GDC12: Heavy Rain Developer Releases New Tech Video ‘Kara’

Meet Kara

Quantic Dream the developers of the highly successful and in my opinion brilliant game Heavy Rain have released a demo they call “Kara.” Now Kara is not their next game as was clarified with the video, it is simply a representation of what virtual performances could be, it is very impressive.

Director David Cage has this to say from GDC today.

“After Heavy Rain, we wanted to push the envelope in terms of quality, starting with the visuals. We wanted to improve many things — things that were not possible with the Heavy Rain engine. So we had to develop a new engine from scratch.

We also wanted to improve the quality of the acting. With Heavy Rain, we did what many games do — split performances, recording a voice on one side and a body animation on the other, putting everything together and crossing your fingers that you get a consistent performance. It worked okay for Heavy Rain, but you lose a lot of a performance by splitting into two and rebuilding it artificially.

We wanted to do what Avatar did by having one full performance where we capture everything at the same time. And we wanted to demonstrate these new performance capture techniques and the new engine before going into production, so we developed a short showcase that would allow us to test these ideas and technologies. This is how “Kara” was created.

“Kara” is not our next game. It’s not the character, it’s not the world, it’s not the story. …We do things in a very strange way here, things that have nothing to do with the games we make. But I think that’s a part of the DNA of the studio, and hopefully something that people like about us – they never know what they’re going to get!”
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