Welcom to the final part of Meant to be Seen's coverage of GDC 2012! Special thanks to MTBS' Field Writer Kris Roberts. Not only is Kris formerly a Senior Game Designer at Rockstar Games, he is an avid stereoscopic 3D gamer in his own right.
Alterface 5Di Benoit Cornet - CEO www.alterface.com The idea of location based entertainment is not new (e.g. amusement parks), and Alterface seems to have a pretty good model for going after this on the business side. They build theaters and environments that combine stereoscopic displays with saddle like seats for players and interactive controllers that can be used for lots of different games that can go in locations like theme parks, shopping malls, theaters and museums.
A few years before I started working in video games at Angel Studios, they did projects for Disney like a virtual jungle boat ride. The projects were cool and the development was fun for the teams, but the end result was one or two physical installations. Not the most rewarding return for the developer, and a risk for the customer who ends up with a very specific product that's not easily re-purposed down the road.
The approach Alterface is taking with their 5Di theaters can be heavily themed, but can also be left relatively neutral to let the games themselves provide the atmosphere and environment. At GDC they had a model of a typical installation and lots of material on various venues which have been built. The goal is to provide group gaming experiences and leverage the physical investment in the installation with a variety of game content. For game developers it could be a win in terms of a new market where games could be re-purposed or developed specifically for these installations - especially as more of them are built around the world.