A Closer Look At Quantic Dream's Dark Sorcerer Tech Demo
Earlier this month, Quantic Dream unveiled a tech demo teasing to fans what the PS4 is really capable of. I'm sure most people initially tuning in expected something fairly boring and unremarkable...albeit quite visually impressive. What we got, however, was something positively comical. The Dark Sorcerer paints for us a narrative of a hapless actor by the name of David. At some point in his career, David decided to take on the role of an evil warlock in a game that's still in-development. Unfortunately, he didn't quite understand what he was getting into, nor did he particularly understand video games.
The whole thing ended up being incredibly impressive (and quite a fun watch, to boot), particularly given it all grew out of the "Old Man Face" demo at the original PS4 conference. I've posted the video above- if you've not yet watched it, do so now. The rest of this article can wait.
At this point, you're probably wondering why I'm bringing up a video that's nearly two weeks old. Simple: just yesterday, we were given a bit of insight into the technical side of the demo. In other words, we now know just how much effort it took for Quantic Dream to make David Gant tick, and what was involved; thanks to a YouTube video from TheAireaidLord. The numbers are, as expected, fairly impressive.
The set alone was made up of one million triangles, with the lighting dynamically shifting between the studio and movie conditions, allowing it to be switched in the course of a single frame. Maurice the Goblin, meanwhile, is composed of nearly 700,000 triangles, 40 different shaders, and 150 megabytes of texture data. He can be defined as a CG model even though he's running in real-time, and has 388 different "bones" in his body. Unoptimized, it runs between 30-90 frames per second at 1080p.
That's cool and all, but we haven't even gotten to the best part yet. Apparently, this whole demo only utilized half of the available RAM on the PS4. We're not even seeing the system's full potential here. Pretty fantastic, no? Look forward to what else they might do with the tech - we might well make our way out of the uncanny valley this generation.