3D games are popular in the gaming industry. A vast number of the games released each year have the 3D art style. The 3D visuals each year are pushed to the next level by the game developers.
This contrasts with the early years of gaming, when most games had a 2D art style. In the earlier era, our hardware and software tech did not have the power to render high-quality 3D.
A lot of factors played into the initial rise of 3D gaming. There were the consoles that were getting powerful and the developers who were eager to push gaming to the next level.
id software, a top PC game development company, revolutionized gaming and paved the way for the rise of 3D gaming with its classic Wolfenstein 3D. The game used new techniques to render 3D graphics and received massive critical acclaim and sales.
id software followed the game up with other classics such as Doom and Quake. These two became instant classics.
Many developers today credit id software’s a plethora of games as one of the inspiring stories in gaming.
The second colossal revolution that further led to the rise in 3D games was the introduction of the fifth console generation. From 1993-2006, consumers saw the release of consoles with better processing power than their predecessors.
Two consoles among them are still household names: the Sony PlayStation (now known as PlayStation 1) and the Nintendo N64.
Both consoles were pivotal in the industry shift from 2D games to 3D games.
Several games marked this era, some of them classics. These include Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Metal Gear Solid, Golden Eye 007, and Super Mario 64.
A third shift is the popularization of GPUs. GPUs are the hardware that is specialized in taking care of the visuals. It calculates a lot of visual data and renders high-quality images.
GPUs are critical in PC gaming. Most PC gamers boast about the superiority of gaming on this platform because of the increased capabilities of GPUs to render visuals at high framerates.
This is because of the shift that occurred a few years back that resulted in GPUs becoming more powerful. Companies such as NVIDIA and AMD experimented with better GPU architecture. Which eventually led them to be powerful tools with high processing power.
For instance, even smartphones of today have GPUs (they are not separate from the processor as in PCs.) Even though these are not as powerful as the PC ones, they have enabled mobile game developers to create high-fidelity graphics games.
At present, we can see AAA games that have high visual fidelity. In addition, characters that are detailed and open-worlds are now common in the gaming industry.
Even the consoles of the current generation have advanced far. The current generation of consoles is insanely powerful compared to their predecessors. One only has to look at compatible games to get an idea.
The unveiling of Unreal Engine 5 was an industry-rocking moment. In the demo, Epic teased the capabilities of their engine’s newest version and showed us how it would make waves in the gaming industry and further pave the way for the rise in 3D games.
Among them was Nanite, a virtual geometry system. Nanite allows developers to import film-quality assets into their games. As a result, the developers do not have to create low-poly versions of the assets but can import the high-poly versions.
Another was Lumen, a global illumination system. Lumen introduced dynamic lighting into games, and rather than baking light in textures, the light will be rendered in real time. This would cause better shadows and more realistic light.
Tech like this will transform the 3D gaming space and shoot it to even further heights. Developers in game development companies are already starting to demonstrate the possibilities of the game engine’s newest features.
The rise of 3D gaming is an exciting story. It came from humble beginnings and transcended into the form it is in now.
It didn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happened over the years with better hardware, resulting in better games and developers eager to push the gaming envelope.
The future of 3D gaming is also bright.
Juego Studios is a 3D game development company with a team of developers adept at creating 3D games of any genre. Our team has experience in the latest game engines and development frameworks and follows the agile methodology to deliver the best output for our clients.