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Heavy Rain devs have "conquered" the Uncanny Valley

Nick Doerr
December 18, 2007
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Quantic Dream, developers of the mysterious Heavy Rain title, let their co-founder, Guillaume de Fondaumière, talk about development of their game. First off, Guillaume (we'd like to call him Fondie, but we'd hate to be so informal) claimed having their own motion capture studio was more useful than outsourcing because they're on their own time and not someone else's -- meaning they can get more out of the tools because they've got them down the hall from the bathroom, so to speak.

The problem with their initial video, many people cried, was the inability for viewers to suspend disbelief. Some emotions seemed awkward and the mouth movement of the character was a bit twitchy at times. However, Guillaume claims that "I can officially announce that there is no uncanny valley any more, not in real-time." If this turns out to be true, it's a real breakthrough for the industry and something the PS3 can claim was done on its console alone. Bragging rights, or something. In light of this new technology, more A-List Hollywood actors are showing interest in taking part in this new virtual medium -- a way to change their image without heavy makeup.

Sony's in control of when any footage gets released. We expect a new trailer or a surprise demo to be wandering around in Home when it launches. Just our two cents. Working for Sony has been great, Guillaume says, since out of all the companies, Sony seemed to understand and really connect with the idea behind the game. Plus they applaud the versatility and power of Sony's machine. This isn't to say they aren't working on games for other consoles, but if Heavy Rain performs well critically and sells decently, we wouldn't be too shocked if the two signed up together for a while.





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