So I was getting back into playing the old Creatures games and I came across something very interesting by mistake when looking around for new mods. Someone made a level for the game based off of "Steve Grand's original prototype" called Ron's House ( http://creaturescaves.com/downloads....arooms&view=33
and after being confused as fuck, I looked it up and according to the fan wiki, this old game from 1996 actually had its world generated from REAL WORLD models made in full detail, which were then photographed and added to the game as the background. This supposedly cost around 15 thousand euro, without account for inflation.
Two thirds of this clay model were auctioned off to a couple of rich dudes, while the last piece currently resides on display at the Centre For Computing History in Cambridge, to honor the original game's dev who was brought up from that university.
All this gets me thinking... What do you think it would be like if more devs were crazy enough to do this? Of course it's impractical, especially by today's standards, but it's an impressive feat nonetheless and I think it really drives the point home that video games really are a work of art. Just imagine if Oddworld's world was generated by these means....
For those wondering, Creatures was a virtual pet simulator in which you took care of little furry Norn creatures. It still has a cult following to this day, and though it's basically been dead for over 10 years (not counting the failed fourth game) it has a long legacy and an impressive impact in the history of video game development, much like how Oddworld was a feat of impressive visual effects for the late 90s. Creatures was visually stunning for its time, but what really made it groundbreaking was its advanced AI - even if it is extremely primitive by today's standards.