The lights are on
At his "Technologies To Support Emotion" talk at GDC, Quantic Dream's David Cage showed off a year-old demo of the company's new "Kara" motion capture engine. What we saw during the presentation was running in-game on Kara v1, but he says it's 50% more powerful in its current v3 state.
Cage mentioned that the capture technology seen in films like Avatar and TinTin is ideal, but prohibitively expensive for game production. Quantic Dream wanted something that was "high quality, very fast, and very cheap." Their solution was Kara, a motion-capture system that pipelines actors' performances directly into the game engine with little editing needed. With it, they're able to shoot footage on the motion capture stage and almost immediately see how it appears in-game.
Whereas the company had 28 cameras in the Heavy Rain capture sessions, Kara uses 65. Ninety markers are placed on the actors' face, and ninety more are placed on the body.
Cage clarified that the Kara demo is not indicative of the company's next title, as it's strictly a demo for the engine. The video shows a robotic female being assembled and describing her functions. She states that she doesn't need to be fed, her battery lasts for 173 years, can take care of kids, clean a house, and is available as a sexual partner. After prompting by the unseen "Operator," she speaks fluently in French and German before singing in Japanese.
Once the Operator has heard enough, he states that she's ready to be sold. Initially confused about this statement, she quickly realizes she's a piece of merchandise. The Operator is discouraged by this self-awareness, and orders robotic arms to start disassembling the "defective" model.
"I thought I was alive," Kara says. "I've only just been born. You can't kill me yet. Stop this, please stop! I'm scared!". As she says this, the robotic arms pause, retract, and the Operator tells her to "go and join the others." She's placed in a box with several identical models and whisked away.
With help from this engine, Cage wants to bring a potentially new demographic into gaming. He says that three markets exist right now - casual (with Angry Birds as an example), family (Wii games), and hardcore (Call of Duty). "We believe there is a space for adult games. Meaningful experiences for a mature audience," Cage said. "We don't need to deliver messages or whatever, we just need to create a moment in time that leaves an imprint on your mind."
Watch the demo below.
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Whoa! That was amazing!
That was really awesome, and weird how a character I've only seen for 4 minutes could get an emotional reaction from me that quickly. Whenever I see these engine demos, I always wish the games were real ! Looks impressive!
Wow...The ability to transmit the mo-cap (not just the face, but the ENTIRE BODY) is...breathtaking. I don't care if I've got a PS3 or I get to play their next title or not. This is exciting stuff, and it feels like I'm experiencing history RIGHT HERE. This sort of thing is what's furthering games not only as an industry, but as an art form, and I cannot wait to see the full game. I can't wait to see the tech elsewhere. I'm just blown away by the engine. Kudos to Quantic Dream and their games that I'll (unfortunately) probably never play.
And David Cage does it again. I loved his "interview" or whatever it was called (his movie shoot demo for heavy rain) and i am loving this. I feel like he is channeling his inner Asimov to pull this off, but it worked really well! i want to see this on non shaky cam so i can feel it even more then i did and start really crying over her. I think we need this game now!
Amazing. The story from the demo tech alone has got me excited. It's always nice to see innovative studios like Quantic Dream pushing the current technology & also making it readily available for future dev. studios.
this was incredible!
Reminds me of my favorite movie : A.I.
Ironically, didn't Jude Law have a nanny just like that? :P
If this is anything like the last one this is going to be awesome!
I want to know what happens to her now! ;_;
that demo was so compelling. Id like to see a movie or a game based off of that storyline. It reminds me a little of iRobot in a way
It's clear the QUANTIC DREAM aspires to make incredibly cinematic games and they do a great job building emotional engines but completely fail when it comes to writing realistic dialogue and getting good (native) voice actors. That means getting completely different cast's for each language option. Seriously. Taking HEAVY RAIN for example. Mostly all the actors were french but attempting to speak english, and most of it was laughable to say the least.
Kara is pretty good in this but doesn't have much to say. The tech operator behind the camera though is just bad. There is nothing subtle in his performance or delivery. And his lines are so corny (ie. "What the crap?!" "There you go HONEY. Yeah okay BABY." ) It's like....what?
Ghost in the Shell esque!
If this was a game i would buy a new system just to play it
Whoa, that was more than a little bit disturbing. And on another note CoD is not a hardore game.
That scientist just ensured our impending doom and destruction at the hands of Kara. Way to go guy. Awesome demo.