During a keynote at Microsoft's BUILD 2015 conference Square Enix showed off a new tech demo called WITCH CHAPTER 0 [cry]. The demo was built upon "state of the art software and hardware" including Microsoft DirectX 12, Nvidia GameWorks effects folded into Square Enix's Luminous Studio engine and powered by a PC with four Nvidia GeForce TITAN X GPUs installed.
As the Nvidia blog says, many tech demos end in tears for the wrong reasons. However the WITCH CHAPTER 0 [cry] tech demo portrays real-time computer generated 'human crying'. It apparently "stunned" the audience at BUILD. Nvidia suggests that this demo may, in the future, be seen as a milestone that broke through the boundary of 'uncanny valley' in video games – what do readers think?
Microsoft's Steve Guggenheimer presented the video above and switched between auto and manual mode so he could navigate around the scene for us, showing off various rendering details and lighting possibilities. Guggenheimer noted that there were over 63 million polygons being rendered in each of the scenes he showed us. This, he said, represented about six to twelve times greater data density than was possible with DirectX 11. In a close up of the 'witch' character, looking at her skin and hair, he said the textures being used were 8K by 8K.
Nvidia concluded by reminding us that the tech demos of today show us the possibilities of gaming engines in the future and that much of the know-how and techniques applied in WITCH CHAPTER 0 [cry] "will surely trickle down to tomorrow's games".