Understanding the role of graphics and sound in video games


The first video games were colored and marked with block of text or graphics. With the availability of more and better graphics processors, the imagery became more colorful and complex.

The display now shows the typical game player as an avatar in the picture, or just his own view, the first-person view, for example, in the first-person shooter, similar to the subjective camera in the film.

To all kinds of in-game ads, scores, messages such as health or mission objectives appear in the image (usually in the form of a Head-up-Displays/HUD).

The visual information can be output via monitor or TV screen and made in conjunction with 3D glasses and a three-dimensional visual can be produced.

Acoustic output

Acoustic signals, effects and spoken text is used more increasingly and ever more expectant quality in computer games.

Of the formerly predominantly atmospheric importance they have become an important source of information for the player (for example, the spatial location and orientation within the game).

Multiplayer games get acoustic information through the use of headsets that allow for fast and easy communication between team members. In Germany, the voice of imported computer games is increasingly similar to a professional synchronized voice as in the movies.

Of special importance is the music in games. Initially introduced as a mere accompaniment to the game scene, game music currently holds a similar role in films: aims to increase the drama and to lead the game scenic.

Often short, memorable melody rates are applied that do not get boring even after frequent listening.

The range in terms of the demand for quality is great. Professional game developers now employ their own composers, to focus on the creation of music.

This is now easily added to the project as a finished audio track in standard data formats. PC games offer the user or users freely accessible data folders to exchange music or sounds and adjust to own taste.

This is only possible if the game program works with standard data formats such as Wave, MP3, MIDI or other enhancements, and the game programmer not combined into a single executable file.

In the first video games of the 1980s, the music developers had to also have extensive technical programming expertise to integrate their musical material in the program.

In addition to the optical and mechanical acoustic output, there is another opportunity for interaction. The force feedback technology allows the output effects in response to mechanical forces acting on the character.

This technique is mainly used in steering wheels for driving games, joysticks for flight sims and gamepads as well as mouse buttons. For example, if the player with the race car driving into an obstacle, it senses an object on the steering wheel movement.

The video game is characterized by fundamental differences, but also by significant similarities with other media and art forms.

The two essential elements of a video game, the image and interactivity. The first is generated both in the film as well as painting and drawing, the second in the experimental theater.

Often the video game borrows technical aspects from other media and develops them in own context. This can be from a story, drama, film, literature or music, and if this also in a completely new way.

For example in Black & White, Deus Ex, World of Warcraft, The Sims, Dungeon Keeper, Baldur’s Gate 2, Fahrenheit, Iceland Monkey 3, etc. Game development requires a high level of creative and artistic work.

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