At this year’s Game Developer’s Conference David Cage–lead developer at Quantic Dream, the studio behind the PS3 title Heavy Rain–screened a non-interactive video game demo that shows off the company’s advancements in performance-capture technology. Quantic Dream transformed actress Valorie Curry into an animated android by sticking 90 sensors on her face and capturing her full performance (voice and body movements) simultaneously. This makes for a consistance performance, explains Cage. It differs from James Cameron’s methods in Avatar in that it doesn’t require a camera to be attached to the actor’s head, plus it’s faster and more affordable.
The seven minute demo is embedded above; it’s called Kara and it tells a short, surprisingly emotional story about a female android who slowly becomes self-aware. Cage makes it clear that Kara is nothing more than a tech demo and that the next game from Quantic Dream will not include any elements from it. This is rather unfortunate because I’ve fallen in love with the android and want to explore what’s next. The moral of this story, though, is that Cage’s studio is leading the way for video games to tell gorgeous, cinematic, believable stories.