Dog and Gaming Years

3rd November 2007

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

There’s an interesting article on Gamasutra called The Gamasutra Quantum Leap Awards: First-Person Shooters. The article was published in September 2006, but is still relevant today. The site requires free registration but if you are interested in game development it’s well worth the effort.

There is an interesting quote: “Half-Life did this 8 years ago (which is like 40 years in gaming years), so in my eyes that makes it a pioneer in story telling for FPS games (as well as 3rd person view games).”

The point that attracted me was the idea of “gaming years” being different from normal years. It reminded me of the idea of dog years (Which by the way isn’t 7 years for every human one, it’s: “10.5 dog years per human year for the first 2 years, then 4 dog years per human year for each year after”. This is due dogs reaching adulthood within the first couple of years.)

Anyway, do you agree that gaming years are different from other years.

Hardware Comparison

It’s what you compare it to that matters. Most things in the computing world progress very quickly, so perhaps a good comparison is against hardware. If I had more time and a more journalistic approach I would have done some research and compared games against hardware. I would have probably found that the engines are ahead of the graphics and physics cards. It’s games that seem to be forcing the graphic card manufacturers to develop and release better and better cards.

Movie Comparison

This one is a little hard because how can you tell if movies are improving and developing. Are the movies today that much better than the movies of 20 years ago. Some of everybody’s favorite Movies are older ones. Would12 Angry Men be better if it was in color or had CGI included? The story telling and cinematography are excellent and that film is 60 years old!

Of course films like the Matrix and Lord of the Rings could never have been made without computers but that’s another point.

Player Comparison

Perhaps the most useful and interesting comparison will be against players themselves. How we changed in the time a game was released? Or perhaps how have mods changed in the same time?

Our expectations have certainly changed but by the same amount as the games? Probably.

The quote at the top of the post says 1 game year is equivalent to 5 normal years. Do you agree?

What other comparisons should be made?

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