Friday, May 18th, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

So you think you can spot a good 3D model?

Hot or not? TurboSquid’s new 3D Expert game asks players to rate random models in its database on a scale of 1 to 10. It isn’t just a way to kill a few minutes at lunch: scores will be used to improve the site’s search engine.

Everyone thinks they can spot a good 3D model. But now TurboSquid has invited you to prove it.

The online marketplace’s new 3D Expert game challenges players to score random models in its database from 1 to 10. The closer you get to previous voters’ average score, the more points you get.

Voting more than 20 times gives you a score multiplier: the higher your previous accuracy, the higher the value. Sneakily, the multiplier is on a three-minute timer – to retain it, you have to keep voting.

According to TurboSquid, some beta testers have found the challenge addictive enough to vote over 20,000 times in a week: at time of posting, the high score stands at over a million points, but we imagine even that will be quickly superseded now the game has gone public.

Since you’re trying to match previous voters’ scores, there are a few anomalies. In theory, the game asks you to rank simple models with clean geometry higher than complex models with poor geometry; in practice, we found we got more points not looking at the wireframes at all – so we guess, for most people, bigger is better.

The not-so-secret purpose
It isn’t all simply casual gaming-style entertainment: TurboSquid intends to use the results to improve its search engine and to weed inferior models out of its database.

To prevent abuse, you don’t get to see who created a model until after you’ve voted. Of course, that doesn’t stop TurboSquid vendors marking down all the models that compete with theirs, just on general principles – but we imagine sheer weight of numbers will even things out, and that clicking through thousands of models probably isn’t the most efficient way to maximise your search rankings anyway.

Either way, it’s a fun way to kill a few minutes in your lunch break – or possibly, a few hours…

Play the TurboSquid 3D Expert game online