Monthly Archives: October 2011
Having bought a NVidia 3D card, it was time to buy a 3DReady screen which goes with and to take advantage of the third dimension!
To take advantage of the 3D? But what he tells, will say to me you? 3D cards and 3D games, it’s been a while which we see and speak about it! It is even a big selling point of games since one about fifteen years!!!!
Well, it is true that it is not a very clear story. Then there’s the real 3D and the real-false 3D…
The real-false 3D is in fact any game or application manipulating an environment (or scene) in a space in three dimensions (direct or indirect). Every object (or model) have a position in this scene. This scene is seen through a camera, which is going to determine a visible volume in this space. The visible objects in this volume are going to be transformed according to position relative to the camera to appear to the good position, with the good orientation and the good size. The result is going to be then planned on a surface (in two dimensions, thus) to be shown in the screen.
To summarize, when we speak about 3D or about 3D engine it is in fact to describe the type of scene depiction and its result: a 3-dimensional effect.
The real 3D, it is almost the same thing… Blimey! Except that in it of the Stereoscopic 3D there are two slightly moved cameras, one for the left eye, one for the right eye. Two surfaces are alternately sent to the screen, and the screen posts the images… Well, it’s there where we split in two different Stereoscopic technologies of 3D (there is a third but it’s still too marginal):
- The Active 3D… Why active? Because of the glasses which are in fact LCD shutters. When the screen shows the image for the right eye, the left-hand side is filled. Alternately, when the screen shows the image for the left eye, it is the right which is filled. By persistancy, the human brain reconstructs a 3D image with the depth, and the tour is played 😉 For that purpose, is needed all the same a particular screen, say 3DReady, capable of reaching 120 Hz refreach (60 Hz by eye, thus) and being able to increase its luminosity (to compensate for the effect of darkening of LCD shutters).
- The Passive 3D always because of the glasses which have polarized glasses, that is which filters the polarization of the light. In then there it is a question of showing both images at the same time in the screen, a line for every image (what divides the resolution by two… You follow?) but every line being alternately polarized for every eye. The brain makes then its work and the tour is played. The advantages of this methods are on one hand that glasses are less heavy, less cumbersome and less expensive and the screen needs only a rate of rafraichissement of 60 Hz. The inconvenience comes from the resolution which is divided by two.
There is the third shape, without glasses, which is certainly the future of the 3D (popularized by the 3DS of Nintendo). But at the moment it’s used only on the portable consoles 3DS of Nintendo, some Smartphones (3D LG Optimus, HTC Evo 3D) and some prototype screens extremely expensive. Coming up next, but not at once.
Let’s go back to the subject.
Having a NVidia card, using the technology 3DVision, I turned to a 120 Hz screen certified for this technology (said 3DReady). To be there, I wanted to take a voucher. At the top of the basket, there was two in 23 inches, Acer and ASUS. The hazards of the availability made that I had only the choice of the ASUS – VG236HE 3D (but a good choice 😉 ).
It is a very good screen, and a very good brand. Its only defects, a brilliant screen surface (attention on the reflections) and its out of factory regulation which gives false colors. Well, the remedy is simple: to lower the luminosity (in 40) and pass in warm colors and it is adjusted. Then, it is necessary to acquire 3DVision glasses of NVidia. There, not too much the choice.
And there, it is the assured slap when the games are made for this technology! Some require some regulations but they are generally supplied by NVidia. Generally, the 3D is very immersive but contents itself with effects in depths (going into the screen). There is some more of games exploiting the effects of gush (taken out of screen). Moreover, this technology is not intended that in the games. It’s possible of read 3D Blu-ray if we have a classic Blu-ray reader (mine is an ASUS BW-12B1LT), even to convert in the air media classics (video on record, DVD) via the adapted reader (PowerDVD supplied with the Blu-ray reader, in my case).
Little technical tips… You will have a terrible look with these glasses and your close relations not technophiles shall not miss to point out it to you especially if you add headphones 😉
Other thing… Only the persons equipped with glasses benefit of the image the screen, the others see a “vague” image… To look at several, are needed several glasses. That is expensive (that it is not cheap already).
Well, if after some time passed in front of Stereoscopic 3D, you have a headache or with eyes… It is one or the other: either you have tired eyes (too many screens, physical fatigue, etc.), or you have a sight problem requiring the consultation of an Ophthalmologist. We understand all the same that it is necessary to keep its prescription glasses under the 3D glasses (still unconfortable and terrible look). Otherwise the Stereoscopic 3D does not cause problems with eyes other than a certain fatigue, and it is however advisable not to let the young children look at it, because of their sight forming (the 3D, not before 7 years!).
The Stereoscopic 3D it is beautiful, the Stereoscopic 3D it is funny. It’s a dumping without preceding (except a good scenario and a voucher game design) and a fascinating technological experience. But that has a price.
Let’s say that you have to want it or have interest int it 🙂
As a small desire of trip in space?
Title : Privateer 2 : The Darkening.
Genre : Space simulation.
Date : 1996.
Developpers : Origin Systems.
Origin Systems was at the origin of big games as Ultima and Wing Commander. Privateer is “Space Opera” in the lineage of Wing Commander, but who, besides proposing some spatial fight, offer many other possibilities, of which trade.
Further to a crash, the main character, amnesic, ends up alone… He just has enough money to charter a vessel and dash by chance… From there ensues a scenario which is going to be of use as main thread to the whole game. Although shelf space, the story is rarely binding, what lets the free player make about what he wants.
Bars are places of meeting which we often find in role-playing games (everything begins and ends in the inn as would say some people). It is often a key point for the exploration of a planet, the meeting with certain protagonists or for special missions 😉
The main mechanism of progress of the game passes through vessel. This one is endowed with characteristics (speed, handiness, armor plating, shields, location of equipments, missiles and weapons). The more there is, the more it is expensive. Thus the money is once again the sinews of war. Certain models propose compromises… It belongs to the pilot to choose according to his budget 🙂
The vessel is a tool of precious work. It is necessary to pamper it, to improve it… No, it’s not a question of putting to it alliage tires, sound system or neon under wings 😉 It is necessary to make it the most effective possible 😀 It passes by diverse equipments: afterburner, repair robots (R2D2???), decoys, electronic war tools, artillery, missiles, etc.
Once the formalities on the ground were settled, direction spaces! Sink, cold… But in complete 3D what is not bad for time! The view of the cockpit is very simplified, synthetic material, a small window appears to show the interlocutor during the conversations. We can move of planet in planet thanks to mini jumps following beacons which establish roads. What we make in the space depends on what we planned before the take-off: we took a mission, we bought goods which we want to resell somewhere else to benefit from it or then we want just to go somewhere.
On the other hand the space is not empty. Well, when we leave for mission which stipulates that we are going to cross of the world, all right, it is normal to cross of the world… The rest of the time, we always cross somebody… And often pirates! Well, there are bonuses, but at the end of some time of game, we say to ourselves that we settled their account all the same to a good many of them and that there is always so much 😉 Has part it, the combat system is very clear, does well: taken into account by the drift, the detection of collision of missiles, counter measure… It is possible to travel with winger to which we can give simple orders, even cargo boat, which being useful to transport goods from planet to planet (also has a not insignificant fire power) 😀
Past the landing sequence, we can move on planets on various key points positioned on the mini map. It is often to advance the main story. The peculiarity of this game, it is the presence of real actors. Scenes on the ground are a mixture of movies and computer generated images (big speciality of Wing Commander). The dialogues make unwind various sequences. And then they are not discount actors… Split Owen, Christopher Walken, John Hurt, David Warner, Mathilda May, Jürgen Prochnow, David McCallum…
An important point of the game is the trade. The price of the goods is not the same from a planet to the other one. That is why he can be interesting to load a carrier (cargo ship) to trade. It is even possible to make some illegal trade… More lucrative, you risk all the same to put yourselves the police in back…
Although the course of the goods is fixed (it fluctuates according to the supply and demand), certain random events can disrupt(perturb) him(it) in a sporadic way. It is then possible to seize certain opportunities. It is necessary to read news to every stage on the ground 😉
Finally, the game includes an encyclopedia which complements itself according to the progress. Protagonists, stories of planets, vessels, equipments, factions… There is of what to read 😉
Although it is not the best game of space fight which is, or if games as Epic makes more in the field of the exploration and some trade, Privateer 2 is an excellent synthesis of fights, trade, story, graphic quality… An enormous freedom but which remains accessible in term of complexity!
It is simple, nowadays the games of this kind evolved in two opposite directions: either an interventionist scenario and almost no more freedom, or a binding scenario but a system which becomes too complex to be entertaining.
See you soon for new adventures!