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History of Platformers

group assignment, outlining the history of art within platforming games.
by

laurence wilkinson

on 20 March 2012

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Transcript of History of Platformers

Cel Shaded - Although the first Cel Shaded games appeared in 2000, it was used to greater effect during this generation, The following platformers are examples of this rendering style: The limits of 8-bit systems caused the use of repetitive assets in order to create level environments.

For example, the 'cliffs' were made up of repeats of the same tile.

Objects such as trees used to create a forest level were exact copies of one another, with some variation in the placing of the same branch sprites. The Gamecube was the first Nintendo Console to be released without a Mario title at launch.

It utilised 8cm optical disc storage media which could house 1.5gb's worth of information.

Can support Stereoscopic 3D, although Luigi's Mansion was the only game that could untilise it, but due to the cost of 3D TV's at the time, it was disabled outside of development.

Was the first mainstream console to feature an ATI techonologies graphics chip, codenamed 'Flipper', which is where the 'Nintendo Dolphin' codename derived from.

Resolutions :- 480i, 576i, 480p 256 x 224 Pixel Resolution

64 Colour Palette

This game featured the first jumping
character. 192 x 256 pixels

16 colour palette

Influenced future platform games
with the use of ladders and multi
level platforms. 224 x 256 Pixel resolution

256 colour palette

Considered the first true platform game with the player being able to execute and fail jumps. 224 x 256 pixels Resolution

98 Colour Palette

First side scrolling platform game. Introduced spanning Screens Donkey Kong Country was released for the SNES in 1994, developed by Rare and Nintendo.

The game still used sprites, only they appeared 3D.

It used a technique named 'Advanced Computer Modeling' where 3D models for characters were created and animated before converting them into sprites.

One of the first games to ever feature pre-rendered 3D graphics. First released in 2002.

Introduced 3D sculpting to the mainstream.

It uses 3D pixels better known as 'Pixols', these contain the traditional 'X' and 'Y' values but in additional contain a value for the 'Z' axis also.

Offers a more artistic and hands on feel to modelling.

Can circumvent the need for 'unwrapping'>:D

Can create a high level of detail in a far shorter amount of time compared to other 3D packages.

Can massively increase productivity, workflow and the quality of the final product. Mega Man was a platforming game created by Capcom in 1987.

NES could only display 56 colours, with blue having the most available shades.

This affected the decision to make Mega Man blue, as this would allow him to appear more detailed.

Wall tiles drawn so they look more randomised than grid-like. 'Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle' was released on the Mega Drive in 1989.

More colours than its predecessor.

More vibrant world, and a more detailed player character closer to the original design. 256 x 224 pixels

256 colour palette

Landmark year for the creation of
Mario Common Misconceptions A genre of video game in which the characters travel along horizontal surfaces, climb, jump and otherwise move from surface to surface collecting items and defeating enemies. Platformer If a game completes jumps for you automatically, such as in Zelda: Ocarina of Time, this is not considered a platformer. Platformers do not have to be 2D; as long as the game
features the jumping mechanism then it can be included in
genre. Mario didn't make an appearance until 2002 in the next installment of the Mario franchise, Mario Sunshine.

It further developed Mario's design and brought him into the next generation with a design which has been emulated in later titles in the series Sony PS3
First console to support HDMI output.
The only console to utilise Blu-ray discs.
Includes an upscale feature Supports the output of 3D Platformers by this time were starting to lose their appeal and were no longer considered the 'system seller' they used to be.

Crash Bandicoot:The Wrath of Cortex, is an example of this platforming decline. Considered a favorite on the PS1 the same formula proved less popular for Naughty Dog in the games latest iteration.

Later the same year Naughty Dog released Jak & Daxter: The Precursers Legacy, which was a huge success due to it's stylised graphics and fresh characters. Another PS2 exlusive was released in 2002 in the form of Ratchet and Clank.

Created by Insomniac, the people responsible for the Spyro series.

This new partnership continued the formula which was made popular by Jak & Daxter.

It uses a similar artstyle to Naughty Dogs platformer.

Ratchet was originally going to be a reptile, but the artists deviated from this and opted for feline characteristics because they considered it to be more agile. Pixel Art

Sprites Arcade Systems and Unique Nintendo Arcade Systems Atari 2600

Supported Vertical scrolling only Atari 5200

Supported Horizontal scrolling Commodore 64 Nintendo Entertainment
System & Super Mario Bros. 1991 Sonic the Hedgehog
Sega's first attempt at creating a mascot in order to compete with Nintendo was Alex Kidd, later replaced by Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 released in 1992. Although the Nintendo 64 was discontinued that same year, it did however have one last platformer to be released.

Rare, the company responsible for blockbuster titles such as Goldeneye 64 and Perfect Dark, decided to take platforming in a new direction... the result being Conker's Bad Fur day! Conkers Bad Fur Day, was very controversial!

Topics such as: Sex, Drugs, Violence and the human digestive system!

This game almost never happened! and had a very different theme in early development CONKERS BAD FUR DAY MARIO SUNSHINE Thanks to the Gamecubes extra power, Mario and the world he transversed were displayed with a very varied and rich colour palette.

It was also the first Mario to feature Bowser Jr who would later become the antagonist in several more Mario games. CRASH BANDICOOT: THE WRATH OF CORTEX JAK & DAXTER: THE PRECURSORS LEGACY Not long after the Nintendo Gamecube, Microsoft entered the console wars with the Xbox.

Featured an Intel P3 CPU along side an nVidia GeForce 3 based GPU. This was really important for console manufactuars developers.

First mainstream console to feature Hard Drive storage built-in.(10gb Size, 8gb when formatted)

First Mainstream console to support HD resolutions.

Resolutions:- 480i, 480p, 576i(AV) 576p, 720p, 1080i(Component only) 2005, only 4 years after the original, the Xbox 360 was released.

Utilises a 3 core IBM PowerPC CPU coupled with a ATI Tech 'R500' GPU, this made backwards compatibility with original Xbox games tough.

Utilised a dual layer r9 DVD disc with 7.8gb usable space. Also, the Pro version came with a 20gb interchangable Hard Drive (12gb Formatted).

Supports AV, Component, VGA and HDMI(After 2007) outputs.

First Mainstream Console to support Wi-Fi(via USB addon)

First console to support full 1080p HD resolutions.

Resolutions:- 480i, 480p, 576i(AV) 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p(Component, VGA, HDMI) Klonoa 2 - Playstation 2 Dragons Lair 3D - Xbox Sly Racoon - Playstation 2 Viewtiful Joe - Gamecube RATCHET & CLANK Nintendo Wii
First console to feature motion sensitive controls
Has a maximum resolution of 576i. 2007 Mario Galaxy
Awarded a BAFTA for Game of the Year
Originally developed in 2000 2008 Mirror’s Edge
Unique platforming experience A good recent example of this style would be New Super Mario Brothers for the Nintendo Wii.

This features the classic 2D platform style, and uses bright, bold colours. Developed by Realtime Associates
Plays like a tradtional 3d side scroller
allowed players to move in all directions
Used pre-rendered sprites 1995 - ‘Bug’ 1996 -– Crash Bandicoot Crash Bandicoot
Developed by Naughty Dog
3D modelling.
The final model of Crash was 512 polygons in total.
‘Vertex animation 1996- Pandemonium Published by Crystal Dynamics
Models and environments rendered in 3D polygons.
The environments are 2D surfaces that bend around in a 3D world. 1997 - Abes oddysee Developed by Oddworld Inhabitants
2.5D with 2D side scrolling gameplay and 3D pre-rendered bitmap graphics .
‘Aware lifeforms in virtual enviroments’system. Frogs 1978 Space Panic 1980 Donkey Kong 1981 Jumpbug 1981 Mario Bros 1983 Pitfall 1982 1991 Duke Nukem
Released on PC 1990 Super Mario World
Released on SNES 1994 Earthworm Jim
Released on Mega Drive Sony’s competition to Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog and Nintendo’s Mario.

2008 msn poll ranked Crash at #8 in ‘most iconic game character’ 2011 Kirby Epic Yarn

Won several awards
Textures and materials have an authentic feel.
The original Kirby game in 1992 was a 2D platformer. 2009 Uncharted 2 Among Thieves

Real-time trailer
Use of motion capture suits for animation
Uses Naughty Dog Game Engine 2.0 Platform games span a wide variety of genres, and therefore feature a large range of different art styles.

A popular style used by platformers is a bright, bubbly style. 3DS Max 2012 is used to create and animate models which can then be used within game engines.

New features include:
The Iray Renderer
Enhanced UVW Unwrapping
Sculpting and Painting
Stylised Rendering Upcoming Platformers 2000 : Playstation 2 The PS2 is the best-selling console of all time, having reached over 150 million units sold
Implemented a 'Graphics Synthesizer' Max And The Magic Marker

Uses the traditional 2D design
Allows players to "draw" their own objects into the game
Features 3 beautifully designed worlds, based off of childrens drawings 1996: Nintendo 64 Uncharted 3 Drakes Deception

Features new innovations in elemental graphics such as sand, fire, smoke and water, creating photorealistc scenes.
Will fully support stereoscopic 3D Sega Mega Drive
Released in 1988
First major 16-bit console
Could generate up to 512 colours SNES
Released in 1990
16-bit
Still used 2D sprites, but had wider colour palette 1990
Autodesk 3DS Max

Used within the games industry to create a variety of 3D art, including character and environment models.

Used to rig and animate models for in-game use. Adobe Photoshop

2D art and editing program.

Used within the games industry to create digital concept art for levels, environments and characters.

Could be used to create sprites for 2D games.

Used for creating texture maps which can be imported into software such as 3DS Max to be applied to models. 2008 LittleBigPlanet

Puzzle platform game, which is based around user generated content.
Highly rated for it’s ‘unforgettable visuals’
Designed as a 2.5D game
Won 8 awards Unlimited Detail Technology
Only renders what is on screen.

Everything is done using Software.

ALOT of detail generated from a small Hardware specification. New Unreal Engine
Due in 2012 for the next generation of console hardware.

New effects for more realistic depiction and/or more dynamic universes. Next Gen Consoles
Nintendo's first HD capable console, rumored 2012 release.

Sony and Microsoft rumored to have new consoles for 2015.

Higher specifications allowing for more scope and varied artstyles.

3D will be implemented to much greater effect and potentially effect the way artists design characters/environments. Nintendo 64's graphics and audio duties are performed by the Reality Co-Processor 1996 - Super Mario 64 Developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis
Mario's first 3D debut, 3D polygon model Created by Shigeru Miyamoto

1990 survey found Mario to be more recognisable to children than Mickey Mouse. 2010 Limbo

A platform game which uses a very unique art style to convey the feel and atmosphere of the game.

It used monochromatic black and white, with the character as a silhouette against the background.

The use of lighting, film grain effects and minimal sound helped to create a creepy feel to the game. Sega Mastersystem 1994 Sony Playstation

Could display 1.5 million single-colour polygons per second.

Eventually sold more than 100 million units. Since the release of the first platform game in 1978, the genre has seen a decline in popularity with the release of more realistic, 3D rendered games.

However, they are slowly becoming more mainstream as the design of platformers reverts back to the 2D art style that made them originally successful.

This change sees artists using more traditional methods such as painting, drawing, and even working with fabrics to create a unique art style for their games. These innovative designs help to make a great platform game stand out in a genre where most titles have similar gameplay. In Conclusion Nintendo 64 was the last released console of the 5th generation and was the most technologically advanced.

However, it had a limited texutre cache, which meant it could only hold textures of small dimentions which reduced the colour depth. This meant that in games the textures were often stretched to cover large in-game surfaces. Gamespot praised the game as the 'ideal platformer, balancing its action and puzzle elements perfectly to make the game intelligent, engaging, and best yet, fun.'
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