Global Game Education Resource and Guide
Hello and welcome to Game Education Summit a website that focuses on providing information for all audiences of interest in game design and development.
Here on this website you'll find information that is suitable to the following category of individuals:
- Educators: Those offering information about game design (including teaching game design, development and game studies).
- Students: Those looking to take classes who are new to gaming or looking to advance their careers.
- Administrators: Those working with the various programs.
Future of Games Entertainment
The gaming industry is a great example of how technology advances at an amazingly fast pace. Just take a look at some of the first games developed in the early 1970's such as 2D pong type games, then to the very first 3D games like Monster Maze in 1981 followed by the first FPS games like Wolfenstien 3D in 1992 to the very complex and live light shooter games such as Battlefield 3 in 2011. The proof is in the history of the evolution of gaming that we're advancing rapidly.
The ride for gamers both casual and die hard fans along with the industry as a whole has been an exciting one to say the least. A lot of us players have a wish list of how we expect or would like things to turn out in the future. Ultimately though it's hard to say. We do however know of some features that you can expect to see in the gaming space in the future.
Immersive Gaming: The Return of Virtual Reality
3D technology including that which was used in early films nearly a century ago didn't take off nor develop to it's full potential due to the large amount of cost associated with production. It's only been recently that we've seen a new wave of 3D technology which not only debut on the big screen with films such as Avatar but also for gaming. Gaming has evolved so much so that these days it's difficult to differentiate a scene from within a video game from one in rea-life. The movement in this trend seems to be going towards more immersive digital entertainment.
The Comeback of Virtual Reality
Big steps forward in technology has allowed for significantly more advanced hardware to be developed. The result has been that we're seeing virtual reality (VR) resurface in the gaming industry. A notable mention is the up and coming Oculus Rift a VR-head mounted display created by one Palmer Luckey. The device is due for release January 2014 and set to cost only $300 making for a very low barrier for entry into engaging in this form of entertainment compared to the early versions.
Secondary Screens for Gaming
The big gaming hardware manufactures such as Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony are all headed in the direction of developing controllers or adopting tablet apps to allow users to interact and control games from one screen to the next. These control devices will allow games developers to create more interactive games taking advantage of touch screen technology. The ability to access information that can be concealed from other players playing next to you is one example of a fantastic benefit of controllers that have screens embedded within them. The applications for second screen gaming extend past that of casual gaming and will also take up a role in how people engage in chance games such as poker and casino games (slots, blackjack, video poker). With the popularity of online casino and poker gaming being the way it currently is there's no doubt that gaming companies who develop gambling technologies will adopt and implement this technology to make full use and enhance the players experience dramatically.
Open Source Gaming
The market is broadening by allowing more and more novice programmers and developers to quickly deploy games. The open source platform Ouya allows developers to build and deploy games on the cheap. Using open source platforms, frameworks, etc... developers will not need to carry the overhead burden that most development houses do. No need for engines, etc... means that developers can focus more on the games themselves as opposed to how they're going to pay for expensive, bulky and complicated systems.
Augmented reality has been gaining ground albeit still in it's infancy. The way it works is that you use your real environment and layer data on top. The applications for augmented reality are many and we're already seeing games such as DroidShooting a simple shooter game that allows players to interact with their surroundings in real-time. Big applications for this type of technology will more likely be realized with the adoption and more widespread use of wearable devices such as Google Glass.
Faster and more reliable internet connections will allow for the cloud gaming evolution to thrive. Gaming companies will be able to leverage the fact that because the games are controlled and managed on their servers that tournaments and games that include real money transactions could actually work. The reasons that online casinos work first off is because they're simple and without any complicated graphics rendering that takes place via the web, but mostly because all the financial and game processing takes place on the server. So just like if you were to spin a slots game at casinos in a tournament based environment that's run on the cloud when you pick up a weapon in a FPS game and that were to benefit you in the tournament it would be an event that could not be altered or made to benefit one party of another. The applications for cloud gaming are endless.
Future of Online Games Entertainment
For over a decade now games developed primarily for an online audience have been developed using Adobe Flash. As such users users have been required to have the Flash plug in installed in order to play these games. For desktop users operating Windows or OS X this has never been an issue. With mobile device usage on the rise it does however pose a problem. Unfortunately the Flash player does not ship with modern mobile browsers on purpose for reasons of controlling self interest by the likes of Apple and Google. You see big companies don't want Flash on their devices as it poses problems in many respects that impact how these companies make money. So as to not get too much into it the bottom line is that companies would otherwise loose revenue as a result of allowing the Flash player to be installed on these devices.
The need for an alternative is clear, however there really are no good alternatives at the moment. The closest and best bet to an alternative at present it HTML5. The beauty of programming games in HTML5 is that they are cross platform and cross browser compatible. Ultimately this should mean that you develop your game once and it should work on all devices desktop computers, tablets and smartphones with very little in way of tweaking. In an ideal world this is how it would work however there are many things that get in the way from things working out this way. Perhaps if the HTML5 spec were complete and all browsers were 100% compatible and utilize the standard to it's entirety this wouldn't be an issue but it's not the case and likely won't be happening any time soon. It's said that the full HTML5 spec won't be complete until 2022 so we're still some time off.
So for the time being there really is no better alternative than native apps for mobile and tablet devices and Flash deployment of your games for desktops. That being said this is merely our take on HTML5 and it's immediate future. We do see a bright future on the horizon for HTML5 games but like we say it's still a ways off.