Cliffy B: Heavy Rain's Children Are "Hideous"

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Cliffy B: Heavy Rain's Children Are "Hideous"

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Are Heavy Rain's children the scariest part of the game?

Heavy Rain might have been a heart-gripping tale of human drama to some, but Epic Games' Cliff Bleszinski couldn't get over the freaky faces of its characters. In an interview with GameReactor, Cliffy B jokingly labeled the game's children as "hideous."

Quantic Dream's fusion of movie and videogame was brought up after Bleszinski said that action is in Epic's "DNA" and the developer won't be making the next Heavy Rain anytime soon. On the title, Bleszinski stated: "I don't think they have done enough to avoid the 'uncanny valley' problems."

The "uncanny valley" is a term used to describe a certain phenomenon where virtual characters become more and more appealing to the human brain until they reach a certain point very close to reality. At this point, the appeal sharply drops, creating a situation where realistic characters can actually repulse more than those that are abstract.

"The children in the game are some of the most hideous I have seen," Bleszinski continued. "Ever." Let's face it, he's right, even though Heavy Rain's character depictions are some of the most lifelike we've seen in recent times. Every once in a while, they look a little freaky.

Before you label the comment a bash on Heavy Rain, Bleszinski later tweeted: "This was a JOKE people. Some gaming "press" is becoming *very* tabloid these days. I LOVE Heavy Rain." Just because he loves the game, though, doesn't mean it isn't swimming in a valley of uncanny. Heavy Rain's characters are probably on the forward edge of the uncanny valley, but at times looking at young Jason and Shaun's faces did make me want to uncontrollably throttle them. That's the uncanny valley for you.

Source: GameReactor via VG247

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I don't suffer effects of the Uncanny Valley. The "hilariously bad" faces in Oblivion didn't break the immersion for me at all.

I feel... so alone...

I can't believe that I ninja'd Cliffy B... crazy.

Nature is a cruel mistress.

Please rate the following babies in order of cuteness:

It's so easy to dip into the uncanny valley.

It can be avoided though, even with ultrarealistic characters. Good character design, animations and a slight cartoony sheen can do wonders. It's been so long since Half Life 2 release, but still no video game character has a face quite as good as Alyx Vance. Though even she can slip a little when outside a scripted event.

lacktheknack:
I don't suffer effects of the Uncanny Valley. The "hilariously bad" faces in Oblivion didn't break the immersion for me at all.

I feel... so alone...

I felt the same way. I didn't notice anything wrong with the faces.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Obviously. 2 is the best, because I love rottweilers. I could hug them and adore them day and night, puppies and older dogs alike. Then the gecko. I hate cats and I find human babies to be noisy, ugly and disgusting. So they are out of the order.

So, for me it would be 2, 2, 2 and then 4.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Nature is a cruel mistress.

Please rate the following babies in order of cuteness:

That kitty looks kinda mental xD
And yes, I did rate the animal babies higher then the human baby...

Snip

Yes, I admit I found the kitten the cutest of all the other babies on there but I have excuses as to why. I cannot stand children, I don't like dogs, and the last one will grow up to try and kill ya if you get to close to it.

The children in Heavy Rain did not bother me, besides the annoying voices that all children have.

Aah CliffyB, you always have such exceptional remarks. By the way, thank you for Title Update 6, it's just KICKING ass!

You know another game with ugly people?

Real Life.

O_o

god I hate CliffyB. I wish he would just stop talking...forever.

ultrachicken:

lacktheknack:
I don't suffer effects of the Uncanny Valley. The "hilariously bad" faces in Oblivion didn't break the immersion for me at all.

I feel... so alone...

I felt the same way. I didn't notice anything wrong with the faces.

Same but the faces in heavy rain are a lot closer to normal than oblivion, which is cartoony by comparison.

When it's very close, it bugs me to no end.

The_root_of_all_evil:

You're goddamn right I did! Fuck babies man, kitties are so much much cuter.

So, Marcus and Dom are the epitomes of "ruggedly handsome"? People who live in glass houses, yadda yadda yadda.

Oh look, another person whose opinion I don't care about. Considering Cliffy B thinks himself as John Romero's godson, are we to be surprised?

The_root_of_all_evil:
Nature is a cruel mistress.

Please rate the following babies in order of cuteness:

You, sir, are the king of irony. :) I rate them all equally.

No game I've played so far has gone deep enough into the uncanny valley to become visually repulsive. From what I've seen of Heavy Rain, the animation seemed a little off-putting at times but the graphics never bothered me.

The only time the uncanny valley has really disturbed me is with robots; Some of the creepier ones give me nightmares.

He's right. The kids looked horrible. So did Madison. Scott looked good though.

Then again, I think the Gears characters look ridiculous.

Well I suppose the good news is that after the first 2 hours or so, Children don't show up as much, but I think the whole hideous movement applies to all characters, not just the children.

Yes, Ethan Mars does look Lifelike, but on occasion he does make a face that I can't help, but grimace at.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Nature is a cruel mistress.

Please rate the following babies in order of cuteness:

Was I the only one who rated number 4 the highest? Well, ok, then I guess im just a crazy guy then

Am I the only one who finds the uncanny valley absolutely hilarious?

Am I the only one that looks at something that is in the valley, and bursts out in laughter?

I swear, every time I see something like that, I laugh my ass off. I don't find it "hideous" and I'm not "repulsed," I just find it funny as all hell.

Please tell me I'm not alone.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Nature is a cruel mistress.

Please rate the following babies in order of cuteness:

You know what, that alligator(or crocodile, can't tell) may grow up to eat me, but dammit its so damn cute!

lacktheknack:
I don't suffer effects of the Uncanny Valley. The "hilariously bad" faces in Oblivion didn't break the immersion for me at all.

I feel... so alone...

That's... not really an example of the Uncanny Valley[1]. The point of the term is that, as you make inanimate objects progressively anthropomorphic, humans identify with them more and more.

image
Awww, he's so adorable!

This holds true for as long as the object/robot/virtual character in question remains obviously not human, but possesses human-like qualities. The uncanny valley kicks in when the similarities with humans are almost perfect, but not quite - when the virtual being has more points of similarity with us than it has differences. At that point, instead of seeing the similarities, our minds latch on to the dissimilarities, all the little flaws.

See, before you get into uncanny valley territory, all the little human-like details are layered onto something we know clearly isn't human - in the case of video game characters, it doesn't matter if it's supposed to be a human and indeed clearly resembles one, just so long as there's still a stylized element to the rendering: our brains will still register that what we're looking at isn't a flawed copy of humanity that we should find creepy, and so we continue to emphasize with them.

All that changes when you make that rendering very realistic, but not realistic enough to fool us into believing we're looking at an actual human. What was familiar is now horrifying, like an alien being wearing your best friends skin and not-quite mimicking their personality - it will still look human, but now there's something terribly wrong about it that repulses us now.

Terribly rendered faces like the ones in Oblivion are nowhere close to being convincing enough reproductions of the human visage to induce feelings of repulsion thanks to the Uncanny Valley, we just hate them because they're terribly rendered and really ugly.

[1] So named because of the sharp dip in the otherwise upwardly trending graph showing how we relate to progressively human-like robots, that will presumably climb back up again when the robot becomes indistinguishable from humanity - hence the "uncanny valley".

Kharloth:
So, Marcus and Dom are the epitomes of "ruggedly handsome"? People who live in glass houses, yadda yadda yadda.

Of course! They are clearly exempt from the uncanny valley effect! :D

OT: I really like Cliffy B.'s work, but he really kind of digs holes for himself doesn't he?

The_root_of_all_evil:
Nature is a cruel mistress.

oh my god
loll idk why but seeing the baby alligator made me laugh

Kharloth:

So, Marcus and Dom are the epitomes of "ruggedly handsome"? People who live in glass houses, yadda yadda yadda.

he didn't say that sooo...

Zhukov:
He's right. The kids looked horrible. So did Madison. Scott looked good though.

Then again, I think the Gears characters look ridiculous.

lol 'ridiculous' (is right), that they do

duchaked:

So, Marcus and Dom are the epitomes of "ruggedly handsome"? People who live in glass houses, yadda yadda yadda.

he didn't say that sooo...
/quote]

My point is, the characters he makes are fuck-ugly, and he is in no position to call any other company's characters hideous.

I have to admit, Heavy Rain never reached the Uncanny Valley for me. I don't know if anything ever will. Perhaps my mind knows that I was playing a video game, and so it didn't react, I don't know. Or perhaps it's because I looked at it as a movie and so my brain registered it on the same level. I was much to focused on how stupid the kids were to focus on how horrifying they were.

The Austin:

Kharloth:
So, Marcus and Dom are the epitomes of "ruggedly handsome"? People who live in glass houses, yadda yadda yadda.

Of course! They are clearly exempt from the uncanny valley effect! :D

OT: I really like Cliffy B.'s work, but he really kind of digs holes for himself doesn't he?

Technically they are exempt from the effects of the Uncanny Valley, as the characters from Gears of War are walking cartoon caricatures of humanity, and as such are not even remotely going to fool anyone into thinking they're supposed to be "real". Which is a back-handed compliment if I ever saw one, heh.

Look who's talking, Cliffy.

Zhukov:
He's right. The kids looked horrible. So did Madison. Scott looked good though.

Then again, I think the Gears characters look ridiculous.

I liked Madison. She was very beautiful, in my opinion. She isn't the typical girl game video character, though. She is beautiful in a way that you might see someone who looks just like her on the street and thinks she is kind of hot, but compared to other digital beauties, she is at the bottom of the list.

I was more concerned by the fact the kids were French despite coming from an American family.

Gildan Bladeborn:

The Austin:

Kharloth:
So, Marcus and Dom are the epitomes of "ruggedly handsome"? People who live in glass houses, yadda yadda yadda.

Of course! They are clearly exempt from the uncanny valley effect! :D

OT: I really like Cliffy B.'s work, but he really kind of digs holes for himself doesn't he?

Technically they are exempt from the effects of the Uncanny Valley, as the characters from Gears of War are walking cartoon caricatures of humanity, and as such are not even remotely going to fool anyone into thinking they're supposed to be "real". Which is a back-handed compliment if I ever saw one, heh.

I agree. No one's body is that out of proportion to their head.

hey, someone saying that heavy rain's character faces are weird and uncanny? I said that FUCKING MONTHS AGO, along with most anyone else who isn't a PS3 fanboy.

FargoDog:
I was more concerned by the fact the kids were French despite coming from an American family.

it could have been worst they could have British accents instead

Gildan Bladeborn:
sniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip

I am fully aware of what the Uncanny Valley is, I chose a bad example.

I still haven't suffered immersion breakers from CGI in movie, good models in games, etc. I don't notice the effect.

ForgottenPr0digy:

FargoDog:
I was more concerned by the fact the kids were French despite coming from an American family.

it could have been worst they could have British accents instead

I could have lived with that, because at least an English accent (I'm presuming you're referring to that, there's more than one country, never mind accent in Britian :P) would mean English would be there first langauge. French was just was jarring and off-putting.

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