Rex Crowle, the lead creative on Tearaway, had a friendly fireside chat with the good fellas at Reddit the other day, and fittingly, this piece of beard-worthy news came out of it. An awesome feature that didn’t make it into the game is beard-recognition. “The gameplay programmer used facial recognition via the Vita's camera to only unlock some doors if you (the player) were wearing a beard,” he typed amidst a swirl of fawning paper-craft adorers.
This would have made the Vita the first beard-controlled device, but alas, it was not to be, and we couldn’t be more bummed. It seems that facial recognition technology has trouble capturing beards, and while Crowle didn’t mention whether mutton chops, the a la Souvarov, or the French fork was particularly blameworthy, games have a beard problem, and this matter is concerning.
Is the goatee the final frontier for facial recognition, and more importantly, what possibilities are we missing out on because of it? One could imagine a synchronous game like Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, which requires you to wait for the proper moon phase to advance, instead making you wait until you grow out your facial hair. Someone needs to figure this out.
(Image borrowed from Unwinnable and their incredible photodocumentary on the best beards of GDC)