In two recent extended Twitter comments by the head of Kojima Productions, Hideo Kojima, the mind behind the Metal Gear Solid franchise hints at his plans for GDC, just a few days away but also drops yet another nugget of information that may fuel the “Joakim Mogren” computer generated (CG) debate even further.
“I’ll make presentation of FOX Engine at GDC in SF next week. Mainly will talk about technical contents focusing on drawing part of FOX Engine. Yet I haven’t gone to detailed adjustments thou. Also will introduce game play for a sneak preview.”
“Concept of ‘FOX Engine’ is photorealism. I think the era of sticking to graphic or sound is over. How you freely play, connect to Internet, pleasantly play is the important point but at the same time min level of realism is needed still. We at KJP aim making look like in real even when looking at reduced game screen for the simple model.”
As hard as it may be to buy into this “computer generated” man theory first hatched on the forums of NeoGAF, when you stop to think about the entire dog and pony show that has been Moby Dick Studios, The Phantom Pain, and Joakim (a perfect anagram for Kojima) Mogren, it all seems overly elaborate and unnecessary for the promotion of a game that will sell like hotcakes anyway. Metal Gear Solid V doesn’t need to have us tricked into talking about it because we’d be talking about it regardless, so maybe there really is some substance behind the CG rumor.
If proven true, the biggest shocker in all of this would be the foreshadowing which took place just a few weeks ago by an unsuspecting David Cage of Quantic Dreams while on stage at the PlayStation 4 reveal. Let’s go back for a moment to this reveal in mid February and refresh everyone’s memory.
David starts his presentation by saying that the one feature he wants the most in future hardware platforms is the ability to convey “emotion.” He referred to it as the “holy grail of video game creators.” Now, doesn’t the holy grail sound like something Hideo Kojima might want a piece of?
Cage then shows us a brief demonstration of the new engine he and his team have developed running in real time on the PlayStation 4 hardware. During the demonstration he made the following comment:
“This is the quality we can get from our future games, and we know we can go even further…”
Well, how much of a lead would Kojima have in the race for realism on the next gen platforms if he and his FOX Engine have achieved the “further” David eludes to, right now. That is the kind of achievement worthy of an elaborate hoax, the kind of achievement people wouldn’t mind having the wool pulled over their eyes for. When you look at the strange series of events under this light, it makes the “Joakim Mogren is Hideo Kojima’s latest FOX Engine demo” argument a hard one to shoot down completely.
Every good magician knows that the key to a successful magic trick is successfully convincing your audience that their efforts should be focused in one area while the real “magic” is happening in another. It’s the entire concept behind the old saying “smoke and mirrors.” If Kojima has been tricking us into focusing on a Metal Gear Solid V tie in when the real trick is the realism standard he’s about to be set with his FOX Engine, then he will have achieved the status of video game David Copperfield.
A reader brought an interesting video to our attention that showcases Nvidia Face Works technology. Now, while seeing the face in its entirety is very impressive, you could argue that the technology is still not good enough to fool us. However, if only the eyes and mouth were completely exposed, as in the face of Joakim Mogren, the photo-realism only need be achieved in those areas.
Here is the Nvidia Face Works Demo
Here’s the Quantic Dream PS4 Tech Demo
Here’s the Geoff Keighley Interview with Joakim Mogren
Last but not least, yet another tweet from Kojima’s Japanese Twitter account all but confirms his involvement with the The Phantom Pain. If you look at the image below, which he tweeted not long ago, you can see that the title of the file being edited is “TPP_GDC2013_720P_ESRB” and the the Producer, Game Designer, and Director is none other than Hideo Kojima. Case closed as far as I’m concerned.
Share your thoughts in the comments section below or message me on twitter @chadlakkis. Either way, the Kojima announcement at GDC is going to have many eyeballs peeled to it.