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Matt Barton's picture

Some Thoughts on 3D Gaming

After watching Avatar in 3D, I've been thinking off and on about how this technology could apply to gaming. Would those 3D effects make a game more immersive, or just be another gimmick? After all, there have been many efforts at 3D games (that required the old red/blue glasses), but it seems that have few, if any, have really hit the mark. I remember a few on the Amiga, though none were very popular.

I was trying to envision what a great 3D game would look like, at least in the case of first-person shooters. The game that kept coming to mind was Metroid Prime. What I thought could well was if the HUD information was on a "high" 3D layer, that is, close to the viewer, so it looked as though you were looking through a helmet at the gameworld. Otherwise, the 3D effects in the game itself would be relatively flat, so they wouldn't distract too much or get to deal with.

I also think 3D effects could work well with strategy games, particularly RTS. One of the problems there is that it's nice to have good looking pieces with various types of info (or bars) above them. 3D seems like a good application for this; just have that sort of information "pop out" above the board, so it doesn't interfere with the rest of the graphics. I'm almost imagining a sort of "hologram panel" above the board, which you could switch on and off if you wanted. I guess it might be cool to have the board itself be in 3D, but I'm wondering if that might get distracting or gimmicky after awhile.

The final thought I had was for a scorched earth/artillery type of game. I thought it'd be neat to see the missiles and such coming up off of the screen and back down; that seems pretty neat. I also think the explosions could be awesome, with flecks of stuff thrown back at the viewer. Naturally, I'm thinking of the "3D" versions such as Scorched 3D.

Does anyone else have interesting ideas for 3D--that is, affecting the gameplay, not just as a gimmick? I was looking for a good website with info about games that require 3D glasses, but ran out of time. :)

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