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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It's great to see the next gen engines taking place, hopefully all this stuff can be implemented in the next gen.
I really hope their next game involves Kara in some fashion. In that six minutes and thirty-two seconds of video I was attached to the point of being anxious and scared for her. I want to know what becomes of her, it'd be awesome to find out. If this tech can precipitate emotion and feeling like that in such a short time frame, I can't wait to see how it's implemented in a future release. My hats off to Quantic Dream for an amazing piece of tech.
Ok this looks awesome!
the capability of this engine is amazing. In the 6 minutes of watching this video I actually started to care about Kara. You can genuinely see emotion on the face. Plus this featured really spot on voice acting
I hope they get enough positive feedback on this demo so that they extend the story of Kara(or at least use the same actress as I liked her a lot). I wanna know what happens.
There are several developers I admire for the work they have put out, the advancements they've brought to video games... but the work of Quantic Dream, the mind of David Cage, is subject to a different level of praise. Admiration and respect squared.
just more reason the new systems need to come out.
Reminds me of the beginning to Ghost in the Shell.
@3:00 LENS FLARE
That was pretty intense and moving
It looked good but I wasn't too impressed. Show me more.
could be a fantastic story by itself !
I cant wait to see more from Quantic Dream.
To those of you saying that these graphics don't look all that "amazing", because fully rendered cutscenes already look this good, remember that in Heavy Rain the cutscenes were done with ingame assets, as were the cutscenes made for marketing.
I know that Cage said that this doesn't have anything to do with the game that they are currently working on, but in my opinion this looks like it could make for a pretty game with their style. Both my wife and I can't wait to play another game by Quantic Dream. Heavy Rain is one of the best games of this generation. It's great that they are doing something that no other developer is doing.
Wow.. I hope they make a new game soon with this technology! Heavy Rain was amazing, but I imagine with this, it would be more awesome.
Wow. Cool. I really like Heavy Rain too.
Epic win!!! :D
That was pretty fantastic.