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Game Developers Speak & S3DGA Launched at SIGGRAPH!

By August 7, 2009Editorial

By Neil Schneider

MTBS members, rejoice! August 6th, 2009 was a day to be proud of for stereoscopic 3D gamers.

Moderated by MTBS, the first panel featured Andrew Oliver, CTO of Blitz Games Studios, Habib Zargarpour, Senior Art Director for Electronic Arts, and Nicolas Schultz, Crytek CryENGINE3 Licensing Manager.

We have videos of the panels, and will be able to put them up as early as next week, but here are some highlights:

First, Andrew Oliver showed kick-butt footage of Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao. Designed from the ground up to work on XBOX and PS3 console in stereoscopic 3D and traditional 2D, everyone was wowed when they saw it on the 40 foot plus RealD projection screen.

Nicolas Schultz demonstrated a first person shooter demo of CryENGINE3. CryENGINE3 is designed to work on both console and PC, though this was a PC example. Everyone was mesmerized as the character was walking through the jungle forests and taking out targets. Just a reminder, this was native stereoscopic 3D support where no driver was required. At this time, they support iZ3D and dual output solutions with more to come.

Habib Zargarpour was perhaps the riskiest of all moments because he had not seen Need For Speed:Shift in stereoscopic 3D before. EA had sent MTBS and DDD builds of the game to get it optimized, but what would Habib ultimately think? HE WAS THRILLED! So thrilled, we are trying to give him another go when the projector room is empty. It was a big honor to receive the pre-builds of the game before anyone outside of EA had seen them, and we are glad we did them proud!

Some important remarks:

When Nicolas was asked on a scale of one to ten how supportive Crytek is about seeing stereoscopic 3D gaming take off, his answer was “eight”.

After seeing his game in true 3D for the first time, Habib remarked “now I can’t go back. Once you see a game in 3D, you can’t go back”.

The panel was unanimous that everybody wants to see a standard in gaming. When asked about supporting shutter glasses, Crytek explained that they don’t like the situation of having to work through a driver to get results. They need a way to communicate left/right images directly to the device. The panel took this even further. Game developers want to see all solutions supported, and not just a handful. A gaming standard is needed so developers can show games exactly the way they are intended, and one rendering will work industry-wide.

The second panel featured Joshua Greer, President of RealD, Peter Lude, EVP of Sony, and myself, CEO of MTBS. Demonstrations included a Vince Pace demo reel and a sampling of U23D by 3ality. U23D continued to earn praise from the audience.

With the help of a well received stereoscopic 3D power point made possible by “S3D Presenter”, I proudly announced the launching of the S-3D Gaming Alliance (S3DGA).

All the details can be found in the related press release and S3DGA website. In brief, S3DGA is a focused organization that can speak to S-3D gaming with the industry’s backing. We will form the stereoscopic 3D gaming standard that the developers are asking for with their direct participation. More importantly, we will be aggressively educating consumers and media alike to ensure that this technology is well understood and properly used.

I am very excited to report that our first industry meeting will be taking place at the 3D Entertainment Summit this coming September, and all meeting attendees qualify for a 25% discount on summit registration.

Relative to cinema, Andrew Oliver of Blitz Games Studios remarked that gaming is an underserved market. I say it’s our time now.

We are working with the right people, membership invitations have gone out to the industry at large, the game developers have stepped forward telling us that they want to see S-3D gaming succeed, and we have an action plan. As an industry, we earned this, and now we have to follow through.

Please feel free to share your remarks in our discussion forums. Expect more announcements from S3DGA in the near future.

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