3D hurdles becoming easier to leap

Developers from Uncharted 3, God of War: Origins Collection join Sony, AMD, TriOviz reps to talk about the stereoscopic singularity.

Who was there: Ready at Dawn senior programmer on God of War: Origins Collection Jeremy Nikolai, Naughty Dog Uncharted 3 lead graphics programmer Pal-Kristian Engstad, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe senior development manager Simon Benson, AMD technology management group senior manager David Nalasco, and TriOviz sales and marketing representative Guy Matteotti. The session was moderated by GameTrailers.com editor-in-chief Shane Satterfield.

Naughty Dog thinks 3D makes Nathan Drake's world feel more real.

What they talked about: Engstad started off by discussing the differences in developing for a 3D experience. He talked about what it brings to Uncharted's set pieces when the player feels as if the world is more real, that they could fall and actually hurt themselves, or that their plane is crashing. He did acknowledge that the extra processing power required of a 3D game is a challenge and needs to be programmed well or else players will feel that the experience suffers.

Nikolai talked about using 3D smartly for games, acknowledging that Ready at Dawn was technically "tacking it on" because they were rereleasing an existing game in 3D. But even then, he said that 3D can improve the experience if it's handled well. For God of War: Origins Collection, they originally had a problem with objects in the foreground "breaking the fourth wall" by being heavily 3D at the point they scrolled off the screen. Nikolai said the team solved the issue by tapering off the 3D effect as things approached the screen's edge, or "putting a dome over" the viewing area.

Benson said that 3D has its own set of rules. It's not just another video mode for developers; it needs to be tailored to the content as well as technical limitations in order to make the most of the experience. He said most developers have gotten up to speed with the technical side of the equation and are just now starting to explore the creative implications of 3D.

That's a front where being a part of a technology giant like Sony with multiple creative arms came in handy. Benson said that for Killzone 3, Guerrilla Games tapped the expertise of Sony Pictures for handling 3D in its cutscenes.

As for the question of 3D glasses, Benson said they're not a big problem for gaming. In addition to gamers' general comfort with peripherals, Benson said gaming tends to be a more-focused experience than watching TV. Instead of looking away from the screen or multitasking (and then feeling the need to keep taking off and putting back on the glasses), gamers tend to be locked onto the screen when they play.

Nalasco said the technological barriers are also dropping. With the speed of processors still accelerating, the technological hurdles of displaying the dual images necessary for stereoscopic 3D will be lowered. The biggest obstacle that Nalasco sees to 3D adoption is the comparatively immature state of the technology. Once the industry agrees on some standards for displays and glasses and everything gets affordable, Nalasco said 3D is going to take off. Benson noted that with the PS3, the only nonstandardized aspect is the relationship between the 3D glasses and 3D-enabled TV sets. All he said gamers need to worry about is making sure that the 3D glasses they purchase are compatible with the TVs.

Not everyone is on board with 3D gaming. When asked about third-party publishers downplaying the importance of 3D gaming, Benson noted that five years ago, everyone was still talking about the same question with HDTV adoption. Benson said that 3D is a much lower investment for developers than HD gaming, but the HD transition happened almost completely within five years. The most 3D has added to a development budget is 2 percent, Benson noted.

Engstad brought up the idea of playing in 3D as a "huge advantage" for players because they get a better sense of the battlefield and where they are going. Given how enthusiastic gamers are for any advantage they can get, Engstad said he thinks the future for the technology is bright.

Quote: "I think we're in a very good place, and in a few years' time, these questions will have gone away as they did with HD."--Benson, on the future of 3D TVs and game consoles.

Takeaway: The panel agreed on the key points for 3D, specifically that it's growing, it's going to be the future, and the hurdles it faces right now in adoption and cost are only going to be lowered.

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Discussion

47 comments
Hellavation
Hellavation

3-D gaming is going to be developed and perfected the rest of this gen while next gen it will be a standard like HD is now.

zequex
zequex

I'm waiting for glasses free 3D TV. Give it 3-5 years. Everyone will be snickering at the people who still have to wear glasses to watch TV. ;)

demonic_85
demonic_85

As long as I can still play games in 2D i'll be happy.

Videodogg
Videodogg

Megavideogamer, excuse me, i am very much nearsighted and wear bi-focal prescription glasses, and i see 3D perfectly fine. I own a nice 3D plasma tv and game heavily in 3D with no problem what-so-ever. I am currently enjoying Resistance 3 and Gears of War 3 in 3D. The prices have come down and a quality 3D television is very affordable now, and the glasses have become much cheaper too.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

3D technology will catch on. But only to people with 20/20 vision without the need for eyeglasses. 3D doesn't work if a person has poor vision, or need bi-focals, or eyeglasses to correct Myopic vision, Near or Farsightedness. Plus some people experience nausea for watch 3D enabled TV or Movies. This is the real reasons why 3D gaming will never truly become mainstream.

eliebaz
eliebaz

i cannot wait till 3D tv's get cheaper the day i can afford it, im out buying one, they do enhance game play substantially they add depth and a different perspective to gaming that is great once you get used to it.

Dead_Babies
Dead_Babies

3D will become a norm i believe. Their are many great minds working on the technology and improving it every day. Even though I am all for 3D TV if they get ride of the chose to play in 2D there will be many complaints. Kinda like how they are taking out local multiplayer in games nowadays. But if they do decide to go all 3D you can always pick up a cheap pair of 2D glasses that make 3D images into 2D images without giving you the eye strain or headaches. Either way I can't wait for 3D technology to become more mainstream so the prices drop and i can pick me up a sweet 3D TV.

steven141
steven141

Id rather stick to 2D, don't care for 3D at all, its too expensive and the effect isnt that great anyway.

barules
barules

3D TV's are horribly expensive.I can't buy THAT!

CptRexKramer
CptRexKramer

You know, they can develop and play with 3D all they want, so long as they leave the option of playing the same game in 2D. I realize there is small but growing demand for it, but I hope developer's don't leave those of us that prefer 2D in the dust.

hyksiu
hyksiu

I want to love 3D but I just can't afford it yet....

Seraphim_24
Seraphim_24

There is nothing quite like looking down the barrel of your gun in 3D Call of Duty Black Ops. It completely changes the dynamics, and the aiming is significantly improved. Anyone bashing 3D needs to give it a real chance in games because while I get that most 3D movies have been crap, the central problem with those crappy 3D films has been that the films themselves are crap and sometimes the 3D has been done poorly. Clash of the Titans is a prime example. Poorly done 3D with a crappy script, crappy acting, and crappy effects. Thor, Captain America, Voyage of the Dawn Treadder, Tangled, How to Train Your Dragon, and on and on and on are all excellent examples of 3D done right. Additionally Glasses free 3D is coming, but in the mean time check out passive 3D TVs, they will work with the theater glasses, are less bulky and the glasses that come with the TV are infinitely better than the theater variants... Also there's no headache inducing flicker.

King-gamer
King-gamer

I'll wait for Glasses free 3D TVs.

Llama345
Llama345

3D movies make feel like I have the spin monsters. I'm not sure about games never played one. But I can tell you I don't want it until there are no glasses, or its like VR.

torrne667
torrne667

sorry but 3D crysis ROCKS! Anyone bashing 3D saying that they want it to go away is a fool. It can only get better :)

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

3D is not the future and I hope it "will have gone away" in a few years. Forever.

Shaoran_Li
Shaoran_Li

Did Sony like force them to talk heavy into 3-D? Anyway if games like Uncharted 3 won't convert me to 3D, I don't know what will.

mstrchf12
mstrchf12

I'll talk about 3D only when glasses-free TVs become the norm.

DBGohan2005
DBGohan2005

What i don't get is first they say this game isn't much different in 3d now they're all crazy about it

jhpeter
jhpeter

Tell me when the 3D becomes mature, withou the need to had the eyes completly paired. But with the economy sinking, only very rich people wil can buy the next gen that alredy exists.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@Jedilink109 yeah that would be nicer to have a glasses free 3d tv but we are not there yet probably wont be there for at least 3years for a great one and the 3d glasses that I have only cost me $70 and I mainly the only that watch/play games on it sometime I do have one other person using it with so I did bought anther per and once a glasses free 3d tv that is on par or better then my 3d tv then I might get one if the price is right and use the one I have to replace the other tv in my house

KBABZ
KBABZ

3D very, very young as far as a media format type goes, and unlike video games and film it does not have a standardized set of rules yet (for example, film has Rules of Thirds and crossing the line, while games have Don't Put The HUD In The Middle Of The Screen). When this comes along then we can start seeing 3D being used more naturally, smoothly and artistically. For example: What if there were a 3D Psychonaughts sequel where, for one level, the 3D effect was reversed so that foreground objects appear far away, and background ones appear close up? TRIPPY.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

@shadowhunter0 Haha yeah, but there are electronics manufacturers that have made HDTV sets that display in 3D without the need for any glasses in pretty much the same way the 3DS works. The full sized sets they've been making however have many more possible angles to view from and still show the content just fine. Either way, even if the glasses are ALWAYS comfortable and so on, it's a nuisance. And if you lose or break a pair you have to buy more. They're also expensive AND they don't work from set to set unless your buddies and you all have the EXACT same set. Otherwise expect to pay for plenty of pairs of those expensive things. I just think it's a convenience issue right now. When you need an extra thing to enjoy this content it makes something more of an "event" to sit down and watch it. This isn't exactly a bad thing, but when people can run into their living rooms and flip on the set and immediately see in 3D without having to scramble for glasses, that is when I think 3D will hit it much bigger than it is right now.

Spacerac
Spacerac

The one thing that will definitely hinder 3D adoption is the lack of universal glasses. If I'm buying $150 pair of glasses I expect them to work everywhere.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@Jedilink109 why the 3d glasses at least the ones I are very comfortable and I hardly notice them and I have a huge head and I wear glasses

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Until I can view 3D content on a 3D tv at home from all angles in full HD WITHOUT any headgear, just using my natural eyes, then I'm staying off of 3D.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

The HD transition had no choice but to happen; Analog TV signals were being axed whether we wanted them to be or not. Until all TV's support 3D, we still have a choice. The problem lies in whether or not a higher resolution of "HD" is released before 3D has gained control of a certain percentage of the market. BTW, has anyone heard of a 3D home projector? If one of those were to hit the market in the $1000 range, I'd consider it.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

and developers are still talking about this why? Have they seen the 3DS report, 28% of gamers consider 3D a distraction?????? I think it's about time folks go back to making good games and not tacking on features that maybe *10-20% will use.... *I'm just guessing...

Zloth2
Zloth2

@Grim_Reaper007, don't be too sure. Movies try to make a 3D experience that works for everyone in a big theater. A game figures out the 3D on the fly so it can tailer the experience to work best for you personally.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@beuneus12 I have a huge head and I wear glasses and I don't have a problem on putting 3d glasses on over them and it is comfortable

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@rymnd6c28 yes it is darker but they turn up the brightness so you don't notice that it doesn't hurt your eyes or gives your headache at least it doesn't for me and the glasses and the tv aren't that expensive you can get the glasses for like $70 and a 40" hd 3dtv for $1000 and 3d makes most if not all games funner

shaakes
shaakes

@beuneus12 meh- guess you haven't tried on lg passive 3d glasses. they fit nicely over regular glasses...

vadicta
vadicta

If this trend continues, soon every game will come pre-loaded with a bottle of aspirin.

rymnd6c28
rymnd6c28

3d its darker, hurts ur eyes, gimme headache, and yes i must have the clip on model for the glasses, and expensive tv but yes its awesome, but does the games framerate'll drop? and any solution for awesome 3d tv that is bright, not so big, and contrast and colours is not fading black

helldew
helldew

@chibi-acer reason why its so simple on PC cause PCs are far far stronger then consoles ATM making it pretty simple.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

Why is 3D such a "challenge" when you can do it on the PC with almost any DirectX game using Nvidia's 3DVision glasses?

beuneus12
beuneus12

meh, 3D. Figure out how to put those 3D glasses on top of my normal glasses first, lol

The_Fro
The_Fro

@Barighm Objects breaking the 4th wall is a cool effect but the problem is that you don't want background objects to do it when they get close to the camera. This commonly happens when play games in 3D for my PC that weren't orginally designed with #d in mind and it can be very distracting and even obstructive to your view of the screen

Grim_Reaper007
Grim_Reaper007

I'd prefer to get games running in native 1080p first, personally i get headaches and motion sickness from 3D movies so it's not for me unfortunately not for me.

Barighm
Barighm

Ok, if they're just now learning how to really use 3D, I can give them a break, but they better figure it out soon. So far the 3D effect has been pretty lame. And what the heck is wrong with 3D images "breaking the 4th wall" and leaping off the screen? Isn't that the point? The best 3D effects I've seen look like the objects in the movie are spilling into the theater.

MetalDragon199
MetalDragon199

3D is still too expensive and the effect is still to minimal for it to be of any importance on people's shopping lists

firedrakes
firedrakes

its sad still their is no standards for 3d tech since it was created in the 50s

Evenios
Evenios

I think 3D can really bring something to games but it might just take a while to get it to mainstream.

bowlingotter
bowlingotter

Interesting that a company as respected as this is certainly not considering 3D to be a passing fad.

atopp399
atopp399

Adding 3D to a movie or game is not the same as going from SD to HD in my opinion. HD was an increase in how clearly you can see something or how detailed it looks to you. 3D is adding an optical illusion to 2D images. One is a gimmick in my opinion the other is not.