by Charles Webb, 6th November, 2013
Ready to see the evolution of the video game title screen? Well, then check out this two-minute video, “A Brief History of Video Game Title Design” to see how games from “Donkey Kong” through this year’s “The Last of Us” have changed over the decades.
Art of the Title‘s Ian Albinson edited this retrospective, bringing together 35 titles in a fairly “Metal Gear”-heavy roster of classic and modern title sequences. The clearest change is the move from the static title screen of early arcade games to the more cinematic and dynamic title/introductions of console titles.
But did Kojima Productions’ long-lived stealth-espionage series serve as a kind of bellweather for the industry and its title design? Only inasmuch as the games’ director, Hideo Kojima, has long harbored cinematic aspirations and you can see those reflected as the technology evolved (and mirrored in other games). One of the modern tricks, used extensively in franchises like “Call of Duty,” is the opening action credits and titles, accompanying the player’s first few minutes of the game, but that’s really only an evolution of something introduced in the 16-bit era.
With the next round of consoles due later this month (along with the promise of seemingly endless technical capabilities), will developers be able to seize on new and exciting title techniques?