Week 4 – Evolution of Foliage in Video Games

In this task I had to research the uses of foliage in different games and compare them to each other and how they look compared to real life in order to get an understanding in how foliage within games has evolved over time as graphics got better.

The games I have chosen to compare are the original sonic the hedgehog, Red Dead Redemption and Horizon Zero Dawn.

SonicTheHedgehog1Palm trees for comparison to sonic

The graphics at the time of Sonic’s first release were very limited so the foliage was very blocky and made of simple shapes with low resolution and 8 bit graphics and the foliage was only used as aesthetics. When compared to real life foliage, the palm trees in sonic are pretty bad which can be due to hardware and software limits. The foliage doesn’t look very real at all in this game.

All the foliage in the game is static which can be seen in this video:


reddeadredemptionHewitt Canyon

In Red Dead Redemption the foliage was less limited by hardware and was more photo-realistic and a bit more interactive as the player could collect plants to sell and complete challenges. When compared to real life it is clear to see that Red Dead Redemption does capture the look of Southern America/Northern Mexican landscape quite well and with a good level of realism, the colours are just a bit off but this can be due to weather/time of day. The foliage in the game have small swaying animations but nothing major as seen below.


Horizon zero dawnHorzon zeraoetaht comparison

Horizon Zero Dawn is a yet to be released game which has much more freedom in potential resolution and graphics allowing it to be very photo-realistic and the foliage can be used (research more) to hide in as shown in the picture comparison above (comparing the picture to the video below as well) but Horizon looks much brighter. Plants may have more use in the future such as climbing on or collecting but not enough information about this has been released.


From this I have learned that foliage can be very useful in games and has had some impressive developments as hardware and software improved. This can be useful when it comes to researching further into foliage in games because it gives me a basic idea of how important and useful foliage can be and that how I could use if I were to create a game. It also teaches me about the expectations of how good the foliage should be/look for games these days.


Red Dead Redemption:

eaglegeek, (2015), surprising-places-see-fall-or-colorful-foliage [ONLINE]. Available at:http://www.eaglecreek.com/sites/default/files/blog/3-surprising-places-see-fall-or-colorful-foliage-1439398394.jpg [Accessed 16 October 15]

i.ytimg, (2015), maxresdefault [ONLINE]. Available at: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/Ou5g-qqQ_cs/maxresdefault.jpg [Accessed 16 October 15].

Rockstar Studios. (2010). The Scenery of Red Dead Redemption. [Online Video]. 13 September. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmgeX_MnCU0. [Accessed: 16 October 2015].


Horizon Zero Dawn:

staticflikr, (2015), great landscapes [ONLINE]. Available at:http://farm1.staticflickr.com/62/174963452_84b1d5bace.jpg [Accessed 16 October 15].

tumblr, (2015), Horizon:zero dawn [ONLINE]. Available at:http://38.media.tumblr.com/697b4d5054c669940e8d6c6b001f75d4/tumblr_nq0m85iBAq1tyvnamo5_500.gif[Accessed 16 October 15.

Sony Entertaiment. (2015). Horizon: Zero Dawn Gameplay Trailer – E3 2015 Sony Press Conference. [Online Video]. 15 June. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIKV2MZRiDA. [Accessed: 16 October 2015].


Sonic the Hedgehog:

nimai, (2015), palm trees [ONLINE]. Available at: https://nimai023.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/beach-palm-trees-3.jpg [Accessed 16 October 15]

wikipedia, (2015), Sonic the hedgehog [ONLINE]. Available at:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c1/SonicTheHedgehog1.png [Accessed 16 October 15].

Sega. (2012). Sonic The Hedgehog – Gameplay Part 1 Green Hill Zone. [Online Video]. 10 January. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLhCGP0mLRs. [Accessed: 16 October 2015].


2 thoughts on “Week 4 – Evolution of Foliage in Video Games

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