Movie-quality games in 15 years, claims gaming veteran
Human behaviour, not computing power, is real hurdle
Movie-quality videogame graphics will be possible within 10 to 15 years, an industry heavyweight has forecast.
Tim Sweeny, founder of videogame firm Epic Games, said issues including realistic in-game lighting and movie quality static scenes or motion are just a matter of brute computing power.
“We’re only about a factor of a thousand off from achieving all that in real-time without sacrifices”, Sweeny told website Gamasutra. “Probably 10 – 15 years for that stuff”.
However, he stressed that the real hurdles to movie-quality gaming centre on simulation of human intelligence and behaviour.
Why? Bones, mainly. Humans recognise facial animation in other humans using thousands of bones, but Sweeny said videogames only use tens of bones.
Although he described games like Half Life and Gears of War as state-of-the-art, he also said such titles are still “extraordinarily unrealistic compared to a human actor” in a film because of the “really fine nuances of human behaviour”.
So what’s the solution, more computational power? No, according to Sweeny, who added that even if we had infinitely fast computers now, we’d still be lacking the algorithms necessary to simulate the brain and nervous system in a computer. ®
I agree with the Anonymous Coward above - Uncharted has great animations, and as such creates truly believable (if a little cheesy) characters. I too think we're a lot closer than that, but maybe the 10-15 years figure is going to account for getting back out of the uncanny valley, something that photo realistic graphics have struggled with on this current generation of consoles.
10-15 years? pfft
He is having a laugh surely?.
I would estimate based on current games and technologies that if we don't see lifelike games in 5 years we're doing something wrong.
"Why? Bones, mainly. Humans recognise facial animation in other humans using thousands of bones, but Sweeny said videogames only use tens of bones."
Who are these freaks.. average adult human body only has 206 bones !!!!
For me, this has already been realised in the game 'Treasure Island Dizzy'.
Mind you, I am an egg.
How they quoted to very last-gen titles there... Uncharted Drakes Fortune surely has to have the most lifelike facial animations going on, and is as close to movie-like that any console game has yet to get it. (I would expect Uncharted 2 to raise that bar even further when it's released in a few months).