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David Cage on Kara: 'My next PS3 games will look even better'

Tech has "evolved" since stunning GDC demo, creator reveals

Yesterday Heavy Rain creator David Cage blew GDC's socks off with a stunning PlayStation 3 demo showcasing his studio's new game engine.

But, speaking to CVG, the French design artiste claimed the final PS3 games running on the technology will look even better...

"Kara was made a year ago, so the technology has evolved a lot since then," the Quantic Dream head told CVG at GDC. "We've worked a lot on the cinematography, we've worked a lot on lens flares, on diffraction and how the light plays on the optic... We're playing with all these things, so I think that the next games - whatever they are - are going to look much better than Kara."

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Although Kara is just a tech demo (Cage asked us to write down 'this isn't my next game' in big letters), the designer said he's already learnt a lot from its ability to use full body motion capture to tell a story.

"We learned the importance of working with actors, the importance of rehearsing - all the things that went through body language," he explained.

"We thought that each time a character had something to say they should say it vocally, in words and dialogue, but actually when you start playing with full performance capture, there's a lot you can say without any words.

"It's like discovering a new area that we had totally ignored. It gives you a lot of subtlety and the possibility to have nuances that were not available in games before."

The impressive Kara technology, he said, offers players an approach to emotion in games not possible in Heavy Rain.

The success of films like Avatar also play a part in the progression of this kind of story-based gaming, he added, claiming that five years ago Hollywood actors would "no way" agree to motion capture acting.

"If you spoke to Hollywood actors maybe five years ago, and told them about motion capture they would ask just what you were talking about," he said. "Since Avatar they all understand that this is respectable too. That they can do this and still be an actor.

"They understand how the world is changing, and how their work is changing. Today it's really easy to go to Hollywood and talk to talented actors (famous and not famous) and say that you're doing the same thing. Five years ago, they'd have said 'No way'. Now: 'Why not? Show me the script.'"

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"[The technology] gives you more realism," he continued. "It allows you to work with the emotion. It lets you have real actors in a very different way to before. I've never thought that realism was an end or a goal in itself: it's one approach to emotion.

"Pixar showed that they can make you feel passionate and emotionally engaged in plastic toys, so I think you can have non-realistic rendering - and that's fine - but with Kara and Heavy Rain this is the direction we want to explore, as we think that we have a lot to learn with realistic rendering before we can go to non-realistic rendering."

However, not to put the importance of technology over a good story, the designer emphasizes that he sees the game engine as simply the delivery methods for the script, acting performances and characters built by the game team.

Even PlayStation 4 would only make a difference in polygons, he claims.

"Of course you always have a platform in mind. At the same time, all this is really from the mantel - whether it's on PlayStation 3, 4, 5 or 6 the process of writing a good script, working with actors, building characters etc...

"In the future we'll do it with more polys and more textures, but fundamentally what we learn right now will remain consistent."

Stay tuned for the full David Cage interview, to be published in the coming days.

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