Kara is a self-aware android

Heavy Rain creator David Cage says he has come up with a new method of simultaneously capturing and digitizing an actor’s performance.

Cage showed off his new performance-capture technology in the form of a 7-minute sci-fi video titled Kara at GDC 2012 in San Francisco. In Kara, Valorie Curry (Veronica Mars, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2) portrays an android who quickly gains self-awareness as she’s being built by a squad of robotic arms. 

“Being older, when I ask people around me what games they play they say they don’t play them anymore. They still watch TV, they still go to the movies – and the fact that they don’t play games anymore isn’t because they don’t have time, it’s because there are no games for them any more. To get this massive audience back, you can give them casual games,” Cage told EuroGamer.

“You can reach this mass of people who don’t play, or who play less through casual gaming or family gaming. What we try do is convince them to play again by giving them some adult content, some adult experiences and saying this is for you guys. It’s for people expecting something else from gaming than just fun and adrenaline.”

According to Cage, the new performance capture technology developed by Quantic Dream uses approximately 90 sensors placed on an actor’s face instead of a small camera. 

“There were 90 markers on her face, and an equivalent amount on her body. She delivered the performance in one take. Avatar proved that you could get past the uncanny valley. 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,” Cage said during an interview with Wired.

“[Frankly], I think the most interesting future feature in the next-gen platforms should be meaningful content. Yes, technology is great and is going to be better and better, and we’ll have more power until you won’t be able to tell the difference between reality and virtual, but what are you going to use this technology for and what do you have to say?”