The buzz surrounding virtual reality games is starting to gather more steam as we head further into 2016 and closer to the release of headsets from the likes of Oculus Rift, HTC and Sony. Although the technology has taken longer to evolve than many expected, the way we experience games of all shapes and sizes still looks set to change dramatically in the coming years.
However, for those with an existing interest in the gaming industry, the rise of virtual reality has been on the cards for a number of years. From online casino games to console gaming options, “realism” has been at the forefront of software developers’ minds over the last few years and that’s thrown up interesting options for players of all persuasions.
Betting in a Better Environment
One area of the gaming industry where realism has been taken to new heights in the last five years is the online casino world. Thanks to the advent of live dealer casino games, platforms such as Smart Live Casino have been able to provide its players with a more authentic gaming experience. The concept behind games such as live dealer blackjack is simple: players go online, click on an available table and, instead of seeing a virtual representation of the action, they are connected to a real dealer overseeing a real table.
By navigating to Smart Live’s online casino platform, you’ll be given the option to ante-up in a variety of games, including blackjack and roulette. With betting starting from as little as £0.25, players can join a table and converse in a range of languages (such as English and Japanese) thanks to the combination of RFID chips, web streams and Smart Live’s in-house casino software.
Essentially, instead of trying to recreate an “authentic” casino experience using HTML5 or some other computer code, live dealer games link online players with offline dealers. Of course, the act of anteing up is not 100% realistic; however, it’s as close to the real thing as you can get online.
A Light in the Dark for Gamers
While online casino operators have swapped animations for real reactions, console gaming companies have been trying to blend the two in an effort to make their products more realistic. One of the holy grails in gaming technology is photorealism and the ability to replicate facial expressions in animated characters.
Although computer game graphics have become extremely detailed in recent years (check out Assassin’s Creed), character’s faces have remained fairly static. However, thanks to companies such as Nvidia and Microsoft, this frontier is gradually being breached and that’s causing games to become more realistic than ever.
One of the major technological advancements that have made this possible is the use of realistic light sources. In the past, shadows were simply added onto games by artists after the fact; however, as software developers strive for “global illumination”, the flow and interaction of light beams is becoming more realistic. The knock-on effect of this is that character’s faces, environments and the overall appearance of a scene look a lot more realistic.
The gaming industry is undoubtedly moving towards virtual reality, but it’s our desire for more realism that’s fuelling this push. Indeed, recent developments in both the online casino industry and the console gaming world have not only shown what’s possible, but what we want as consumers. Games give us a chance to escape reality; that’s why we want more realism and that’s the reason virtual reality will soon become our reality.