The advancement of media technology over the past hundred years has been marked by rapid improvements that continue to accelerate — as Moore’s Law continues to prove remarkably accurate. In 1965, Gorden Moore, co-founder of Intel and Fairchild Semiconductor, found technological enhancements in computers doubled every year, a hypothesis that was later updated in 1975 and predicted a revision every two years. This law can be seen in all facets of technology, improving RAM, sensors, and even camera pixels. The current enforcement of this law may look as blatant as ever
As the ever-evolving pendulum of innovation continues to work its magic, we can now reap and consume the benefits of a more technologically advanced society than in years past. However, while researching this idea of augmented transistors and newly developed technology, I noticed a sociological pattern emerging, something much deeper than a temporary sense of potential startups and sophisticated technology. I had a glimpse of the current evolving state of video game development and its impact on the media and storytelling as a whole.
The Introduction of Current Gaming And Its Parallels with Sound To Film
While doing research for this article, I found the same general knowledge that is available to everyone. So, I got into virtual reality games like Beat Saber, a rhythm game developed by a Czech video game company called Beat Games. Compared to other games in the VR genre, Beat Saber offers an exciting look at the future of VR in terms of graphic design. Its neo-surreal yet straightforward structure and easy-to-learn gameplay have earned it one of the most essential next-generation virtual reality games.
Something caught me while playing this game, and I began to hypothesize about the future of this genre of easily accessible virtual reality games. Then, I started thinking about other entertainment media and how they evolved into the giants that they are today. This led me to the train of thought that represented the early evolution of Hollywood cinema, particularly the introduction of major studio-produced motion pictures. Something about the attention and attraction that Beat Saber dominates is somewhat reminiscent of the same attention that movies and silent films like Metropolis (Fitz Lang, 1927) have, somewhat misleading but just as compelling. Upon Metropolis’s release in March of 1927, Film Critic and journalist for the New York Times, Mordaunt Hall, stated that Metropolis “is a technical marvel with feet of clay,” something that I believe describes many of the current VR games of this meta. During this time of silent films, movies obviously weren’t as commercial and easily accessible today. Part of the reasoning for that lack of commercial success in the early years can be attributed to that aspect of having “feet of clay.”
Unreal Engine Five
Epic Mega Games, now known as Epic Games, released their quintessential video game Unreal in 1998. Unreal is a fully 3-dimensional first-person shooter, and the game shifted the world’s view on first-person shooter games with stories. It was the first video game to use the Unreal Engine, which would prove to be one of the most important advancements in video gaming as we know it.
In the beginning, the only games to use such software were first-person shooters like Duke Nukem, Deus Ex, and possibly the most important, Unreal Tournament. This game was initially released as a competition to gaming company ID’s Quake 3: Arena. Unreal Tournament was an exceptionally highly lauded video game; however, the game itself wasn’t what was so world-changing — it was the modding community and Unreal Editor. Unreal Tournament 4 is when the series really changed tides for the better.
It added core mechanics like driving and new game modes with smoother combat.Both Bioshock 1 and 2 and Postal 2 would use the engine. Then came the release of Unreal Tournament 3, which many critics believed fit the series perfectly. Notable games such as Bioshock Infinite, Batman Arkham Series, Borderlands, Xcom Enemy Unknown, and many more utilized the engine as well. Unreal Engine has been a powerhouse in the video game world in the past seven years, even going on to power video game behemoths like Fortnite.The newest update to Unreal is perhaps the most significant step yet, further confirming Moore’s Law. Unreal Engine 5 could possibly change the world of gaming as we know it, being the most vital piece of gaming technology we have seen in years.
This can all be given thanks to the creation of Lumen and Nanite. Lumen deals with real-time Global Illumination (RGI), a concept many computer graphics companies have craved to obtain and emulate for decades. RGI means getting dynamic, bouncing, realistic light without having to wait long periods for rendering. This wasn’t possible until this year; now, rendering light changes in video games is virtually immediate. Nanite increases the depth of objects and assets in video games by increasing the polygon count without having to experience the performance negation in-game. This is possible by the polygons dynamically deforming in-game, so the system isn’t registering as many vertices. This means that video games now have the possibility to transfer static mesh to a dynamic Nanite match.
The Future of Gaming
With this new technological venture, we are now able to envision a future in gaming where we can see things just as our eyes see them— this enables us to experience gaming in a much more real way. This technology has the possibility to enhance storytelling and user experience in gaming far beyond what we ever thought was possible. The only question of this technology is, to what extent do we utilize it? Will we be seeing first-person shooters with such hyper-realism? Could there be a possibility of legal repercussions using hyper-realism in gaming? Only time will tell. The truth is that many of the technological advancements that come our way over the years will fade and be universally agreed upon as null; however, they all serve as building blocks towards an even more advanced world of video games.