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Heavy Rain - Playing a Story

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the drops-of-realism dept.

Games 217

Edge Magazine is running a piece about Heavy Rain, a thriller by Quantic Dream that's been in development for a few years now. Edge spoke with David Cage, the game's writer and director, about using graphics technology not simply for breathtaking landscapes or realistic lighting, but to bring the characters to life and make them more believable. Cage walked the folks at Kotaku through a demo, and they provided details on how the controls will work. From Edge: "'We worked very hard on motion capture, especially facial motion capture,' explains Cage. 'As you know, eyes are incredibly hard to do: the minute movements they constantly make mean you can tell whether something is human or not. We created a technology to motion-capture that from actors.' The shaders applied to the lead character's eyes and the skin that surrounds them also conspire to nudge Heavy Rain's characters closer to believability. The 'deadness' that so often afflicts such digital mannequins has been significantly chipped away, and we are presented with Madison, a character whose facial features, though attractive in an expectedly unnatural sort of way, also carry blemishes that succeed in breaking down her artificiality."

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Is it live or is it Memorex? (-1, Redundant)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869401)

Do I really need to say it? Uncanny Valley.

Re:Is it live or is it Memorex? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24869449)

I think you probably do need to say it. What's your point? That every attempt to improve facial features is doomed because of the uncanny valley? That this technology shows that the uncanny valley worries are unjustified? That this project has achieved a lot but still fails due to the uncanny valley? That despite suffering from the uncanny valley, this project nevertheless has achieved a remarkable level of empathy?

Speaking of recordings... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24869921)

www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnmccain.com/mccain_post_card_word%5B1%5D.pdf -

        1973 New York Daily News labeled POW McCain III a "PW Songbird"
        On McCain IIIâ(TM)s fourth day of being denied medical treatment, slapped, and threatened with
        death by the communist (they were demanding military information in exchange for medical
        treatment), McCain III broke and told his interrogator, "O.K., Iâ(TM)ll give you military information if you
        will take me to the hospital." U.S. News and World Report, May 14, 1973 article written by former
        POW John McCain.
        It was then that the communist learned that McCain IIIâ(TM)s father was Admiral John S. McCain,
        the soon-to-be commander of all U.S. Forces in the Pacific. The Vietnamese rushed McCain III to
        Gai Lam military hospital (U.S. government documents), a medical facility normally unavailable
        for U.S. POWs.
        By Nov. 9, 1967 (U.S. government documents) Hanoi press was quoting McCain III describing
        his mission including the number of aircraft in his flight, information about rescue ships, and the
        order of which U.S. attacks would take place.
        While in still in North Vietnamâ(TM)s military hospital, McCain III gave an interview to prominent
        French television reporter Francois Chalais for a series titled Life in Hanoi. Chalaisâ(TM) interview with
        McCain III was aired in Europe.
        Vietnamese doctors operated on McCainâ(TM)s Leg in early December, 1967.
        Six weeks after he was shot down, McCain was taken from the hospital and delivered to a
        U.S. POW camp,
        In May of 1968, McCain III allowed himself to be interviewed by two North Vietnamese
        generals at separate times." May 14, 1973 article written by former POW John McCain
        In August 1968, other POWs learned for the first time that John McCain III had been taken
        prisoner.
        On June 5, 1969, the New York Daily News reported in a article headlined Reds Say PW
        Songbird Is Pilot Son of Admiral, " . . . Hanoi has aired a broadcast in which the pilot son of
        United States Commander in the Pacific, Adm. John McCain, purportedly admits to having
        bombed civilian targets in North Vietnam and praises medical treatment he has received since
        being taken prisoner . . ." The Washington Post explained McCain IIIâ(TM)s broadcast: "The English-
        Language broadcast beamed at South Vietnam was one of a series using American prisoners. It
        was in response to a plea by Defense Secretary Melvin S. Laird, May 19, that North Vietnam treat
        prisoners according to the humanitarian standards set forth by the Geneva Convention."
        In 1970, McCain III agreed to an interview with Dr. Fernando Barral, a Spanish psychiatrist
        who was living in Cuba at the time.
        The meeting between Barral and McCain III (which was photographed by the Vietnamese)
        took place away from the prison at the office of the Committee for Foreign Cultural Relations in
        Hanoi (declassified government document). During the meeting, POW McCain sipped coffee and
        ate oranges and cakes with the Cuban.
        While talking with Barral, McCain III further seriously violated the military Code of Conduct by
        failing to evade answering questions "to the utmost of his ability" when he, according government
        documents, helped Barral by answering questions in Spanish, a language McCain had learned in
        school. The interview was published in the in January 1970.

Short summary; (5, Informative)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869407)

PS3 only. Good quality visuals. It is a detective story/game.

Re:Short summary; (-1, Troll)

MSFanBoi2 (930319) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869593)

Which more or less means the game will be a retail failure. Even the mighty MGS4 has show exclusives on the PS3 simply do not fare well. One week of great sales, and then into the toilet.

MGS4 was on the books for one month before it slid under the top 20 in both the US and Japan. I hope Sony is paying well.

Re:Short summary; (5, Funny)

ya really (1257084) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869929)

With a nick like "MSFanBoi2," surely you would never have an axe to grind, would you? I'm also guessing you opinion is always completely non-biased and always gives a fair look to sony/linux/apple/etc. right?

Re:Short summary; (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24870115)

Right, because reality has a well known Microsoft bias?

Check the sales figures. MGS4 was able to nearly double PS3 sales for a couple of weeks. Then they fell right back to their normal pathetic levels.

The PS3 is losing to the PSP of all things, which is losing horribly to both the DS and Wii individually!

If you've been following cross-platform titles at all, you'd be aware that the Xbox 360 version always, without fail, works better than the PS3 version, has better graphics and more consistent frame rate than the PS3 version, and infinitely better online support than the PS3 version.

There's more downloadable content on the Xbox 360. There's better online support on the Xbox 360. There's a larger, better game library on the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 has sold something like double the figures of the PS3.

There's a reason the PS3 is losing exclusives left and right. Square Enix has released multiple Xbox 360 exclusives, and has decided to port their PS3 exclusives to the Xbox 360. The writing's on the wall, even in Japan: the PS3 is doomed.

Re:Short summary; (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870609)

Well imho people who don't play MGS4 are missing out.
I've been playing it at a friends place, I'm in Act 4 atm and I'm loving it :)
It truly is a work of art.

Re:Short summary; (0, Troll)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871565)

It truly is a work of art.

Ahahahahahahahaha.

Oh, wait... you're serious.

Gamers should watch more movies in order to understand that few if any video games made to date can compare to them.

Re:Short summary; (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871595)

Sure I'm biased because I've been playing the series since the first one on the MSX.
But I do think it's a work of art, great visuals, great story, so far very good gameplay.

And movies? I watch a lot of them in a lot of genres. Sometimes it's fantastic and sometimes it's just a stupid actionflick.
The movies I try to avoid are mostly those like Scary Movie and other parody movies like that, I quit watching Scary Movie after 10 minutes.

Re:Short summary; (0, Redundant)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871741)

Sorry, but if you think Metal Gear qualifies as a work of art you need to watch more movies.

Re:Short summary; (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871959)

Like I said, I watch a lot of movies, not that it doesn't have anything to do with this though.

Re:Short summary; (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24871705)

Are you serious? What makes you think games are an invalid form of art, or inferior to film? There's tons of games I can think of with better stories, design, music, ect. than the average film.
In some ways I would even say there's more creativity and artistic merit in the design of old and simple games like Pacman or Tetris than the average film.

Re:Short summary; (2, Insightful)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871729)

Are you serious? What makes you think games are an invalid form of art, or inferior to film?

Where did I say they're an invalid form of art? Did I or did I not specifically say "made to date?"

There's tons of games I can think of with better stories, design, music, ect. than the average film.

We're not talking about average films.

In some ways I would even say there's more creativity and artistic merit in the design of old and simple games like Pacman or Tetris than the average film.

There's nothing artistic about either game.

Re:Short summary; (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24871053)

You are a troll. Half your facts are either wrong or subjective. Nothing to see here.

Re:Short summary; (1)

master811 (874700) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871373)

You need to get some facts straight, the 360 has sold more, but no where near twice as much. In fact it's now only 33% more than the PS3 which for the most part is still gaining on it. It's only the US where the 360 still has a larger total number of sales, elsewhere such as Europe the PS3 has caught up and overtaken it).

Re:Short summary; (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871631)

"Check the sales figures. MGS4 was able to nearly double PS3 sales for a couple of weeks. Then they fell right back to their normal pathetic levels."

Which are higher than the Xbox360 level.

Sorry, but it's the truth.

Now sure, the 360 has a larger install base, but that's being eroded. And have you even tried playing PS3 games online? They work seamlessly, just like they do on the 360. This is not an area you can jump on any more. Plus it's free :)

"The PS3 is losing to the PSP of all things"

So is everything else non-nintendo. The PSP is doing pretty well at the moment.

"the PS3 is doomed."

None of the platforms is doomed, they've all sold a fuckload of units and will continue to attract investment and development. Take your idiocy somewhere else.

(disclaimer - I have all the current-gen consoles and don't feel loyalty to any particular one. Wii SUX)

Re:Short summary; (1)

MSFanBoi2 (930319) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870233)

Like Slashdot doesn't grind an axe against anything Microsoft or Windows related.

None the less, I speak the truth. Numbers are easily found.

Re:Short summary; (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871665)

Look at the figures in the rest of the world. PS3 is outselling the Xbox now, and catching up on install base.

It's only really the US that's in love with the 360. Probably because in much of the rest of the world saying the name "Microsoft" leaves a bit of a bad taste in the mouth.

yes, MGS4 doubled PS3 sales for a short while. But even when they fell back they're higher than the 360 sales.

Re:Short summary; (2, Interesting)

deek (22697) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870677)

If it's a quality game with innovative gameplay or great design, it's almost guaranteed to be a retail failure.

Some of my favourite games of all time fall into this category, e.g ICO and Psychonauts. Oh well, it just goes to show that game sales are not a reliable indication of game quality.

Re:Short summary; (1)

PhoenixAtlantios (991132) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871413)

To be fair it's not like people are shunning perfect games here; Psychonauts had issues that made it irritating to play which definitely would have contributed to its failure. I purchased it on PC but found that the control scheme was so abysmal (borderline unplayable without immense frustration) that I didn't get very far before abandoning it entirely, and from what I can tell via online sources that was also the most widely criticised part of the game.

The best game idea in the world is still going to flop with dreadful execution; allowing painfully obvious flaws in an area that people interact with constantly (control scheme, GUI, etc) will damage commercial success.

Re:Short summary; (1)

ya really (1257084) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869685)

It's a shame they aren't developing it for PC as well, since PCs have the potential to always outdo a console, even the PS3. It might take one heck of a system (see Crysis), but PC > Console for graphics. Hopefully they will at least port it over and add to the console version.

Re:Short summary; (1)

phillous (1160303) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871027)

Crysis is a pansy. I run that at 1600x1050 (possibly not, I've never managesd to get my head around widescreen resolutions) and I have all the settings turned up to 11, AAx8, AF, etc etc. Runs like a dream at over 60fps. My PC is 2 years old, although I did splash out on the GFX card a little. Games which are graphics intensive are easily pleased. However the same system starts to slow down under supreme commander when you have 8 players and a 1000 unit cap. I guess that could be RAM or CPU, not sure which, the CPU is a Core2Duo OCed to 3Ghz, so it should be pretty sweet and theres 2 gigs of ram in there. Its all pretty standard stuff compared to todays cheapy dells.

Anyway... my point is that the PC wins, and it doesn't have to try all that hard.

It's Like The PS3 Is An Entire Generation Ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24869717)

This is the first console generation where you have a single console that is so far beyond its competitors.

Last gen the PS2,GameCube, and XBox all put out roughly the same number of polys. The GameCube was gimped by its disc format like the 360 is this gen. But all three consoles had games with graphics that were of the same level of quality. GameCube had the incredible Metroid Prime, PS2 had God of War and Gran Turismo, and the Xbox had various games with more multipass rendering aka 'bumpy/shiny'

Microsoft has really utterly botched the 360 graphics hardware if all the system has to compete is a game running the painfully outdated Unreal Engine 3 with its overreliance on normal maps on every single surface to fake detail. Fine for fake marketing screenshots with the detail and AA ramped up but the actual in game graphics look like shit.

Its still around 10 months from when Microsoft pulled the plug on the first Xbox, still way too early to dump the 360 and try again.

Microsoft should really get Sony to help them design the graphics hardware and show them how to make good console development tools or just go back to letting PC manufacturers handle the hardware like Microsoft did before they made their disasterous entry to the console market.

So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meeting (4, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869423)

All this realism stuff gets on my nerves. Sure it looks more realistic but is it actually a better game? Are the graphics on the Wii "realistic" hell no, they are basically cartoons but the games play well and I don't care about the graphics. So the eyes flicker around in this new game like the eyes of people in a meeting just waiting for it to finish, flicking to the clock, back to the notes and then gazing out of the window in a day-dream before flicking back into the room in case they are asked a question.

Realism isn't always the best way to convey the most emotion and impact, look at the finest paintings from the likes of Rembrandt, and its that impact that games companies should concentrate on rather than on yet another way to make a dull game look pretty.

So real you'll feel like you're in a chat room (3, Funny)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869459)

"Realism isn't always the best way to convey the most emotion and impact"

Emoticons work much better.

Re:So real you'll feel like you're in a chat room (4, Insightful)

gregbot9000 (1293772) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870157)

Exactly! Thats basically how they showed the romance between the egg and the box in the latest Pixar flick.

Re:So real you'll feel like you're in a chat room (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870619)

:D

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (2, Insightful)

click2005 (921437) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869525)

The games industry is becoming more and more like Hollywood. They think pretty pictures, famous names & loud noise will make up for a lack of story.
Games were more playable on the 8-bit computers & consoles than on today's supercomputers/superconsoles. Yeah the graphics were shitty at times but you still got more immersed in the game than you do these days. Its hard to get too involved in an 'interactive movie' with a few decisions/actions.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (4, Insightful)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870125)

It's not that games were somehow better back then, it's that you were younger and had more time to spend selecting and learning to play video games - and that you're comparing random games from today with your best memories of the best games of the past.

My best memories of, say, Deus Ex are much better than Crysis was... but I'm sure they're much better than Deus Ex actually was too.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (3, Interesting)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871529)

I have to respectfully disagree. While I will admit that the nostalgia effect you describe is real and affects me too, it is not the whole explanation.

Far too many games have way too bland gameplay nowadays. Anyone having played assassins creed will know what I mean, although the story was quite intriguing. F.E.A.R. also suffered from shoot-the-same-guy-a-hundred-times-in-some-hallway-syndrome. Absolutely boring rubbish, although the paranormal events made it quite intriguing at the beginning. Half-life 2 had absolutely shitty gameplay in spite of an intriguing story and good graphics. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

But I also recognize some real good titles, which almost disprove your nostalgia effect theory. Portal was absolutely stunning for example, or Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy was very interesting, and most importantly: different. They stand out from the crowd.

But too many games nowadays focus on graphics and being "epic" and whatever, and the gameplay and/or story suffer as a result. It pisses me off.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24871969)

F.E.A.R. suffered from repetitious level design. But otherwise the story was presented well. Now "Beyond Good and Evil" presented a good story and the graphics were excellent in a cartoon sort of way. Psychonauts was the same way.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (2, Insightful)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871455)

Games were more playable on the 8-bit computers & consoles than on today's supercomputers/superconsoles. Yeah the graphics were shitty at times but you still got more immersed in the game than you do these days.

Really? Wolfenstein 3D immersed you more than Crysis? Yeah, ok...

Its hard to get too involved in an 'interactive movie' with a few decisions/actions.

What are these interactive movies that you're referring to? I haven't played an interactive movie since the mid-nineties when they were still being made. I've heard people say MGS4 is an interactive movie, but that's just one game out of thousands.

When discussing the present state of video gaming, there are two extremes. On one side you've got the drooling, slack-jawed idiots who are easily distracted by pretty colors and shiny things that go boom, and one the other side you've got posers who want to appear hardcore (or what they perceive to be hardcore) by damning modern games as heresy because they aren't Pong. Both camps are equally worthless.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (4, Interesting)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869539)

Agreed.

However, looking at the development of art history, the masters first worked toward realism. Caravaggio with his tenebrism (dramatic shading, where 3D games begin to take off with better shading and lighting) really began to bring things to life. When they reached that pinnacle of realism, other forms began to emerge. I imagine gaming will do something similar as we become bored of perfectly realistic games, even if they are masterpieces of both art and game design.

Anybody else with a more extensive art background have any other comments on this?

Sounds like a game for faggots... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24869815)

...like you.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

floatingrunner (621481) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869905)

took art history way back when. but i have nothing to add. think i will hold my excitement until non-lethal (if such exists) hologram games exists. also agree with OP about mainly gameplay > graphics. Already we know that machines are capable of doing realism. and honestly, first thought comes into my mind when i see the screenshot (silent hill..) yet, i have no doubt that it'll be a good game.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (2, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869991)

I think that's a helluva good point and one I've never considered before. I've got to admit, I like games primarily for the graphics... though I'm not much of a gamer, so I suppose I'm probably the typical eye candy gamer.

However, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I love technology... I like to watch it advance before my eyes... and in no other place is that quite as startlingly evident than video games.

Of course, I can get hooked on a good video game with ok graphics (I LOVED Alpha-Centauri for years), but great graphics done properly can add quite a bit to a game, IMHO.

And in terms of parent's comment, I'd say that's a very good point... the obvious place to push the envelope (and the easiest, in certain respects) is graphics. Once we've reached the threshold of "realism", the creative impulses can move in other directions.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (2, Insightful)

Compuser (14899) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870625)

Quote: "the obvious place to push the envelope is graphics"

The main problems in games is not graphics. Good 3D models and high resolution textures are common and realistic lighting is being pushed more and more.
The two main problems are lack of detail and lack of realistic physics. The lack of detail is evident in just about any game. I am not aware of any game for instance where dust is modeled as individual particles. Outside scenes are even worse. Roads are often textured rather than modeled meaning that if you see an imperfection in the road and look at it from different angles up close you do not see different lighting conditions and shadows. Foliage is still not realistic despite much progress. Etc...
Physics is in some ways doing better. Many games define their own and that's the way the game works. But we do expect people and animals to move a certain way (regardless of what the game tells us about its physics) and to have certain facial expressions. Those have to be dead on. And so far, no game can even make a human being walk right, let alone respond to a wound realistically. Grimacing is horrible.
So to recap, there is much more to a game than "graphics", whether you mean polygon counts and shaders or simply pretty still shots. There are many places in dire need of pushing the envelope and graphics is not the main one of them. In fact, with so much in need of improvement I honestly doubt we will see truly realistic games in my lifetime (next 30-50 years).

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (2, Interesting)

mckinnsb (984522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870009)

Titian is often considered the master of "old school realism". In the end, however, realism gave way to Van Gogh, Impressionism, and alternative "representations" - which ultimately culminated in abstract art, and afterwards, representation became mixed. Indeed , the choice of representation became art itself. It is similar to how we had a realistic push in gaming for a few years, and then suddenly cel shading became very popular. I don't think we have come full circle yet, however.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (3, Interesting)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870639)

Agreed.

However, looking at the development of art history... I imagine gaming will do something similar as we become bored of perfectly realistic games, even if they are masterpieces of both art and game design.

Anybody else with a more extensive art background have any other comments on this?

Interesting thought, but not one that persuades me. Many games have already made a virtue of deliberately non-photo-realistic visuals. Molyneux [lionhead.com] ' games, for example, have cartoonish visuals not because he doesn't have the graphic sophistication to go for near photo-real but because he chooses not to.

I think the visual aesthetic has a lot to do with the entire experience the director is trying to impart. I really love The Witcher [thewitcher.com] (my review here [jasmine.org.uk] ) for its immersiveness, and part of that immersiveness is the beautiful visuals which are clearly aiming towards (although not, at least on my hardware, quite achieving it). You really can, in The Witcher, just stop and watch the moon rise and be blown away by the beauty of the scene.

Photorealism also suits stories which build on the 'film noir' genre, as it's clear that Heavy Rain does - but black-and-white might work better (it's noticeable that the palette in those Heavy Rain screenshots is pretty subdued).

However, in the game I'm trying to work on I want to end up with a 'charcoal and wash' visual - very little colour and not a lot of detail. I don't - yet - know how to do this - near photo real would be a lot easier and may be what I eventually end up with. But the reason for that choice is partly to make the game look distinctive, but it's also to comment on the culture of the people I'm trying to tell a story about.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

fortunato (106228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869891)

While I *completely* understand where you are coming from (and I'm somewhat sympathetic to your view), I have to respond and say that the progress you get from folks who push the envelope, even if its only in one specific part/element of a "game", is worth having bad game play and/or even a failure in the long wrong if in the next game/attempt its no longer difficult to do. Meaning even if someone loses their shirt because they focused on only that one element at the expense of the others, for someone it will pay off in time.

For example, look at Peter Molyneux. This guy is notorious for having games that have a specific element that blows everything that came before it out of the park -- at the expense of the rest of the game he is trying to produce. Which really does suck for him, but in the end it pushes the envelope for everything that comes after that uses those same elements.

Its not hard to see that over and over if you look at games in hindsight. The most popular current games are the ones that take all these elements that pushed the envelope and put them all together in a way that works. See ultra successful endeavors like World of Warcraft (the best of Everquest and Ultima Online), Bioshock (the best of System Shock, Ultima Underworld, and Doom), any RTS (Command and Conquer), and so on.
And you can take all those games listed and go back further to games like Rogue, Empire, and Adventure.

So really, I have to say you should give kudos to people willing to go out on a limb and push the realism if thats what they want to do. If no one did you would still be using a monochrome monitor to play your text adventure or blow up asteroids with vector graphics. If they want to push the realism that's fine with me. Someone will take the technology and make a better game with it sooner or later.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

edisrafeht (1199347) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870013)

Realism counts a lot! Not everything, but still.

Take Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault, for example. It's gameplay is so-so, the plot feels scripted because the entire thing is so cinematic and the game doesn't try to hide that fact. The few English and Japanese words that get shouted by the bots are repetitive.

However, the realistic sounds and graphics do work on me. I felt totally immersed because the jungle cover is beautiful, the enemies are camouflaged, the damage is severe, and my heart rate jumps when the other side bonzai-rushed. When I let myself slip into the game for brief moments, I really felt that I was really there (and realized gee, sux to be in war).

Day of Defeat did not have the same effect. It was just another team deathmatch. MOHPA was much more immersive due to the better technology.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24870489)

and my heart rate jumps when the other side bonzai-rushed

They threw little trees at you?

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

dwarg (1352059) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870099)

From Edge:
We worked very hard on bodily functions, especially sweat and bathroom breaks,' explains Cage. 'As you know, sweat is incredibly hard to do: fluid dynamics interacting with the characters polygonal surface and clothing shaders. We created a technology to yellow the cloth shaders in sweat prone areas.' The shaders applied to the lead character's armpits and upper abdomen also conspire to nudge Heavy Rain's characters closer to believability. The 'cleanness' that so often afflicts such digital mannequins has been significantly chipped away, and we are presented with Madison, a character whose hygiene, though not below average, breaks down over time as she runs, jumps, farts and craps--breaking down her artificiality.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871507)

as she runs, jumps, farts and craps

Craps? I'm sure the world is ready for that. We don't need another "Hot Toffee" scandal...

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870123)

Realism isn't always the best way to convey the most emotion and impact, look at the finest paintings from the likes of Rembrandt, and its that impact that games companies should concentrate on rather than on yet another way to make a dull game look pretty.

The desire to turn an easy profit will win over the desire to make a better game for some companies after the first few companies start exploring a new area in visualisation methods.

Seen TF2? Awesome cartooning, quality abounds, its a whole new look for games of that type, and it works really well. Seen the new Battlefield? a cheap imitation, graphics wise which looks unpolished (Well, awful in comparison to TF2), but close enough to make people think it's breaking new ground too..

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871549)

TF2 was not the first shooter game to have that kind of visual style. XIII [mobygames.com] was released in 2003, and Killer7 [mobygames.com] in 2005. There are probably even earlier examples. TF2 also doesn't hold a candle to Eternal Sonata [mobygames.com] .

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24870215)

Are the graphics on the Wii "realistic" hell no, they are basically cartoons but the games play well

This might be off-topic, but I often find that the controllers of the Wii are not used in a good way. For most games you can simply do what I call the masturbation hack: Shake the Wiimote like crazy and you will win...

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870351)

All this realism stuff gets on my nerves. Sure it looks more realistic but is it actually a better game?

Sometimes, yes.

I don't care about the graphics.

Yes, you do, you just don't realize it.

I've said it before, and probably better, but every part of the game affects gameplay, and can make a game better or worse. More realistic graphics can, in fact, make a game better.

Now, granted, Crysis was mostly about pretty pictures and who's got the bigger dic^Wvideo card. But that doesn't mean this particular game is going to be another Crysis.

Realism isn't always the best way to convey the most emotion and impact,

Not always, but sometimes.

Look at film. Certainly, there's a place for anime, and it often does a better job than a summer flick which is focused purely on pretty pictures. But there are also films which are vividly realistic, both in video ("graphics") and in story and dialog -- downright gritty. And everything in between.

Taking your example:

So the eyes flicker around in this new game like the eyes of people in a meeting just waiting for it to finish,

Have you never seen a movie which makes good use of facial expressions, even eyes?

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (2, Interesting)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871493)

Now, granted, Crysis was mostly about pretty pictures and who's got the bigger dic^Wvideo card. But that doesn't mean this particular game is going to be another Crysis.

This is really just a myth. Crysis has very good gameplay, and the narrative is quite engrossing too. The large environments and foliage aren't just there for appearance, they actually affect the gameplay. Enemies can see you from far away, and you can hide in bushes and behind trees, and crawl through tall grass to remain unseen. There's also a sense of distance and scale because going on foot to the next objective can often take a very long time.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871597)

Are you serious? Maybe there is something wrong with me after all. Crysis was acceptable, but it sure as hell did not have much of a story. It had a bit of a background "story", after all they needed some explanation for why you run around on a island shooting koreans, but it sure as hell didn't have what I would call a real story. The story was at all times placed firmly in the background of running around and blowing stuff up. And the graphics of course.

The gameplay is ok, but after shooting the goddamn same korean guy in the jungle over and over again it gets boring after a while. They did ok by me with variations (different settings, driving a tank, inside the alien structure) but it could have been far better. And more immersive.

Crysis is an combat simulator with a certain arcade style to it. But it isn't really very engaging. All in all this is one of the few games that I would consider worth spending money on, but it sure as hell cannot compare to the best of games like the original half-life, portal, and deus-ex.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871707)

Are you serious? Maybe there is something wrong with me after all. Crysis was acceptable, but it sure as hell did not have much of a story. It had a bit of a background "story", after all they needed some explanation for why you run around on a island shooting koreans, but it sure as hell didn't have what I would call a real story. The story was at all times placed firmly in the background of running around and blowing stuff up. And the graphics of course.

I didn't say it has the storyline of Lost, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a story (which I had no trouble keeping up with). It's a fairly basic "oh shit aliens attack" plot, but it's told effectively.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871781)

If you say so... I found the story rather easy to ignore, it was filled with clichés, predictable and bland. The characters never developed enough for you to care about them in the slightest. To me the story was purely an excuse for the action going on, not something I could be immersed in.

The best part probably was during the assault on the harbour. Only - as is so damn typical in these games - the military didn't do jack shit to attack the harbor, it was only your own actions. The first two minutes were very immersive, but after that it was once again just you against the entire korean army. Not very believable, and not very immersive. And that was the BEST part of crysis, no less (to me anyway).

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871875)

If you say so... I found the story rather easy to ignore, it was filled with clichés, predictable and bland. The characters never developed enough for you to care about them in the slightest. To me the story was purely an excuse for the action going on, not something I could be immersed in.

Were you seriously expecting characterization and originality?

The best part probably was during the assault on the harbour. Only - as is so damn typical in these games - the military didn't do jack shit to attack the harbor, it was only your own actions. The first two minutes were very immersive, but after that it was once again just you against the entire korean army. Not very believable, and not very immersive. And that was the BEST part of crysis, no less (to me anyway).

You're a one man army, so why would they launch an assault on the harbor when one guy is enough? Since VTOLs are their method of transportation, they can't even assault the harbor due to the AA gun that's stationed there. You do fight alongside regular forces later on.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (0, Troll)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871627)

There's also a sense of distance and scale because going on foot to the next objective can often take a very long time.

Due to the 10 cut-scenes you have the pleasure to watch while trying to get from A to B.

Realistic graphics in a game don't make a good game. They can help make a game better. If a game is 90% cutscenes, intercut with "now press the A-,X-, up-, up- buttons, then pause exactly 4.5 secs, and press Y to get to the next 10 minute long cutscene" interaction, then they are the equivalent to a (BAD) Steve Jackson Gamebook [wikipedia.org] or, more accurately, one of the old Laserdisc-based games [youtube.com] . They are not games. They are movies with an interactive element thrown in.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871715)

Due to the 10 cut-scenes you have the pleasure to watch while trying to get from A to B.

Nonsense. Cutscenes don't occur that often. The reason why it takes you time to go on foot is because - get this - the environments are huge.

Realistic graphics in a game don't make a good game. They can help make a game better. If a game is 90% cutscenes, intercut with "now press the A-,X-, up-, up- buttons, then pause exactly 4.5 secs, and press Y to get to the next 10 minute long cutscene" interaction, then they are the equivalent to a (BAD) Steve Jackson Gamebook or, more accurately, one of the old Laserdisc-based games. They are not games. They are movies with an interactive element thrown in.

Ok, and what does this have to do with Crysis, or modern games in general? MGS4 may have lots of cutscenes but MGS4 is one game.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (0, Troll)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871821)

From the trailers and TFA, heavy rain will be MGS4-like in that it's about pressing the right buttons at the right time. Thus the relevance

Crysis ... I honestly can't say I played it long. I tried it at a friend's who had the gear to run it. My experience went like this :
I am in a plane, I can move my head around, I jump out of the plane, I can move my head around a bit .. uiii .. shiny clouds... I land and run for 30 sec. first cutscene. I run a bit more, shoot 2 enemies, next cutscene ... I run a bit more ... cutscene ... I run a tiny bit more ... the sun goes up .. uhh .. cutscene.
That's where I gave up.

Interestingly, the best game of the last few years in my opinion used a relatively old (but quite good) engine and had exactly TWO cutscenes. The first one when you woke up, and the last one where you were not served cake. Somehow it was able to convey a complex and interesting story all the same.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871999)

From the trailers and TFA, heavy rain will be MGS4-like in that it's about pressing the right buttons at the right time. Thus the relevance

Resident Evil 4 also has quicktime events, but that doesn't make it an interactive movie.

Crysis ... I honestly can't say I played it long. I tried it at a friend's who had the gear to run it. My experience went like this :
I am in a plane, I can move my head around, I jump out of the plane, I can move my head around a bit .. uiii .. shiny clouds... I land and run for 30 sec. first cutscene. I run a bit more, shoot 2 enemies, next cutscene ... I run a bit more ... cutscene ... I run a tiny bit more ... the sun goes up .. uhh .. cutscene.
That's where I gave up.

You're making shit up. After you've parachuted down, there isn't a cutscene until you find Aztec. Cutscenes are few and far between in the game.

Interestingly, the best game of the last few years in my opinion used a relatively old (but quite good) engine and had exactly TWO cutscenes. The first one when you woke up, and the last one where you were not served cake. Somehow it was able to convey a complex and interesting story all the same.

Yes, because somehow cutscenes are the devil and can never be used to tell a story because of (insert arbitrary reason here) and because the Half-Life method of storytelling works for every imaginable kind of storyline and gameplay.

Ironically enough, Crysis uses the Half-Life method quite a lot.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

jadin (65295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870855)

Normally I'd agree with you, however, from what I just read this is more like a book or a movie than a video game. And with that in mind context gameplay goes right out the window.

What helps make a book or movie more enjoyable is willful suspension of disbelief, and greater realism will help exactly that.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (2, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871101)

All this realism stuff gets on my nerves. Sure it looks more realistic but is it actually a better game?

Why don't you wait and see? Producing a compelling game is a fine art and it might suck for a multitude of reasons, but I fail to see why you pour hate on it because it strives for realism and a strong narrative.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871411)

Just because graphics don't matter in Wii Tennis doesn't mean they don't matter in an adventure game. Advanced graphics can only be a good thing for adventure games. Sounds to me like you're just pretending to be some sort of pseudo-hardcore gamer by performing the same old routine about how graphics are the devil and we should all go back to Pong.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871671)

And with all respect, you seem to have this very "black and white" view of the world of gamers.

I speak from 25+ years experience of gaming when I say that a game only needs to be entertaining and immersive, not necessarily realistic. And when it comes to adventure games, then the prime requirement is to have a big wedge of logical puzzle solving along with the gradual revealing of an underlying plot.

The problem with many of the games today is that the focus is *far too much* on pretty graphics without putting equivalent effort into the gameplay itself, plus the attitude of many games developers these days seems to be to sell shorter and shorter games (with additional expansions) with easy-to-solve puzzles because the teenage gamers of today don't have long attention spans.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871689)

I speak from 25+ years experience of gaming when I say that a game only needs to be entertaining and immersive, not necessarily realistic.

Nobody ever said it has to be realistic.

And when it comes to adventure games, then the prime requirement is to have a big wedge of logical puzzle solving along with the gradual revealing of an underlying plot.

And advanced, cinematic graphics are somehow mutually exclusive with puzzle solving and a plot?

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871683)

"Are the graphics on the Wii "realistic" hell no, they are basically cartoons but the games play well and I don't care about the graphics."

Which games are these?

I have yet to find anything on the Wii I enjoy, other than the initial "Sports" game. The fact the graphics are primitive is a minor incovenience compared to how bad the game library seems to be.

Re:So realistic you'll feel like you are in a meet (1)

Tragedy4u (690579) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871737)

I have to disagree with you on this. Impressive graphics are a tool for artists and whether or not they choose to use them depends on the artistic vision they are trying to convey. Some artists like Pablo Picasso are fine with abstract shapes (Wii) while others prefer highly detailed works of art Da Vinci (PS3). It's when the graphics are used as a sole motivating factor to sell a game, with no substance behind it all that it fails. The same goes with a big blockbuster film with awesome SFX with no plot, which can be trumped by a low budget indie film.

Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24869429)

I'm more impressed by Chocolate Rain.

Re:Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24869481)

[moves away from the microphone to breathe in]

Am I the only one (5, Funny)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869443)

?ho immediately thinks of the production of "Chubby Rain" from that Steve Martin/Eddie Murphy comedy Bowfinger? heh. Off topic. Mod me down.

Re:Am I the only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24869731)

haha yeah that was my first reaction too! luckily it's not based on the movie - that could have been a very bad game. if i had a /. account i'd mod you up...but i don't so you're stuck at 2 ;)

Re:Am I the only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24870379)

haha i thought so too

Unexpectedly in a unnatural sort of way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24869465)

Unexpectedly in a unnatural sort of way i am thinkin touch screen, Madison and me go in at at it.All the more reason not to go outside

"Heavy Rain" (0, Redundant)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869521)

Not to be confused with "Chubby Rain [imdb.com] ".

Re:"Heavy Rain" (1)

willyhill (965620) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869547)

Or Chocolate Rain [youtube.com] .

Dear god did I just link to that...

Hard Rain? (2, Funny)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869577)

Good lord, when I first saw the title of this thing I thought of that movie with Christian Slater from about ten years ago, "Hard Rain", and thought they were making a game out of it. It was at that point that I cried out in fear and pain, thrashing my keyboard into the wall and curling up in the corner, a whimpering smudge of a geek. "Make it stop...." was all I could be heard to say...

Re:Hard Rain? (0, Offtopic)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869771)

Hey, whoever modded this Flamebait? Would you care to get a sense of humor? Thank you.

No Video? (1)

Mike610544 (578872) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869597)

Anyone can talk about realistic characters and show screenshots. It's the animations that makes human characters seem real.

Re:No Video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24869679)

google works wonders.

Re:No Video? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871091)

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7qGb8rF9AY [youtube.com]

Maybe I got the wrong impression, but the game sounds boring to me.

And the graphics don't look that realistic.

Editor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24869751)

...shoots the editor who decided to put em tags in the title

I'm a huge fan of Quantic Dream (4, Informative)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869817)

Most of you won't remember, but Quantic Dream is the studio that brought us Omikron: The Nomad Soul. That game had a soundtrack with David Bowie on it.

They also brought us Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy.

I'm a fan of their immersive adventure style games. Hard Rain ought to be a knockout.

Re:I'm a huge fan of Quantic Dream (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24871545)

Maybe Heavy Rain could've been a knockout... before they signed with Sony for a PS3 exclusive.
Now one of the few well crafted games to come out in the last few years is going to tank. Why? Because nobody can play it!

Platform exclusives are a bad idea in the first place. What David Cage was saying about the difficulty of having a good control system across platforms (Prior interivew) is nothing more than a cop out and a way of justifying the exclusive.
The PS3 is the worst possible choice for an exclusive in the first place. It's launch was a completely disaster. Nobody can afford it! You cannot expect people to buy a console just for one game! Especially when that console cost more than 600 Euros!

I'm thinking that Quantic Dream must have had a lot of trouble finding a publisher to agree to this. Which isn't surprising since so few publishers will touch a creative or original game. I'd be quite certain that David Cage knows that most of his audience is on the PC platform. Adventure gamers have always been partial to the PC. Why would adventure gamers buy a console when there have almost never been any adventure games on consoles.

QTEs (1)

hidannik (1085061) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869825)

If it's a QTE-fest like Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit was, with a peyote-inspired plot wrap-up, count me out.

Re:QTEs (1)

HonIsCool (720634) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870401)

Yeah, me too. Seriously, Fahrenheit was promoted as being "immersive" and then it's all just QTE a la Dragon's lair?! At least in Shen Mue they just showed up once in a blue moon, but talk about being pulled out of the "real" game when for every action sequence there are buttons showing up and pulling your focus. Or those annoying illustrations of how to pull your right stick. They could have just turned the screen completely black and just had those buttons and illustrations, because for sure my attention was all on them and whatever was actually happening with the main character in the background was just a complete distraction... It's the total opposite of being immersed in a game for goodness sake! If this "realism" they are touting now is anything like the "immersiveness" in Fahrenheit, well...

Sorry, no realism biscuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24869943)

I hate to say it, but this game--like others before it--fails to render some of the most important aspects of conveying human emotion: facial expressions. Until animators begin to properly recreate the musculature changes that go with various emotions as a whole, any claims of realism in this regard fall flat.

Watching the demo for this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyubR1rknBM) I can agree that they did a great job on the eye movement and motion capture, but that realistic movement only serves to highlight that the virtual actor's face is not realistically animated. More than the motion of the eyes, it is the set of the jaw, creasing of the forehead, raising/lowering of the eyebrows, etc. that convey emotion and meaning.

Don't get me wrong, this looks to be a great game, and their work on the on the lighting, texturing and overall animation is superb; however, regarding the expressions of their virtual actors: no realism biscuit.

Re:Sorry, no realism biscuit (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870167)

Is that link for real? If so, I have to agree with you... it's complete crap. I don't think it's the least bit realistic, and the "virtual actor" (as you put it) looks and sounds stupid.

If I bought a game with lips synced that bad I'd only be able to play for about 2 minutes before I'd have to put a layer of opaque paint onto my monitor.

Re:Sorry, no realism biscuit (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870187)

Ignore my last comment... it's obviously a different "heavy rain".

Re:Sorry, no realism biscuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24870907)

No, it's not. It's a tech demo for Heavy Rain, exactly the same Heavy Rain that's in TFA. GP gets it wrong in a major way, though, by pretending an almost two and a half years old tech demo is in any way representative of the final product.

Unless their game developers have been asleep for the last couple of years, that is, which to be fair happens at times.

Re:Sorry, no realism biscuit (1)

Alistair Hutton (889794) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871195)

Youtube foo-barred the sound. The original video is obviously a lot better. Also the actress they mocapped has big teeth and funny lips.

Adventure games are not dead (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#24869951)

This is so cool. An article about an adventure game on /.. Adventure games are not dead, as everyone thinks. They're getting more and more mainstream.

Re:Adventure games are not dead (1)

Quietus (808995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870051)

Neither are visual novels, which is what Heavy Rain seems like, to me. A glorified visual novel.

complete perfection (1)

sbluen (1307489) | more than 6 years ago | (#24870101)

I tend to disagree with the idea of adding blemishes to the characters to make them realistic. Sometimes perfection is better than reality.

Italic Headline (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24870293)

How many other stories have an italic proportion in the headline?

Not more realistic than HL2 (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871047)

Judging from the screenshots, the 3d characters are no more believable than Alyx from HL2. And that particular game is already 4 years old.

Re:Not more realistic than HL2 (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871451)

I actually find the (gfx depiction of) characters from Call of Duty 4 much better than those in hl2 (even the more "modern" hl2-ep series). But you're right Alyx is a hottie (errr, or so I hear).

Phantasmagoria? (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871055)

Immersive story/puzzle games are nothing particularly new.

Remember Phantasmagoria? Spent weeks finishing that one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantasmagoria_(computer_game) [wikipedia.org]

This seems to be doing the same thing better with much more realistic reactions and interface (of course Phantasmagoria had no choice as it used filmed section on 7 CDs) - and what is really noteworthy is that they are moving away from forcing the character down set pathways and decisions and allowing the player to choose their own route more.

I wonder if the 360 is up to this? Smaller disc drive and less processing.

Let's hope Cage learns from the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24871321)

Fahrenheit was quite an interesting experience, I really enjoyed it...for the first half.

Then the story went AWOL with tonnes of unnecessary additions, conspiracies and needless complexity.

I hope this time he's had some advice from a competent writer.

Oh, and a slightly more intelligent interactive interface might be nice too.

Quantic Dream: All Sizzle, No Steak (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871661)

Quantic promises a whole lot with the titles that they hype, and ends up giving very little beyond what they shine up for demo releases. They did it with Omikron, they did it with Fahrenheit (though anyone familiar with 'indigo children' might have suspected the clusterfuck that the story would turn into), and they've done it with their other adventure titles.

Photorealism (1)

chenjeru (916013) | more than 6 years ago | (#24871983)

As the studio manager of a motion capture studio (http://motekentertainment.com), we find that the amount of work involved in capturing and recreating human realism is terribly difficult and ultimately unrewarding since you never quite get there (yet). When doing high-level realism, we often use mocap to get 90% there and finish up with a traditional animation pass. For most productions, we try to steer more towards a stylized product since you will get better and typically less freaky results.

Re:Photorealism (2, Interesting)

chenjeru (916013) | more than 6 years ago | (#24872053)

Sorry to reply to my own post, but I meant to say that the previous statements apply primarily to facial capture. Full body capture is dramatically easier and pretty close to as realistic as it's going to get since you're already capturing movement close to the skeleton. Facial capture is trying to capture all the skin and muscle and fat sliding around on top of the skull, which is the primary reason it's much more complex.
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