OMIKRON

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Week 20

This week was completely dedicated to preparing Release 1.8 of the demo, which will be presented to the publishers coming to see us in Paris next week, and sent to those coming the following week. The objective we have set for this version is access to an apartment (you can take a look at screenshots of the apartment). This means getting our dynamic data loading system operational (it provides data loading that the player does not notice), as well as integrating a dialog sequence.
Antoine is working with Philippe, our animator, on the dialog sequence in real time Motion Capture animation, which will be sound synchronized. For the demo, Pierre has modeled the inside of a shop (a pharmacy) where a player can come to buy things by asking the shop-keeper. The first results of the facial Motion Capture are very promising. The pharmacist's face has a surprising life-like quality and a perfect lip-synch in Motion Capture. She blinks and her head moves as she speaks. (download the .mov format film). Real Time lets us turn the camera around the character during the dialog, or lets us offer several fixed camera angles on a shot. This dialog system will be the first ever in a video game.

This week-end we worked on getting ready for a visit by Eidos next week. GT Interactive should be coming to Paris for the second time to talk about the game. Electronic Arts is also waiting in the wings (our meeting with them will be set up in the next few days). Sierra also seems to be warming up (they were among the first to come see the game); we have an important meeting with their Marketing Managers early in March. Over in the United States, some interesting, positive reactions have started to come back to us, even before we have presented the demo on PC. Dreamworks (Steven Spielberg's company) has asked to meet with us. Other contacts are also developing there. I have had to put off my trip to the States once again because of all the meetings with English publishers.

In short, for the moment everything seems to be pretty cool. The contacts are increasing, and all of them are interesting. Omikron seems to be attractive for its technical aspects (including its 3D engine), its Motion Capture animations and its ambitious Game Design. Our goal has been an unfulfilled dream for a lot of players: creating a virtual city in real time 3D, where a player can be free to move around and act upon things and scenery as he wishes. Our demo shows that we are technically capable as a team of meeting the challenge. Now we need to work on the game play. We want to make this the absolute priority in Omikron; the 12 months of development coming up will be almost completely dedicated to it. We want to make Omikron a revolution for players, and we hope to find a publisher who shares this ambition.

Still further adventures to come next week.

Autor: David Cage
Source: Quantic Dream

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Week 20 Monday, February 17, 1997
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