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IntellivisionGuy97

Hover Force 3-D Still Possible?

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The way I understood it, when INTV released the game finally, they didn't include the 3D glasses for cost reasons, but the 3D aspects were still in the game. I always thought that if you have 3D glasses you could use them while playing the game, however, I've never seen anyone report that they tried it.

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It would be cool to have the right glasses and try it. Does anyone here go to or live near Georgia Tech? In my Intellivision Library, it says that in a recent Magazine Article, they're still looking for buyers for their glasses. It would be really cool to try. :)

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There was a lot of experimentation with anaglyph displays and 3D glasses in the early days of video games. This was something Alan Miller was working on in conjunction with Activision Checkers on the 2600, which I found interesting. From his interview with Digital Press:

 

As I recall, there were two main problems with using the red/blue glasses (anaglyph) on the 2600. The first is that the 2600 is only capable of 160 pixels of horizontal resolution. This didn’t allow much precision in the horizontal offsets between the left and right eyes needed to position in 3-D space.

 

Secondly, television sets of that era didn’t consistently render the colors. So the blues and reds in the display wouldn’t exactly match the blue and red eye filters. On many sets, this causes a serious ghosting problem, in which each eye would still see a ghost of the other eye’s image.

 

I'm sure that the limited horizontal resolution would have been a problem on the Intellivision as well, had they kept the 3D element in the released version of Hover Force.

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There was a lot of experimentation with anaglyph displays and 3D glasses in the early days of video games. This was something Alan Miller was working on in conjunction with Activision Checkers on the 2600, which I found interesting. From his interview with Digital Press:

 

As I recall, there were two main problems with using the red/blue glasses (anaglyph) on the 2600. The first is that the 2600 is only capable of 160 pixels of horizontal resolution. This didn’t allow much precision in the horizontal offsets between the left and right eyes needed to position in 3-D space.

 

Secondly, television sets of that era didn’t consistently render the colors. So the blues and reds in the display wouldn’t exactly match the blue and red eye filters. On many sets, this causes a serious ghosting problem, in which each eye would still see a ghost of the other eye’s image.

 

I'm sure that the limited horizontal resolution would have been a problem on the Intellivision as well, had they kept the 3D element in the released version of Hover Force.

 

As I said, Jay, the write up of the game on the Blue Sky Rangers website gives the impression the 3D aspect is still IN the released game from INTV -- they just didn't include the glasses. I think ANY 3D glasses of the era, like the NES ones used for Rad Racer or the SMS one, would probaly work. But I've just never seen anyone report on it. It would be cool to find out.

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I live like an hour from Atlanta.

 

What did you find out?

 

nothing...i dont even know what this thread is about.

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It doesn't look like the page is up anymore, so I had to go to Archive.org to find it, but: the Cuttle Cart 3 enhancement package formerly (?) offered by Beeslife included what was labeled as "Hover Force 3-D", i.e. a prototype of a 3-D version of Hover Force. Beyond that I know nothing -- did anyone buy one of those packages?

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I got the info from the Intellivision Library, which is from David Harley who runs Beeslife. It says, quote: "

DEVELOPMENT HISTORY

Hover Force 3-D was developed under greater secrecy than any other Mattel game. Researcher Richard Steenblik working at the Georgia Institute of Technology had developed pseudo-3-D glasses. Small prisms in the glasses bent different colors of light entering the eye at different angles, fooling the eye into thinking that, for example, blue objects on a flat surface were actually farther away than red objects on the same surface. Georgia Tech approached several game manufacturers to see if they were interested in the technology. After a middle-of-the-night test session in which Keith Robinson (Solar Sailer) quickly threw together an Intellivision screen full of flying bugs of different colors, Mattel management decided to aggressively pursue an exclusive license for the glasses.

 

Game development was ordered to start immediately, before the license was secured. For fear that a competitor would find out and try to outbid Mattel, the project was kept top secret, even from the other programmers. It was code named "Peach" since the glasses originated in Georgia, the Peach State. Steve Ettinger and Joe King, who had worked well together on Magic Carousel, were given a locked, windowless office in which to work (the rest of the software staff worked in open cubicles); it was quickly dubbed "The Bat Cave."

 

Midway through the project, Mattel won the license and Peach emerged from the cave. The 3-D effect, while not eye-poppingly dramatic, was effective, especially given the visual cues Steve and Joe had designed. And Dave "Papa Intellivision" Chandler's group had developed an inexpensive method to manufacture the glasses, making it practical for the game and glasses to be sold together at the price of a normal cartridge. Marketing felt they could strongly promote the 3-D feature in ads and the press.

 

Hover Force 3-D debuted at the January 1984 Consumer Electronic Show to good response. While the 3-D effect got mixed reviews, everyone was talking about it. Management immediately started talking about putting two more 3-D games into development, including a flight simulator cartridge, but before anything could be started, Mattel Electronics closed.

 

For the INTV Corp. release of the game in 1986, Steve and producer Dave Warhol beefed up the "intelligence" of the enemy helicopters, adding more strategy to the play. Since the glasses were not included with the game, "3-D" was dropped from the title.

 

 

And in the Fun Facts section, it says, quote: "FUN FACT: A recent magazine article reported that Georgia Tech is still trying to find a customer for their 3-D glasses."

 

 

But I don't know how long ago that was. It would be so cool to get those glasses. But they're not the normal red and blue ones, as you read.

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Right, that info came from the writeup on the game from the Blue Sky Rangers, the 'official' website of the INTV. That's why I said it SOUNDS like the 3D effect is in the game still, INTV just chose to save money by not including the glasses and some similar glasses should work. Doesn't anyone have a pair to try? ;)

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I just thought about this, but if you were using the Georgia Tech 3-D Glasses, would Hover Force look 3-D? I think it could be possible... It would most certainly look cool!

 

Y'all are in luck because those 3D glasses are currently available from Crayola with their 3D sidewalk chalk. I picked up a set. It set me back about five bucks, but it works. The effect in Hover Force does have quite a "wow" factor. Especially on the title screen. In game, the buildings do have a nice appearance of depth. Their odd shapes help to accentuate this. But the 3D is mostly a gimmick as the enemy helicoptors do not have the effect. So the 3D doesn't really enhance gameplay. It's mostly in the background. But the status screen looks neat. It is kind of neat seeing the game in 3D for the first time since it was in development.

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Crayola sidewalk chalk? :?

Indeed.

 

Crayola_3d_sidewalk_chalk.jpg

 

The glasses use prisms, so different colors appear to be at different depths. Red looks closer and blue looks further away. If anyone tries this, make sure you find the 3D chalk and not regular or glow in the dark sidewalk chalk. You'll be disappointed if that happens.

Edited by the antithesis

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so basically why hover force works with thoe glasses and not just any other games?

it's a question of using the exact color?

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so basically why hover force works with thoe glasses and not just any other games?

it's a question of using the exact color?

 

I am hardly an expert, but the way the effect works seems to be kind of finicky. The technology is called ChromaDepth and despite what the manufacturer's website says, it does have a problem with "ghosting" and a general reduction in image quality. The Crayola products say it works best on a black background, which does help hide this ghosting phenomenon.

 

But, yes. Different colors appear at different dephths. Red looks closest while blues appear further back. So the graphics would need to be designed to give this effect or else it would just be random elements and different depths. I did play a bit of Pac-Man while wearing the glasses and they did work. Amusing to see the ghost monsters at different depths.

 

For those having trouble finding the Crayola products, the company website I linked above also offers non-child sized glasses for sale. It doesn't say how much, though. So I don't know which would be the better deal. But their glasses come in regular and HD, whatever that means. I assume the HD glasses are just a finer resolution and not necessarily true HD, but would likely solve the image quality problems as I'll bet the Crayola products just use the non-HD glasses.

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Hm, it seems we should make a bigger order:

 

We can provide glasses in quantities from a few thousand to tens of millions, at pricing suitable for premiums and promotions

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Hm, it seems we should make a bigger order:

 

We can provide glasses in quantities from a few thousand to tens of millions, at pricing suitable for premiums and promotions

 

LOL!

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