Quantic Dream shows off PS4 tech demo The Dark Sorcerer

By Alice O'Connor, Jun 12, 2013 7:22am PDT

Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls developer Quantic Dream has shared the full 12-minute version of its PlayStation 4 tech demo The Dark Sorcerer: A Next Gen Comedy, following a short tease during Sony's pre-E3 conference on Monday. It's an impressive and surprisingly funny short film about actors recording a scene for a video game, all running in real-time on a PS4.

"We wanted to gain a little distance from our tendency to take ourselves seriously and believe that we are saying something original or important, whereas the stories and universes of many video games are no more than the echoes of things that have been done better a thousand times before us," director David Cage said in a PlayStation Blog post. He also dropped some tech:

In the current demo, there are about a million polygons in the set, and a little less than a million per character on the screen (i.e. a total of 4 million when the three characters are on the screen). Each character has about 350 MB of textures and about forty different shaders. It’s all managed with Physically Based Shaders, volumetric lights, full HDR, Color Grading, Physical Lenses (particularly useful for chromatic aberrations and 3D depth of field), and translucence for more realistic rendering of the skin. The change of set and all the lighting (and the behavior of the shaders) between the dramatic version of the set and the "studio" version is done in real time. The same holds true for all pyrotechnical particle effects.

As Quantic Dream is still working on the engine, Cage says this demo "is only a first test that is well below the visual quality we hope to achieve in our next game." Which won't be a full video game of The Dark Sorcerer. Its current game, Beyond, is due October 8 on PS3.

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