# How are computer games actually made?

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For example, a game like Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I cannot grasp how someone sits at a computer and comes out with that beautiful representation of a real world. What is the actual work and tools that make it happen?

In: Technology

Take yourself step by step through gaming history.

How do you make pong with a computer? Well, it’s just two lines with x and y coordinates with a dot going back and forth with incredibly basic physics and collision detection on a ~32×32 pixel grid. You write some simple code to compare the coordinates of the “ball” to that of either of the “paddles” to determine collisions, and the edge of the screen for scoring.

How do you make pac-man with a computer? Similar deal, only you’re using actual graphics of little ghosts and pac-man instead of individual dots then moving them around a grid and adding simple AI causing the ghosts to kinda chase pac-man, and when you pick up a special dot, switching the state between attacking ghosts and you being able to attack them, and points. Instead of determining the coordinates of a single dot, you’re dealing with the boundaries of each ghost/pac-man.

How do you make super mario bros? Build off of those two things, add some more advanced logic with determining where you’re standing (since if any part of mario is on a ledge he won’t fall off) and make the graphics better. The level is bigger than the screen, so you need to figure out how to make it “scroll”. The “Grid” of pixels is also much larger

How do you make Super Mario World? Build off of that further in all of the ways described.

How do you make Mario 64? That’s the next big step. Instead of 2D graphics and x and y coordinates for everything, now you have a third z coordinates. Instead of things scrolling and essentially a “camera” moving in 2 dimensions, now you have a “camera” moving in 3 dimensions.

From there, it’s mostly just layering graphics and physics improvements on top of everything else which requires more and more and more graphics, processing, and storage requirements.

Oversimplification but pretty accurate.