The Dark Sorcerer is indeed a tech demo for the PlayStation 4, much like the famous Kara. Quantic Dream has released the full 12 minute short, and David Cage has explained his genre jump to comedy.
The Dark Sorcerer debuted during Sony’s E3 conference but the full version is below; the short stars David Gant, Carl Payne and Christian Eriksen – who has been in every David Cage game since Omnikron – and David Gasman.
The set in The Dark Sorcerer is composed of about 1 million polygons. Each character contains just under 1 million polygons, 350MB of textures, and around 40 shaders. The demo uses Physically Based Shaders, volumetric lights, full HDR, Color Grading, Physical Lenses and translucence to render skin. Changes in lighting are rendered in real time, including during the “special effects”.
In a lengthy post on the PlayStation Blog, Cage said The Dark Sorcerer follows in the footsteps of The Casting and Kara as an attempt to harness the power of consoles in order to render realistic emotion.
Cage said Kara showed Quantic Dream it was well on its way to achieving that goal, and taught the team that the actor’s performance is important; it’s one of the reasons it pursued Ellen page and William defoe for the upcoming Beyond: Two Souls.
To challenge itself with its next demo, Quantic Dream decided to tackle comedy, which is not universa the way fear and love are. By using non-human characters, Quantic Dream had to adapt its technology, too.
“The graphic quality obtained with relatively little effort was a spectacular improvement on PS3,” Cage said.
“We obviously expected this, going from the tech specs, but it’s one thing comparing the number of polygons per second, and it’s quite another seeing it on the screen.
“On PS4 everything looks great because the machine offers power that was totally inaccessible up until now. We can feel that we are closing in little by little on the kind of graphic quality we find in CG films.
“The PS4 engine used for The Dark Sorcerer is only in its first iteration and most of the features scheduled for the final version of the engine haven’t yet been implemented. This demo is only a first test that is well below the visual quality we hope to achieve in our next game.”
Which will be totally unrelated to this standalone film, by the way.