LA Noire has 2,000-page script, dev has 200-terabyte capture “facility”

Monday, 15 November 2010 19:42 GMT By Patrick Garratt


This had better be good.

Following the release of LA Noire’s first proper trailer last week, a full-sized Game Informer preview‘s revealed that the Team Bondi thriller has a 2,000-page script, and that the developer has formulated a process of simply filming actors and gaining an instant 3D model, instead of using the traditional facial capture method of bone-marking.

The switch to working in this way has given need for the studio to create a 200-terabyte capture unit in Australia.

“I’d been doing some research in the U.K. for a number of years on how you could do capture without markers,” game director Brendan McNamara told the mag.

“What we wanted to do was capture the exterior of people instead of the bones. What we have here is the final end of that process, where you put an actor in the chair and as we record it’s instantly turned into 3D. We think it’s pretty significant. The great thing about that is we think that the whole uncanny valley thing is out the window, because you can see people in the game and literally lip-read what they say.”

To put the script-length into perspective, a long movie will have a script of around 200 pages.

The game looks mental. Last week’s trailer dropped jaws with what looks to be by far the most advanced lip-synching yet seen in a game. McNamara reckons LA Noire will change human characters in videogame development forever.

“Even the [games] I look at now that are great, there’s something about [the characters] that makes me think of a goldfish,” he said.

“You have a million years of evolution that tells you how to read faces, so you just have to see one thing and it throws you off. With this game, it’s a line in the sand – before and after. That’s what it feels like to me. We used to do that; now we do this. In the end, we want you to interact with this and you don’t even ask the question ‘Is this real or not?’”

Must-read. There are new shots there, too. It’s out next spring for PS3 and 360.

The game’s been in development since at least 2004.