Matrix-style ‘bullet-time’ in multiplayer gaming

@ 2005/07/22
In a strange example of the cyber-world imitating Hollywood imitating the cyber-world, Finnish researchers have developed a way to achieve the “bullet-time” effect of the movie The Matrix in real-time multiplayer games.

The effect combines slow motion with dynamic virtual-camera movement to seemingly allow a character to slow down their environment, giving them more time to respond to game events.

The challenge had been to achieve this with real-time online multiplayer games, says Jouni Smed at the University of Turku. So far the closest anyone has come to it is by speeding up the player, instead of slowing down the environment, he says. “It’s not the effect one wants because the player has even less time to react.”

Smed’s solution is to exploit something called a local perception filter (LPF). This is software that compensates for the natural communication-time delays which occur in networked games by rendering objects and players at slightly out-of-date locations.

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