Loading screen

Loading screen

A loading screen is a picture shown by a computer program, often a video game, while the program is loading or initializing.

Loading times

Loading screens that disguise the length of time that a program takes to load were common when computer games were loaded from cassette tape, a process which could take 5 minutes or more. [http://www.zee-3.com/pickfordbros/articles/loadingscreens.php Loading Screens] essay by Ste Pickford] Nowadays, most games are loaded from optical disc, faster than previous magnetic media, but still include loading screens to disguise the amount of time taken to initialize the game in RAM.

Because the loading screen data itself needs to be read from the media, it actually increases the overall loading time. For example, with a ZX Spectrum game, the screen data takes up 6 kilobytes, representing an increase in loading time of about 13% over a the same game without a loading screen.

Artwork

In early video games, the loading screen was also a chance for graphic artists to be creative without the technical limitations often required for the in-game graphics. Drawing utilities were also limited during this period. "Melbourne Draw", one of the only 8-bit screen utilities with a zoom function, was one program of choice for artists. [ [http://www.crashonline.org.uk/04/rembrnt.htm "Rembrant + Co"] article from CRASH issue 4; retrieved from CRASH The Online Edition]

Loading screen variations

The loading screen does not need to be a static picture. Some loading screens display a progress bar or a timer countdown to show how much data has actually loaded.

The "Metroid Prime" games disguised loading screens as elevator sequences when Samus moved between major areas. The Ratchet & Clank series uses a similar method. Much more recently, Mass Effect uses this exact same technique to hide loading time.

Loading screens sometimes doubles as briefing screens, providing the user with information to read. This information may only be there for storytelling and/or entertainment or it can give the user information that is usable when the loading is complete, for example the mission goals in a game.

Minigames

Some games have even included minigames in their loading screen, notably "Skyline Attack" for the Commodore 64.

Namco owns the US Patent for the use of minigames during loading screens, [ [http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=5718632.PN.&OS=PN/5718632&RS=PN/5718632 "Recording medium, method of loading games program code means, and games machine"] United States Patent] and have included variations of their old arcade games ("Galaxian" or "Rally-X" for example) as loading screens when first booting up many of their early PlayStation releases. Even to this day, their PlayStation 2 games, like "Tekken 5", still use the games to keep people busy while the game initially boots up.

Von Neumann Bottleneck

Essentially, loading screens are an example of the Von Neumann bottleneck. All modern computers and video game systems follow the Von Neumann architecture. The games themselves are stored on non-volatile memory, such as CDs and hard drives. But the read speed of the non-volatile memory is usually much slower than the speed of the game system's CPU. If the game could be read from its storage medium as fast as the CPU could process it, then there would be no bottleneck. The game would load instantaneously, and there would be no need for a loading screen.

ee also

*Title screen
*Splash screen

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • loading screen — noun A graphical display shown while a program loads (e.g. from cassette tape), comparable to the splash screen in modern software. So, as long as you dont mind the substantial lack of player involvement, and the strange purple skinned people on… …   Wiktionary

  • Screen Space Ambient Occlusion — (SSAO) is a rendering technique for efficiently approximating the well known computer graphics ambient occlusion effect in real time. It was used for the first time in a video game in the 2007 PC game Crysis.Fact|date=June 2008The algorithm is… …   Wikipedia

  • Splash screen — is a term used to describe an image that appears while a computer program is loading. Splash screens sometimes do not cover the entire screen, but only a rectangle near the center. The splash screens of operating systems and some applications… …   Wikipedia

  • Title screen (video games) — A title screen is the initial screen of a computer, video, or arcade game after the credits and logos are displayed of the game developer and game publisher. Earlier title screens often included all the game options available (single player,… …   Wikipedia

  • Black Screen of Death — The black screen of death (BlSoD), is one of three things:* a failure mode of Microsoft Windows 3.x, or * the screen displayed by the OS/2 operating system in the event of either a system error from which it cannot recover (a TRAP screen) or a… …   Wikipedia

  • White screen of death — Windows In Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000, and (possibly) also Windows NT, a White Box of Doom or White screen of death will appear if an error occurs while loading a system critical application or process, such as the system… …   Wikipedia

  • Red Screen of Death — The Red Screen of Death (abbreviated RSoD, sometimes called Red Screen of Doom ) is a nickname for the error message which existed in some beta versions of Microsoft s latest operating system, Windows Vista. It was dropped in Beta 1 (Build 5112)… …   Wikipedia

  • splash screen — n. (Computers) initial screen that appears while a computer program is loading or when opening a program and generally contains a logo or author credits or a copyright message and may also contain the contact information for the software company …   English contemporary dictionary

  • List of Xbox games compatible with Xbox 360 — This is a list of Xbox games that are compatible with the Xbox 360. Additionally, the manner in which compatibility is achieved and the software errors associated with it are discussed in brief. This list is final as Microsoft confirmed in… …   Wikipedia

  • ZX Spectrum software — The ZX Spectrum software library currently consists of more than 14,000 titles.cite web | url=http://www.worldofspectrum.org/archive.html | work=World of Spectrum | last = Heide | first = Martijn van der | accessdate=2006 08 11 | title=Archive!]… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”