As a precursor to the 2009 Game Developers Conference (GDC), Meant to be Seen announced the first release of MTBS' 3D Game Analyzer (M3GA), an interactive tool that accurately measures game quality when played in stereoscopic 3D (S-3D) on all S-3D gaming solutions. The company will be showcasing the new quality standards during the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, CA March 23-27, 2009 in Booth 6020.
"iZ3D has taken a look at M3GA, and we're really liking the idea. I think this will help new 3D users, as well as stereoscopic driver makers like ourselves," said Aaron Rapp, Marketing Manager for iZ3D Inc.
Stereoscopic 3D refers to the ability to display true volumetric 3D content through 2D media. Examples include explosions that pop out of the screen, and a sense of depth that makes viewers think they can reach inside the display. This has taken off in a big way with 3D display hardware and software solutions like iZ3D's 22" 3D monitor and drivers, and NVIDIA's GeForce 3D Vision glasses and software support.
"Customers need to know what will work with their 3D system and under what circumstances. Therefore, MTBS was founded with the purpose of growing the success of 3D gaming, and independently testing, reviewing, and certifying video games for S-3D compatibility. Now that there is a wide selection of capable 3D software and hardware solutions by iZ3D, NVIDIA, and more, it's important that MTBS' expectations are fair, consistent, and customer driven -- both for game developers and consumers alike," said Neil Schneider, President & CEO of Meant to be Seen.
Since MTBS is reviewing and testing games for competing product lines, their results must hold up to public scrutiny. The goal is that when MTBS does a review or a game certification, everyone can go through the same test procedure and get the same result.
"With M3GA, everyone's opinions and experiences can be captured in a timely way for useful feedback to the developers of stereoscopic 3D software and hardware," said John Merritt, Founder of the Stereoscopic Displays & Applications Conference and Merritt.com.
MTBS is following a three-step process to accomplish this, with the first being an alpha release of an interactive scoring system. MTBS' 3D Game Analyzer (M3GA), written by Neil Schneider and Yuriy Niksych, is a web-based calculator that asks the user a series of multiple choice questions and finishes with a quality score and expected 3D experience summary.
The leading challenge with modern S-3D video games is the limited flexibility to accomplish both a depth and pop-out experience at the same time. It is when a mix of the two is attempted that visual problems can undermine the gaming experience. Furthermore, many S-3D driver developers require that display settings get reduced to compensate for these incompatibilities on a game-by-game basis.
"Using M3GA, game developers and S-3D driver developers can test their games long before they hit store shelves and see how their titles will grade before MTBS makes their results public. It's great for optimization and ensures products look their best in true 3D. Customers will also have confidence in MTBS because they will be able to confirm our results, and help spot errors if they exist," Schneider said.
M3GA calculates its score according to 3D flexibility, features settings, and what visual anomalies remain if any. MTBS users can then cut and paste the findings in the related mtbs3D.com forums.
"Meant to be Seen is the stereoscopic 3D gaming community's most trusted and impartial advocacy group, and I am proud to help! M3GA will further push the move for true 3D gaming by finally providing a quality standard for game developers to strive for," said Yuriy Niksych, M3GA's Co-developer.
Game developers who earn complementary MTBS Certification, a recognized stamp of quality assurance in S-3D gaming, will benefit from free advertising on mtbs3d.com, the world's largest website for true 3D gamers. mtbs3D.com has been featured in GAMEINFORMER, C'T Magazine, Joystiq, and more. Sample certification recipients include Epic Games, The Game Creators, and Unigine.
Committed partners and qualified game developers who accept complementary MTBS Certification also get the U-DECIDE Initiative report for free. The U-DECIDE report is a joint effort of Meant to be Seen, American Micro Devices (AMD), iZ3D, Blitz Games Studios, Guild Software, and The Game Creators. This report is best known for breaking the leading myths about stereoscopic 3D gaming and accurately capturing the opinions of both traditional 2D and experienced stereoscopic 3D gamers. Interested parties can visit http://www.mtbs3d.com/udecide.shtml for more information on the report's contents and availability.
"While M3GA has a scoring system we are happy with, we want input and ideas from both gamers and industry before we move this effort to stage two. It's important that our scoring expectations are both fair and achievable for everyone," Schneider said.
To try MTBS' 3D Game Analyzer, visit http://www.mtbs3D.com and select "M3GA" from the main menu. Please share all feedback and ideas in the related discussion forums.