The recent announcements of the games give some reason to think about the future – how games will look like, in ten, twenty, thirty years? This article does not even pretend to be analytics – it is nothing more than an attempt to fantasize (or, if you like, dream) on a given topic.
The most obvious trend in the development of the video game industry is, of course, the quality of graphics – it does not improve very noticeably from year to year, but if you take a longer distance, then progress is evident. The main question that arises here is when will graphics with a cinematic level of authenticity finally appear? According to Tim Sweeney, cinematic graphics requires a performance level of 40 teraflops (FP32). If we talk about the new generation of consoles (9th generation game consoles) we have a performance at the level of 13-15 teraflops, then most likely we will see 40 teraflops in the 10th generation consoles no later than in 2030. Gaming PCs will reach this level several years earlier, but, as you know, developers focus mainly on the performance of consoles and not top-end PCs. At one of its events, Nvidia demonstrated the rendering of very realistic graphics in real-time – but for this, it required a very expensive ($ 69 thousand) system with a performance of 60 teraflops.
However, according to another authority on the computer games industry, Yves Guillemot, by that time games will move to cloud-based calculations. In this case, other laws, purely commercial ones, will probably act – what level of performance is profitable to allocate for the needs of one gamer. Theoretically, this approach is much more optimal, since this performance can be adjusted depending on the requirements of the game, the time of day (in the morning the load on the server in a given area will be the least), tariffs, etc. And most importantly, thanks to streaming, computer games will become entirely cross-platform – one game can be played on a PC, smartphone, or stand-alone virtual reality headset.
In the next two to three decades, graphics in computer games will become indistinguishable from cinema, which, in combination with virtual reality headsets, will provide the maximum possible immersion effect (until a method of a direct impact on human consciousness has been invented).
AI in Video and PC games
Another, also very obvious, the trend is artificial intelligence. In addition to controlling bots in the game, it is necessary for all the same realism. As the aforementioned Tim Sweeney emphasized, to recreate interactive human emotions and mutual eye contact of its characters in a computer game, performance alone is not enough – new algorithms are needed. They will likely be replaced by machine learning which is already used in some of the best online gambling games in virtual casinos (if you are interested in this topic, you can dive into more details at site Bgaoc.com. Note that work in this direction is made not only in gambling games but also underway in the developments of Ubisoft, DeepMind, and OpenAI.
A much more interesting, but at the same time, much more complex, the direction of application of artificial intelligence in the interactivity of the plot, which changes depending on the user’s actions. A similar technique is used, for example, in the recently released Detroit: Become Human game or Dying Light 2 announced at E3 2018. However, there all these stories are pre-written and drawn by the developers, and therefore their number is relatively small. Artificial intelligence (obviously of a much higher level, compared to current implementations) will allow the scenario of the game to branch out literally at any second – just like it happens in life (at least theoretically, without taking into account the conservatism and stereotyped behavior of us, humans).
Artificial intelligence technologies are likely to hold new promise for the open-world genre. It has existed for a long time and provides the player with freedom of action limited by the current level of technology. With the help of AI, the scale of the game can be expanded both in spatial terms (the hero of conditional GTA X will be able to go to any other settlement on Earth and develop violent activity there), and in terms of involving all the characters of the game in the plot (the number of which is will be practically unlimited).
Having studied the world cinema and literature, TV news, videos, etc., the role of the artist and screenwriter will be taken over by the computer itself. While this sounds like an outright fantasy, but who knows – perhaps in a few decades machine learning technologies will reach this level. In this case, the AI, whose intellectual and creative abilities by that time will not be inferior to human ones, will be able to finish the game as the player progresses through it.
This is all just speculation. Only time will show us the true form of future gaming. Stay healthy, safe, and dream, for a better future!