compatible for the both could become a reality, from this we have, under the parameters of Unity, the game Gooball.
Later, Apple would decide to launch an intuitive game engine, which would have an integrated engine environment, optimising the work of engineers specialised in video games. This is how Unity 3D was born, being developed with the aim of working and generating projects on Mac computers, and it is not for nothing, as this engine made room for the drag and drop model of the interface.
New Generations, Better Systems
Due to the release of engines such as Unreal Engine, we would see advanced techniques such as normal mapping and improvements such as dynamic shadows, as well as the generation of facial animations, being implemented for deliveries such as the aforementioned Gears of Wars and Unreal Tournament 3.
By 2008 we would have new features such as rendering of simultaneous objects, more realistic physics for water and improvements in AI, among others. From these generations of engines and more modern ones, we would see increased improvements in each of their systems, giving us games with higher resolution in everything that composes it until today.
Game engines have been a pillar for the development of video games, giving faster deliveries with graphics that years ago would have been unimaginable, on the other hand, this has been a great support for other fields, mainly the technological one, supporting the development of this niche.