March 9, 2012 at 1:56 PM ET
The Game Developers Conference, which wraps up today in San Francisco, is both a place to celebrate the video game industry's accomplishments and see what its future holds. In the case of the latter, Quantic Dream did just that with their demonstration of the motion-capture technology that they're currently developing.
Quantic Dream is best known for "Heavy Rain," which was acclaimed for its performances by actors that were conveyed in-game to a stunning degree of accuracy. The demo features an android named Kara, and is evidence of how far the developer has been able to push the envelope even further:
As Wired points out, the actress who gives life to Kara should be recognizable to some: Valorie Curry, best known for "Veronica Mars" and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2."
According to David Cage, founder of Quantic Dream: "There were 90 markers on her face, and an equivalent amount on her body… She delivered the performance in one take."
The demo ran on a PS3, in real time, and is a year old. The current version of the technology is in supposedly even more advanced.
Cage, along with other video game makers, as well as filmmakers, envision a future in which computer- generated actors will be some day be indistinguishable from the real thing. " 'Avatar' proved that you could get past the uncanny valley," he said. "A large audience can just forget about the CG and focus on the story. I don’t think Kara is perfect, of course. But step by step, we are leaving the valley."
While some might take issue with the statement, along with the example provided, technology on multiple fronts is advancing at a rapid pace, and with the success of CGI films at the box office, there is the possibility that the uncanny valley might be a thing of the past.
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot, and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.