The building blocks for the next generation of stereoscopic three-dimensional (S-3D) gaming are being put in place thanks to a major funding announcement by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture through the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s (OMDC) Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund along with support from Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).
Together, OMDC, OCE, industry and academic partners will provide more than $635,000 in funding to Interactive Gaming Ontario 3D (iGO3D), a new collaborative effort that brings together the expertise of five universities, one college and a wide range of gaming industry partners whose mission is to drive the growth of the province’s digital media content industry. iGO3D’s primary partner is the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), where Dr. Andrew Hogue, assistant professor, Faculty of Business and Information Technology will serve as iGO3D project leader.
“We thank the Ontario Media Development Corporation and Ontario Centres of Excellence for their investments in this important and timely initiative,” said Dr. Michael Owen, associate provost, Research at UOIT. “The collaboration between universities, colleges and industry partners will create an advantage for Ontario’s gaming industry, enhance their competitiveness and provide learning opportunities for our students who will be the next generation of game developers and entrepreneurs.”
iGO3D’s research efforts will include investigative issues related to comfort, effectiveness, audio and how the stereoscopic viewing experience impacts gameplay from both the player’s and developer’s perspectives. Other aspects of iGO3D’s mandate include development of a game test facility, further S-3D vision and auditory research with a view to establishing game design parameters and disseminating this information to Ontario’s gaming industry through focused webinars and conferences.
In addition to UOIT, additional partnering institutions include York University, the University of Waterloo, University of Western Ontario, the Ontario College of Arts and Design University (OCADU) and George Brown College. Industry partners include The S-3D Gaming Alliance (S3DGA), Electronic Arts Canada, Bedlam Games, Big Blue Bubble, Digital Extremes, Interactive Ontario and Junction VFX.
“Modern 3D video games are designed according to research done on 3D movies and gamer opinion studies are telling us this isn’t the right way to go,” said Neil Schneider, executive director, S3DGA. “Ineffective stereoscopic 3D viewing negatively impacts hardware sales, game sales and ultimately customer satisfaction. iGO3D will provide us with the ability to change all that with repeatable research and direct industry involvement.”
While iGO3D was founded as a research platform for stereoscopic 3D games on desktop displays and 3D HDTVs, efforts are in place to add a specialized division for mobile 3D gaming markets on smart phones, mobile gaming devices and tablets. Interested game developers and technology enablers are encouraged to contact the S3DGA for available iGO3D partnership and sponsorship opportunities.
S3DGA is the official voice and standards body for stereoscopic 3D gaming, and as a non-profit organization, it provides for standards discussions, consumer promotion, education, and awareness. S3GDA’s membership is comprised of organizations and individuals with an interest in developing S-3D hardware and software solutions.