How to Become a Designer

Video game design from the 1980s has had a long-lasting impact



Between the late 1970s and the early 1980s, gaming saw its golden period. Excitement, collaboration, and innovation swirled like a whirlwind around the sector, and it hasn’t subsided. Contemporary design frequently refers to its obsession with 1980s video game design, which we’ll go into in-depth later in this article.

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Donkey Kong, a Nintendo arcade classic released in 1981, was a huge hit in the arcades. However, in 1983, the gambling business in the United States came crashing down. Revenues were down 97%, and the outlook for gamers appeared to be gloomy.

Nintendo, like every other corporation, had to radically rethink its strategy. As a result, they identified a niche in the American market and exploited it. Nintendo was able to emerge victorious from the crash thanks to the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System, a high-quality home system. It even saved the gaming industry as a whole.

1. Tetris (1984, various video-game-design)

Video game design

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How did a puzzle game create on a vintage Electronika 60 computer at Moscow’s Dorodnitsyn computing center fascinate the entire world? How did seven different-configured tetrominoes falling into a restricted space turn one billion players become addicts? The creation of Tetris is the most interesting narrative in the games business, and at its heart is creator Alexey Pajitnov, whose boyhood love of shape puzzles spawned a killer app that almost single-handedly launched the Game Boy and has since spread its object-sorting magic to every platform.

2. Pac-Man (1980, Namco) (video-game-design)

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Pac-Man was created by Toru Iwatani as an antidote to the popular shooters of the day. Instead of spaceships and aliens, Pac-Man featured an adorable sentient mouth and four lovable ghosts. From the pill-strewn maze to the “waka waka” sound effects to the amazing kawaii character design, everything about the game is famous. It was an arcade hit that generated a commercial bonanza, a spate of sequels, and, as I’ve argued before, the survival horror genre. Pac-Man, like Space Invaders, will always be a worldwide emblem of video games and the pleasure they deliver, no matter how you look at it.

3. SimCity (1989, Electronic Arts)

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Will Wright’s urban design simulation was a revelation, drawing on dozens of textbooks (particularly Jay W Forrester’s Urban Dynamics), incorporating economics, architecture, culture, and law enforcement into its complicated town-building engine. The game inspired a generation of students to become politicians and town planners thanks to its non-didactic design, which fostered experimentation and self-expression, and, more importantly, led to The Sims.


Nintendo’s Game Boy is credited with popularizing handheld gaming. The Game Boy isn’t the first portable system with interchangeable cartridges—Milton Bradley debuted Microvision ten years before—but its good gameplay, ease of use, and long battery life have won over users.


John Madden Football brings gridiron realism to computer games, making it a perennial best-seller (along with its many console counterparts).


With the launch of The Learning Company’s Reader Rabbit program, the expanding educational software business takes a giant leap forward. With the introduction of CD-ROMs in the 1990s, the educational computer industry boomed, but then crashed with the rise of the Internet.


Id Software is founded, and graphic accelerator cards are born.
The World Wide Web is launched by Tim Berners-Lee, and Intel sells 486SX processors.


Commodore Computers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The first Sony Playstation is released. 3DFX (a firm known for its Voodoo video cards) is created.


In Las Vegas, the first E3 takes place.
The Windows 95 operating system is released.
Microsoft introduces DirectX 1.0.
ATX motherboards are a thing of the past.


Wi-Fi is now available.
DirectX 5.0 is now available.
MMX chips are introduced by Intel.
The first DVDs have been sold.
The Intel 233 MHz CPU is released.

What Are Graphic LCD Displays and How Do They Work?

A Graphic LCD display is exactly what it sounds like. The images, letters, and numbers generated by the customer’s software can be shown on this LCD module.

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Two sets of numbers distinguish Dot Matrix displays. A 128 x 64 is an example of this. There are 128 dots on the X-axis (horizontal) and 64 dots on the Y-axis (vertical) in this display. Each of these dots, also known as pixels, can be switched on and off independently of the others. The consumer uses software to control when each dot turns on and off. It reminds me of the old ‘light bright’ toy.


When ambient conditions make it difficult to read, the backlight sits behind the glass and illuminates the display. A LED backlight is the most prevalent type of backlight (light-emitting diode). LEDs have a long life span and do not cause the electrical interference that CCFL and EL backlights do.

If the display is tiny enough, the producer of the LCD display may choose a side-lit rather than a backlight. The advantage of side-lit displays is that they are slimmer. Backlights that are illuminated from the side do not function well with a large glass because they create hot spots (bright and dark areas) on the display.

LCD with graphics (video-game-design)

The graphical LCD has a resolution of 12864 pixels and can be used to display monochrome images, bespoke texts in various fonts, and so on. J41 and J42 are the ports used by graphical LCDs. We can connect it to J43 (Port D) and J44 (Port E) by default (Port A).

To use the Graphical LCD, switch SW2 must be switched on.

What’s the difference between graphical and regular LCDs?

Graphical LCDs differ from standard character LCDs, such as 161 162 164 201 202, and so on. They (ordinary people) can only print and display characters or bespoke characters. Characters are displayed in a fixed size matrix, which is usually 57% or 58%. Graphical LCDs, on the other hand, have 12864=8192 dots or 8192/8=1024 pixels. We can show a character in any size we want. Furthermore, we can create a picture on a graphical LCD. We can display a picture encompassing 1024 pixels on a graphical LCD with a resolution of 1024 pixels. Furthermore, we can use graphical LCDs to display video (animated or not) and video.

12864 is a common graphical LCD that is readily accessible on the market and is ideal for starting started in the field of graphical LCDs. It features 64 rows and 128 coulombs. Your data can be shown in a 12864 dot matrix.

Pinout for a Graphical LCD (128×64)

The pins on a graphical LCD are the same as those on a character LCD. With the graphical LCD, only two extra pins are added. CS1 and CS2 are the two. Chip choose 1 (CS1) selects the first half of the LCD’s KS0108 controller. Chip choose 2 (CS2) selects the LCD’s second half or second KS0108 controller. Both CS1 and CS2 have a low level of activity. By active low, I mean setting the associated pin (CS1, CS2) to 0 for selecting the first or second half. All other pins, such as E (enable), R/W (read/write), RS, or D/I (register select), function in the same way as standard LCDs.

4. Whack-a-Mole (video-game-design)

If you can think of a more infuriatingly entertaining game than Whack-a-Mole, please do so. Nothing better came to mind when we tried.

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Whac-a-Mole is a simple game with a simple principle. You are given a rubber mallet and are given the task of smashing a mole back into its hole. Is there a plot twist? It continues reappearing in new holes!

If you enjoyed the game, we have some exciting news for you. Whack-a-Mole is one of the games included in the Arcade Coder, our newest kit. More information about it may be found HERE, and it will be delivered in time for Christmas!

5. Mario Bros

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There’s no way you haven’t heard of Mario Bros., just as there’s no way you haven’t heard of Pac-Man (regardless of whether it is the newer versions). Mario Bros. was released in 1983 by Nintendo and included Mario and Luigi for the first time. Mario Bros quickly won us over with its simple yet addictive gameplay, and we’ve been fans ever since!

Games from the 1980s that you may play in a casino (video-game-design)

Video game design

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In the 1980s, the casino business saw a slew of incredible gambling games. Casino activities piqued the curiosity of people from all around Europe and the United States. Datamost released a video game called “Casino” in 1982. This was a video gambling package that comprised five well-known games, including Blackjack, Baccarat, Video Poker, Keno, and Roulette. These are still highly popular among gamers who want to play for real money at an online casino. This outstanding release was well-received by fans. It gave a personal touch by addressing the player by name and greeting him. This was the time when casino video games began to gain popularity.

Culture of Video Games (video-game-design)

It is necessary to comprehend the evolution of gaming culture, or the culture around video games, in order to completely comprehend the effects of video games on mainstream society. Like books or movies, video games have devoted fans who have made this type of media a major part of their life. Programmers joined together in groups to play Spacewar! in the early 1970s, spending a lot of time competing in a game that was primitive compared to modern games (Brand). As video arcades and home video game consoles became more popular, youth culture soon adapted to them, competing for high scores and spending hours at the arcade or on their home console.

In the 1980s, a rising number of children were spending more time on consoles playing games and, more crucially, identifying with the characters and products included in the games. Saturday morning cartoons based on the Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros. games were produced, and a wide range of nongame items featuring video game trademarks and characters was offered. Some of these characters have become cultural icons as a result of their widespread familiarity. A 2007 poll indicated that a photo of Mario from Super Mario Bros. was recognized by more Canadians than a photo of the current Canadian Prime Minister (Cohn & Toronto, 2007)

Companies like Sega, and subsequently Sony and Microsoft, began producing games for older populations as the kids who initially played Super Mario Bros. grew out of them. The average age of video game players, which was 35 in 2009, has risen as a result of this (Entertainment Software Association, 2009). Wii Bowling has become a popular form of entertainment for seniors in retirement communities, where the Nintendo Wii has found a new niche (Wischnowsky). The increasing rise in the gaming age has resulted in video games being accepted as a legitimate form of entertainment.

Color palettes with neon colours (video-game-design)

Synthesized color palettes in 1980s video games were notorious for their restrictions, especially in the early years. Graphics were displayed in black and white, grayscale, or (typically) 8-bit color, depending on the system and the arcade’s progression, which meant palettes were limited. Things became brighter when they were in color. It was nearly obnoxious since it was so bright. Neons radiated against black or dark blue backgrounds, making primary colors appear fluorescent.

The juxtaposition of various neons and black created a buzz that spread from arcades to runways and nightclubs, eventually reaching mainstream ’80s culture, with which they’ve become inextricably tied. Neons are constantly linked to and appreciated across graphic design, from Blade Runner to James Turrell to the pink lighted adornment of your neighborhood manicure salon.

Fonts in pixel format (video-game-design)

The typography of arcade and retro video games is well-known. Current designs are constantly reimagining it to tap into specific brand identities and reflect a nostalgia marketing strategy. It’s made up of a group of monospace fonts, sometimes referred to as pixel fonts, and current designs are constantly reimagining it to tap into specific brand identities and reflect a nostalgia marketing strategy.

Monospaced fonts are non-proportional, meaning they have a constant width (or an equal amount of horizontal space) for each and every character. Designers had to adhere to an 8×8 grid when producing these typefaces, which are frequently referred to as pixel fonts, during the early days of gaming (and computer technology).

A VR shooting gallery that remains motionless (video-game-design)

High Noon VR, despite being a wave shooter, provides something fresh in the most basic of ways: there’s really little need for movement here.

High Noon VR is more of a shooting gallery than many other wave-based shooters we’ve encountered, which need you to dart around in the virtual environment in conjunction with real-world movements to avoid impending dangers. You simply remain still and shoot at targets as they come.

In some respects, this is a welcome break from previous wave shooters, as it isn’t nearly as exhausting or sweat-inducing. However, because dangers come from all angles at once, you must constantly move your head to figure out where they are.

If you’ve ever gone to a fair and seen those Western-styled games where you fire an air gun at pop-up targets and cowboys, you’ll recognise this game right away.

The graphics are also hilariously stylized and have a cartoony feel to them. It appears to be what would happen if Team Fortress 2’s developers built a wave shooter set in the Wild West. The hilarious commentary from a disembodied voice that encourages you and disparages enemies as they roll into the arena adds to the atmosphere.

Bosses who are big and evil (Video game design)

Gunfighting is difficult at first. With only one gun, to begin with, firing accurately is difficult. Not because the game is bad, but because that’s how it’s supposed to be. In the days before good rifling and contemporary bullet technology, Wild West firearms were not noted for their accuracy.

There are a total of nine stages to play, each of which is divided into waves of four or more waves. You have a massive health bar that decreases with each hit. Because that health does not recover between waves, if you aren’t a crack shot from the start, you’ll have very little health left by the last wave. When the stage’s last section includes a boss fight, this becomes a serious problem.

We had a lot of trouble with this early on when no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t get past a boss on one of the game’s first stages. That is until a flaw forced the monster to become locked in a doorway and unable to fire back, giving us the upper hand and allowing us to finish him out.

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