Hand-Drawn Animation: From Cartoons to Video Games

Hand-Drawn Animation: From Cartoons to Video Games

Toy Story, Walt Disney, Pixar, 1995, Courtesy of Fair Use in Research and EducationThe introduction of Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI)—the application of computer graphics to create images in media—in the 1990s moved many illustrators away from traditional frame-by-frame, two-dimensional animation techniques. John Lasseter demonstrated the possibilities of CGI when he directed Toy Story, the first feature-length computer-animated film, for Pixar in 1995. Shortly after the release of Toy Story, the medium took off. CGI proved more efficient and created a new aesthetic. In the past few years, however, cel animation or hand-drawn animation techniques have regained popularity.

Penguin Software Collection

Penguin Software Collection

Penguin Software founder and lead developer Mark Pelczarski has donated the Penguin Software Collection, 1970-2013 to ICHEG. In addition to more than three dozen copies of games and graphics software released by Penguin, the collection includes source code, background notes and other material related to the development of games, company correspondence, and Pelczarski’s publications on…

The First Class of the World Video Game Hall of Fame

The First Class of the World Video Game Hall of Fame

It’s official! The members of the inaugural class of The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame are Pong, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, DOOM, and World of Warcraft. All of these games stand out because in addition to being great games, they have transcended the world of gaming to impact our wider culture. Games…

I Want YOU (to Test Your Grip): Uncle Sam as Arcade Icon

I Want YOU (to Test Your Grip): Uncle Sam as Arcade Icon

Stern Pinball’s recent announcement of a new line of KISS pinball machines “honoring one of the most influential and iconic rock bands of all time,” reminded me how frequently today’s coin-operated amusement games center on licensed brands, revered characters, and cultural icons.  Other recent examples include Stern’s The Avengers (2012) and Mustang (2014) and Raw…

Claymation: From the Movie Screen to the Video Game Screen

Claymation: From the Movie Screen to the Video Game Screen

Video game design often involves sophisticated software and complex coding that results in a visual and auditory experience for the user. Several designers today incorporate tactical play into video game design. Plasticine, a non-drying, non-toxic, malleable clay, developed by art teacher William Harbutt in 1897, has become an experimental tool of the trade.

Lessons from the Past for the Future of Virtual Reality

Lessons from the Past for the Future of Virtual Reality

Last month, while attending the Game Developers Conference, I couldn’t help but notice the giant booths advertising Oculus Rift, Sony Morpheus, Steam VR, and other new virtual reality headsets that are the hottest trend in gaming. While I didn’t stand in any of the long lines to try these devices, like many people I’m curious…

Pixel Art: Nostalgia or Visual Style?

Pixel Art: Nostalgia or Visual Style?

The limits of computing hardware of the 1980s required game designers to use pixel art, a 2D graphical style that is enjoying a revival today. Games like Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, and The Legend of Zelda consisted of 2D images with low resolutions and limited color palettes that many designers and gamers considered…

Beam Him Up, Scotty: Remembering Leonard Nimoy

Beam Him Up, Scotty: Remembering Leonard Nimoy

“Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human.”                 ~ Admiral James T. Kirk

Morality at Play in Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead

Morality at Play in Telltale Games' The Walking Dead

As a kid, I loved playing hide-and-seek. My favorite variation was a team-based game in which a dozen of us hid and chased each other through the streets and backyards of my densely packed neighborhood. Because we all knew the best places to hide, no one could stay in same spot for more than a…

The World Video Game Hall of Fame

The World Video Game Hall of Fame

We are excited to announce that The Strong has launched the World Video Game Hall of Fame to recognize individual electronic games of all types (arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile) that have been popular over a sustained period and influenced the video game industry or popular culture in general.