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History of "Gods Eye View" 3D Game Perspective? 70

Posted by Cliff
from the eye-of-agamotto dept.
Milo_Mindbender asks: "A lot of games today feature a 2D or 3D 'instant replay' system that lets you watch the game you just played on a map or from a third person 3D view. Some multi-player games also let you watch live games in play this way. I'm trying make a time-line on the history of this feature and was hoping the Slashdot crowd could help me out with names, dates and other info on games that had replay features. I think the Army SIMNET tank simulator was the first to have this (called the 'flying carpet') sometime in the late '80s early '90s. References to games with replay are harder to find because it usually wasn't advertised. I'd particularly like to find the first game with user controlled 2D and 3D game replay/spectating and the first replay systems with automatic camera controls creating cinematic 'wide world of sports' quality real-time movies of the game."
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History of "Gods Eye View" 3D Game Perspective?

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  • I seem to vaugely remember the old car driving game 'Stunts' having this. I'm sure there's plenty of information floating around the interweb about it. This is in contrast to a game like "Test Drive ", which I don't remember having the feature.

    Anyone else remember this? Or am I making it up?
    ---
    • ISTR that Stunts had a sports camera -like replay. Not exactly God's Eye, but it does seem to be what the OP is looking for.
    • Re:Stunts (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dephex Twin (416238)
      That game was great! Yes, it definitely had a special replay view where you could see it from all different angles (I think the computer decided the angles). I remember that was half the fun, watching the replays.
      • This was my first thoiught too.
      • Yes, Stunts was a truly awesome game! Man, oh man, the build-your-own-track feature was incredible for it's time, even if you had to "cheat" to make the really fun tracks. :) Anyone remember that bug where if you land on an obstacle just wrong, you'd fly upwards for thousands of feet? Man, did I burn through some 386/25MHz cycles playing that game!
        • Anyone remember that bug where if you land on an obstacle just wrong, you'd fly upwards for thousands of feet?
          Yes, I do remember that! It was absolutely never something we were able to do except by accident, but yeah, that happened to us once or twice.

          When did that game come out? This must have been sometime around 1991 or 1992.
          • haha yeah, this game was the best! Is there any track building games like this out now a days? Something called track mania maybe, but id ont think its exactly the same.

            I remember hitting the crevice just right a few tiems on jumps and things with the indy car and having it launch straight up in the air. Truely awesome! Saved all those replays :)
      • Re:Stunts (Score:2, Informative)

        by Liberator1 (789199)
        Stunts (a.k.a. 4-D Sports Driving in Europe) came out in 1990, according to MobyGames [mobygames.com]. I had a ton of fun with this game. I remember the following camera options during replay. For each one, you could select which of the two cars to follow:
        • Helicopter (follows behind and way above selected car)
        • Track cameras (view transfers from camera to camera along the track, each one following the selected car as it passes by)
        • In car (same view as during gameplay)
        • Choose your angle (similar to the helicopter, but yo
    • heh, i'm not old enough :)
  • The earliest racing game I can remember with this style of god-view replay was Papyrus's "Nascar", released in 1994. Here's a web site [lava.net] about the game, with some screenshots -- the screenshots that show more than one car are from the built-in replay system, which gave multiple angles of replay either during the race (when paused) or after the race. I'm not sure if you could save or edit replays, although these capabilities were added in later versions. Same goes for the TV1 and TV2 cameras, which simulated l
  • by Zerth (26112)
    who is it that is suing you for patent infringment for using a 3rd person cam in your software?
    • by Zerth (26112)
      or, alternately after noticing the supplicant's email address, who are you about to sue/what are you trying to patent?
      • Re:So... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cgenman (325138)
        Maybe his resume [tripod.com] Moby Games profile [mobygames.com] would shed more light on what is going on? How about his projects [tripod.com] list?

        He's R&D at Sony, in other words.

        "Developed single-pixel particle demonstration, covering physics based particle motion, use of alpha blending and optimized rendering of this type of particle using VU1 microcode on Playstation II
        Developed demonstration of high-speed texture loading (10 megabytes per frame) and presented the technique at Playstation II developers conference and several smaller ga
        • "Nexialism", huh. That has ties with Scientology [wikipedia.org], apparently.
        • So this is news? It's not like I'm working for the CIA or something. I'm just looking for background on a game feature that I did a lot of work on back in the early 90's. If I get enough data a timeline of will eventually appear on my website.

          By the way, it's "Nexialist" which comes from an old A.E. Van Vougt book and is basically just a tech version of "jack of all trades"

          • No, I didn't intend it as news. I actually thought it was neat... I work on the PS2, so a lot of your sweat goes into making my sweat look better. I just figured someone was going to google you, and I rathered it be a simpathetic someone. Besides, you asked a question about game development and gave an official playstation e-mail address... who wouldn't be curious?

            I always thought of the Nexialists as a better focused version of the renaissance men, but with a touch of existentialism thrown in.
    • No lawsuits or patents going on here...

      Way back in 90-91 I wrote several replay systems for the Virtual World Entertainment multiplayer cockpit simulator games "BattleTech" and "Red Planet". One replayed the game on a 2d scrolling map (overhead view), another generated a play-by-play description of the game (text plus a map with highlight points marked), a third did a cinimatic 3d view that could either be live or a recorded game. You could manually control the cameras or let the computer do it.

      I was th
      • Those games rocked.

        Expensive, but I think I still have dreams about them.

        We used to hang out between courses at the Montreal location and when it closed down, there was a lot of stuff to buy.. (being the only francophone location, they couldn't re-sell the "monde virtuel" or "velocité=victoire" stuff elsewhere)

        Jaques Villeneuve used to be a regular there between races, when he had the chance to come back to Montreal.

        I started playing on version 4, I think, (when you didn't have to remember the cool
  • ... for me to have a whinge about the state of replays in games today, particularly on consoles. Ludicrous lack of angles for no good reason, inability to select the object to follow, no rewind/fast forward, analog sticks not utilised, no zoom, too-short period of replay, no save/load, etc., etc.

    It really pisses me off in a game such as Toca Race Driver 2, where with such pretty graphics and fun physics you could get some really cool replays happening if only the replay engine provided a reasonable set o

  • the original civilization (if not civ 2) had a replay at the end of the game, with a minimap showing power influence over the course of the game. you had zero control over the replay and didn't even see any action, other than the map changing color depending on cities springing up and who owned them, but it was nice watching your color slowly branch out and take over the world. (for some reason i think this feature got taken out of later releases in the franchise.)
    • No, Civ II & Civ III (and Alpha Centauri, as someone else said) all have this as well. It's a pity they haven't expanded on it a bit - I'd like to be able to select different attributes with which to colour code the map (e.g. military presence, to watch the build-up's and conflicts).
      • Populous II On the amiga (no doubt others too but thats what I played) had an animated minimap at the end that showed the game progress.

        It was very cool.
  • Developer: Dynamix, Publisher: Sierra, Year: 1991. Damn, I played alot of this game. It was the first game I ever saw on a computer making use of an Adlib sound card. It had playback and I think it had a free moving camera, can't remember exactly though.
    • Yep, it had a very nice playback mode. You could even record the cameramovements you made during replay and make a demo that way.

      I loved showing off with those! It would be cool to have a feature like that in most 3D games.
  • Microprose Formula 1 GP (the first one - 1992 or earlier) had replay functionality - not 'God's Eye', but lots of camera angles anyway. You had to have lots of RAM (for the day) to be able to use it. A 1Mb Amiga 500 didn't cut it.
  • The most excellent Falcon 4, an awesome F16 combat flight sim, had the replay feature. It allowed the selective storage and replay of complex combat missions, as a 3d wire frame display of relative positions and vectors, as a learning tool so you could figure out how you got killed.

    The current Free Falcon software is also truly excellent. I am fairly sure the replay feature is still there.
  • Man, that game [arcadeflyers.com] was awesome. When my friends and I found out that you could hit the cow and it would "moo", that's all we wanted to do.

    Anyhow, it had both "ghost racers" that represented your best lap, and a replay mode when you cracked up spectacularly.
    • Thanks for posting a memory. That game was awesome. It came to the local arcade when I was 14. It's how I learned to drive a manual transmission. No kidding. Sure, a real car felt different, but I had already internalized the motions of hand/feet coordination.

      The sequal had a course that finished with a tunnel followed by a high-bank right turn to the finish line. I was able to shave 4-ish seconds off my champion challenge lap time with the following stunt: When entering the tunnel, drive up the left side

  • This game was released in 1984/85 by EA Games for the Commodore 64. Still the funnest racing game I have played. I beleive you could replay the entire race after the fact. Great way to waste time when you were 15 in the 80's For a full review goto http://rds.planetflibble.com/
    • I spent many many hours with Racing Destruction Set.

      It would be interesting to build something like that with todays physics and graphics.

      You used roller coaster tycoon type track building tools. Then you set things like gravity, weather (friction) etc, and race with different cars. (The CanAm was the best.) You could have jeeps with spiked tires for ice tracks. Nobbies for dirt. Lunar Rovers for low gravity.

      And making your own tracks was just awesome as long as you didn't make and traps in there
  • Offhand I recall from Bungie:

    Bungie Released Marathon 12/21/1994 - you could save "films" and during film playback you could cycle through the viewpoints of the other players (in other words still locked in 1stPP).

    Bungie Released Myth: The Fallen Lords 11/14/1997 - you could save "films" and during playback you could turn the "auto-follow" camera on and it would try to display the most interesting action in the game in a somewhat cinematic style. It worked reasonably well. On 12/31/1998 Bungie Released My
  • I remember trying to follow Chuck around in some X-plane, then watching the playback as I swerved all over the place behind him, all in a "chase plane" view... I have no idea what year that was, but it was fun.

  • quake1, or more properly, quakeworld was the first i can officially say i remember, for a truly free-controlled observer. maybe heretic, but i'm not sure. i don't know if i'd count racing gamed with a set camera-path/stations.
  • .LMP replayable demos in Doom are as far back as I remember, though those were first person. Also, there was Need For Speed (Special Edition?) which was the first game I remember that had Gran Turismo style replays. Then, didn't Flashback have some sort of 3rd person camera?

    MobyGames [mobygames.com] has a chronological list of games, alot with screenshorts.

  • The first multiplayer online game I can remember that had a replay mode was Modem Wars by Dan Bunten. It was strictly 2D of course. This was in the mid 1980s, and it was aimed at Commodore 64 owners with a 300 baud modem. Since the data stream to cover everything that was happening in the game had to be so small, it was trivial to put in an option to record it to a file and play it back. So he did.
    • Damn, Cat, you beat me to it. :)

      Up until a few years ago, my brother would still play Modem Wars via modem under DOS. The game was quite addictive and yet amazingly simple. Modem Wars is also recognized as one of the first PC "remote" (as opposed to hotseat) multiplayer games.

      Bruce
  • PLATO IV (Score:3, Informative)

    by sakusha (441986) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @03:02AM (#10785260)
    I vaguely recall that the old 2D RPG "Empire" on the PLATO IV system had a god's eye view, and that was back in the early 1970s. Don't remember if it had replay though. That surely must have been the first god's eye view, it was probably the first online gaming system ever. We used to call it the PLAY-TO system because of all the great games.

    I have a vague recollection of some early Apple ][ sidescroller game that had a replay, also some early Amiga game. Maybe someone else will remember..
  • BBC TV Game Show (Score:4, Interesting)

    by seanellis (302682) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @06:01AM (#10785821) Homepage Journal
    I worked on a prototype networked 3D environment for a TV game show called Cyberzone, which had the "spectator" feature.

    There were 5 3D computers in the network, one each generating a first person view and a map view for each of two teams, and then a "virtual camera" in the vision gallery. This was used to get a view into the game zone for the tape, and could select any of the player's viewpoints and many others.

    The pilot episode was filmed in late 1991 at Anglia TV in Norwich (England) and was a star network based on 9600 baud serial cables.

    By the time the series was actually comissioned in 1993, we had a more robust thin Ethernet solution to the networking problem, and the BBC made one series of the program before it became a casualty of regime change in the organisation.

    The program was critically panned, but there was one positive outcome - Craig Charles (of Red Dwarf fame) bought me a drink.
  • First "God's Eye View" game I ever heard of, or played. You played one of two (little "g") gods over a board of a "world", with a zoomed view. You could direct your followers in several ways, and do minor miracles, like raising/lowering land, earthquakes, volcanos, floods, swamps, etc. Normally the other god was computer-drive, though it had a multiplayer mode so you could play against someone else.

    It came on 5.25" floppies.

    Search terms of "populous" and "bullfrog" will get you to some good hits.
    • You're confusing a "god game", where you play as a god, with a "god-mode replay", where you can replay a small amount of play from an arbitrary perspective.

      Yes, Populous was an early "god game", but certainly not the first one. Though I can't think of earlier examples.
  • Definitely Stunt Island [the-underdogs.org]. Besides flying around an island pulling off all sorts of stunts, you could direct your own movies in a quite detailed way.
  • by bonHomm3 (732395)
    Myth was one of the first games I remember to put special emphasis on the camera itself, gameplay was pretty good. But the camera thing was the big deal at the time. http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/89360.asp?q =myth
  • Indy 500 had replays back in 89-90 sort of time. Great for qualifying at the front of the grid and then standing on the brakes and swerving at the start :)

    I'm sure Stunt Car Racer on the Amiga did a similar thing at a similar time.
  • I've got this really silly Modern English research paper due in three weeks, and well, I figured since I'm an aspiring programmer and all I would show my teacher just how "smart" I am by requesting that you all do some research for me. What I need is all the information you can gather from around the web (c'mon, I'm far too lazy to goto - haha! get it?! - the liberry). I also want this information to be about video games and then.

    ah crap. can you just write the dang paper for me?
  • Release by either EA or LucasArts in the late 80s or early (pre 1992?) 90s that had a replay with several options for the camera angle. User controlled was one of the options. I'm too lazy to look up the name.

  • ...had what you're talking about. This was circa 1983. You could either look out of the windshield or straight down on the (very small, gridded) "world". I had a ball flying and dogfighting with that thing, green-screen and all.

  • I believe that the 1990 NES Play Action Football had a fly-over instant replay option.
  • by JCMay (158033)
    The earliest game I can think of with the "God's-Eye View" perspective is Zaxxon [mobygames.com]. I can't believe nobody's mentioned it yet.
  • I remember Star Wars: Tie Fighter, which came out in 1994 had a pretty good 3D replay, controllable by the user. You could do slo-mo, speed up, pause, and switch from tons of different perspectives and angles. I'm not absolutely sure, but I think Star Wars: X-Wing, which came out in 1993, also had pretty much the same replay system.
  • It's been years since I've played this game, but IIRC, you could replay a whole race. That alone was really awesome, but you could also design your own courses and save them on the cartridge. Granted, it took about 10 min. to do so, but I'd never seen a game that you could save stuff on before that one.

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