David Cage On a Developing Medium

On Friday, Gamasutra posted an interview with game designer David Cage, the founder of development studio Quantic Dream and the creator of 1999’s Omikron: The Nomad Soul and 2005’s Fahrenheit, a.k.a. Indigo Prophecy. Now, he’s working on the PS3 exclusive Heavy Rain, which was debuted to the press two weeks ago at E3.

Cage has a lot to say about game narratives and character development, and previous interviews with him on Gamasutra were in fact a significant source for me while researching my thesis on game narratives in college. Fahrenheit was a huge step forward in the integration of gameplay and story, even if it was a story that went all to hell in the third act.

Really, Cage shares my opinions on the current state of the medium as a storytelling platform. His reaction to Uncharted, another recent game praised for its story, sums it up perfectly.

Honestly, I loved the game. I thought Uncharted was very interesting. There was some very, very interesting aspects to it. The big difference between Uncharted and what we’re doing here is that Uncharted was still structured like a video game. It gives you a bit of story, then action, then a bit of story, then action – like porn movies, when you think about it.

Porn movies are structured in exactly the same way, except that the action is not the same (laughter), but it’s the same structure. Most video games are done like that. It’s one thing to do a great cutscene, even if it’s real time. It’s another thing to try to tell the story as you play, so the story’s not told through cutscenes — it’s told through gameplay. So you don’t need acting performance in cutscenes. You need interactive performance.

There’s seven more pages of thoughts from Cage, so I wholeheartedly suggest checking it out. It sounds like Cage is taking the lessons he learned in Fahrenheit and working towards something even greater. I’m really excited to see if Heavy Rain can take the next step in the evolution of storytelling in games.

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