Kojima: Fox Engine all about photorealism

Metal Gear creator says Kojima Productions aiming for life-like creations with new technology.

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Ahead of the Fox Engine's first public demo at the 2013 Game Developers Conference next week, Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima has explained his ambitions for the new engine.

As translated by Kotaku, Kojima explained in a series of tweets that in addition to online connectivity, souped up visual fidelity is also a goal for the engine.

"The concept of the Fox Engine is photorealism." Kojima said. "The age of fixating on pictures and sound in games is over. Now the questions are: How free is it? Does it connect to the internet and is the gameplay smooth? Even so, a certain level of realistic atmosphere is required."

"At Kojima Productions, we're aiming for a line where even simple CG models look photo-realistic when you zoom out of the game screen," he added.

Kojima then gave an account of the original 1998 Metal Gear Solid, saying that at the time, it was believed that the use of pre-rendered movies would come to an end.

"When Metal Gear Solid 1 was released in 1998, it was said that it was 'the day that [pre-rendered] movies would disappear.' We looked to the future and chose to have video sequences in the game that used polygon models instead of pre-rendered graphics. Now they make VFX movies with game engines," Kojima said. "With Peace Walker, we tried a handheld system with the age of cloud technology. People laughed at us then, too."

Kojima concluded his comments by saying developers must constantly look to the future and not get caught up in what "businessmen" may believe is the way forward.

"Businessmen in the field always think ‘What platform or career is going to succeed? With whom/where should I strengthen my ties?' and look to the future and choose their path from there," Kojima said. "But technology is always evolving, and it always leaves the laboratory and becomes a part of everyday life. Creators must look to that future when they create."

Kojima will give an in-depth look at the Fox Engine next week during GDC. He will also discuss the development process on Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes during the discussion. GameSpot will stream the event live.

Discussion

175 comments
Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9

Screw photo realism, why isn't Hayter voicing Snake?

Poordevil
Poordevil

Photo realism in reality is an art style rather than a actual rendering of everything as it actually appears and behaves. That is an impossible goal to achieve. Not only tech wise, but money and resource wise. It's never going to happen.

Lost-to-Apathy
Lost-to-Apathy

And yet it's not even close to photo realism. I love this guy's games, but he talks too much.

HaloinventedFPS
HaloinventedFPS

Kojima said the same stuff about MGS4, he said it would look as good as movie CGI, then after it came out, he claimed the PS3 held him back

Kojima always over hypes his games

Gazz64
Gazz64

 graphics aren't everything, a pretty looking game can still play like arse! and photorealism? the recent face works demo comes to mind, Ira is just a head but takes 2terraflops to render, just above the PS4's capability so a game rendered in photorealistcs graphics... do the math!

tehwatever
tehwatever

Cryengine is feeling threatened right now.

Hurvl
Hurvl

A game with realistic physics, character animations etc. are more important to me than photorealism, because we're already quite far ahead in the graphics area, unlike the other two I mentioned.

Incubus420
Incubus420

Next week is taking way too long. 

tsunami2311
tsunami2311

photo realism to me is I take photo of something and what i see is what i get, Games are no where near that. developers been using this term for  10+ years and it wasnt photorealism then and still isnt. impressive none the less. still think msg4 was showing off the pc verison

ENGDragon83
ENGDragon83

So people want updated graphics but the same gameplay as before for next gen consoles....sheep go back to the flock >.>

Eduardo Silva
Eduardo Silva

If they can maked photorealistic graphics with the familiar (but amazing) gameplay of MGS, I would be very happy :D

xloader7
xloader7

hmmm, Project OGRE, i think (maybe) Joakim m-OGRE-n ! haha

raiden-94
raiden-94

so in other words, joakim mogren was an AI?

jvsexy
jvsexy

And that's why hes a GENIUS !!

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

So now we can see characters shit their pants in even more realism?  No thanks, Kojima.

Printul_Noptii
Printul_Noptii

He should be promoted as the Konami CEO but then again I think this guy is one of the real passionate game designers out there with a clear vision and not suited for running numbers.

sensei_hEnRY
sensei_hEnRY

i'm still waiting for a game engine that not only produce photorealistic graphics, but also produce an environment that behave like a real world. Maybe Fox Engine would up for the task.

fend_oblivion
fend_oblivion

[ Kojima concluded his comments by saying developers must constantly look to the future and not get caught up in what "businessmen" may believe is the way forward. ]

^ Someone give this man a frickin' medal.

Andres Felipe Florez
Andres Felipe Florez

I don't mind the graphics I love them but gameplay is always first and foremost.

BlueTurtz
BlueTurtz

I wonder when the time will come when a game's GFX are too realistic. I mean in terms of violent games where at that point the images are disturbing.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

With all their talk about how good it looks I hope the PC version isn't just a lazy port and they actually do something to make it look as good as they say.

Wil Kramer
Wil Kramer

Please bring it to the Wii U! Snake Eater for the 3DS was head and shoulders above the original version.

Biggie Biggz
Biggie Biggz

Lol. Gameplay 1st but I am a graphics ho she yes bring on the graphics baby

M3o5nster
M3o5nster

"Kojima concluded his comments by saying developers must constantly look to the future and not get caught up in what "businessmen" may believe is the way forward."

Kojima, this is why I love you. (nofrankocean)

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@Gazz64 Luckily all the console Metal Gears Solids play really well, and look great! Heavy story focused sure, but the gameplay is sweet :D

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@niklev83  Because playing Doom 3 is sooo 'awesome' next to the original two ;) 

Ok, pardon my sarcasm but games are about gameplay before all else. If you like games that are no more than pretty tech-demos, rather than something fun to play (say Mario 3?) You have an obsessive mindset for image quality, not one that reflects true gamers. 

Maybe just buy and collect paintings instead, or watch Avatar over and over.

Devils-DIVISION
Devils-DIVISION

@Hurvl

Well neither of those will probably ever be capable of representing real life 100%--perhaps 99%. You may be able to fool the human brain into thinking the game was 100% real, but I hope I don't have to explain what the difference is. But in any case, it is more than enough for a video game to fool us into thinking a game is real, than to actually make the game 'real'.

Physics and character animations are by far the most time consuming and probably the hardest to nail down (the math in the physics department alone is pretty full-on). But I don't see that area as being entirely necessary for substantial improvement; I think it is good enough, but sure why not work on it anyway. I agree with one of Capcom's devs who said that, lighting and shadows are the best way to make a game look very realistic, but of course, and it goes without saying, that there is an important place for high-res textures, etc., and a modern game would feel very cheap if it had the same physics as 'Tennis for Two' in a game like Crysis (if that were even possible).

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@Dragonps If it's not broke? Don't fix it. MGS4 & Peace Walker had sweet gameplay.

frozenux
frozenux

@fend_oblivionMedal? don't make me laugh.He sure doesn't follow his own words.That's why he has been mainly working  on the same franchise since 1987....even though he got amazing game concept  like Snatcher and Policenauts that would be a great break from his main "endevour".So focused on MGS, that his team failed when they tried another approach with MGR."1 trick pony".

lowdan666
lowdan666

@fend_oblivion "a medal" build him a statue made of pure gold^^

psx_warrior
psx_warrior

@fend_oblivion Hmm, an excellent comment from this man, unlike the troll comments from another dev recently.

J_Snake
J_Snake

@Andres Felipe Florez Well Kojima always brings great innovative gameplay to each installment in the franchise. I'm not to worried.

raiden-94
raiden-94

@Andres Felipe Florez go play an n64 game and get back to me, tell me you enjoy it better than if it were on ps3.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Devils-DIVISION Oh, I agree that it isn't important for a game to look truly real, I would even prefer a game that looks like a game, because that's what I'm interested in - playing a game, not reality. I know that physics and animation are tough, but that's why I picked them. Compared to graphics, as well as sound, lighting and other effects, those two are often a bit lacking. Some here have said that no matter what, the eyes and general lifelessness of the characters will always remind you that you're playing a game, so photorealism won't help immersion if other stuff tear it down. I'd rather have it that all areas are kind of equal, than to have a few areas that ruins the great performance of the other areas. Then again, I'd also like to see more weird and surreal games or otherworldly, rather than just trying to make a game look like a feature film, because you can only take realism so far.

xloader7
xloader7

@genjuroT the Phantom Pain producer is not human, but an anagram / CG? Kojima was amazing!

J_Snake
J_Snake

@frozenux MGR wasn't his team moron. And there is so much story and background behind MGS for him to leave some out would be an insult to his consumers.

Devils-DIVISION
Devils-DIVISION

@Hurvl

Indeed! I think it's a case of 'be careful what you wish for' with people who ask for more and more realism. The last thing I wanna do when I get home from work is to run a simulation of what I wish to escape, else I'll be buying more alcohol.

Yes, equal time and consideration for all areas is necessary, and obviously some games excel in certain of their own. But I think, for the most part, game devs get it right, and it's just a matter of trust and patience on our side--that developers want to push, evolve, innovate, work harder to create more complex and sophisticated AI (which has arguably made the least steps forward--we'll see if The Last of Us makes a leap), etc.