Darkworks Brings 3-D Games to 2-D TVs
LOS ANGELES — The biggest hurdle in bringing 3-D content to your home is the cost of buying all the 3-D-capable hardware. The TV, the glasses, the disc player, the content itself — it's all available but at a premium.
A small game company called Darkworks is hoping to change that by helping gamers play 3-D games without needing to buy a new TV.
We sat down with Alexis Arragon, a product development manager for Darkworks, at the E3 gaming expo, and he explained how the process works.
Darkworks has created a software development kit that can easily be integrated into existing developer projects. In fact, Darkworks' technology has been fully integrated with the Unreal engine, which powers many games. Arragon said that Darkworks takes the information the game automatically tracks about the depth of items in the game world and generates a second image from a slightly different angle. Displaying each of those images separately to the player's eyes creates the 3-D effect.
Most game consoles are capable of handling the small amount of resources the technology requires, and the images are a cinch to send to a 3-D TV. However, it’s the players who don't have a 3-D TV that should be excited. Through a partnership with TriOviz, a company that specializes in creating solutions for 3-D content on 2-D televisions , Darkworks can turn games into 3-D on just about any TV.
TriOviz uses the decades-old trick of using colored glasses with specially colored images on the screen. But TriOviz has brought the technology a long way from the old blue-and-red cardboard glasses. The image colors don't look very abnormal without the glasses, but with them, TriOviz and Darkworks can create a full 3-D effect.
And the best part is that the technology is built into many new games and is far less expensive than buying a 3-D TV. The TriOviz glasses are vastly cheaper than shuttered 3-D glasses , and users can use the TV they already have.
We demoed the new "Captain America" game at E3, which uses the Darkworks technology, and experienced an impressive 3-D effect on a standard LCD high-def TV. Arragon said this technology will be available in the upcoming "Green Lantern" movie tie-in game as well as many more games going forward.
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