Q&A with David Cage, creator of Heavy Rain


A while back, PlayStation.Blog(France) invited users to put forward questions they would like answered in an interview held by Guillaume Couturier, Community Manager of SCEF, with the brain behind the PlayStation 3 Exclusive Heavy Rain, David Cage, held on February 4th.

Today they posted that interview on there site, and thanks to all the questions posted by users, over 150, the interview is long and packed full of intriguing questions.

The interview is quoted below, or if you prefer, read the article on the source site PlayStation.Blog.

The interview is translated from French using Google Translator.

How do you feel a few weeks before leaving the game? 
Stressed, excited or confident?

David Cage: Excited, a little tired too. Excited because it receives the first notes, and we realize that the notes are extremely consistent in the high range and we quite happy that the work seems to pay and have to be rewarded for work done.

Very tired because I have not taken a vacation for 2 years and my whole month of February is dedicated to marketing support, it makes a lot of travel. I was in Madrid, Milan, Norway, before the first London and then France.

What are your ambitions in terms of sales, knowing that the biggest sales on PS3 are those of the game Call of Duty MW2, action game, which are generally those that sell the most and that is Heavy Rain the antithesis of this type of game 
Which audience do you feel?

DC: That’s a question we often ask myself, and I find the question quite insidious. There is a huge expectation about Heavy Rain. It’s a game that wants adult emotional, a little more “sophisticated” than others to experience the atmosphere a little buggers and that means because that’s what Heavy Rain may not be sold .

I think the audience is a diverse public and there are players who have different expectations.There is an audience for a “Modern Warfare”, but there is also much waiting for Heavy Rain.All people do not want to play an FPS. There needs to have something for everyone. 
There is an older audience, today’s players are between 30 and 35 years and especially on PS3, I think we have an audience that wants something other than shooting zombies in the Kalashnikov.

Pre orders are important, while the buzz has not yet begun. The interest is extremely strong, so we have not yet released demo, or official trailer. I do not see why it did not sell.

I read in an interview that the story of Ethan is based on what you’ve lived in a mall with the loss of your son. But the history of other characters is a little fuzzy, could you tell us a little more?

DC: The real thread is the story of Ethan and more prosaically the fact that becoming a father changes your life. It is relatively unexplained, and I wanted to see if it was possible to relate this to have a story that revolves around the love of a father to his son, and how far we can go by love. And the whole fabric of Ethan is part of that desire there, something personal.

What I meant is that the fate of the 4 characters running around this, but in very different ways. Everyone will have to answer to how far they can go for love in one way or another. But as the contexts are different the question is asked differently, and responses are also different.

Ethan is definitely more personal. After it is always a part of either in his characters. Whether the good side or defects.

The challenge of Heavy Rain is to project themselves into the characters and share their feelings, we fear with them, laugh with them, or you cry with them.

Are there any works that inspired you? (Comics, Movies …)

DC: Heavy Rain is full of flash, it is a kind of homage to the cinema, and players will find a multitude of movie references, which are completely intentional. With Ethan, we’re right in a “Unbreakable,” Shyamalan of night, with Norman Jayden, one is in a “Minority Report” with Scott Shelby, we’re in a film noir ….

Why this origami, is one of your passions?

DC: No, I got into it for the game, testing the installer that lets you make your own origami.

What is the lifespan of the game?

DC: Regarding the lifetime of the game, I would say we are around a dozen hours a Walkthrough. Knowing that a Walkthrough, it is not possible to see the whole game because we made choices, we miss things. This game has therefore a very good replayability value since we can repeat some scenes, we do not have to redo the whole game and well see what would have happened if you had made other choices.

How will he ends Possible Heavy Rain? Reading the various websites and forums that talk about Heavy Rain, has even referred 102 possible endings!

The question of the number of end did not really make sense because it really is the player’s actions that will lead to different conclusions.

The player will always ask that question and if I had chosen such action would have happened? Either he will keep the mystery there is to see play again.

The interest of the game, there is no GAME OVER, even though the characters may die. If a character dies, you continue the story without him.

Now that your game is spent in gold version, have you managed to do what you want?This will give there any ideas or desires for a future game? What are you most proud of in the game?

DC: Desire, yes, I have one billion!

In terms of technology, people are very flattering on the graphics or the atmosphere. It’s our first game on PS3, while there are already second-generation games. We know that in a lot of opportunities to improve technology, narrative or gameplay. These are things that we really want to work.

And it already has projects coming on which it begins to work for a rebound.

When you look at the game with the team we tend to see only the flaws, but with a little hindsight, the game is consistent with the idea that I was doing. We are proud of the work.We wanted to create a game where you feel empathy, sadness and different emotions, without guns, enemies, cars or zombies. And this bet is successful.

I read that you said that without Sony and the PS3, this game would not have been possible. 
How did your collaboration produced? Is it you who have approached Sony, or Sony who came to you?

DC: At the time of the release of Fahrenheit, Sony came to us, asking us what we had planned to do after this game at this point, we were working on a prototype Virtual actress’ Cast . We wanted to continue working on the story on the actor. The vector of emotion, c is the actor.

Sony has found the idea very nice, and we said “in 3 months he yal’E3, (it was in 2006, the year the launch of the PS3) if you are able to accomplish here in this demo three months and meet the specifications, you’ll be on the stand at E3 with us. ”

It has worked like crazy for 3 months to meet this challenge. We then showed the demo to Ken Kutaragi, who has validated.

Sony has kept his promise and asked us to stand on the PlayStation at E3. 
At the end of this show, announced to Gamespot Heavy Rain as the most anticipated game, and the demo was downloaded one million times. While all that the public knew of Heavy Rain was the name, the demo Casting and we were the team who had Fahrenheit, that is to say very little.

Sony has thus returned to us and ask to speak to Heavy Rain then began to work very simple.

We really had the choice of editor, since had many proposals. We put all these choices before us, and Sony has quickly become the best choice. We all love the console, culturally we are committed to PlayStation, we thought it was the best hardware, and it was Sony’s approach very healthy.

We had before us the very people oriented but able to trust very far-fetched ideas and that’s what we liked.

At what level and how Sony helped you? Have they set goals or physical or financial limits.

It was completely free, and Sony has not reached a hand financially.

We often speak of “French-touch” in video games, how would you describe it? 
Heavy Rain can give a boost to French creation? Is it easy to develop a game in France, to the point of view such legislation?

DC: I do not think that Quantic Dream is a worthy representative of the French-Touch, we are a studio atypical. Atypical because we are one of the few studios in the CEO is a Game Designer.

And I think that’s the specificity of Quantic Dream, because it makes the game design at the top. It is the dictatorship of game design into production. It really is the originality of this studio.

I think it’s a type of structure and organization, which hopefully foreshadows some changes in the industry as a whole. I think that power should be in the hands of creative, as is done in cinema.

Heavy Rain is the type of game that could give rise to a film, there are you thinking?

DC: That does not trotted in the head but I know it sticks in the head of film people. 
If the game studios are interested, they are the ones who come knocking at the door and this is happening.

You said that action was not planned, but the DLC, do you have a schedule set out? Or will they be conditioned by the success of the game?

DC: There will be no result, I don t have this argument purely marketing that a new franchise takes time and the money to know (and therefore make Heavy Rain a franchise with a series editor’s note ). But at the same time I work a lot and Sony helped me make my name a brand. This allows us to say: “Look it is called differently, n is not Heavy Rain 2, but c is produced by David Cage and Quantic Dream.” Our desire is to overcome any marketing approach, and to protect our freedom of establishment.

On the DLC, some is already signed and developed with 2 DLC, another option is conditioned by the success of the game

The demo will be available February 11, will she end of the game itself or will it more based on a future DLC?

DC: That’s 2 scenes of the game, people who have preordered Heavy Rain or account to buy the Day One, I would recommend not to play, so the mystery remains unsolved. 
As against those who wonder if they will buy the game, it will check that c is a real game, and c is fully interactive. 
They can get an idea on the gameplay as each stage will offer different gameplay c as is the case in all stages of the game

How did you choose the different aspects of gameplay because it is quite confusing.

DC: It is confusing because it breaks with what is in the video game world. We wanted to tell the story through the gameplay and do not use kinematics as in many games. It was therefore oriented gameplay context, that is to say that it is entirely based on the emulation movement, we conducted the movement, not through QTE as has sometimes been written.Exactly the same principle as for Fahrenheit, we place the movement to create the illusion that the player controls the character’s movement. It is a small element of immersion based on the motion.

There are so many breaks, and this can be confusing for ultra conservatives. 
The interface is really a link between what you have in your head and what happens on screen.

As a Gamer, which is the last game you’ve played? What type of Gamer are you? What is your favorite game?

DC: Professionally I play everything, almost everything. Personally, I’d rather a casual gamer, who plays a 3 or 4 game by year, for one simple reason, c j have today is 40 years, and I do not find many games like me.

Finally to finish what message would you communicate with your fans behind you from Nomad Soul and Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain will discover?

DC: I am always very touched by fans, and we are extremely flattered. 
We want to thank them because it is for them that works.

J I want to tell them, play Heavy Rain because for me it’s the end of a cycle that began with NS and continued with F and ends with Heavy Rain is it really the result of 12 years work. It’s really a game to a soul.

Thanks for reading.

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