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Hovertank 3D is a first-person shooter computer game developed by Id Software and published by Softdisk in April, 1991 that is sometimes claimed to be the first First-person Shooter or even the first 3D game for MS-DOS (inaccurately - it was preceded by several years by Microsoft Flight Simulator. The game used the same combination of scaled sprites and drawn walls that would later show up in Catacomb 3D and Wolfenstein 3D, but the walls in Hovertank 3D were in solid color, they lacked any textures.
This title is a landmark in first person game graphics. The unprecedented significance of the graphics engine in Hovertank was a breakthrough in that it was the first program to only render what the player could actually see in his field of vision rather than everything around him or everything in front of him. Instead of wasting processor power on unnecessary rendering, the computer could instead draw much higher resolution with more detailed textures, immersing the player into the game even further.
The credits are
- John Carmack (programming)
- John Romero (programming)
- Tom Hall (game design)
- Adrian Carmack (artwork).
Hovertank 3D is set during a Nuclear War. The player controls Brick Sledge, a mercenary hired by an unknown organization (referred to by the game as the "UFA") to rescue people from cities under the threat of nuclear attack. However, the cities are also full of mutated humans, strange creatures, armed guards, and enemy Hovertanks.