Like the mobile phone forever changed the way you communicate on the go, Packed3D™ will forever change the way you play flash games. Packed3D is capable of taking an existing compiled flash game, and turn it into a fully functional 3D game. Classic flash games like Bloons and The Last Stand can now be enjoyed with beautifully rendered 3D objects. Packed3D is currently in closed beta, but today we have released this video demonstration of the classic game Bloons converted into 3D.
The “magic” works in a two-step process. First, all 2D vector game objects are analyzed and 3D models are created based on a ‘guesstimation’ of how a 3D version of the object might look. Then, camera angels are calculated at random for different parts of the game. This process typically takes under a minute and afterwards the game is ready to be played in 3D. Naturally, the rendering engine doesn’t always gets the 3D models right the first time and the camera angels don’t always make sense initially. This is where the self-improvement side of Packed3D comes into play.
While players are playing processed games, Packed3D monitors player activity and watches for signs that 3D models or camera angels are not right. Several data points are analyzed such as player performance (poor performance may indicate poor camera angels) and time played. But by far the most significant data point is player facial expressions during play. Packed3D uses webcam data from the flash player to record player facial expressions and eyeball movements (players must first consent to this) and analyses them to determine which 3D models require improvement. Humans have a very distinct “this doesn’t look right” facial expression and when Packed3D detects this expression it records which object the eye was tracking at that exact time and then changes it slightly for the next player until it gets it right. This is made possible largely due to research conducted at the DIA of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid’s School of Computing last year. 90% of the improvement happens in the first 1,000 plays, after which players report the graphics feel very realistic.
Gameplay isn’t affected by Packed3D conversion, only the game visuals. Currently, over 40% of the games we’ve tested were fully functional after conversion. Games that pose difficulty are flash games that are already in 3D or games that use mostly bitmap graphics. Dr. Klaun, the lead engineer behind Packed3D, believes that we’ll be able to get our success rate to over 60% before the scheduled launch in August.
Two business models will be available upon launch. The first will be geared towards developers and will allow them to submit their games for Packed3D enhancement in return for a small portion of ad revenues (several negotiations with in-game ad companies are currently taking place). The second business model is geared towards portals and will allow them to offer part of the gaming catalogue in 3D. The portal offering will use a licensing pricing model based on the size of the portal. A licensing deal with playedonline.com has already been signed and more portals are expected to sign-up in the coming weeks.
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