Dream started in the summer of 1997 when I was 10. Thanks to my father, I became an active member of after-school computer training courses. It was then that I discovered several PC games which are still fresh in my memory.
The games were installed in dozens of 486 computers which were set within a round hall built in the middle of a lotus pool of Wuxi Children’s Palace. Maybe it was the original pattern/embryonic form of the later well-known ChinaJoy, but fortunately with no unnecessary/meaningless legs or waves.
At that time, PCs run MS-DOS as its operation system. With the input ‘ mario.exe’ followed by a press on the ‘return’ button, came the colorful game Mario Bros. The fun and relaxation that I had while operating Uncle Mario to jump up and down, to eat mushrooms or to throw fire balls, was engraved in the childhood memory.
Besides Nintendos’s Mario Bros. there were two black and white 3d-games that almost drove me crazy. They were pioneers at that time crowded by 8-bit 2d-games. Although I never remember the names of the games. The games themselves are still vividly alive in my head. I will explain as follows.
2D Tetris is widely considered as a classic beyond dispute in Famicom. The 3D version introduces the following new features:
- Yes! 3D bricks
This is definitely the most notable evolution. Comparing to 2D, extra order of magnitude is added to 3D bricks in terms of turning direction, the target to eliminate changes from a line to a plane, which is a real challenge.
The brick never falls from up to bottom, it moves from outer to inner instead. More pressure, more impulse.
Another direct impression is that there are so many more things to calculate in your brain when playing this game, comparing to the older version.
3D Racing Car
Usually you drive a car in overlook mode within a 2d-game in Famicom. But in this particular 3D game, it got the 1st person view. There were 3 tracks in front of you, on your left, in the middle and on the right. You operate the car to jump from one track to another to avoid crash barriers. Car runs faster and faster, and no one lives forever!
Both these two 3D games are simple. No world rules to learn(Even simple game as Mario Bros has world rules like upgrade by eating flowers/ jump on turtles to make them freeze). Everyone can play it immediately after watching it once. So what make them so fascinating?
I think it is because sense of immersion.
- Firstly the extra dimension built by 3D game brings us large information entropy. However it actually helps human brain to get adapted to the scenario because of the simulation to real life it creates.
- Secondly 2D is the abstraction of real world due to technical limit. In the process of abstraction information is compressed. Just image that in most of classic 2D games, we can see all things in one plain map but it is impossible in 3D game because of view port limit. Such limit restricts information user can get from the screen, hence makes game difficult.
Therefore, the birth/emergence of 3D game generates a more natural presentation of the real world. It also increments the gameplay by limiting the expose speed of information.
A whole new world came to me in 1997.