3D Gaming: Developers give the verdict

Video Games Daily discusses the pros and cons of 3D gaming with the developers of 3D racers and first person shooters.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, August 5, 2010

While hardly as recognisable a brand as Guerrilla Games, Zombie is a veteran of the FPS scene: its 16 year career includes Delta Force and Spec Ops titles alongside studio-native projects like the just-released Blacklight: Tango Down. Besides entertainment products, the company has also collaborated with the United States Military to create training and recruitment VR programs, which gives it an original slant on the uses and abuses of 3D simulation.

Jared Gerritzen, Blacklight Project Lead, had a few words of caution for Guerrilla when we spoke to him. “I know Sony is really working toward something new and amazing with Killzone with their 3D. But, I’m just not sure if it will give a player any advantage other than something really cool-looking.”

FPS games aren't inherently suited to long 3D play sessions - yet

The Blacklight team have found that players sometimes struggle to process the layered inputs at the pace an FPS requires. “3D is a really tricky system to work with. Most people get motion sickness very easily in video games; add 3D and you have a real balance issue. Reading how most 3D movies are being done with less camera movement, really makes me think that shooters will be hard to make full 3D. Shooters have the most frantic movement of all games.”

“We have Blacklight working in 3D right now, and it’s very cool to look at, but people tend to ask how to turn it off quite quickly. I by no means think it’s a bad idea, it just needs to be balanced and the issues need to be fixed.”

SEGA’s Mike Hayes has echoed these sentiments in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, stating baldly that “you could not sit down for two hours with your glasses on and play an intense shooter”.

Probably the most decisive indication that 3D shouldn’t be handled lightly comes from Nintendo. The presence of a slider to ‘flatten’ the effect, together with the recommendation that under-sevens avoid using the handheld, says it all.

Time for a Steve Irwin impression.

3DS titles like MGS look cool in 3D, but the "3D off" slider is telling

If mileages vary, we’ve yet to hear a developer flat-out reject 3D. While most accept that the technology may prove something of a Pandora’s Box, losing a few evils alongside the benefits, most attach more importance to the size of 3D’s market share than any associated design predicaments.

Donovan summarises the mood of cautious optimism neatly: “I believe anything that adds to the immersion and presentation of a game is a very good thing. Technical unknowns aside, who wouldn’t say that sport and driving games wouldn’t be significantly enhanced if played in 3D? Really I think there’s potential here for every genre to be enhanced. Survival horror, open world games, fighting games, shooters in 3D? Yes, please.”

“Again this all assumes the development teams work through the inevitable, initial technical hurdles, but hell, this industry is full of smart engineers who can and will figure this out, much like they surpassed initial concerns on the current generation of hardware.”

Will you be jumping into 3D at the first chance? Taking a wait-and-see approach? Couldn’t give a toss? Let us know.

Posted in Features, Interviews, Top 5, and tagged with , , .

3 Responses to “3D Gaming: Developers give the verdict”

  1. Daniel says:

    3-D Gaming is going to be off the wall… I cannot wait! Hopefully it won’t be too expensive

  2. Raf says:

    I’m ready to go for 3D Gaming!! I can’t wait for all the possibility’s!

  3. LocoPuyo says:

    There are a couple Xbox 360 Indie games that have been out for a while that support 3D with the two toned glasses.


Kikizo Classic: