First person (video games)


First person (video games)

In video games, first person refers to a graphical perspective rendered from the viewpoint of the player character. In many cases, this may be the viewpoint from the cockpit of a vehicle. Many different genres have made use of first-person perspectives, ranging from adventure games to flight simulators. Perhaps the most notable genre to make use of this device is the first-person shooter, where the graphical perspective has an immense impact on game play.

History

Early examples

While many games featured a side scrolling or top down perspective, several early games attempted to render the game world from the perspective of the player.

It is not clear exactly when the first shooting game to use the first-person perspective was created. There are two claimants, "Spasim" and "Maze War". The uncertainty about which was first stems from the lack of any accurate dates for the development of "Maze War" — even its developer [http://www.digibarn.com/history/04-VCF7-MazeWar/stories/colley.html cannot remember exactly] . In contrast, the development of Spasim is much better documented and the dates more certain.

The initial development of "Maze War" probably occurred in the summer of 1973. A single player made their way through a simple maze of corridors rendered using fixed perspective. Multiplayer capabilities, with players attempting to shoot each other, were probably added later in 1973 (two machines linked via a serial connection) and in the summer of 1974 (fully networked).

"Spasim" was originally developed in the spring of 1974. Players moved through a wire-frame 3D universe, with gameplay resembling the 2D game "Empire". Graphically, "Spasim" lacked even hidden line removal, but did feature online multiplayer over the world-wide university-based PLATO network. Another notable PLATO FPS was the tank game "Panther", introduced in 1975, generally acknowledged as a precursor to Battlezone.

3D gaming

The 1995 game "Descent" used a fully 3D polygonal graphics engine to render opponents (previous games had used sprites). It also escaped the "pure vertical walls" graphical restrictions of earlier games in the genre, and allowed the player six degrees of freedom of movement (up/down, left/right, forward/backward, pitch, roll, and yaw). Thus, Descent was the first first-person game in the modern era to use a fully 3D engine.

See also

* 3D graphics
* First-person shooter engine
* Free look


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