Heavy Rain Director Creates "Experiences, Not Products"

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Heavy Rain Director Creates "Experiences, Not Products"

Beyond Two Souls Quantic Dream screenshot

Complain about his decisions all you like - David Cage isn't interested in compromise.

David Cage is nothing if not dedicated to his work. As the founder of Quantic Dream and creator of games like Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain, he's something of a pioneer in the field of interactive story-based games. His games' unique nature draws plenty of critique - both good and bad - but Cage says he doesn't let the feedback change his creative vision. "You never design in reaction to critiques," Cage claims, "otherwise you create a product. I'm not creating products. I'm trying to create experiences. I try to be sincere in what I'm doing."

Quantic Dream's current project, Beyond: Two Souls, may look similar to Heavy Rain, but that's simply a consequence of Cage sticking to the genre he practically invented. "The only thing I didn't want to do was a sequel to Heavy Rain," Cage says. "Like, 'Oh let's just do the same thing. Fix a couple of things here and there and just release the same game pretty much.'" The developer has previously argued that sequels are a good way to crush creativity and innovation, so that shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Even if Beyond's dialogue-heavy cinematic gameplay looks similar to Quantic Dream's previous titles, Cage asserts that the experience would be fundamentally different.

Despite the cinematic style of his games, Cage doubts the story of Beyond or Heavy Rain could be recreated in any other medium. "It's not a matter of money," he remarked. Even if the story was broken into a mini-series to avoid cutting content, he says he would write something different for a different medium.

"It's challenging to adapt," says Cage. "When [ a story is told in ] a game, people see how close it is to films. But, actually it's very different from films by essence in nature ... You need to rewrite it pretty much from scratch, which, in essence, means it's truly a game. It's written like an interactive experience and not like a film."

Cage and Quantic Dream have received more than their fair share of criticisms for leaning on story more than gameplay, but their games would definitely suffer if you removed the interactive aspect. The impact that players' choices have on the plot probably makes Heavy Rain harder to adapt to a movie format than most games, where player agency is limited to action scenes and cleanly divorced from the storyline. We'll see whether Cage was right (or more likely we'll keep arguing about it) when Beyond: Two Souls launches on October 8 for the PlayStation 3.

Source: Kotaku

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It's just a shame they don't usually turn out to be very good experiences. Too much flash, bang, and little to no substance. Or, if there is substance, it tends to be very derivative.

but that's simply a consequence of Cage sticking to the genre he practically invented.

Eh, what? I'm quite sure he's just making updated versions of FMV titles like Night Trap.

You can call it whatever you want but people can be unhappy with crappy "experiences" as equally as a crappy "product".

It's OK to take criticism on board and use it to help improve your work, Mr. Cage. In fact, I'd recommend it. It doesn't make your work any less artistically valid.

Now if only his "experiences" could have a compelling believable narrative, instead of just a bunch of quicktime events strung together between bizarre plot points.

I hate this guy. Graphics whore and an arrogant asshole. He can claim whatever the fuck he wants. Video games are products. They can't suddenly turn into something else because of your hugely inflated ego.
He's a terrible game designer. And calling his games "experiences" is his best defense against such accusations.

My respect for someone's uncompromised vision only goes so far though.

Cognimancer:

Despite the cinematic style of his games, Cage doubts the story of Beyond or Heavy Rain could be recreated in any other medium.

One could argue Heavy Rain couldn't even be created in this medium. :D

I think David Cage gets too much unnecessary heat.
Of course he is too dense, and talks like an pretentious prick.

But Heavy Rain was very good in many aspects.
Was it flawed? Yes, it was. Could it be called a game? I think, yes, definitely, but I respect people that disagree.
The sorytelling wasn't perfect, but wasn't near as bad as I see people complaining.
And videogames, as an medium, is still struggling to define its strenghts and weaknesses in regards to storytelling.

I am just glad that Quantic Dream is still able to make somewhat niche games, very different from what most of the industry is offering, and with a AAA budget and production values.

Do you disagree with the man's vision? That's fine!
However, at least, let him HAVE a vision.
That's something the industry really needs.

I rather play an flawed but unique game as Heavy Rain than Assassin's Creed XVIII or something...

I'm surprised he was able to say this considering his head is so far up his own butt.

Do i have to pay for this "experience"? Then it is a god damn product. I know he is french but these 2 words sound very similar to the ones in his language so next time someone should give him a dictionary before he opens his mouth .

I guess we'll be paying him in "good will", not "money". Do you think that would make for a good "experience"? Maybe he should pay us, if it is...

On a slightly more serious note, not designing your whole game around the criticism is good, but not taking note of any criticism at all is bad. I feel like his quote there is a bit meaningless, if he doesn't provide more context.

Also, his games so far didn't seem like they were trying to do something new with the medium, but rather port the movie's experience into games, so his other remark sounds a bit weird to me, too.

Casual Shinji:

Cognimancer:

Despite the cinematic style of his games, Cage doubts the story of Beyond or Heavy Rain could be recreated in any other medium.

One could argue Heavy Rain couldn't even be created in this medium. :D

Ouch! I felt that one over here.

OT:
Someone tell me again why people listen to this guy? He doesn't make games, he makes interactive movies. That's it. Nothing to see here.

The psychic link between Ethan Mars and Scott Shelby was totally the best experience of this generation. TWD is vile fanfiction compared to this master of storytelling.

/sarcasm

I swear I hate this guy more and more every time he opens his stupid mouth.

Your games are shit. "Experiences" or otherwise.

And he isn't a pioneer of anything.

Tommy Wiseau's "The Room" is an experience too. So is the experience of being kicked in the balls; that's an experience, and a memorable one.

David Cage is incorrigible. He won't compromise, but he's also just not that good at what he does. He's like Ed Wood, kinda. Though if he keeps it up, I might actually start choking on all the pretentiousness.

A part of me would totally love it if he teamed up to make a game with Peter Molyneux, funded by Bobby Kotick, and designed by Suda51. It would be the most tasteless, confusing, overhyped game that sucks the fun out of playing it you'd ever experience.

Sooo... Does this mean we're going to see a Part 2 of "Polygons, Emotions, and Ellen Page"?

Trishbot:

A part of me would totally love it if he teamed up to make a game with Peter Molyneux, funded by Bobby Kotick, and designed by Suda51. It would be the most tasteless, confusing, overhyped game that sucks the fun out of playing it you'd ever experience.

Heck they could make a reality TV show of them making the game, Peter, cage, and suda51 talking about the design and throwing all their crazy ideas for an "experience" while Bobby handles the business aspect and shits on their visions.

Jim? Oh, Jiii-iiim?? Can we please get some Cage Rage?

On another note, no, you don't, David. You make products. Your products are experiences, but they're fucking products.

What about products that quantify as experiences.
And by experiences I mean shoddy acting, more plot holes than you can shake a fist at, and barely being games to begin with.

It's so sad he still doesn't realise that he doesn't know how to use the actual "interactive" part of the video games (pressing a button at the right time is about as interactive as flipping a page in a book, mr. Cage, but with the option to fail, which only makes it annoying).
And along that, he doesn't realise the stories are good as concepts but the actual plot is full of clichés and by then end have little to no sense.
Only thing redeeming, that I like, are the near-future settings.

The 20 min "gameplay" that came out contains:
- about 4 minutes or less of actual interactive content where you basically have to know what to press or you fail,
- annoying, slightly random, z-depth blur, that's the engines fault
- very cliché "oh, I'm having a baby right now" moment
- plot hole - in the beginning we see Ellen pass out in the street and the "other soul" goes out for help and is able to move objects, near the end Ellen jumps out of a building but is saved by the "other soul" forming a shield to protect her from the fall...BUT in the end you get beaten up and this time "other soul" doesn't do anything to help

Oh look we have another Peter Molyneux.

The fact the he doesn't think accepting critique may improve his work is just sad. He sounds just like another frustrated wannabe movie "director" who's working in the games industry, on top of being pretentious.

If what he wants is to tell a story then he should learn from The Walking Dead; a game that has more emotions and gameplay that anything he has done.

My opinion of him is much like that of Molyneux: most of the criticism pointed in his direction is accurate, but I'll give bonus points to anyone that's isn't cranking out Gears of Duty: Army Ops VIII

At least he is passionate about what he does. Whether or not his "experiences" turn out as well as he intends, I have much more respect for a guy willing to take their creation in the direction they want, rather than trying to tick as many boxes as possible to make as much cash as quickly as he can.

Why can't products also be experiences? Like Taco Bell. 45-minutes after eating their product and I have a sorrowful experience. And most of the time my brother catches a whiff of the experience too!

Also, I don't see how it's "challenging to adept" if you just outright ignore input.

If his games were as powerful and innovative as he thinks, maybe he could let them speak for themselves instead of blowing his own horn in another interview every other week.

I'd like to say it's this kind of pretentiousness that turns me off to his games but its the pretentiousness of the games itself.
Now if he can get enough players to want to sit and watch a kid do his homework and eat dinner more power to him but I do enough of that in real life. In real life, it's at least interesting and rewarding; in a game, it's tedious. Now, I don't need guns in all my games (hell most of my favorite games from last gen didn't even have any sort of guns) but I don't want to spend my game time doing completely mundane things either.
But besides all of that, I still just can't get past the overuse of QTEs. In this day and age, QTEs are completely obsolete. If they were really so great, they could come up with an intuitive control system.

good lord this guy seems like more of a pretentious ass every time he opens his mouth. At this point there is just about zero chance of me pick up Beyond for that reason alone.
Also, hey Mr. Cage? how about instead of worrying about Experiences vs. Products, you try making actual games instead of second rate animated chose your own adventure books.

so .... not only does he have the wrong idea when it comes to graphics .... he also doesn't know how to use criticism or sequels >.>

wow ... just ... wow, how the hell did he get where he is?

Even if I don't like his games very much (or him for that matter), the man has a point.

The idea of sequels isn't all that good. Make it good, and get it right the first time. Without sequels, every story has to be fresh and interesting. This doesn't exclude the autor from the ability to make something in the same universe, but it gives us stories with some actual closure for once.

Also, actually having something driven by a single person should make for a much more coherent experience (except if it's Suda51...) than what we have now - plot holes the size of Uranus alongside reality rifts the size of Jupiter.

Video game storytelling is too much oriented to be like a movie. And, let's face it, neither game storytelling from the ME school nor storytelling from the David Cage school of videogame storytelling is going to do much to help. Though maybe he has plans to move in the right direction, who knows.

There is a kind of story you can only build in a videogame. A kind of story where every choice has meaning and the player decides in which direction it goes. The problem with doing something like this is that either it's going to feel awfully limited because of limited resources or it's going to take literally forever to make. A directed story is easier to make, and it's easier to balance gameplay along the way.

Hmmm... normally tedious things in games are included to provide a heavier contrast when things go downhill. It has to be balanced properly though. And that (amongst other things like gameplay) is something the guy needs to learn. I remember a quest in Two Worlds (I got it after all the issues had been patched :P) where you basically ferried a few packages around for the traders' guild until they noticed you getting suspicious (which was about 3 trips in - mind you,there was fast travel in the form of portals outside every major city in that game), after which they flat out admitted that they had done that just to see if you're any good. Actually, that's one of the little fetch quests I remember where the creators actually put some thought in - it made sense in the game and the traders' guild doesn't just trust you from the moment you show up on the doorstep of their dependance. I'm going off topic now, so I'd better stop.

If polygons is emotions. How many emotions is people?

I haven't played any of his games, but from what I've seen they seem to be in the same vein of...Idk what they're called, Katawa Shoujo was one of them. It's a story, but you're just kinda doing it not playing it. Maybe every once in a while you do something to take another path.

too bad Cage's experiences are all ass. They're not fun nor is the writing any good. It's amazing at how a hack like him is allowed to be propped up as some sort of visionary

Azwrath:
I'm surprised he was able to say this considering his head is so far up his own butt.

Do i have to pay for this "experience"? Then it is a god damn product. I know he is french but these 2 words sound very similar to the ones in his language so next time someone should give him a dictionary before he opens his mouth .

Actually.

That's what the other guy is for! The one that always whines about how much money people owe him for publishing the game!
Cage is the "artist" with his fingers in his ears going "Lalalalala"
While the other guy holds his hands out and shrieks "gimme gimme gimme!" at you all the time.

Whose that other guy, you ask...? Well its Mr. Fondue! Er... foundah...
oh whatever, his name is in this handy link talking about him!
http://www.destructoid.com/quantic-ceo-whines-that-used-games-cost-him-millions-211143.phtml

David Cage is like a first year Creative Writing student who trots out the 'you don't understand what I'm trying to do' excuse to respond to any criticism.

image

Sorry, I just can't take this guy seriously anymore... curse you Jim and your amusing antics!

The day I had to sit next to a raving nutter on the bus was an experience, cost nothing and was one I don't wish to repeat. Funnily enough it was not too disimilar to experiencing Heavy Rain's plot.

Besides give me emotions over experiences any day Cage :P

When the higher-ups start using "visions" or "experience, not game", they usually don't listen to people telling them something is wrong because their head is up their ass.

It doesn't matter what you call it, it's not all that good. Focus on making the...The whatever you want to call it good, and you can call it what you want. Otherwise, you sound like a pretentious douche trying to justify a poor product with artistic vision.

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