During my increasingly busy schedule of sleeping, drawing and eating I somehow found the time to raid my boyfriend’s PlayStation games and play Tomb Raider 2. I remember playing the pixelated game as a kid but I felt that a bit of reminiscing was in order.
After pratting around on the assault course and repeatedly locking my butler in the fridge, I passed the controller over to my loved one, so that he could fight the scary T-Rex’s and tigers and face the horrifying timed jumps in which Lara decides to start knitting instead of doing what-you-are-telling-her-to!!!
But as I watched him play, I no longer saw the same game I feared as a child, no, this time I watched it through the eyes of the horrid critical monster I had become. But as I giggled at the 500 tri cave and the various shades of grey squares that made up it’s walls, I had an epiphany.
I wish I was born ten years earlier.
If only I had grown up in an era where games were made up of simple meshes and no-one had even heard of a specular or bump map. How nice it must have been to open up photoshop and draw an orange rectangle as a brick or a grey square for a stone.
Gone would have been the days where I sit frustratingly tweaking the warp tool just so that my bricks don’t tile repetitively.
Vanquished would have been the weeks of me tweaking 9,000 verts and polys and how welcoming it would have been to watch the industry grow from the beginning, to be able to improve my skills along with it, instead of being chucked head-first into a violent sea of countless polys, terrifying tri-counts and ambient occlusion nightmares.
Oh-wait , hold it there, a T-Rex has just appeared in Tomb Raider. Yes Lara, because dinosaurs do indeed live under the Great Wall of China… or maybe they do and that is indeed why the great wall was really built. Someone should really tell the Mongolians to stop stealing stones from it for their farms or they are going to be in for one nasty surprise.
But I digress.
Just as I am sitting here wishing I could make a hugely successful pixelated mess, I bet the artists back then wish they had worked on pong.