Full disclosure, when I first booked my appointment to check out Motiga’s Gigantic most of the folks I talked to wondered why I wanted to check out “yet another” MOBA title. Due to the insane success of free to play MOBA titles such as League of Legends and Dawn of the Ancients 2, designing the next great MOBA has become a quest of sorts for developers everywhere, and for good reason, success means a whole lot of cash and quite a bit of glory. After about five minutes with Gigantic I was blown away with how unique a specimen it really was and may have actually had more Team Fortress in its DNA than League of Legends. Gigantic is a tactical class based action game at its core, and it turns out its core is made of gold.
Quantic Dream recently debuted a new tech demo, entitled “Kara”, running on the PS3 that gives us a glimpse into the next frontier of… gaming, digital storytelling, realistic digital characters? I’ll let you decide. If you remember, Quantic Dream is the studio that brought us visceral interactive dramas such as Omikron, Indigo Prophecy (Farenheit), and most recently Heavy Rain.
What seems like forever ago now, Quantic Dream presented a similar tech demo for Heavy Rain in a short film called, “The Casting”. I’m pretty sure Heavy Rain was the reason I bought a PS3, and I found it to be quite impressive in the game’s ability to convey emotion, and envelop a player in the drama between the characters in the context of an interactive narrative. And just as Heavy Rain was a huge leap over Indigo Prophecy, so too does “Kara” seem to push the boundaries of what might be possible in gaming.
Oh, and if you’re a fan of Ray Kurzweil or ethical dilemas in human robot interaction, or similar emotional spaces explored by Terminator SCC, you’ll probably like this too. Enjoy… and look forward to what Quantic Dream might have in store for you next.
On the surface you might scoff, and find this unimpressive, but understand that this is being rendered in real time on the PS3, it’s not a pre-rendered video. And if you need a point of reference, compare this to “The Casting” or perhaps even something from “LA Noire”. Quantic Dream mentions that this demo only showcases half of what their engine is currently capable of. Their motion capture studio captures the face and performance simultaneously, while it is traditionally done separately in other instances.
Compare to “The Casting”
and now LA Noire
Hopefully, we’ll get to see this technology in a game sooner rather than later. And if this game explores dark emotional spaces in human-robot relations, even better, you can take my money now.