A Cook’s tour of the field, watching the players gambol about, was enough stiction to send his mind careening through recollections of his heyday and his mouth to gamming away about them between lymphatic swigs of his alcoholic elixir.
If you are familiar with computer graphics, be it in movies or games, you have probably heard the term The Uncanny Valley. In short, the idea is that the closer you approach realism without reaching it the more striking the tiniest flaws become that actually cause the viewer to become more aware of the “falseness” of it. Often you’ll hear people talk about the “dead eyes” because they don’t blink or twitch enough, or problems with the way the mouth forms words not being quite right.
For me, new games that try so hard to be super realistic actually result in me not wanting to stare at their graphics for hours on end. Even my current favorite game, Red Dead Redemption, has issues. Many of the people in that game look overly dirty, and most of the female characters are downright hideous. You could brush that off as “people were dirtier in the Old West” and that might be true, but it still doesn’t look right. That’s why most of the game is played pulled back behind your character. If it was first person and you had to look all these people in the face to interact, it would be very off putting.
All of this is why what a company called Depth Analysis showed off at E3 this year is just so cool. It’s called MotionScan and essentially it takes the current motion capture (the suits people wear to get things like Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films) to a whole new level. It scans the entire body, so that not only motions of the limbs are recorded, but facial ticks and lines as well. Just check out this comparison from the above linked article:
It does look pretty damn impressive. This has me really looking forward to Rockstar’s L.A. Noire which is going to utilize this technology.
My process for writing is often that I think of a setting, a situation, and then I think about how it is going to end, then I start writing scenes, chunks of text that might be interesting from wherever I decide to start along the way to the end I have envisioned. Many of these scenes don’t make the final cut, either because they don’t end up working in the overall story, or because the characters I needed for them to work ended up being somewhere else, or not surviving long enough to be in the scene. For years I’ve been crafting scenes for an apocalyptic zombie story, some are better than others, some are really bad. What follows is one scene that was dropped from the story because the two characters involved got split up before this could happen. A version of this still exists, but it is completely different now, with different characters and a modified setting, although much of the dialogue remained the same.