If you’re a gamer, you likely tuned into The Game Awards last night. The annual event, including the usual slew of awards that go out to game developers, also included a number of world premieres for games coming out over the course of the next couple of years.
While Baldur’s Gate 3 took home game of the year, and quite deservedly so, perhaps the biggest moment of the show was when Hideo Kojima took to the stage to unveil a teaser at his long-anticipated game ‘OD.’ In addition to showing off the teaser, he also revealed that he would be collaborating with horror writer and director Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us, Nope) on the project.
You can check out the teaser trailer for ‘OD’ on YouTube below:
While we still don’t have much of a sense of what ‘OD’ is actually about, we do know that Kojima is attempting to blend, video games, movies, and technology into a new type of gaming experience that aims to be more immersive than anything that has been created to this day. The movie piece of that explains where Jordan Peele comes in, and Xbox and its cloud infrastructure explain where the technology side piece of that puzzle shows up.
The teaser trailer shows off three of the actors that will appear in the game speaking a sentence of random words — kind of like the popular “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Then, at the end of the trailer, you can see a door opening in the eyes of one of the actors and them screaming at what steps into the doorway.
One thing that you may have missed is that the actors in the teaser trailer aren’t real. Well, the person being depicted is real, but what you’re actually seeing is Epic’s Metahuman Animation technology in action. When Epic announced the technology back in March, it said that the feature would make AAA character animation quality available to more people, including indie game developers and even hobbyists. The company says that the technology is also able to sync with mocap systems for full-body motion capture:
MetaHuman Animator also works with any professional vertical stereo HMC capture solution, including those from Technoprops, delivering even higher-quality results. And if you also have a mocap system for body capture, MetaHuman Animator’s support for timecode means that the facial performance animation can be easily aligned with body motion capture and audio to deliver a full character performance. It can even use the audio to produce convincing tongue animation.
If you don’t believe me, here’s a quick clip from Ninja Theory which used the animation tech to capture a performance from Hellblade. You can check that out below:
Epic also said that this technology would eventually be able to make its way to a smartphone like the iPhone Pro models and their LiDAR scanners. I wonder if Kojima’s big ambition here is for us as gamers to scan our faces, record our voices, and boom: a digital recreation of our face and our voice in a video game. We are truly the players experiencing the horror of his next game. That would be wild.
There still isn’t an idea as to when ‘OD’ will actually release — or when we’ll have a full trailer or know anything more about the game — but it’s awesome to see the game take advantage of some of the biggest breakthroughs in animation that are starting to come out of the industry.
Whatever this game is, it’s sure to be strange and groundbreaking.