Dev Blog

Scrap Metal Races through Certification

01/29/2010

We are happy to announce that, after two years of development, Scrap Metal has passed Certification for Xbox LIVE Arcade!
Instead of sitting around waiting for the certification reports, we decided it was about time to leave our trusty desks, exit the Slick Entertainment office entirely and go climb a mountain. Yes, you read that right…

Cert is Done!

We took this picture at the top in anticipation of passing Certification successfully and luckily, we were right. :) Scrap Metal passed certification on the first try and we are on track for a Spring 2010 release, so look for even more great news soon!

Posted by: Under: Scrap Metal Comments: 10

Anaglyph Rendering Reloaded

01/07/2010

Hi everybody. We’re in the home stretch! Finishing Scrap Metal™ has been an incredible amount of work for the two of us, which explains the limited dev blog posts. But, since the game is being shown at this year’s CES, highlighting the 3D feature we put in the game as a cool extra, I figured it might be cool to explain how it actually works.

To make it really simple, the way a human being perceives depth in an object is by looking at it with both eyes. One eye will see the object from a slightly different angle than the other, which allows your brain to triangulate the points you’re looking at. This allows your brain to see the 3D shape. Of course, there are other clues that your brain uses to get a full grasp of whatever is going on around you, but this is the main factor. So, if you artificially cause your left and right eye to see slightly different images in a game, you can fool your brain into thinking that there’s actual 3D information on the screen.

There are many different ways of displaying 3D images. There are full-on 3D television sets now, but they are still quite expensive. Another method is using polarizing glasses, which is used in the 3D movies you can watch in the cinema nowadays. These systems are extremely high quality, but also very expensive still.
One more method that is more accessible to most gamers is anaglyphic rendering. This method uses colored lenses to filter out certain colors for your left or right eye. In fact, you’ve probably seen the glasses you need to use for this method – they are the ones that are red in one eye, and cyan (blue-ish) in the other.

On a TV and computer monitor, colors are displayed by mixing red, green and blue pixels. Now, the anaglyphic glasses filter out the colors so that the red pixels are only visible to your left eye, and the green and blue pixels are only visible to your right eye (Green + Blue = Cyan!). This is the key to displaying the game in 3D! We need to render the game scene from two different camera points, one for the left eye, and one for the right eye, and then mix these two images together so that the left image only affects the red pixels of the final image, and the right image only affects the green and blue pixels of the final image. This image may make things a bit more clear:

Anaglyph Example

I got the idea for adding in the 3D feature to Scrap Metal™ because I had a pair of anaglyph glasses lying around the house that came with a 3d DVD movie. I picked them up and took them into the office and the rest is history.
3D_Glasses
So, if you have a pair of 3D glasses on hand, want to buy some from one of several online stores, or if you’re at CES, you can pick some up at our display at the Microsoft Booth, you’ll love this feature of Scrap Metal™. Here are a few more 3D screenshots to check out (if you have anaglyphic glasses of course)!

3DScreenshotLink13DScreenshotLink23DScreenshotLink3

Click on the thumbnail to view the full image!

Ok, that’s it for now! If you want to hear more about this and other features as we ramp up for launch, subscribe to our Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/scrapmetalgame) to get the latest updates.

– Nick

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