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Can Tech Demos Cry? Square Enix's DX12 Witch Chapter 0

Being a cold and distant sort, I don’t know what to make of crying. It’s the thing where your face gets wet without swimming, yeah? I’ll trust Square Enix when they say “the human emotion of crying” is “one of the most difficult representations for existing real-time CG technology” but not know what to make of their fancy new tech demo with high-def crying.

Squeenix last week showed off a new DirectX 12 tech demo with a crying lady running on a chunky PC packing four Nvidia GeForce Titan X GPUs. the demo named so-very-Squeenixly ‘WITCH CHAPTER 0 [cry]’ is some pretty fancy pixel-pushing, but even to my reptilian eyes I don’t think we’re out the weird creepy puppet people phase yet.

This fancy new demo was revealed during Microsoft’s Build event last week. Witch Chapter 0 was created mostly by the folks behind Square Enix’s 2012 DirectX 11 tech demo Agni’s Philosophy, which may be why it looks familiar, with a little help from Nvidia and Microsoft.

“Square Enix is working on this next-generation research project as a showcase for our technology and creativity which will lead the future of Square Enix,” Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda said in a follow-up announcement. “The results will be used to further advance the quality and technical expertise of our games. We will continue to pursue this research on cutting-edge technologies including high-end real-time graphics using the innovative DirectX 12.”

They say this project’s research feeds back into the Luminous engine at large, including helping with Final Fantasy XV – a game I really want to see come to PC because the idea of a group of rowdy anime boys going on a road trip to save the world is delightful.

Unfortunately, a large cunk of the tech demo’s flash is lost to us right now because no high-quality version is online yet. Probably the best-quality version is on the recorded stream – skip to 1:58:40, but for your convenience here’s the appropriate section clipped out and re-encoded:

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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