The arcade games were born in coin operated machines. The strong point of the arcade games was that they were based on a commodity technology. Coin operated arcade games used custom made hardware powered by multiple CPUs, specialized sound and graphic boards. The design simplicity of these games enabled the programmers to spend more time into enhancing the basics of game play. This resulted in the conception of some of the best games ever designed.
The arcade games of the earlier years had a clever way of disguising their graphical limitation. A fine example is Ataris Night Driver, the first racing game to deliver a first person perspective, and also showing the road as seen from the cockpit. The night theme was an ingenious choice as it negated the need to create perceptible complicated images. The Night Drivers concept of scaling flat images called sprites to stimulate a 3d movement was a cult design
basis for most 3d games.
Once these games were ported to PC, they were designed with Flash, Java and DHTML. The online arcade games
that are programmed on Flash are built around the vector graphics file format. The design simplicity never dwarfed the game play. This was, perhaps, the most probable reason for the immense resilience in these games. Even as the arcade games incorporated newer gadgets, light guns and dance mats to draw in the crowd, the people got stuck in the good old button mashing delight.