GAMMA 3D IS GOOOOOOOOO

By: Derek Yu

On: August 16th, 2008

Gamma 3D

Alright! Gamma 3d, the highly-anticipated sequel to Gamma 256, has been announced! Gamma 256 was an extremely successful indie game party hosted by Phil Fish and Kokoromi. Users were asked to submit low resolution games, and some awesome stuff came out of it, as well as one of our most beloved memes (hint: “pidgeon-hunter-killer”). You can see photos of the event here, courtesy of Mr. Ivan “toastie” Safrin.

The call this time is going out for games that use stereoscopy. In other words, games you need red-and-blue 3d peepers for. Submissions are due by October 15th, and the actual event is taking place on November 19th, in beautiful Montreal. As usual, TIGSource is proudly hosting the official Gamma thread, for all your Gamma discussion.

See you there!

  • crackers

    GAMMA 3A sounds like a fucking fly event.

  • Flamebait

    “The call this time is going out for games that use stereoscopy.”
    Such as any 3D DX9 game, provided you have an Nvidia card (and Vista as of late)?

    It sounds cool except “…must support the Xbox 360 controller”. Which sounds shit. You must support one of the most overappreciated devices in the history of electronic gaming, which belongs to a category of input devices that are horribly sub-ideal for many games? Fail.

  • muku

    @Flamebait: “A game that simply uses stereoscopy as a visual effect will not make the cut.”

  • Chris

    Why does the logo say “Gama3a” if it’s called “Gama 3D”. Am I missing a clever optical illusion or something?

  • 0rel

    hedonist games for eliterian artsy fartsy parties? is that the direction? what’s next: gammaRainbow? — man: the world is going under! these are the last bright days of the petrol age. there are already millions of people suffering for us, and we, we just play with our “made in taiwan”-tech. drink champaign on insider parties, and play silly computer games. OR WHAT?! we can’t make big ones, cause this is for “punky” offstream indies only. hip retromania in clean designer look. yeah, that’s cool… art for first world snobs then. OR WHAT?

    (disclaimer: this is a very negative voice inside of me. sorry, but that’s just what she’s saying, what she yells at me… it’s not me %) . the others say: oh, nice logo. cool. nice that they make such that high qualitiy competition… 3d, wooo, stereoscopic 3d. that’s interesting, i’ll have to try that out….. *nerdy grin* (he’s not that loud though, today, probably only today) )

  • FISH

    flamebait: *you* fail. we supply all the hardware at the event, and thus there’s a need for some uniformity. we chose the 360 controller because we feel it’s the best console-type controller out there, and works like a charm. im not saying you need to buy one, im saying you need to support it, is all. and since gamma is a social and festive event, we dont want people playing with mice and keyboards. if you think mouse and keyboard is a good interface for anything, you obviously dont know shit about interfaces.

    we want pick-up and play at a party where people will be drinking. controller it is.

  • Valkyrie

    It’s “Gamma” with the second “m” flipped on its side to make a 3. It’s the third Gamma they’re holding.

    That said, I’ll have to invest in two monocles with red and blue films to effectively play these games come November.

  • FISH

    actually, we changed the name of the event to “gamba”, that’s why.

    (it’s a 3)

  • gong

    re:orel

    computer games are made and played by the rich and idle, pretty much by definition.

  • FISH

    and made by the broke and busy.

  • Gutter

    Stereoscopy? Montreal? I wanna be there!

    ps : Flamebait’s flamebaiting sucks

  • http://www.tscreative.net BMcC

    Hot damn, this is gonna be damn hot!

    Not, like, _atmospherically_ (cursed Montreal), but… you know.

  • xerus

    I hope that no owls make any appearances this time.

    Wait… yes, I do.

  • Flamebait

    @muku: it was a pisstake.

    @FISH:
    “we supply all the hardware at the event, and thus there’s a need for some uniformity. we chose the 360 controller because we feel it’s the best console-type controller out there, and works like a charm.”

    Maybe, then, you shouldn’t supply all the hardware? And the 360 controller might be considered the best console-type controller with analogue sticks (I disagree), but there are *obviously* better controllers that use purely digital inputs. Both are pretty goddamn “console-type”. But wait- why should all the games use console controls anyway? That’s orthogonal to the use of stereoscopy; you could do it well with a mouse, or a keyboard, or a light gun, or a steering wheel, or a spatial controller, or a data glove, or a joystick, or a controller.

    “im not saying you need to buy one, im saying you need to support it, is all.”

    So? I never accused you of advertising or anything (incidentally, I *do* own one).

    “and since gamma is a social and festive event, we dont want people playing with mice and keyboards. if you think mouse and keyboard is a good interface for anything, you obviously dont know shit about interfaces.”

    And now you show your true colours, confirming that which you suggested in your first post. You don’t give a shit about diversity in games.

    “…a mission to create and promote artistic and experimental gameplay”

    Experimental gameplay… along with the imposition of arbitrary standards! I really hope that statement of yours was in jest, or reflects poorly on the rest of Kokoromi.

    @Gutter: I wasn’t flamebaiting. I would’ve expressed my honest opinion in that manner at any time.

  • FISH

    i think kokoromi accomplishes its goal of promoting artistic and experimental gameplay, regardless of hardware requirements.

    fuck you.

  • Bob354

    I don’t particularly care if the required interface is an xbox 360 controller or an atari 2600 paddle rewired for USB (that’d be swell).

    “if you think mouse and keyboard is a good interface for anything, you obviously dont know shit about interfaces.”

    However, with a stupid blanket statement like that, I think *you’re* the one who doesn’t know shit.

  • Bob354

    @Flamebait:
    Why do you care if they require an xbox360 controller (personally I’m not terribly fond of it either, but it does have its uses)? If that’s what they want, then that’s what they want. If you don’t like it, why not just suck it up and move on?

  • Edmund

    “A game that simply uses stereoscopy as a visual effect will not make the cut.”

    Now this idea could just be over my head here.. but other then changing the perceived distance of things from the player, what else could be done with this 3d effect?

    you say the games have to use stereoscopy in gameplay, but other then having something appear closer to the player or further away what more could be done with this effect? wont all games have the same basic mechanic?

  • FISH

    edmund: well, that’s something we’re really excited to find out. can it be taken beyond visual gimmick?
    it might not be possible to make a game that wouldnt work just as well on a flat TV, but what we’re going to see more and more of in the industry is stuff like that experimental driver nvidia is working on that takes any 3D PC game and makes it stereoscopic on the fly. some stuff works, and some dosent. but what you’re gonna get for years to come is really just shit flying at you when you blow up an exploding barell. since the lowest comon denominator is still going to be regular TVs for a while, all stereoscopy in games will remain superfluous.

    if you consider gamma a platform unto itself, it forces and, pardon the expression, democratizes the concept.

    and about the mouse/keyboard interface: it’s a 30 years old, outdated, irelevent and limited man-machine interface, and it’s on it’s way out. it had almost nothing but drawbacks, and isn’t properly suited to THE HUMAN BODY, which is what im using on my half of this man-machine deal. ask any physiotherapist or ergonomist. it SUCKS.

  • Chris

    I can agree that controllers are more approachable in a “pick up and play” environment. They are also compact and they don’t require a special surface, all important for a party environment.

    That being said, I totally disagree with some of his comments about keyboards being useless and outdated.

    Maybe he just meant for games, but I can type far faster on my keyboard than I can select letters with a controller. I haven’t even seen any experimental devices that I can imagine replacing my keyboard. I might not be normal, though. I type in Dvorak. You want something impractical and unergonomic? The QWERTY keyboard layout! (;

    I find mice more precise than controllers for first person 3D games. With a mouse, how far I turn is based on how fast and how far I move the mouse. With a controller/joystick, it’s how far I tilt the stick and how how long before I release it. Personally, I think speed/distance is easier to learn (in “muscle memory”) than distance/time elapsed.

  • FISH

    it’s all about multi-touch.
    it’s going to change everything.
    a few years from now, you’ll look a mouse the same way you look at a floppy drive today.

  • I Like Cake

    “hedonist games for eliterian artsy fartsy parties? is that the direction?”

    I don’t understand the idea that this stuff is somehow ‘elitist.’

    I think America’s greatest victory in anti-intellectualism has been convincing everyone that the only worthwhile culture is the kind you can buy from extremely rich people. In comparison to a Hollywood movie, which wastes billions of dollars in making rich execs even richer, aren’t ‘DIY’ cultural events considerably less decadent?

    Unless by ‘elite’ you just mean… you know, ‘good’. In which case, hurray for elitism!

  • zzzdude

    Stereoscopy is not 3D glasses, its when you have to go cross-eyed to view the hidden image.

  • Cloo

    @ Flamebait
    “Maybe, then, you shouldn’t supply all the hardware?”
    So, your argument is that folks who create the games need to send us their hardware for judging, and then either we keep the hardware for 3 weeks, or we send it back and then you resend it again for the show?

    This is all just logistics stuff for a smoothly running show. We’re picking one device, because in our opinion it has a lot of usefulness for this sort of event, is pretty common and pretty easy to use (on both the making and playing end). It also makes it marginally easier for us to find a technology sponsor who will lend us, say, ten of them for free– pretty useful considering Kokoromi doesn’t make a profit (although I think Fish got a sweet cab ride home last time?)

    Is it the best choice? In this context, YES.

    As for promoting artistic and experimental games, Kokoromi does do other sorts of events too (Art of Play?) Yes, GAMMA has constraints, driven by the fact that it is also a massive, public, rockin’ party.

    @ zzzdude
    “Stereoscopy, stereoscopic imaging or 3-D (three-dimensional) imaging is any technique capable of recording three-dimensional visual information or creating the illusion of depth in an image.” Says our collective knowledge (as Wikipedia).

    @ Edmund
    “other then changing the perceived distance of things from the player, what else could be done with this 3d effect?”
    As Phil says, that’s the whole point. But also, even using that one mechanic, I can think of a ton of different ways it could be used for completely different sorts of gameplay. Plus, even we have come up with more ways to use stereoscopy than that!

  • Flamebait

    “i think kokoromi accomplishes its goal of promoting artistic and experimental gameplay, regardless of hardware requirements.”

    And now you strike back with a straw man. The problem isn’t that you continued to justify the 360 controller-only decision, it’s that you said this:

    “if you think mouse and keyboard is a good interface for anything, you obviously dont know shit about interfaces”

    which is unbelievably bullshit (not to mention a false dilemma). You think you’re in a position to insult thousands of game developers and gamers, and even without justification? A keyboard enables extremely fast digital input across a huge number of buttons, which is a good interface for some things. Compare it to the classic console controller- the user has fingers on or very near a large number of buttons, and can therefore input sequences much faster and with more symbols. Of course it isn’t better in objective terms, but it’s *obviously* suitable for some purposes. A mouse enables precise input of fast-changing vectors, unlike an analogue stick which deals with slow-changing vectors. Given the mouse’s stability on a surface, it’s good for situations where precision is paramount and settling at a rest state is appropriate, such as rotational aiming. The analogue stick (including joystick) on the other hand can be held at a particular position, making it more suitable for maneuvering. Clearly all commonly used interfaces are good for *something*, even if only in the eyes of their users. Otherwise they would never have been used.

    It is what I was referring to when I said “imposition of arbitrary standards”, because your words smack of prescriptive dogmatic crap, quite opposed to “experimentation”.

    “So, your argument is that folks who create the games need to send us their hardware for judging, and then either we keep the hardware for 3 weeks, or we send it back and then you resend it again for the show?”

    I figured (wrongly) that entrants were basically expected to show up in person, and that there would be few enough entries such that judging would take place on-site. Anyway, thanks for providing such a gentlemanly response; glad I didn’t make any generalizations based on FISH’s atrocious statement.

  • I Like Cake

    Flamebait, are you secretly a Dadaist performance artist?

  • Dusty Spur

    “Flamebait, are you secretly a Dadaist performance artist?”
    It definitely seems like it.

  • PoV

    Is this battle still going?

  • Chris

    I can imagine multi-touch surfaces replacing mice, but they’ll probably have similar ergonomic issues. Perhaps worse if you have to hold your hand up next to a vertical surface.

    I think replacing keyboards will be harder. Even if you get a perfect multi-touch LCD and make it look like a keyboard, I think the lack of key shapes would make it hard for touch typists not to drift. They could texture the surface, but then they’re back to one fixed design like a real keyboard (instead near infinite configurability).

  • splotki

    more love, less hate.

  • thedepraved

    agreed much.

  • FISH

    flamebait: i didnt read what you wrote.

  • Alec

    FISH = respect

  • GC

    I hope someone makes a game that requires the controller to be held upside-down or sideways.

  • johnny

    this fish guy sounds a bit immature.

  • corpus

    GUYS

    GUYS

    DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT DIVERSITY IN GAMES IS UNACHIEVABLE UNLESS EACH GAME USES ITS OWN UNIQUE, DEDICATED PERIPHERAL

    IT’S TRUE

    I WOULD KNOW

  • corpus

    It should also be pointed out that the vast majority of nerds – and people in general, for that matter – are *notoriously* bad at interface design. So, yes, it’s perfectly justified for Fish, a guy who *does* know shit about design, to say what he’s saying.

  • Gutter

    What a pointless argument. I’m all for giving one’s opinion, bug god damn, what a waste in this case.

  • 0rel

    I Like Cake:
    “I don’t understand the idea that this stuff is somehow ‘elitist.’”
    “aren’t ‘DIY’ cultural events considerably less decadent?”

    the photos and the website just looked a bit “elitist” to me. that was just my first impression though. in fact, i don’t know how much GAMMA really is about the Do-It-Yourself spirit… for me, DIY stuff is not always “good”, it’s more experimental, hackerish in nature. and that’s what i like about TIGS so much. yeah, TIGS is not elitist at all. i just like that more right now, i guess ;)

    -> i have to apologize for the flamy tone in that post up there. i’m really a bit in conflict with this indie game thing, sometimes more sometimes less. but overall, i have to say that events like GAMMA surly are great for the movement, they will make it more public, make connections and open up real discussions… – i absolutely appreciate your efforts!

    gong:
    “computer games are made and played by the rich and idle, pretty much by definition.”
    FISH: “and made by the broke and busy.”

    yes, the sad truth of today’s games, including the majority of indie games. it’s a big problem for me… most computer games are just pure “sins”, a waste of time and energy.

    but i see computers more as all-round working machines, as an integral part of the new culture, and games are just something you can do with them beside of work, communication, music, education and many other things. and the fact that games are mostly delivered via download today, makes them not more “sinful” than every other digital format in any way. but making and distributing music for example is still much more widely accepted than making and playing games. in my opinion, that is only because of the braindead-violence-loaded history. the history of games makes them that bad, but games as a medium really aren’t worst than every other >mass medium< out there. no, they are even better! (pc) games are for everyone, can be made by everyone with access to a computer without restrictions. and without additional waste of resources at all (tools == viewer). and their expressive range is huge. yes, it really *could* be huge!

    i just think it is a duty of the indie games world to present games as powerful stand-alone medium. whether it's called art or not doesn't matter. - but only drunk'n'fun entertainment (similar to the demoscene stuff) is not exactly what i mean...

    (ok, but GAMMA seems to be really a party, so, that argument may be misplaced here. and experimentation and learning via remaking old stuff isn't bad at all too... ok ok)

    btw: recently i looked around a bit to find out more about what Chris Crowford wrote, said and made in last years. - i didn't know much about him before, but he's a very interesting person, a real (humanistic?) veteran of gaming and probably the hardest hardcore indie out there. - here a quote from a Gamasutra interview with him. maybe a bit too pesimistic, but... hmm

    "I haven't even seen any new ideas pop up. The industry is so completely inbred that the people working in it aren’t even capable of coming up with new ideas anymore. I was appalled, for example, at the recent GDC. I looked over the games at the Independent Games Festival and they all looked completely derivative to me. Just copies of the same ideas being recycled. I didn't see anything I’d call innovative, and this was from people not even interested in doing anything…in making money. It was just straight amateurs trying to be innovative and even they couldn't be innovative."
    [Chris Crawford, http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20060612/murdey_01.shtml

    (disclaimer: i’m just a small geek sitting at home far away from Canada… and my skills aren’t that sophisticated at all, neither in game-tech, nor in art, nor in language. actually, i shouldn’t speak like that… so, just some virtual outsider comments here. take them or bang them… =) )

  • increpare

    corpus:

    I’m awaiting your sick-panda-controlled slavic mail-order bride simulator with giddy excitement.

  • increpare

    (needless to say, I hope it will involve many stereoscopic effects)

  • jph

    0rel – you roc! videogames are quite elitist indeed, given the tech. required to make, and play them., and the fact that MOST ppl in the world haven’ got sht to eat. and our armies of killers and corporate manipulators work tirlessly to keep things that way,. . gota have a slave pool to draw from,. can’t maintain the pyramid without those stones on the bottom propin’ up the elite sitting on top with their monocals and owls,.

  • Cargo

    fish:

    Grow up.

    I’m in the middle about the whole argument here, I can understand points from both sides, but you’re doing yourself no favours, the way you’re coming across in your comments.

  • FISH

    im almost saddened to see you people cant get over a TECHNICAL REQUIREMENT, it’s not even really a “rule”, it’s just part of the technical setup. you’re missing the point entirely. and gamma’s mandate isnt diversity in games, it’s experimentation. so you cant accuse us of not upholding some imaginary standard you just bestowed on us.

    and yeah, im a fucking elitist alright. ive been living on 200$ a month for 7 months now. obviously im kind of some fancy schmancy upper crust.

  • FISH
  • I Like Cake

    To Cargo, I think it’s entirely reasonable to be flabbergasted and outraged at people trying to argue aggressively and at length about something that:

    A. Is so trivial.

    B. Is for a *privately curated show*.

    To anyone still arguing: if you don’t like it, don’t fucking go. It’s like marching into someone’s house and delivering a fifteen minute diatribe about how their choice of wallpaper reveals them as ignorant and dogmatic. Just because this is the internet doesn’t mean that kind of behavior is appropriate. Just let it go.

  • FISH

    Disregard that, I suck cocks.

  • corpus

    uh by the way the thing about diversity and peripherals was sarcastic because I’m not sure Fish got that.

  • http://www.kokoromi.org moboid

    @ Flamebait: Cloo’s response was gentlewomanly, actually.

    Anyhow, I actually enjoyed this thread. Good solid flamertainment, with a bonus analysis of game interface affordances.

    And you know, if someone had a really awesome game that used a dataglove or some crazy shit… we’d try to make it happen. That’s why we have the Exception written into the rules. It’s the Exception for Awesomeness.

  • xerus

    dnot supprot MICRO$$$OFT w/ xbawksx controllars!11 >:O

  • splotki

    I said MORE love and LESS hate!