3D gaming â??puts innovation back to the forefrontâ??

3D gaming â??puts innovation back to the forefrontâ??

By Rob Crossley

April 21st 2009 at 2:53PM

UK outfit Data Design says itâ??s applying for a patent to use Wii motion-sensing tech to detect head movement

3D gaming has put innovation back to the forefront of the developer’s remit.

That was the belief offered by Rob Dorney, Art Director at UK studio Data Design Interactive.

Data Design is currently working on the vibrantly-titled Battle Rage: The Robot Wars, a game which the studio has billed as the “first ever 3D console game”. The Wii edition of Battle Rage is based on the PC title of the same name, developed then by Destan Entertainment.
 
Dorney explains that the DDI team are still working on the Wii edition, and states that the studio has just applied for a patent on new technology using Wii motion sensing devices to detect head movements.

“Not only can you see in 3D,” said Dorney, “you can actually move around in 3D. Tilting your head will look around objects or moving closer to the screen will view the objects close up and the player will move around a world by just looking in the direction they want to move.”

3D imagery is achieved, claims Dorney, by using in-game stereoscopic rendering. “It works the same way that our normal eyesight works in the real world by providing a different view to each eye, so our in-game objects appear as real 3D objects,” he said.

DDI Technical director Karl White explains that the game will need the classic Red & Cyan Anaglyph glasses to be viewed in 3D. “Our stereoscopic effect essentially works by drawing the game environment twice – once for each eye,” he says. 

“These two images are then overlaid; one in red, one in cyan and the combined images form a new stereoscopic image” he said, adding that this technique was preferred to the several possible choices available due to circumventing the use of any special hardware.

No publishing deals have been mentioned for the Wii version as yet. The fate of the PC edition remains unclear, with the game’s official website briefly mentioning a publishing deal with Moscow-based outfit 1C, while that publisher’s website shows that game is available for Europe and has been rated by Pegi.

Dorney believes that the future of 3D gaming is “exceptionally bright”.

“We think you’ll see developers exploring all manner of new immersive experience technology in both the visual area and in tactility,” he said. “There will no doubt be casualties where people push a boundary too far too early, but for the first time in a while, innovation seems to be at the forefront of developers imagination.”

Disney Interactive Studios very recently announced that it will be shipping a set of 3D glasses with every copy of its upcoming Wii title, Toy Story Mania.

To read Develop’s key report on the future of 3D gaming, click here.

Image, Nvidia’s GeForce 3D Vision Stereoscopic 3D Glasses, used for illustrative purposes