Star Citizen's New FaceWare Tech Streams Your Facial Movements In-Game in Real Time

Written by Jon Sutton on Tue, Aug 29, 2017 3:00 PM
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In a pretty neat addition, Cloud Imperium Games has announced new FaceWare facial mapping software for Star Citizen. All you need is a simple webcam and the facial recognition software will translate your facial movements in-game, including speech. Laugh in real life and sure enough, your character will laugh in Star Citizen.

This is some very cool technology to put into the hands of PC gamers and it should really help with the immersion aspect of Star Citizen’s persistent universe. You’ll be able to meet and interact with other players completely naturally, whether that’s showing again at some stolen cargo or just shooting the breeze in a city bar.

FaceWare works with just about any old camera that you plug into your PC, although a dedicated version with 60fps capture for accurate face movements is also being produced.

Star Citizen's Alpha 3.0 should be rolling out at some point in September.

Our favourite comments:

I'll admit, that looks cool. But I would add: Who gives a f@%k? They've been developing the game for, what, 4 years now? Instead of developing silly gimmicks like these, which in my opinion could just as well be developed post-release, I'd rather they spend time and energy actually working towards delivering a finished product already.

Divayth

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15:58 Aug-30-2017

Another proof that they are making the best game in history. Take your time CIG!

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09:22 Aug-31-2017

Hear that. But there are a lot of people (me included) that are concerned that they are spreading themselves to thin. I really hope that they release the Squadron 42 in late 2017. Don't know if the release date has changed, hope not.

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04:30 Aug-30-2017

wouldnt it be nice if they focused on developing parts of the game that mattered and not waste time on dumb stuff like this


im losing more and more hope in this game..

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23:10 Aug-29-2017

I would be much happier if they released Squadron 42....

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20:16 Aug-29-2017

I'd like to add, as a response to everybody who says they should focus on the core game, that they are focusing on the core game. The technology was developed by FaceWare, a completely separate company. FaceWare, as the developer of the tech, created it to be as easy to implement as possible. Since CIG already created the tech with their characters to map recorded facial animations to in-game characters, it was relatively easy to use the tech FaceWare created to map the movements of a person in real time to an in-game character. Probably cost them a boatload of money to buy though.

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22:48 Aug-29-2017

Whilst that may be true, they are still taking the time which could be put to better use, on integrating the technology, regardless of whom it was created by.


Since development started (all those years ago) they have very little in the way of a complete game, or at least something with anything resembling a narrative or story line to follow.

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20:27 Aug-30-2017

Well, we don't know how much it actually took to integrate this technology into the game, but they specifically emphasized in the presentation that it was extremely simple since they already had spent the time to create their face-rig technology for capturing animations. If I were to guess, I would say it took a few people from the animation team, and two maybe three people from the engineering team to implement FaceWare's tech. And I doubt it took those people much time either. However, this is of course merely speculation.

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23:17 Aug-29-2017

The funds used to hire Faceware could have been used to hire more people in order to finish the game earlier. Right now they just give us **** like this and more ships. Ships are nice but to hell with them.

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20:23 Aug-30-2017

While That may be true, I personally think that would be a bad idea... They already have 400+ people working on development of this game. Honestly... I think they might have gone overboard with the hiring in order to speed up production time. After the game releases, yes they will continue releasing new content, but that's a lot of people to work on post-release content. Hiring more people could make a possible problem (i.e. Layoffs) a definite one.

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19:16 Sep-02-2017

I get the argument, but when you have to many people working on 1 thing it gets messy. I remember how in one video they mentioned, that the actual problems stem from incorporating what the separate teams work on. So if 1 team hits a snag, and the 2nd team needs to work from what the 1st team made, you get a bottleneck. This isn't just limited on developers, it's present in every industry.

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15:55 Aug-30-2017

This comment needs more upvotes.

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07:51 Aug-31-2017

As one of the people who commented they should be focusing on the core game, I realize that this news doesn't mean they shifted developing power from the core game to this gimmick.
In other words, I realized, when I said what I said, that this doesn't mean the game is going to be released later due to this.
And I think the same goes for most others who commented along the same line of thought.
It just feels like we've been left on our hunger for 4 years, and now they're showing us how sweet the icing for the cake is going to be, while nobody knows when the actual cake is going to be ready?
You know? Nobody dislikes the icing, don't get me wrong, and we all get that it's a different chef working on it, and for all I care they can put little candles and marzipan and chocolate syrup on the cake as well, the more the better. But after 4 years, in the end, I'm just hungry for cake.

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07:53 Aug-31-2017

Please don't make "the cake is a lie" references :p
Because this cake better not be a lie...

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18:11 Sep-02-2017

Fair enough. I can appreciate and understand that perspective.

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19:29 Aug-29-2017

Seems cool, but I'll have to mirror what others have said, a little pointless in the grand scheme of things..... I'll add that leaving a webcam connected can lead to privacy concerns. Hackers can and have before taken control of webcams without their owners even realizing it..... they might want to include a reminder for people to disconnect their webcams when not in use.

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19:34 Aug-29-2017

The only reason the privacy concern thing is even worth mentioning is because a feature like this might encourage people to buy webcams, and those people may be unaware of the risks associated with them..... maybe a reminder on game exit to disconnect the webcam and why to atleast promote awareness of that issue.

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19:36 Aug-29-2017

That moment when the blue led lights up :b

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19:40 Aug-29-2017

Not all people know about that, not all webcams have the clearest of indicators that they are in use.... and not every scenario will have your attention on the webcam to even see it..... lets say you're changing clothes infront of your PC.... are you really going to be looking at your PC?

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16:12 Aug-30-2017

I know that webcams don't have indicators, but almost all new ones (also on laptops) have them

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19:43 Aug-29-2017

My tip, always disconnect the thing if it's not build in. If it is build in (like in almost all laptops), put some masking tape over it.

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19:47 Aug-29-2017

Absolutely...... I remember when people used to think I was paranoid for covering the cam on my laptop with electrical tape.

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09:33 Aug-31-2017

More like, you are smarter then those around you. And if someone says something dumb this like "oh, you must have something to hide", ignore them. Or if you prefer, you can answer the question like I do:
"Of course I have something to hide, because I have something/someone I want to protect".

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16:13 Aug-30-2017

Can it help to disable it from the device manager?

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09:28 Aug-31-2017

Not sure. You can disable it there, but there is no guaranty that if a hacker is skilled enough he/she/it couldn't bypass that. I even remember a picture where Mark Zuckerberg put electrical tape over his laptops camera. Now any time someone ask me "ohh why are you covering up your laptops camera, you insane?" I just tell them, well you know the guy who created facebook, well he does it to.

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10:29 Aug-31-2017

I just point mine to the ceiling when I'm not using it...

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18:29 Aug-31-2017

Put electrical tape over it (that way you don't have to remember to move you laptop, or camera upward). There are electrical tapes will all kinds of colors if you are concerned with aesthetics.

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19:00 Aug-29-2017

Honestly Star Citizen is really just turning into a massive tech demo. In many ways I think that is a good thing and a bad thing. First and foremost, I and everyone else on the planet just want to see the damn game be done or at least "done". They've been developing for years but they still don't have a real polished immersive commercial product yet. At the same time, I think that it's absolutely awesome that they are pioneering new fronts like this. Though it may not make a huge difference right now, this could set new expectations for AAA games in the future!

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19:03 Aug-29-2017

Too often you see the same features and mechanics across the whole gamut of AAA games. Cloud Imperium has shown multiple times that they want to try new things, its refreshing! I just wish they would focus on finishing the core of the game and then focus on these cool additions. But at the same time not long after the full release interest will start to die down so maybe they get more attention by doing it now. Though at this rate all the original supporters are gonna be dead by the time it's done :3

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17:45 Aug-29-2017

Please just finished the core game, then add whatever the hell you want later on

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17:41 Aug-29-2017

Instead of finishing the game they focus on stupid things like this and vr.

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09:35 Aug-31-2017

I'm actually quite interested in VR, but the game should come first.

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17:36 Aug-29-2017

Sounds good, doesn't work (Trump meme).


I don't see the point why I would buy a webcam just to add facial recognition in game. Head tracking is useless unless you have vr glasses.
Nice technology, but I don't see the use for consumers. I mean, who cares if your character has your face animations? It looks cool, but there are other things that could get improvement in games. Too much eye candy ruins everything

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16:54 Aug-29-2017

More silliness that won't make any real difference to the game play, only that it's cost a shed load of money and probably delayed the release date by another few months.....someone's priorities are really screwed sideways on a beanpole....

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16:42 Aug-29-2017

He looks like Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) from Game of Thrones. XD

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16:57 Aug-29-2017

I thought the exact same thing!

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17:22 Aug-29-2017

I just checked and he's actually in Squadron 42, so it's him.

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21:04 Aug-29-2017

he literally said in the first minute of the video its Liam Cunningham and he plays a captain

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17:42 Aug-31-2017

Must have missed that, then. Oops!

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16:00 Aug-29-2017

I'll admit, that looks cool.
But I would add: Who gives a f@%k?
They've been developing the game for, what, 4 years now?
Instead of developing silly gimmicks like these, which in my opinion could just as well be developed post-release, I'd rather they spend time and energy actually working towards delivering a finished product already.

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16:20 Aug-29-2017

This is exactly what I was thinking when I saw this crap...

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19:40 Aug-29-2017

It's a neat addition but you are both right. They should have released the game when it was finished in 1.0 or 2.0 (not alpha stage). I saw a yt video a while back, on how much they work on the game and how many people work on it at any given time, but it seems too drawn out. MHO
Hope they release the game in a good polished form. Keeping my fingers crossed. :)

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00:47 Aug-30-2017

You seem to know **** about development. They want to do it right, not some half baked early access crap which bugs at every corner.
You seem to have no idea what 1.0 or 2.0 was in terms of feature and content. This game is ALPHA 2.6.3 atm.

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09:39 Aug-31-2017

I watch their developers videos when I have time. They are doing great work, and you are right to assume that I wasn't aware of all the working parts in 1.0 or 2.0.
I love every aspect of the game, it basically has everything that I ever wanted in a game. Hell I even had the exact same idea for such a game, that is also 1 of the reasons why I'm so interested in it.

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15:58 Aug-29-2017
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15:37 Aug-29-2017

Now imagine this technology being applied in RPGs. For example a serious moment happens and you laugh and your character gets busted..

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15:06 Aug-29-2017

cool but totally pointless imo

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15:15 Aug-29-2017

Plus, I bet most desktop PC users don't even have a webcam

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15:28 Aug-29-2017

Pointless? Perhaps to you, but knowing that many of the characters you will speak to have facial movements in-game in real time, will definitely add to the immersion of the gaming experience.

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15:40 Aug-29-2017

But what if we dont want to have a facecam pointed at us? WHAT IF THE FBI KNOWS?

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16:15 Aug-29-2017

Yes, it is pointless TO ME. I said "imo" didn't I? The game is incomplete, been delayed so many times already... and now they add this?... Ok, maybe it's not totally pointless, maybe it wouldn't be pointless if it was added later on, but it sure as hell is pointless at this very moment IMO.


PS.
Oh and thanks for the thumb down. It really is amazing how voicing your opinion on game-debate can trigger some people.

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16:45 Aug-29-2017

Have one back up, for counterbalance ;)

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