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“Kara” is Not Quantic Dream’s Next Game (But You May Wish it Was)

Sid Shuman's Avatar + Posted by Sid Shuman on Mar 07, 2012 // Senior Manager, Social Media

Head-turning videogame tech demos are a dime a dozen at Game Developers’ Conference, but developer Quantic Dream might have this year’s crop beat. Watch the full tech demo video for “Kara” below to see how the creators of Heavy Rain are looking to expand virtual performances in video games.

And just to be extra clear: No, “Kara” is not Quantic Dream’s next game.


Director David Cage was on-hand at GDC to debut the new video to the press, and his presentation touched on the origins of “Kara” — we’ve selected a few choice quotes below. Check back tomorrow to hear our full interview with Cage on the Official PlayStation Blogcast. It’s one interview you won’t want to miss!


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!

Heavy Rain – The Casting


//Add Your Own

123 Comments

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101

+ Psikorps on March 8th, 2012 at 10:40 am said:

After watching this a second time…

It made me think back to the first movie I ever saw where I felt a emotional attachment to a “machine”.

Bicentennial Man, with Robin Williams…if the tech demo of Kara let you feel a emotional attachment to a AI of sorts, Bicentennial Man will surely do the same.

For those that want a good read…check out Isaac Asimov’s book, The Positronic Man.


102

+ chifanpoe on March 8th, 2012 at 11:01 am said:

Dear Sony,

Please purchase Quantic Dream and help them to fund Kura into a full game. Thank You.


103

+ DekarBR on March 8th, 2012 at 11:41 am said:

Holy sh**! This got a whole “I Robot” feeling.


104

+ Shadow_Kamui on March 8th, 2012 at 11:53 am said:

That teach demo was amazing.

that essay cut maket as a movie I was speechless

I can wait to see what Quantic Dream comes but I relay wish the did something with kara


105

+ ZiTo_HiMSeLF on March 8th, 2012 at 12:31 pm said:

WHY is Quantic Dream’s first game “Indigo Prophecy” (also known as Fahrenheit in some countries) available for download on XBOX Live Arcade???? Bring that classic to our PS2 digital downloads! Also with the rising concerns over used game sales, it would be wise to make Heavy Rain also available as a digital download.

Bring INDIGO PROPHECY to PS2 Digital Store!!!!!! No excuse why Quantic Dreams’s head guy says they are exclusive to Sony, yet I can not download Indigo Prophecy on the PS3, but I could on the XBOX….despite them saying they were exclusive to Sony…..

Lets get this straightened out.


106

+ Ender_Bean on March 8th, 2012 at 12:46 pm said:

You guys should think about getting Indigo Prophecy in the PS2 Classics program. Just saying. Also, I teared up and reached for the screen when they were dismantling her as well. This is so devastatingly awesome!


107

+ tonydamiani on March 8th, 2012 at 2:46 pm said:

This is breath taking, I want to know more and what happen to that special Kara model wow this is amazing for a few seconds I though this was a movie and not a game. Astounding !


108

+ tonydamiani on March 8th, 2012 at 2:50 pm said:

@ 102 Comment BEST COMMENT AND SUGGESTION IN THE WHOLE BLOG! I AGREE


109

+ BG808s on March 8th, 2012 at 3:49 pm said:

I really wish the new game IS based on the world of the Kara demo. I’d LOVE to play that game!!! Such an awesome potential for a great game.


110

+ BG808s on March 8th, 2012 at 4:03 pm said:

I don’t know what makes my eyes water up most, this brilliant demo or the heart-crushing sentence “It’s not the character, it’s not the world, it’s not the story.” because this story NEEDS TO BE TOLD!!! Like so many others have said, I would pre-order Kara the first chance I got!

If Kara is not currently the game QD is working on, Sony needs to send a big stash of money their way to be able to work on this project simultaneously!!


111

+ ziggurcat on March 8th, 2012 at 4:19 pm said:

SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!


112

+ darkalterkazuma on March 8th, 2012 at 4:55 pm said:

honestly, do SOMETHING with this, it doesn’t matter what really, just perpetuate this please…

also, if any posters agree with me about kara virtual assistant being the preferred direction, please say so


113

+ Kid_Grim on March 8th, 2012 at 8:32 pm said:

Wow maybe if I beg a plead with them they will make this game or someone will. I literally got attached to her, just from watching the video. I want to know she was put in a nice home, and what the world she will live in is like, what sort of hardships will a thinking AI like her have. I so love video games with substance now a days, but mainly it’s just all shooters and action tittles. Heavy rain is still one of my favorite games, not to mention indigo prophecy. Games that involve more than mindless button mashing is a real plus. unfortunately story driven tittles just don’t get that much attention from developers.


114

+ Bastic on March 8th, 2012 at 8:34 pm said:

If the writing has anything as heart felt as this was I will pre order right now… Actually if they could go ahead help movie writers that would be great from summer.


115

+ VideoGamer35 on March 8th, 2012 at 10:52 pm said:

oh god, its beautiful T^T


116

+ railenmiles on March 9th, 2012 at 12:53 am said:

@ post 113

A nice home? Kara is a pleasure bot among other things. Expect a sad story with this one.


117

+ Samarotu on March 10th, 2012 at 8:57 am said:

these are one hell of 7 emotional minutes… I´d love to see Kara moving on into a full movie, i don´t know if it´s enough for a game, but i think QD could make it possible. But i wish this wonderfull story is going to be unfolded further with Mrs. Curry, because everything in this Demo caught me in seconds. & i´m really interested what happens when Kara arrives in the World. So pretty please, give us mor of this.


118

+ lavosslayer on March 11th, 2012 at 3:58 pm said:

Wow…how often does a character pull you in so quickly that you feel an emotional attachment to it in just 5 mins!? Let alone a digitally animated character!? The detail alone in the facial animation conveys such deep emotion that it evokes such empathy in the viewer, the voice acting is spot on and the overall concept is so interesting! We need more!!


119

+ Busca-Cabezas on March 12th, 2012 at 2:05 am said:

I am more than ready to buy a 3rd Gen. EX400 Android for all the described features in Kara’s initialization text. Please, link me to the corresponding selling entities. Thank you! ^_^


120

+ Android66 on March 12th, 2012 at 8:24 am said:

All these great advances in facial animation, lip synching, motion capture and subsurface light scattering…and we still can’t do hair properly.

While this demo is impressive, we’re never going to cross the “uncanny valley” with a videogame character as long as they are bald or have hair that looks like a plastic Ken doll. Show me a demo featuring a game character with realistic-looking hair, and I’ll be more impressed.


121

+ darkdayahead on March 22nd, 2012 at 3:58 am said:

If i hadn’t been told it was just a screen test, i would have though it was a promo for a game about discovering consciousness, if only because of who was developing it. A riveting story and a fantastic ending. And the purity and clarity of the video only made it that much better. great job


122

+ duckie42 on March 25th, 2012 at 2:44 pm said:

i love it…
i love it because its beautiful & the pushing the cgi world further
i think they should of made it into a full game like heavy rain or an actual feature lenth movie.

it actually looks like a teaser for a movie or game & makes heavy rain look like a ps2 game trailer in comparison in quality & emotional depth & graphic quality that KARA has. if Quantic Dream makes a game @ the level of the 7 min kara video im actually glad i got a ps3. if this quality of a game could be ran on a ps3 i couldnt imagine how far the ps4 will get. going by ppl i know this isnt maxing out what the ps3 can do. hopefully soon it would be on the psn store for downloading so i can put it on my vita &i could show a few of my tech savy friends. im supried that the video hasnt gon viral yet. if it dose go viral QD should make it into a game or movie


123

+ Hell_Bound666 on March 25th, 2012 at 4:24 pm said:

I think we all can agree that even if they don’t use this as a main story in the game we would like to see them use this “Kara” character in there new game. I personally would LOVE to see them make a game based around this tech demo in some way cause MAN this is BEAUTIFUL. I had to pick my jaw up off the GROUND after I watched this video cause I was so impressed with it. PLEASE QD PLEASE use Kara as the title or even the idea of your next game. I think the PS fans will agree this would be an amazing game.


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