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The New Difficulties In Making a 3D Game

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the reach-out-and-shoot-someone dept.

Displays 190

eldavojohn writes "MSNBC spoke with the senior producer of a new stereoscopic 3D game called Killzone 3 and highlighted problems they are trying to solve with being one of the first FPS 3D games for the PS3. The team ran into serious design problems, like where to put the crosshairs for the players (do they constantly hover in front of your vision?) and what to do with any of the heads-up display components. Aside from the obvious marketing thrown in at the end of the article (in a very familiar way), there is an interesting point raised concerning normalized conventions in all video games and how one ports that to the new stereoscopic 3D model — the same way directors continue to grapple with getting 3D right. Will 3D games be just as gimmicky as most 3D movies? If they are, at least Guerrilla Games is making it possible for the player to easily and quickly switch in and out of stereoscopic 3D while playing."

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Easy (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33485370)

Make a 4D game then remove one dimension.

Re:Easy (3, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486042)

There's an old joke. An engineer and a mathematician go to a lecture on quantum physics. After, the engineer turns to the mathematician and says:

"That stuff is so crazy! I just have such a hard time visualizing 11 dimensional space!"

The mathematician shrugs and says to him:

"Oh, it's not so hard. Just imagine n-dimensional space and set n equal to 11."

I figure that's how these computer programmer folks do it.

If you can turn it off (0, Flamebait)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485386)

If you can turn the feature off, then it is a gimmic.

When was the last time you could turn 'color' off in a game? 3D is a gimmic, and the fact they offer you the ability to turn it off WHILE playing means it's not required to immerse you in the gameplay.

Re:If you can turn it off (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33485406)

I can turn off sounds in most games as well. Including a toggle doesn't necessarily make it a gimmick, but rather if it hurts the experience and people prefer playing with 3D off.

Re:If you can turn it off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33486628)

But if it's an important part of the game, you will leave the sound on.

Re:If you can turn it off (5, Insightful)

blincoln (592401) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485460)

When was the last time you could turn 'color' off in a game?

You mean like how televisions allow the viewer to reduce or remove the amount of color on-screen, whether the viewer is watching traditional programming or a videogame? Or like how during the transition from greyscale to colour broadcasting, it was important for most stations to make sure their content was useful to people with both types of television?

3D is a gimmic, and the fact they offer you the ability to turn it off WHILE playing means it's not required to immerse you in the gameplay.

3D isn't for everyone, at least in its current incarnation. That doesn't necessarily make it a gimmick. Is surround sound a gimmick just because it's not actually required in order to appreciate most films and games?

The developers in this case are smart enough to realize that not everyone who plays their game is going to have a 3D display. Therefore they have to make the game playable in 2D. Making a big-budget game that *required* 3D today would be commercial suicide.

I don't have a 3D TV, and I probably won't for quite awhile. But I do think it's an interesting technology.

Re:If you can turn it off (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485544)

New engines are required for 3D rasters. No way in hell half-ass grafts gon' do the trick.

Re:If you can turn it off (4, Informative)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485648)

Uh, no. Not at all. All it takes is changing: frame.render_everything(position); to: lframe.render_everything(position - offset); rframe.render_everything(position + offset); Maybe not even that. Many of the PC 3d solutions do all that just in the driver. They run into some problems, primarily with the HUD, but they usually work just fine. Hell, OpenGL has had support for 3D at the API level for years, maybe since the beginning. Nobody uses it, but it's there. This is the reason why CGI films work better than studio films when converted to CG. All you have to do is render everything twice from a slight offset. This article wasn't really about the technical problems, which are minor. It was about the design problems: how do you present information to the player in 3D?

Re:If you can turn it off (1)

kramulous (977841) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486654)

Not quite that simple. You need to:
cross product of camera.up, camera.viewdir
shift camera.pos 0.5x eye_separation -1*cross_product
shift camera.lookat 0.5x eye_separation -1*cross_product
DRAW
shift camera.pos 0.5x eye_separation cross_product
shift camera.lookat 0.5x eye_separation cross_product
DRAW

Eye separation will be dependent on a few things but a generalisation is 1/30 of camera.lookat-camera.pos

I imagine that to get better than generalist would require quite a bit more work.

Re:If you can turn it off (4, Interesting)

Anaerin (905998) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485890)

Really? I've had the capability to use 3D in many games since the late 1990's with the Elsa Revelator brand of Riva TNT cards, that supported hard-wired LCD Shutter glasses, meant to be used with CRT displays and refresh rates of 100Hz+. NVidia has had 3D support for a long, LONG time now (Check out the "Supported games" list [nvidia.com] ). That they're now posting guidelines for it, and helping developers out if they request it (Their TWIMTBP program) doesn't negate that.

Re:If you can turn it off (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486242)

Color transmission was supported by b&w TV sets from day one. The protocol was designed to be backwards-compatible, b&w TV just ignoring the color-bias component while keeping the luminance component.

Re:If you can turn it off (1)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486270)

I won't have a 3D TV until (a) they don't require dorky glasses and (b) that eye of mine starts working again.

Re:If you can turn it off (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485606)

When was the last time you could turn 'color' off in a game?

God, this makes me feel old but have you ever actually played/owned an atari 2600? That console actually had a switch to turn off the color in the game. Now get the hell off my lawn before I turn your ass black and white.

Re:If you can turn it off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33485994)

Don't use the Lord's name in vain, man.

Re:If you can turn it off (3, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486014)

Don't use the Lord's name in vain, man.

What are you talking about, I didn't even mention Shatner's name in my original post.

Re:If you can turn it off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33486118)

Which Lord: Ass? Or Atari?

Re:If you can turn it off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33486264)

Don't use the Lord's name in vain, man.

Fuck Jesus and fuck you too.

Re:If you can turn it off (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486362)

Don't use the Lord's name in vain, man.

That's fine, I'm cool with it.

Re:If you can turn it off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33486650)

When was the last time you could turn 'color' off in a game?

God, this makes me feel old but have you ever actually played/owned an atari 2600? That console actually had a switch to turn off the color in the game. Now get the hell off my lawn before I turn your ass black and white.

So like the last time for you was 20-30 years ago, in the early days of video games? How is that a counter point?

Re:If you can turn it off (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486900)

It's a valid counter point. Apply the original argument to the Atari 2600 (that you can turn off colour, ergo it's obviously just a gimmick) and all games today would still be black and white. Who is to say that in 30 years time all games won't be in 3D by default and even the idea of having a switch back to 2D won't be seen as quaint (I hope that's not the case, 3D movies make me feel sick enough, but it may well be - just because something's new and there's an option to turn it off doesn't mean it's nothing but a gimmick).

Re:If you can turn it off (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486738)

When was the last time you could turn 'color' off in a game?
God, this makes me feel old but have you ever actually played/owned an atari 2600? That console actually had a switch to turn off the color in the game. Now get the hell off my lawn before I turn your ass black and white.

Now if you were REALLY old it'd be black and green, or even black and orange. Black and WHITE??? LUXURY!!!!

Re:If you can turn it off (1)

CityZen (464761) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486178)

You mean "If you can turn the feature off, and not miss it, then it is a gimmick".

Re:If you can turn it off (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486240)

Just like anti-aliasing, higher resolutions, lighting and shader effects, high-detail textures etc etc, right? All just a gimmic!

Not to mention that you want people who don't have 3d tvs to be able to play, and also people that don't feel like going 3d, or who complain 3D gives them a headache. Whom I put in the same class as my father who, a number of years ago, had a go at Quake and got motion sickness.

Re:If you can turn it off (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486472)

If you can turn the feature off, then it is a gimmic.

Not everybody can see 3D on these TVs, and some people get headaches from viewing 3D content. So there are good reasons for letting people turn it off.

Having actually played 3D games, I can tell you that it is not a gimmick. Especially for racing games, 3D helps you figure out where to drive to, and it helps you gauge distances.

Crosshairs shouldn't be that hard (3, Interesting)

blincoln (592401) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485408)

...just make it work more or less like a real-world "red dot" gunsight: a translucent marker that appears to hover a few feet in front of the weapon, as long as the user is looking through the sight. I always thought it was a really clever optical design - it's as if (for aiming purposes) the weapon is a couple of meters long, which makes it much easier to determine where the shots are going to go.

Re:Crosshairs shouldn't be that hard (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33485574)

It's interesting that you mention red dots; the way they work is with a parabolic mirror with the LED at the focus, so to your eye it appears at optical infinity. You also never look down a sight with both eyes; you'd probably strain yourself trying to focus on the dot. Were I developing a realistic stereo shooter, I'd have it work similarly to the real world; the "scope" mechanism would only be visible in the player's dominant eye. No depth, no problem.

Re:Crosshairs shouldn't be that hard (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485604)

Exactly, as I mentioned earlier, but below, just paint the target with the red dot. Simple. If they try to patent this idea for 3d games, my prior art's all over /. lol...

Re:Crosshairs shouldn't be that hard (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485856)

Serious Sam's crosshair was dual-function. It had a minimum size where it behaved like a normal crosshair and then it could also appear as though it were being projected onto whatever was closer than it's maximum distance.

That was NINE YEARS ago.

Re:Crosshairs shouldn't be that hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33485998)

You are incorrect in that you NEVER use both eyes for a gun sight, it would be more correct to state that your rarely use both eyes.

The reason I say this is because I tend to end up using both eyes when using a pistol with iron sights or a red dot.

Also consider a Trijicon ACOG that is designed as an eyes-open design. The intent of these scopes for rifles are that you use your dominant eye to do the sighting but never close or block your other eye. The reason these sights exist is that they are explicitly designed for combat where closing off part of your field of vision (and thus handicapping your perception), even in the course of aiming a weapon, can get you killed. Now these scopes are not something that is quick to learn to use on the level that a casual gamer would appreciate but they do work.

I think these Eyes-Open sights would be a much better option. Also after typing this, 3D games may be a place to make the light-gun really shine. Attach a real optic and throw in a 3D game and it would be awesomeness incarnate.

Re:Crosshairs shouldn't be that hard (1)

B1oodAnge1 (1485419) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486114)

He said "You also never look down a sight with both eyes" which is completely different than saying "you never use both eyes while aiming."

His solution, to show the crosshair to the dominant eye only, would emulate the behavior that you describe.

Re:Crosshairs shouldn't be that hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33486608)

Thats not entirely true if you are using a decent zero magnification site like an Eotech.

You do look through it with 'one' eye but the other eye stays open looking down range, and can kinda see the glowy red ciscle as well. It is in a little window about 1 inch by 1.5 inches and the effect is of a dot hovering in front of you.

Oddly enough, the dot is parallax-free as well, so its over the target regardless of your head's movement almost like a aiming crosshair on a screen...

Re:Crosshairs shouldn't be that hard (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485704)

I think that's the hard part.

Think about developing a handheld game that needs to work on all screen sizes (iPhone, iPad, Android, Simbian, etc etc....). There have been efforts [yahoo.com] to minimize [phonegap.com] these problems [android.com] .

Then think about the UI for a web page or game. There have been some pretty successful [thesixtyone.com] results [tumblr.com] , while they are anything but simple.

Now think about adding a 3rd dimension to all those problems. It's not as easy as saying "just make it realistic". There is a reason why lives [humanfactors.com] are spent on UI [amazon.com] . It's not an easy task and it just got a 3rd Dimension.

Oh and was it just me or did anyone think it was just a 3D FPS (Like Tribes, Q3, you know.... All FPS?) and not a 3D Displayed FPS.

Re:Crosshairs shouldn't be that hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33486428)

Oh and was it just me or did anyone think it was just a 3D FPS (Like Tribes, Q3, you know.... All FPS?) and not a 3D Displayed FPS.

Ever think about what first person means?

Interface, biggest problem (5, Interesting)

D J Horn (1561451) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485432)

I played WoW in 3D at the nVidia booth at Blizzcon last year and the game looked fantastic, it really did. However the interface was a huge problem. In 3D-WoW, the interface is closer to you than the game world, so if you're focusing on something in the world, your interface elements all split into 2. This is particularly weird when trying to click on things in the game world. If you focus on the creature or whatever, you have 2 mouse cursors. If you focus on the cursor, there are two creatures.

After a while you do get used to it, but it is definitely a huge gameplay issue that will keep 3D gaming in the gimmicky realm unless a game is designed to address it, either by having no interface or having an in-the-world interface, like Dead Space for instance.

But seriously, games do look amazing with properly calibrated 3d glasses (shutter or polarized, not red/blue lenses!) but it will most likely never be anything more than a neat gimmick.

Re:Interface, biggest problem (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485756)

either by having no interface or having an in-the-world interface, like Dead Space for instance.

I would think the easiest solution, which keeps current UI design relatively intact, is to transpose the interface on to whatever depth the item it's over is. For the mouse, that would be the click pixel. For the toolbars, put them at the depth of the environment.

Re:Interface, biggest problem (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486978)

In the article, they mention a problem with crosshairs popping forward and back too rapidly in 3-space. You could probably do something with a spring system and friction. And you might want to do some degree of scaling up and down for distance, but not a real amount. That's all degrees of polish, which we won't really understand well until several titles come out attacking the problem in different ways.

Re:Interface, biggest problem (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485896)

I remember the first time I played Duke Nukem and Prince of Persia. There were amazing games. The graphics of PoP, the immersion of DN, they were great. I am sure that some said it was just a fad and we would be back to Pac Man and Trade Wars, but fortunately we never did.

The things about games is because there are never mission critical is that they do not have be designed conservatively. They can push the hardware, the interfaces, to the point that other applications would never attempt. Any game worth it salt will do this. Of couse game companies complain, because they want customers to give them money for doing nothing. Fortunately there are always a few companies that are will to earn customers money by delivering interesting goods, rather than just demanding renewal fees for the same crap they were delivering ten years ago. Again, conservative companies that simply take customers money want the same crap as ten years ago, but such things are not innovative and do not drive the economy forward.

Your eyes don't change focus when playing 3D games (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486516)

In 3D-WoW, the interface is closer to you than the game world, so if you're focusing on something in the world, your interface elements all split into 2. This is particularly weird when trying to click on things in the game world. If you focus on the creature or whatever, you have 2 mouse cursors. If you focus on the cursor, there are two creatures.

Are you entirely sure? This is something I haven't experienced while playing 3D games, and it strikes me as extremely strange, since your eyes don't actually change focus when you play 3D games. They always focus on the TV. Even though some things appear to be farther away than other things, they should all be in perfect focus.

To put differently, you have infinite focus when playing 3D games, unless the game itself decides to artificially put stuff out of focus, but in that case, changing the focus of your eyes wouldn't do anything either, since the game would determine to focus point.

Re:Your eyes don't change focus when playing 3D ga (1)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486734)

Try this experiment: Hold your finger about half way between your face and the computer monitor. Look at your finger. Without moving your finger look at a specific icon computer monitor, preferably something directly behind your finger. Without looking directly at your finger how many fingers do you see? (The answer should be two). He's talking about the same effect, and it has nothing to do with the actual focus of your eyes, but rather which direction your eyes are pointing. See Stereopsis [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Your eyes don't change focus when playing 3D ga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33487028)

Try this experiment: Hold your finger about half way between your face and the computer monitor. Look at your finger. Without moving your finger look at a specific icon computer monitor, preferably something directly behind your finger. Without looking directly at your finger how many fingers do you see?.

I see diamonds?

Re:Your eyes don't change focus when playing 3D ga (1)

CapOblivious2010 (1731402) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486818)

I think by "focus" the parent really means the effective 3D distance - that is, the amount by which your eyes have to "cross" to align the two images... sort of like how a spot on the windshield drives you crazy, because when you're looking at the road, you see two spots - but when you look at the spot, you see two roads!

How does 'focus' effect things? (2, Informative)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486554)

I don't understand how 'focusing' as you describe it can be a problem. Regardless of the simulated 3d, the distance your eye focuses on is the distance from you to the screen. The 3d effect is due to your eyes getting different pictures, not because you eye is actually focussing at different ranges.

This is my main problem with 3D (live action) movies, the 3D effect is fine when you are looking at what the camera is focussed on but if you try and look at something in the foreground or background the effect is ruined because that area remains out of focus no matter how hard you look at it.

Re:How does 'focus' effect things? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33486686)

Ok, so we could assume he meant "focus" literally, and then the entire post made no sense.
Or we can assume he meant something different, but related, by "focus", and everything he said makes sense. (Obviously, by "focus on" he meant "look at" or more specifically "converge your eyes to".)

Guess which one makes you look like an ass?

I understand the importance of dropping your (legitimate) criticism of stereoscopic cinema in an article about stereoscopic games, just in case anyone cares... but for anyone reading this who might be drunk enough to think your point has any application to the topic at hand, let me clear that up: games are rendered, not filmed, and it takes more processing power and hurts gameplay to provide limited DOF by blurring the foreground and/or background. So it's pretty likely that this, like every other game out there, has infinite DOF. One more reason stereoscopic TV is still controversial, but we've had stereoscopic gaming and CAD on the PC for about a decade

Oh, and GP's notion of projecting toolbars onto non-orthogonal surfaces in the game environment == madness. The cursor (when it's a logical cursor, as in WoW, rather than a representation of a real-world gunsite or HUD) should definitely float on (or slightly above) the object you're pointing at. But toolbars and such need to remain parallel to the screen; if you want them to float inward till they hit terrain/objects, that's ok, but keep them flat. IMO, they'll behave better if they're more like half that depth, but parallel to the screen is the main thing.

Re:How does 'focus' effect things? (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486894)

Guess which one makes you look like an ass?

The subject of my post asked how it effected things. My comment said I don't understand it. I did not question his personal experience or say he was wrong.
I am more than happy to admit a lack of understanding (while explaining what I do understand) in the hope that he (or someone) can enlighten me.

Unfortunately I got an ass like you replying instead.

Re:How does 'focus' effect things? (1)

Jason Kimball (571886) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487058)

Besides 3D movies, have you used some type of 3D display? Whether you noticed it or not, there are actually two types of focusing going on a the same time.

I'll call the first type "stereoscopic depth". The disparity between the two images that each eye sees is what gives the 3D illusion, as your eyes try and focus to different depths in order to fuse the two images. You can visualize this, as mentioned below, by holding your finger at arms length and switching between that and your monitor. You should see two blurry fingers when you look at your monitor.

The second type I will call "image depth". This is the focusing of the lens of your eye to get a sharp image projected on to your retina. You can visualize this with an outstretched finger, but this time close one eye. With the open eye switch between your finger and monitor and notice how your finger is still blurry when focused on your monitor, but much more subtly. This actually hinders most stereoscopic displays, because your brain has trouble compensating for the fact that when it focuses on the "stereoscopic depth" it is getting the wrong "image depth".

In 3D movies, you don't notice it so much because the focal plane is already so far away, however for TVs or computer screens, or even head mounted devices, the effect is much more pronounced. It is also one of the contributing factors to sickness and headaches while using VR environments.

So while you say that your eyes will always be focused on the computer screen, you actually have it backwards. Your eyes will be trying to focus on the perceived 3D depth. And therefore, you will not be able to perceive both near and far objects as being in focus at the same time, just like in real life, and jumping between them rapidly could cause more of a problem than in real life because you are missing the 2nd focus queue of proper "image depth".

Very simple. (3, Interesting)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485462)

On a real weapon, the laser "paints" the target - it looks as though it's actually on the spot where the bullet will hit. Simulate this, problem solved.

20 feet. (2, Insightful)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485486)

Thats the answer. I had a aftermarket speed HUD in car that was designed to appear to be 20 feet or more in front of the car to minimize the need to refocus on a nearer object, but close enough it doesn't seem weird when tailgating or whatever. I understand this is done in factory models as well, and aircraft HUDs are also designed this way.

Little different (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485594)

3D LCDs don't have focus. Your eyes are always focused on the same point since they are just a flat screen like a 2D LCD. In fact they ARE just 2D LCDs, just displaying left and right images in rapidly alternating fashion. They do stereoscopic vision but nothing else. So you don't really focus on different points. Stuff does appear in front or behind other things, but it is all in focus, unless the game engine chooses to defocus something.

Re:Little different (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485740)

When you "focus" your eyes on something in 3D, you do two things: you adjust the lens of your eye so that the light rays from the object are focused on the object, and you also adjust the convergence of your eyes to put the image of the object on a corresponding region of the retina of both eyes. With a stereoscopic image, you don't have to do the former, but you still have to do the latter.

Re:Little different (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485762)

Oops, that should have been "the light rays from the object are focused on the retina.

Re:Little different (2, Interesting)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485860)

Which gives very strange effects sometimes, when the creator decides to make parts out of focus. I had this when watching Avatar. Often they use the 2D technique of focussing on a person while blurring the background (to make it stand out). This looks natural - when you focus on something close by the background naturally becomes blurred (due to depth of vision and the double-image issue). However when you decide to have a look at the background instead, it suddenly remains blurred. While in reality your eyes will focus on the further away object, changing the lens and the angle of your eyes.

For a more realistic 3D experience the display would have to follow your eyes, and see what you focus on. As bonus such a tech would allow the rest of the screen to run in lower resolution (less work to render an image) as what you do not focus on you can not see so well anyway. That's simply how our eyes work. But I think it will need a long time to get to such a stage. A very long time.

I'm no gamer, won't be playing anytime soon, but this is why I do follow these stories. The user interfaces. Lots of interesting stuff is being developed for games that may trickle down to the desktop interfaces.

Re:Little different (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486128)

Yes, I noticed this with Avatar also. You feel like you should be able to focus your eyes, because you have converged the images, but you can't. Film directors like to use focus to direct attention, but I wonder if in a 3D film, it would be better to have everything in focus. Of course, that would require either a very stopped down lens (and a lot of light) or some fancy digital post-processing. Or perhaps it would seem odd to have everything in focus. I wonder if Cameron did experiments on this.

Re:Little different (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486180)

To me this looked like one of the "rough edges" of 3D tech of today. It looked like a 2D movie with 3D effects added to it. Those floating subtitles (I watched a Chinese subtitled version - not that I can read Chinese but that's how English movies are shown in Hong Kong) were also really weird. But reasonably easy to ignore.

And Avatar also has a 2D version (if only to be able to release them on DVD/BR). So that would basically require them to make two movies, as a 2D movie with everything in focus will look horrible.

I think 3D needs a lot of experimentation, and technical development of the display part.

I know about those "glasses", visors, whatever that are worn like a helmet and completely cover your eyes. Can be great for immersion in game play but I wouldn't want that for watching TV. Interaction with whatever happens around you is hard, and pouring a beer wearing such a helmet is hard to do.

The glasses like we had to wear for Avatar also will have their limitations. I didn't check at the time but I do wonder how people wearing glasses handle it. Again this may be acceptable for playing games (generally requiring full attention to the screen), but not for TV.

Re:Little different (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486330)

The glasses are big enough to fit over regular lenses. Avatar was designed from the outset to be 3D, and Cameron did substantial technology development, but it is still early days for 3D as a serious filmmaking technique.

The problem with the "helmets" is there that is no way that you can actually run around in the 3D world because you'd bump into walls and trip over the furniture, so you still need a controller. Directing your gaze with a helmet instead of a joypad is not enough of a convenience to justify the inconvenience of the headset.

I do think that people will be resistant to wearing the glasses routinely. They work better in a darkened theater than in the more social context of TV watching. And of course the active glasses currently being used for 3DTV are expensive, unlike the passive movie glasses. Game playing will be the main impetus driving the acceptance of 3DTV. Most of the general public will buy 3DTVs only when the cost comes down to the point that you effectively get 3D capability for free (it actually costs the manufacture very little, although they are currently charging a big premium).

On the other hand, small 3D screens that do not require glasses will likely be a big success for individual video watching and game playing, with the new Nintendo 3DS being the first of these. Within 3 years, I expect that all smartphones being sold will have 3D capable displays.

Re:Little different (2, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487080)

The other problems with helmets are:

1. Resolution. They're tremendously expensive to make at any sort of resolution. You know that super-high definition LCD screen they finally came out with for the iPhone? That's still way too big for one eye of a visor, and not high enough resolution. Lower resolution screens just look like lots and lots of pixels.

2. Focus. Because of 1, there are lots of optical tricks used to get a higher-resolution image from a larger source down to the size needed to display at your eyes. That all takes focusing of various lenses, and that all goes blurry the moment you do anything unexpected.

3. Lag. Your brain immediately notices when the world isn't following your eyes. They're getting better, but lag on these things (last time I tried one) doesn't seem to be going away entirely.

4. Head Mount. You can spend hours fitting a bicycle helmet to your head, and it still wiggles like mad. Head Mounts just aren't that solid. Which means the helmet wiggles a bit around your head. Which means the world wiggles a bit around your head. Ew.

5. Too Private. This is a big issue that Nintendo bumped up into with the Virtual Boy. If nobody can watch you play, playing video games becomes an inherently anti-social activity.

By the way, Full-sized parallax barrier screens, like the one in the 3DS, have been available in Asia for some time. Due to content shortages, they're mostly relegated to displays. But they're out there, and they work.

Re:Little different (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487024)

It has been worse:

Try Wario Land for the Virtual Boy. There are levels where the far background does not parallax (appear to scroll more slowly because it is farther away), but does appear to be farther back in the 3D effect. The worst is a moment in level 2, where the background appears to be deep away in 3D, and it parallaxes correctly horizontally, but breaks parallax scrolling completely vertically. I nearly threw up when I saw that.

Re:20 feet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33485900)

Commercial car HUDs are generally collimated so that the HUD image appears at approx the same distance as the front bumper. Aircraft HUDs are typically collimated at infinity.

This is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33485498)

Seriously, "Wicked 3D", go look it up. It sucked then (over 10 years ago). I'm more than willing to bet that even if the game is designed with 3D in mind, it still sucks now.

Gimmicky? (4, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485510)

>>Will 3D games be just as gimmicky as most 3D movies?

Yes, yes they will - but moreso, and with gusto. But gimmicky doesn't have to be bad - the Wii and Nintendo DS libraries are chock full of gimmicky games that are actually quite good. Actually, most blockbuster games in history have been filled with fairly new exploits of gimmicks hamfistedly attached to a narrative.

Video games are marketed on the idea that an analog of yourself is being placed somewhere, with something interesting to do. The very definition of a game is tied to goals that exist only for you to solve - its gimmicks all the way down to the simplest games of rocks and sticks.

Ain't nothing wrong with gimmicks.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Gimmicky? (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487092)

I'd argue that 3D for games isn't just a gimmick, but actually makes you a better player.

In driving games, knowing how far away a corner is can mean the difference between success and crashing horribly. Similarly, if you're lobbing a grenade at an opponent, you need to have an intuitive sense for how far away they are. In traditional 2D games, you have to build in lots of visual cues (straight lines, false shadows, distance blur, etc) to get even partway decent 3D estimations by your players. 3D screens, on the other hand, give a real and immediate sense in a completely natural way.

This is hardly news. (2, Insightful)

sr8outtalotech (1167835) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485560)

Maybe they should ask the guys that were developing 3D games in 1995. Descent 3D comes to mind so does Hi-Octane both of which had 3D modes compatible with LCD glasses. HUDs and crosshairs were 2D. I worked for 3DTV [http://www.3dmagic.com/catalog/consumerframe.html] company in 1995/6 - demo'ing Descent 3D at Comdex among other things. FU Microsoft for killing off 3D gaming for a good 10 years.

If anything can stop the 3d madness its gaming (0)

grapeape (137008) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485580)

With the budget of today's games, its most likely that 3d gaming will be a "one and done" experiment for most studios. I just cant see the sales of 3d titles having enough sales to be self sustaining and frankly the gimmicky nature of 3d will likely weaken the traditional 2d experience resulting in lower game sales overall. I have yet to find anyone who has invested in any 3d gear or anything with the intention in investing.

Re:If anything can stop the 3d madness its gaming (1)

thoughtspace (1444717) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485682)

Not according to Panasonic. It's a big world out there.

Their market research shows that the take-up rate of 3D TVs has been greater than any other home entertainment. The sceptic in me thinks that excludes the iPhone/iPod - but impressive none the less.

Re:If anything can stop the 3d madness its gaming (1)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485772)

heh, only a slashdotter would consider iPhone/iPod to be home entertainment, I suppose.

Hilarious 3D Trolls (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33485748)

Gotta love the little shits like this assclown who think anyone gives a shit about their tirades against 'teh 3D'.

Dipshit, wipe the spittle from your mouth and shut the fuck up. No one cares about your rants.

Re:Hilarious 3D Trolls (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485794)

Where was this tirade? Appears that the only one freaking out is your cowardly ass. I don't care what happens with 3d, I think it will fail as I really don't think enough people care about it for it to succeed. Its been tried and failed many times before, the only thing new now is that the glasses are more expensive and there is a smaller viewing angle, neither of which I see as much of a bonus.

What I really don't understand is how its "fans" are so rabid about it, and seem to take any negative comment about the technology as a personal attack against them.

Re:If anything can stop the 3d madness its gaming (0, Troll)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485916)

With the budget of today's games, its most likely that 3d gaming will be a "one and done" experiment for most studios. I just cant see the sales of 3d titles having enough sales to be self sustaining and frankly the gimmicky nature of 3d will likely weaken the traditional 2d experience resulting in lower game sales overall. I have yet to find anyone who has invested in any 3d gear or anything with the intention in investing.

Spoken like someone who has never actually played a Stereoscopic 3D game.

It is nothing like 3D movies. At all.

Out of the box (1)

ksandom (718283) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485586)

When you view 3D content windowed, it's fairly easy on the eye to transition between what's 3D and what's not 3D (neutral). So I reckon, just leave any panels neutral and hard alined to an edge. As a rule of thumb, I've found that anything the user needs to explicitly interpret (language and stats), is much better neutral. Leave the content to being the content.

As for the cross-hair, that's less obvious. My gut feeling is to leave it neutral since it's so small, it's not going to be _that_ noticeable that it doesn't quite comply with the depth of field. Having it hanging infront of your eyes is definitely going to be a distraction.

Re:Out of the box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33486182)

As for the cross-hair, that's less obvious. My gut feeling is to leave it neutral since it's so small, it's not going to be _that_ noticeable that it doesn't quite comply with the depth of field. Having it hanging infront of your eyes is definitely going to be a distraction.

Crosshairs in 3D... what the hell is wrong with people. To anyone who has ever fired a real weapon, this is so easy to figure out.

Make an imaginary gun with your index finger and thumb, sight a target. Congrats, you're halfway to how a real weapon is sighted. Tell me the solution to this "problem" isn't blindingly obvious. Anyway, these game designers have already thought of how weapons work in the real world, which tells me this isn't the real problem.

I think the real "problem" is how do you deal with FPS player's expected 100% dead on, laser accuracy with the new interface. I say suck it up, rifles are not that accurate anyway, _even_ if both your target and targeting reticle were in focus, surprisingly (no, I know it's not)... "Skill" shouldn't be how fast you move a mouse while running 20MPH sideways.

besides, Killzone 2 already had ironsights. 3D sights are too obvious.

Re:Out of the box (3, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486976)

I think you've hit on exactly the issue - especially considering how much console FPSs tend to compensate for the clumsiness of the input mechanism (usually there is some degree of autoaim involved). It's not so noticable in 2D, but to achieve this effect in 3D without either making it look like your sights are incredibly inaccurate (because you're hitting people even when it's cleared you're off by a fraction in either direction and the game is "compensating") or else you're going to have to have the sights "jump" to cover the target, too much jumping and it's going to feel very fake. The other alternative is of course to not compensate, but when people see their frag count drop off a cliff they're probably not going to want to play your game so much, even if it is a lot more accurate. The final difficulty is that you need to offer 2D and 3D modes of play without undue disadvantage to one or the other group of gamers (if everyone playing in 2D mode is more accurate, you've pretty much killed 3D in your game, meanwhile if everyone in 3D mode is more accurate, you'll get massive backlash from consumers who don't want to splash out on a new TV just to compete in multiplayer).

living down to expectations (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485602)

Why am I not surprised to read that the gaming industry is struggling with how to handle splattering blood in 3D.

The "Real" Difficulty in making a 3D Game (3, Interesting)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485630)

....getting anyone to want to buy one. Please let this 3D fad die already.

Re:The "Real" Difficulty in making a 3D Game (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485834)

Lol.

Just because *you* hate it doesn't mean everyone does. Now that it's not much of a premium on a decent LCD or Plasma and the big manufacturers (Sony, LG, Panasonic, Samsun) are all in on the game, I don't see it going away any time soon.

Why is it that the collected geeks of /. have such a problem with it anyway?

Re:The "Real" Difficulty in making a 3D Game (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486944)

Because the stuff where HD and 3D would be used best is not the stuff that makes it to the TV or theaters.

Planet Earth [wikipedia.org] ? Fuck yes!

Your every day sitcom or cop drama #52938? No thanks.

I own an Nvidia 3d vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33485658)

In optimized games the aiming reticule operates like a laser sight, it rests on the depth of the object it is hovering over. Seriously people this is a solved problem...

Re:I own an Nvidia 3d vision (1)

Jason Kimball (571886) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487070)

I would think that would make it much easier. It's one thing to see the pixels of a reticule covering someone's head, it's a whole different experience to see the reticule projected onto their head. I would think the latter would be much easier to react on quickly and accurately.

Ask Nintendo for advice! (3, Funny)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485666)

Check the Virtual Boy for prior art ideas. Obviously something so popular and successful can serve for further inspiration.

Re:Ask Nintendo for advice! (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486984)

Oh if I had mod points, I could mod this "Funny as hell".
I've seen the videos of the Virtual Boy and that itself is a laugh worth.

Some guy tested it out, with all the games it had.
Wasn't it the Angry Nintendo Guy or something?

Will the real 3D please stand up (2, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485802)

I still remember the discussions on how much 3D was Wolf3D almost 20 years ago.

Re:Will the real 3D please stand up (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486954)

We just need more people to point out that it's not 3D but rather stereovision.

Re:Will the real 3D please stand up (1)

Jason Kimball (571886) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487082)

This is true. We won't have real 3D until they perfect holographic display devices. The difference between the perceived depth and the fact that the image is really at the depth of your TV screen (and needs to be focused at that distance to project a clear image on to your retina) throws your brain for loops. 3D movies skirt this issue because the screen is already so far away, but sit a reasonable distance in front of a TV and after 15 minutes your brain fighting two contrasting focal senses will start to cause problems.

Show the bullet arc (1)

lugonnn (199742) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485888)

Place a thin translucent line to show the bullet path instead. Like the do for grenade thowers.

Seeing as I own 3D Vision... (4, Informative)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485910)

... I feel that I might have some worthwhile knowledge of Stereoscopic 3D games.

First off, 3D in games isn't as gimmicky as 3D in movies, not by a long shot. If the dev programs the game with 3D in mind, then things like the UI, blood splatters don't pull you out of the 3D experience.

    Like games that have the blood splatter on your screen? Looks killer on 3D.

Games like Left 4 Dead (1 & 2) the 3D is very, very good on it. It makes zombie killing a little more realistic.
Need For Speed World? While the 3D isn't perfect on it (some ghosting), the game is a lot better to play in 3D.

Titan's Quest and Torchlight in 3D is have to play to understand. The game looks like toys or something while you are playing.

Some games, like Alien Breed the lighting is messed up on it, so it doesn't look good in 3D, but if they fixed that, would be killer.

As for the gun sight, ya, that matters. What nvidia does with 3D Vision is has a "laser sight" you can toggle on and off (you have to turn off ingame targeting crosshairs) if the game doesn't do the 3D on it correctly. I don't use it much, but some games like Fallout 3 you have to use it. And yes, Fallout 3 is better on 3D.

Honestly, dev's don't have to do much extra but test their games under 3D to see what elements need to be fixed. Games that are made in a 3D engine already have what is needed. Unlike TV or Movies, the games are made from 3D models, so getting the 2nt camera viewpoint is easier to do, and why games look way better then any 3D movie can.

Plus I don't think people understand, buying a 3D TV doesn't mean you can start playing 3D games. For example, 3D Vision users need the 3D vision hardware, a 120khz Monitor (that's supported, currently most tv's aren't) to get 3D gaming. Cost is just over $500 (Acer GD235HZ 1080p monitor & 3D Vision). Not to mention running a game is 3D means your cutting your normal frames per sec down by half. So you need some powerful video cards to play the latest games (that are being made with 3D in mind) with decent frame rates, which normally mean 60fps.

Need for Speed World. Normally, I can do 1080p at 60fps with all settings maxed. But to get 60fps, I have to cut the graphics down to medium. If I don't, the 3D in the game doesn't look right, tends to cause headaches & eye strain more. Which is more or less true with most of the games.

Granted the Nvidia GTX 460 1G cards are cheap and give great fps, mainly in sli. but still, that's another $500 cost.

So $1000 will get you a great 3D gaming setup, that can play 3D movies, if you get a bluray player for your computer.

3D in games is great as long as it's does right. And it takes some playing around with the 3D to figure out what works for you. Will most gamers want/need it? No. Besides entry cost is sort of high, it doesn't work good for every type of game, and there's sort of a split on what to get between PC & consoles/tv/bluray 3D players.

I think the biggest problem with 3D is no standards. This isn't a case of tech that is going to be adopted by everyone, so having standards is important for market growth.
You don't want to have to buy a 3D HDTV, a 3D bluray player (ps3), and a 3D Monitor & 3D kit for your pc.

Like with 3D bluray movies. With hardly any of those movies being released, they stupidly make them exclusive bundles with 3D hardware. I mean, wtf? Instead of making 3D movies easier for early tech adoptors, they make it harder.

I still haven't found any decent 3D movie downloads yet, so I don't even know how they look on my setup. But I got it for gaming, and it does gaming well, and I'm very happy with spending the money I did on it. Anyone that comes over and sees games in 3D, start wanting to get it.

Holodeck (1)

SOOPRcow (1279010) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485918)

All I know is that I won't be happy till I can play games on a holodeck. That said, 3D for games makes way more sense to me then for movies or TV's.

Experiences: 3D adds a new dimension (5, Informative)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 4 years ago | (#33485960)

I had 3D glasses for my old games computer a few years ago. (The drivers only worked with CRT's.) Some people had no problems, while others got headaches after just a few moments. I was fine for an hour at a time. I think newer tech makes 3D much more comfortable though.

Anyway, stereoscopic gaming was great! A couple of experiences:

WoW
Wandering in a cave, cave walls are made up of mottled bitmaps...
Monoscopic: Even though the map shows a branch in a cave, it can sometimes be hard to find it, and one walks back and forth to see if it's there.
Stereoscopic: You simply cannot miss the branch. The cave now looks like a proper shape, that just happens to be patterened with mottled bitmaps.

Rome: Total War
- You get a better feel for distances, so you can see exactly when to tell the archers to unleash a volley of arrows against advancing troops for maximum effect.
- You get a better idea of how well catapults will be able to shoot over the crest of a hill, or whether the rocks will hit the hill/fly over the enemy.
- Also, position the camera among those being shot at, and see the cloud of arrows coming at you. Awsome! =)
Basically, with a sterescopic view, you get a much better idea of the lay of the land, and distances (and therefore timing).

To me, 3D vision helped so much, that it almost felt like an unfair advantage. Almost.

Is this a fad? I just don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33486062)

This whole 3d thing might be great, it might be terrible. But there are now several reasons why I wouldn't be bothered with it:
- PS3 games are terrible
- Need another brand new TV to view it
- Got to update the PS3 firmware to support it
- Need to buy a 'Move' to enjoy it

This is such a niche market, and Sony should really understand it.. let's guesstimate that 1 in 10 households have a PS3 ... of those, 1 out of 5 buy a move ... of those, 1 out of 50 have a shiny 3d television set.. so that's one out of every 10,000 potential customers having an interest in 3D gaming?

Just another Sony misstep here ... move along.

Re:Is this a fad? I just don't care (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486274)

1. Says you. 40 Million PS3 owners would (mostly) beg to differ.
2. People buy tvs more frequently these days than ever they did before, and the 3D premium on top of a normal HDTV is small and shrinking.
3. You'd be surprised ho few people care about the version of the firmware on their ps3. This may change with the PS3 jailbreaking stuff going on at the moment, but there are not a large number of people who give much of a crap.
4. False. You do not need to buy move to play or enjoy 3d games.

And if it's a Sony misstep then it's also a Samsung, Panasonic and LG misstep. I find that less likely.

Clueless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33486072)

This is NOT new territory, FPS games have been playable in stereoscopic 3D via middleware packages like Tri-Def Ignition for some time now. The crosshair issue is easily solved with the simple substitution of a laser sight. What is still an issue for stereoscopic FPS games is quick response to attack from behind. Whipping around as quickly as is the norm for playing in 2D gives most people a bit of motion sickness in stereoscopic 3D. The hardcore will train themselves to shut their eyes but the casual gamer will merely find this to be yet another complaint about stereoscopic 3D gaming. For what its worth, racing games seem to be the most approachable for stereoscopic gaming newbies.

at least (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33486212)

at least Guerrilla Games is at least making it possible for the player to at least easily and quickly switch in and out of stereoscopic 3-D while playing, at least...

Not stereo "3D", head tracking. 3D. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486284)

For games, stereo is not the right approach. Viewpoint adjusted by head tracking [mynokiablog.com] is. For recorded images like TV, you don't have the data to do that. But for a game, you have full 3D models and all the necessary graphics hardware. And, as that video shows, it just takes a few Wii Remote parts to do it. The effect is that, at long last, the screen becomes a window, rather than a surface.

Since games tend to be played by one player per screen, the restriction that the view only works for one person is fine. Unlike stereoscopy, there's a big win for gameplay - you can move around and change your viewpoint. You can duck behind on-screen obstacles, so you can actually use cover in a shooter.

You can hang stereo and depth of focus on this, too. And it will work better, because the system knows how far away the viewer is.

When this is done well, the visual effect is spectacular. [youtube.com]

I don't get why this isn't done on computers (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486396)

I can understand this is maybe not of so much interest for console gaming since often you are talking playing in a room with more people on one display and this is a one person only technology. However PCs are designed for single person use, so this would work well. What's more, it would be rather cheap to implement. No new display needed, just a cheap IR camera to mount on the PC and something to wear on your head.

I won't get a 3D glasses display for the computer. You need a new monitor, that does not have very good colour or viewing angles for the cost, glasses, and a really high end 3D card since you need to double the FPS. I would get something that does this since it would integrate in to my existing setup.

Sterio vision is NOT 3D (5, Interesting)

Required Snark (1702878) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486306)

When you view the world with your regular (hopefully) pair of eyes, your brain creates a "3D" experience of what you see. It does this using many cues, including parallax (both horizontal and vertical), occlusion, shading of objects, shadows, and lots of other stuff. Many people with PhDs have spent a lot of effort trying to understand this process and they still have a long way to go.

If you are watching a "regular" movie, be it photographic or CGI, the 3D world is mapped onto the 2D screen When your eyes see this 2D image, you brain is able to use all the cues that are available in the mapped 2D image and it reconstructs the 3D world that was used to create the 2D image. Therefore, a "regular" move IS IN 3D.

When you see a stereoscopic "3D" image, even if it is an old ViewMaster http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viewmaster [wikipedia.org] , all that you are getting is extra horizontal parallax that is provided by having different 2D images for the left and right eye. You are not even getting vertical parallax, so you can't see the top and bottom of things, just some extra details on the left and right of objects. Although this is noticeably different then the 2D picture image, it is still not the same as natural real world vision. So in a basic way stereographic images are not much closer to 3D then a regular image.

Because of the very limited and specialized nature of the stereo information, it is easy to create situations that cannot occur in the real world, resulting in a very confusing experience. Breaking frame is one example. This is when the "3D" object crosses the edge of the image, and it can completely destroy the illusion. Also, normal "flat" cinema uses foreground/midground/background to organize the visual composition of shots, and this becomes much more complicated when stereo is involved.

In some ways "flat" 2D is better, because it uses a uniform transformation to map from 3D to 2D. In doing stereo, the scene composition has to include intra-ocular distance information, and this adds difficult decision making for composing the scene. (Yes, the stereo mapping is mathematically uniform, but the composition restraints are different depending on the shot set up.)

There is a massive body of knowledge in how to use "flat"images that goes all the way back to he introduction of perspective in the Renaissance, and has been further developed with the invention of photography and moving pictures. Stereo has yet to prove that it really provides any kind of advancement for image presentation.

Re:Sterio vision is NOT 3D (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486866)

Its not the first time this sort of "3d" has had a day in the sun, it just never seems to last. Quake 3 supported stereo vision since its release, so 3d for games has been there for quite a while and yet its still not popular. I also think you have hit the nail on the head. Our brains are already getting most of the 3d out of a 2d image in the first place. The parallax is not a big addition and adds more problems that it solves. Hell in far shots (where close and far things are far away from the camera), parallax doesn't even play a roll in real scenes.

I avoid 3d films because they don't add anything for me, and they charge extra.

Put crosshairs on only 1 eye (2, Interesting)

khchung (462899) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486348)

Just like a real gun sight, you only look through it with one eye. So just put the crosshairs and other HUD elements on either left or right eye (configurable), then when the player wish to aim better, he can close the other eye (just like aiming a real gun).

For iron sight, even better, only the right (or left) eye would be aligned with the iron sight, the other eye would be looking down the barrel a but from the side.

The HUD elements would appear as if the player is wearing a transparent display over one eye.

Re:Put crosshairs on only 1 eye (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486548)

Just like a real gun sight, you only look through it with one eye. So just put the crosshairs and other HUD elements on either left or right eye (configurable), then when the player wish to aim better, he can close the other eye (just like aiming a real gun).

Or, if you're cool like me, you can relax the muscles in your eye, and entirely defocus and ignore one eye. :D
(Interestingly, my mother can do this too. I wonder if there's a genetic component.)

You've got to be careful about putting stuff only on one eye, though. Do it too much or with important information (i.e. the HUD) and you could end up inducing some kind of lazy eye (amblyopia or strabismus) in the user. (I'm no optometrist, though.)

Re:Put crosshairs on only 1 eye (1)

phillips321 (955784) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486610)

+1. This would make the game more realistic but with the amount of aiming we do how would our left eye lid cope with the closing opening all the time!!!

Meh (1)

InfiniteZero (587028) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486352)

3D shutter glasses have existed forever on high-end workstations, and remained a niche for a reason. Back in ~1995 when Descent 2 came out with 3D capacity, I rushed out to buy a pair of compatible glasses (~$150, a lot of money for a college student), and was promptly underwhelmed.

The game did a great job, but I remember one of the problems was that the small computer monitor (compared to the silver screen in a movie theater) makes the 3D effect extremely unnatural, almost like peeking through a tiny window into a midget infested world. On the other hand, when looking at 2D, I think the brain knows it's fictional and automatically applies suspension of disbelief and subconsciously scales things up. I suspect the whole situation is not unlike the uncanny valley in robotics.

Or maybe it just takes some get-used-to. In any case, it's definitely a gimmick -- like others said here, but not a gaming-changing one (pun intended).

P.S. You can still download Descent 1 or 2 for free. After almost two decades it's still more playable than most modern flying/shooting games out there.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33486986)

I think the brain knows it's fictional and automatically applies suspension of disbelief and subconsciously scales things up.

You are your own brain and apply your own suspension of disbelief. While playing the game, you couldn't avoid the reality of over paying for the damn thing, and therefore wouldn't choose to suspend the disbelief. Doesn't anyone know anything about personal responsibility anymore?

Fuck it (1)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | more than 4 years ago | (#33486892)

I don't care at all for this stereoscopic shit they call 3D, what ever happened to the good old 2D platformers such as Sonic & Mario and all the others? Why is it that the majority of games these days are FPS of some variety that basically suck donkey balls? It used to be about fun, now it's about polygon counts & gore.

Nonpaid review. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33486938)

FWIW, Killzone 1 and 2 were great games with interesting and compelling story lines.

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