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Square Enix has a new character tech demo floating around showcasing the level of detail capable of being produced in the Luminous Engine. The demo videos are pretty short but it follows up on Square's previous engine showcase that let everyone know that the real-time graphics they are capable of producing are truly CGI quality.
Take note that the original tech demo for Agni's Philosophy that had everyone “wowed” and “awed” was running on a mid-to-high range PC sporting a single Nvidia GTX 680. No supercomputer, no $2.5k super-rig, no over-the-top devkits. If Square released an actual game of Agni's Philosophy anyone with a fairly recent computer or a GTX 680 or higher could run it on max settings. Very impressive.
You can check out the silent but visually impressive tech demo videos below, courtesy of STFU and Play.
I'm actually, genuinely curious how long it took the artist(s) to make those models and skin them. Seriously. Days? Weeks? Months? The detail in the iris alone looked like it was a lot of work to design and had more polygons than most scenes in today's games. That's not to mention intricate details like the layer of skin under the eyelid (how do you even model that?) and the various layers to give the skin an actual look of realism. To produce a CGI-quality character like this in Unity it required a ton of artists, a lot of time and more tricks, switches and dial turning than I'd care to recite.
Still, Square has made a monumental achievement when it comes to real-time graphics immersion. If for nothing else, I'd at least like to see what a game looks and runs like with that level of aesthetic fidelity.
No word on if Square will commit to a full release of Agni's Philosophy but I doubt they'd waste so much of their resources on just some public R&D tech demos without following through with something. In the meantime, we'll keep you posted.