We all sat one day on our couch, watching a captivating SF series and thinking to ourselves, “Gosh, I would really like to travel into the space and meet all kinds of extraterrestrial beings!” Unfortunately, we will have to wait a little longer in order for our wish to be granted. But we still can taste a particle of this universe. Nowadays games have evolved greatly from what we used to have in childhood. And why do we love games so much? Because they can “teleport” us into a magical world, full of adventures and quests and in a safe environment too. But what does the gaming industry have instored for us? Together we’ll discover some of the trends of 2021 and beyond.
Artificial Intelligence for NPCs
NPCs in games can be really frustrating sometimes. Although they are starting to become more “independent” from the developers scripts, they are still following a boring routine. Unplayable characters are programmed with a “finite state machine” but this might change in the future, with further advancements in technology. We even have today NPCs that, for example, follow a specific coded behavior, which can make different decisions depending on the state of the game.
As humankind continues to evolve so is AI technology. But having fully independent NPCs is still a very debatable topic. Most of us saw Terminator, and we know it’s not a good idea giving machines full control over the situation. A pattern still needs to be followed in order for a game to be enjoyable. Nobody wants crazy level 99 NPCs finishing you right at the beginning of the game. Another problem for implementing more intelligent NPCs in the games is the financial one. The gaming industry is still somewhat conservative towards market strategy. Not many companies will be willing to invest in something uncertain. Leaving the gaming behind for a minute, we also find out that AI is used in creating games too. Artificial Intelligence is very good at generating new game assets, especially environment ones. This usually earns a lot of free time for designers and developers to improve other aspects of the game. Today the AI is even used by companies that develop games with slots in order to improve the user experience in the online environment.
Virtual Reality Games
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that with the help of some special headsets and glasses can project generated images from the computer. Augmented Reality is when the field of view of the user is overlaid with the addition of virtual images. Virtual Reality refers to a full virtual-generated world which the person can see.
As Virtual Reality is gaining more popularity by each year, we can expect of great things when talking of it. Although it is still considered a technology which segregates the gamer from the outside world that might change soon. Just imagine playing Pokémon GO, but instead of playing on the phone, you have some kind of glasses that show you virtual Pokémon’s in real-life. A crazy thought, but the future might be present soon enough.
Evolution of Graphics
Gaming industry started with some graphics that would make nowadays younglings cry in terror. We remember with nostalgia games like Mario or Pac Man and their pixelated graphics that are an ocean away from today’s games.
New graphic cards more powerful than the past generation are released every year, so we got to ask ourselves what unimaginable new heights will they reach? We are still impressed by the current 4k games, and as 20+ years ago we can only imagine how the future games will look like. As revenues increase year by year, it is very likely that in the near future, games with Hollywood budgets will appear. And it is natural for the photorealism of these kinds of games to be on par with Hollywood movies. The advancements of ray-tracing made by some of the best well-known companies is a hint that points us in the right direction.
But as all things need to have a somewhat natural balance, having better graphics means that we will need better machines who can run them too. And so the rendering will be a delicate problem in years to come. A higher computer power is required to increase the level of details and also more human power will be needed in order to create those breathtaking surroundings.
Video gaming does not target a specific audience, everyone can be a gamer if it has spare time. Games are a good way to relieve the stress, or simply an enjoyable way to spend your time. If you think that nowadays games are top-notched, just wait a few years more. You will be amazed on how the future of gaming will look.