Those who have always wanted more expressive game avatars will be pleased with the latest big feature announced for Star Citizen.
Cloud Imperium Games and Faceware have teamed up to bring 3D facial motion capture to the game, so those with the requisite hardware will be able to pull faces at their fellow players in what looks pretty close to real-time.
The initiative, nicknamed "Face Over Internet Protocol" or FoIP, requires a webcam or ideally, sensor hardware from Faceware. Both track facial movement and stream it onto your character's face, with the Faceware device offering 60fps and low-light capture.
Here's the tech in action, mapping expressions onto an in-game avatar version of Game of Thrones actor Liam Cunningham, among others:
Audio streamed through the FOIP tech is positional, so player characters talking both in and outside of your field of view will be easy to locate.
On top of that, the FOIP tech tracks your head movement, which allows you to do things like look around the cockpit of your spacecraft, for example.
"For the first time we’ll be able to deliver the full range of human emotion, not just voice," said Cloud Imperium Games’ CEO Chris Roberts.
"Our players’ facial expressions will be translated onto their avatars’ face. Combine that with a player’s voice correctly positioned in the virtual world, and you have the most lifelike player-to-player communication ever."
A price and release date for the Faceware camera are yet to be announced.