French Developer Quantic Dream are a company we've had our eyes on for some time. The team, led by David Cage and responsible for last years stunning and genre-fusing adventure Fahrenheit
, has been quietly working away with some stunning new technology which seems to approach the uncanny valley - the point where digital actors are so realistic that their appearance is disturbing to audiences.
Quantic's new game is titled Heavy Rain
and looks to be a PlayStation 3 exclusive at the moment though information is quite sparse. So far only a single technology demo has been released; a single movie scene
created in the new engine and which uses advanced physics drivers to simulate hair and cloth materials.
"We had a meeting with Leonardo DiCaprio in 2004 and we tried to convince him to play in one of our future games – at the time we had Fahrenheit to show him,
" detailed Guillaume de Fondaumière, co-founder of Quantic Dream, in an interview with GI.biz
"He liked it very much, but he politely explained to us that we still were not at the level that he'd expect the technology to be at in order to give us his time and be able to portray his performance. Today, it's very different. We're talking with class A actors. These Hollywood actors are asking us about the scenario and the stories as the technical aspects are taken care of.
"We've been able to demonstrate that we're capable of portraying the performance. They are asking, "what's the subject matter, what's the role?"
" he said.
We had a chat with David Cage ourselves
a while ago and he lets us in on some of the details of Heavy Rain
and the how his team is working to create new, emergent stories for the PS3.
"I can officially announce that there is no uncanny valley any more, not in real-time...with our next project we're going to demonstrate with hundreds of characters that we can have extremely realistic characters that not only move like real actors but express themselves through facial animations and speech like real actors, and are extremely accurate to the actors they are portraying,
" he added.
Do real actors have a place in the virtual environment, or should characters should be created from scratch wherever possible? Let us know what you think in the forums