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GDC 2012: Heavy Rain Creator Makes Bicentennial Man Look Cheap

New tech demo is running in real time on the PS3

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GDC 2012: Heavy Rain Creator Makes Bicentennial Man Look Cheap
[ Gaming]

Quantic Dream, creator of crime thriller and Jason simulator Heavy Rain, has made a name for themselves by creating life-like characters in games that push the boundaries of interactive entertainment.

At GDC, Quantic Dream showed off a tech demo for its new technology that will power whatever their next game may be. The tech demo isn’t representative of any game that is in development, but I sure hope something more comes out of this.

The tech demo in question is called Kara and it features an android becoming self-aware. I’ll let you watch the video for yourself, but be prepared for a wave of emotion to hit you in the face with the force of a truck.

David Cage, director of Heavy Rain and head of Quantic Dream, explained the technology behind the tech demo at GDC. The PlayStation blog gathered a few choice quotes.

After Heavy Rain, we wanted to push the envelope in terms of quality, starting with the visuals. We wanted to improve many things — things that were not possible with the Heavy Rain engine. So we had to develop a new engine from scratch.

We also wanted to improve the quality of the acting. With Heavy Rain, we did what many games do — split performances, recording a voice on one side and a body animation on the other, putting everything together and crossing your fingers that you get a consistent performance. It worked okay for Heavy Rain, but you lose a lot of a performance by splitting into two and rebuilding it artificially.

We wanted to do what Avatar did by having one full performance where we capture everything at the same time. And we wanted to demonstrate these new performance capture techniques and the new engine before going into production, so we developed a short showcase that would allow us to test these ideas and technologies. This is how “Kara” was created.

“Kara” is not our next game. It’s not the character, it’s not the world, it’s not the story. …We do things in a very strange way here, things that have nothing to do with the games we make. But I think that’s a part of the DNA of the studio, and hopefully something that people like about us – they never know what they’re going to get!

As an added bonus, OPM UK is reporting that the actress who played Kara, Valorie Curry, is also playing Charlotte in the upcoming Twilght Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. If you want to see more of Curry without watching Twilight, she also stars in CSI: New York.

All I gotta say is that I wish this was a full game. Heavy Rain was one of my favorite experiences from 2010 and Kara has already exceeded what Heavy Rain brought to the table in terms of life like acting in video games.

What do you think? Is Kara a little too uncanny valley for you? Or are you stoked for whatever Quantic Dream is cooking up next? Let us know in the comments.

GDC 2012: Heavy Rain Creator Makes Bicentennial Man Look Cheap
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  • Justin

    If that was a game for sale right now, I’d buy it hands down. Not just for the graphics. But because that’s the first time I’ve ever gotten chills from something I saw from a video-game, or even most movies. It made a really good, really fast connection emotionally. Bravo. Can’t wait to see what they do with it.

  • John

    holy shit.

  • Michael

    Maybe just on the uphill climb out of the valley for me. Still a little unsettling, but the acting pushes it into the awesome category.

  • george

    ok with it being a computer program, when the guy says “say something in german.” shouldn’t it say the german word for something

  • Ravenshonor

    I’m honestly not sure what I’m looking at here or why this is so groundbreaking…

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