Møt mannen bak «Heavy Rain» i nettmøte.

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- Teknologi er bare et verktøy. Det som er viktig er tankene som ligger bak, svarte den franske spillskaperen David Cage i et nettmøte med Dagbladets lesere da hans forrige spill, «Fahrenheit», ble lansert i 2005.

I spillet lot han spillerne velge hva de ville gjøre i langt større grad enn vi var vant til.

Når Cage nå er høyaktuell med det PS3-eksklusive spillet «Heavy Rain», er det tydelig at han har hatt noen gode ideer underveis. Men det er også svært tydelig at han har fått god hjelp av teknologien til å få fram ideene til spillerne.

Annerledes thriller

I «Heavy Rain» får du spille gjennom en thrillerhistorie som spenner over en rekke personer. En av de tingene som har vært viktig for Cage når han har laget spillet, var at spilleren skulle ha fri tøyler til å velge som han eller hun vil i spillet.

Dette kan være fra så prosaiske ting som å velge hva du vil spise i et kjøleskap, til de langt større valgene.

- Spillets aller viktigste beskjed er hvor langt du er villig til å gå for å redde noen du elsker, har Cage tidligere uttalt.

«Heavy Rain» vil både på måten du direkte styrer alle figurenes handlinger, og på måten selve mordmysteriet utradisjonelt fortelles på, kunne tvinge spillere til å tilnærme seg mediet på en helt ny måte.

Svarer i nettmøte

Om Cage lykkes med dette, vil vi først for alvor få svar på når «Heavy Rain» slippes 24. februar. Men noen vil også få muligheten til å oppleve spillet før den tid.

I dag er nemlig David Cage i Oslo for å vise fram spillet på Ringen Kino. Før denne eksklusive seansen har han også svart på dine spørsmål i et nettmøte her på Dagbladet.no.

Som en liten bonus, vil den som stilte det spørsmålet Cage likte best få to plasser til spillseansen på Ringen Kino i kveld. Vinneren blir kontaktet direkte.

Send inn spørsmål til nettmøtet her!

Nettmøtet er avsluttet. Les svarene fra David Cage nedenfor.

Games and core values
    Games become interesting when they touch core values of players. As a game developer you have a certain insight.

    1) If you had children, what would you want your children to learn in primary school?

    2) If you were eight years old, what would be your favorite game do you think?

    All the best,
    Innsendt av: JSE
1) I have children. The most important thing I want them to learn is to always be curious about things and to keep their capacity to be amazed and passionate.

2) Little Big Planet.

David Cage

Blade Runner

    I remember in 1997, I believe it was, when Blade Runner was released, back then it was an epic game.

    Heavy Rain reminds me a lot of Blade Runner. Did Blade Runner inspire you in some way?
    Innsendt av: Preben Rorschach
Someone mentioned to be recently that in the director's cut version of the game, there was rain and origamis...
So yes, I guess Blade Runner was a part of my inspirations writing Heavy Rain.
Like everybody else, I loved the movie and I was fortunate enough to work with Hampton Fancher who is the script writer of the movie.

David Cage

Developing for the PS3

    how much time do you estimate was spent "harnessing the computational power of the cell processor" (wasting time fighting squeezing juice out of it, that is) as opposed to using more straight-forward platforms such as a PC with a DX10-capable GPU?
    Innsendt av: G. Puengineer
Very little actually, because the engine was designed initially based on this multiprocessor approach.
It was probably a little bit more work, but the horse power we got in the end justified the extra effort.

David Cage

    Did it take long before you or your developers got used to the uniquely designed controls for the game? And have you had outside testers to try from a strictly objective kind of view?

    Good luck with the launch, u'll be getting my money ;)
    Innsendt av: Daniel Olsen
Prototyping the interface took about two years until we found what we were looking for. Actually, I had in mind to integrate the interface in 3D in the set in Fahrenheit, but the idea was not ready to be implemented at the time. I was also looking for a way to manage the camera differently and find a way to free it from the control constraints.
The game was tested by 70 people before it is released.

David Cage

Improvements since Indigo Prophecy
    Hi! The demo for Heavy Rain makes me very excited for the full game, i love the way text and indicators is integrated into the scenery instead of staying in front of everything.

    What parts of Heavy Rain are you the most proud of? And what do you feel could still need improvement? Are there any easter eggs hidden in the story, or are you going for extreme realism this time around?

    Indigo Prophecy was a very cool and different game, but i think many of us was let down by the monotony of the simon-says button interface. I know many hated the way the story went a little off the deep end towards the ending, but i thought it was hilarious. Was that the intention? :)
    Innsendt av: Sverre S
Fahrenheit was in many ways the prototype to Heavy Rain. It was the first time we tried to tell a story through game play and not through cut scenes, to test our contextual interface and had three controlable characters with moral choices.
Working on Heavy Rain, I focused on getting a better story from the first second to the last, we redesigned the interface from scratch including the action sequences, we developed a cutting-edge technology, used facial motion capture, etc.
Heavy Rain is really a step forward and I think that what could be foresee in Fahrenheit is now concrete and solid in Heavy Rain.

David Cage

Influence on the gamer
    What feelings/thoughts do you hope/think that the gamer will be left with after playing "Heavy Rain"?
    Innsendt av: Lars
My biggest hope is that the game will leave a trace in the mind of the players, moments, emotions, characters, situations, feelings that he will remember for a long time after having played.

David Cage

Stumbling block
    What do you feel most sensitive towards when it comes to the costumers reacting badly towards your game?
    Innsendt av: Daniel Olsen
I have difficulties with people considering that games should remain what they are and should certainly not evolve. I understand that many people enjoy FPS for example, but I don't get why there should only be FPS on the market. Why not expanding the offer of interactivity and offer different types of content for different tastes, the way movies do?
I also hate when people talk about Heavy Rain without having a clue of what they are talking about. Trying to do something different almost seems a proble to them. "Why don't they do another shooter?" seems to be their question...
I read many people writing that Heavy Rain would be a long and boring series of QTE, this is of course wrong, but it takes less time to say something stupid about a game that to prove that it is wrong...
Fortunately, the demo is realised today, the game will be out in two weeks and everybody will judge by themselves what the game is really about.

David Cage

Game immersion
    From what I've read about the game, the choices your characters make will affect the outcome of the story.

    Will the game have enough radical branches of possible outcomes in order to get the player to play through the game multiple times? I've tried the demo. The visuals are stunning, and the control scheme is interesting - I'm just worried I'll be placed in the "played it, done with it" pile after finishing it. Any plans for DLC's in the future?
    Innsendt av: Magnus Skarstein
Most journalists were really surprised with the replayability value of the title and how different players will get very different versions of the story. A journalist wrote that he played the game three times and still discovered things he missed...
I think the game does a great job at offering a really different experience each time you play.
And yes, there are plans for DLC ;-)

David Cage

4th wall
    As you know the mysterious 4th wall is something of a holy grail for gamers. I still remember to this day the 4th wall breaking of Metal Gear Solid, till this day I have never experienced anything like it. It really affected me emotionally as a gamer in a good way. Do you think Heavy Rain will break this wall? You say you want the gamer to really be emotionally involved in the game. So will the game "attack" gamers trough breaking the 4th wall?
    Innsendt av: Daniel Wærnes
Heavy Rain has a very different approach to games. It is entirely based on the emotional journey, identification to the characters, and considering the player is an adult and not a 12 years old kid.
When empathy works, the player identifies himself to the character and becomes able to feel what the character feels. In my mind, this is the way to break the 4th wall, to make people forget that they actually look at pixels animated by a programm, it makes them believe these are real people and they feel emotionaly involved.

David Cage

    Will this game touch us in the same way as a movie would? In the matter that we get to know the characters and develop sympathy for them. And do you think we will make our choices in the game based on those feelings?
    Innsendt av: Magne
Games usually trigger very simple emotions: fear, anger, frustration, power, competition. These are very strong emotions triggering a physical response, and they are usually important for teenagers.
When you look at movies or theatre or litterature, they have access to a much wider range of emotions, including empathy, sadness, unease, etc.
If games want to evolve, they need to find ways to expand their emotional journey and provide a more intense and varied experience. This is what Heavy Rain tries to achieve, and I honestly believe that we barely scratched the surface of what can be done with this media.
but when I consider the amount of work it required and the amount of efforts that is necessary to convince people this is the way to go, I think our media will still need some time to fully understand that.
If you remember the history of movies, when the technology was ready to have movies with dialogues, pretty much everybody including people like Chaplin were against it. Today, who would want to see a movie with no sound?
This is where video games are today. We reach the moment where our games can have a voice and trigger emotions. We just need to show that it can work and people will undertand it.

David Cage

Why death?
    Hello, Mr Cage

    Can't wait to try Heavy Rain, and explore the alternating story lines!

    Question: Why are there perils in the game that will kill up to several protagonists? There's lots of really intense plots in general literature that places the protagonists in danger, but not necessarily imminent, physical death.

    I just assume that keeping the story flowing after some of the characters die must have been a challenge, so on what basis was it a priority?

    Good luck with the launch!
    Innsendt av: Tore Holmem
Getting rid of the game over situations was one of my top priorities when I started the writing. I thought that having a time loop in the narrative and forcing the player to replay again and again a scene until he succeeded was a total non sense.
I thought that there could be ways to manage death situations and to incorporate them in the storyline so they become a part of the plot. It was definitely a challenge to make it work, especially to maintain the tension and quality of the story whatever the player does, but from the reviews I read so far, it seems to work quite well.

David Cage

Games in the future
    Hi! and congratulations on finishing Heavy Rain!

    1) Considering the huge leap the gaming industry have had the last 15 years, in both graphics, gameplay and storytelling, where do you see the industry in another 15 years?

    2) As the production costs on games keeps rising, is it harder to make a profitable game or get financed? Especially when it's a third party console exclusive game.

    3) What software does your studio use, and why?

    I am really looking forward to testing Heavy Rain, and hope the game lives up to the expectations. Good luck on future projects!
    Innsendt av: Kim Aleksander Strandli
1) It is impossible to say where the industry will be in five years, so fifteen years seems like a long time... I believe all distribution will be exclusively online, all games will be multiplayer of have a strong online component, and the graphic quality will be the same than AVATAR (the movie).
Personaly, I also hope that there will be more diversity in the games people can play, that we won't only have shooters but also some more mature content.
2) You are absolutely right, the market becomes more and more difficult for developers. In the previous cycle, the install base of PS2 was 100+ million units worldwide with development costs under 10 million euros. Now, the dev costs are much higher (a recent survey said that the average budget of a next gen title was 28 million dollars...) and the install base of consoles is around 30 million units for PS3 and 360. So yes, it becomes more challenging to get a game funded and published. This situation leads to publishers willing to take less and less risks on the content. This is why getting a game like Heavy Rain done is already some kind of miracle...
3) Not sure what you mean with "software". All the technology is proprietary (including engine and tools), except the 3D modeling tools (we use Maya) and a couple of others software.

Thank you for your support. All the reviews are incredibly high so far and really consistent worldwide. I am sure that gamers will want to try this new experience that is Heavy Rain.

David Cage

Can't wait!!!
    Hey David! I am really looking forward too Heavy Rain, it looks fantastic!

    Will it be possible to play it on Xbox 360?

    And will you make a sequel?
    Innsendt av: Alex
Hi Alex, Heavy Rain is produced by Sony, so I doubt they will accept to make a 360 version... Buy yourself a PS3, it is the best console out there and it reads Blu Ray movies!
More seriously, if you look at the quality of some exclusive titles like Uncharted 2, Kill Zone 2, Little Big Planet, Infamous or Heavy Rain, I don't believe there is an equivalent at the moment on any other platform.

David Cage

When developing the game
    While your team developed Heavy Rain. Did you know that the game should be a love and hate game, a game some people hate and some loved?
    Innsendt av: Benjamin Skjevik
Initialy, we thought that reviews would be very polarized between people believing that games should grow up and others thinking they should remain what they are.
In fact, reading the reviews, we realize that this is not the case, as most reviews are extremely positive about the game. I am sure that gamers will enjoy the playable demo and that the word of mouth once the game will be released will allow to convince more players to give the game a chance.
The problem is that gamers in general are very conservative. They can consider some improvements in a first person shooter, but if you offer them too much change at once, they can be very hostile even before trying the game.
Heavy Rain is a radical change in gaming. It dares to break with most game conventions. I am not going to apologize for that, because this is exactly what I wanted to do and I think what our industry needs. There are enough great action games out there not to make one more.
Many reviews said it: give the game a chance and you will be rewarded. If you believe that games should be only about shooting, then forget about Heavy Rain.

David Cage

Motion Technology?
    First off all thank you for the great game you have created, but I am wondering if you are you going to use motion technology in your next games, because that would be very cool. I would buy the game if that helps :)
    Innsendt av: Hamza
If you are talking about Motion Control, this is something we initially considered for Heavy Rain. The very first version of the game design was based on motion control, but it was not feasible at the time. But all the controls of the final version of Heavy Rain is still based on motion.
I have a lot of interest in Sony's motion device and there is a good chance that we announce something about it in the coming weeks...
And yes, it will help if you buy Heavy Rain ;-)

David Cage

Processing power
    I hope you agree that without the technology to show feelings and detailed facial expressions accurately this game would not have been the same. Which technical achievements and techniques has your team at Quantic Dream done to make the PS3 hardware run the game at this graphical level?
    Innsendt av: Helge
the main advantage we had on Heavy Rain was to create an engine from scratch for the platform. Unlike other teams who ported their engine and thus could not optimize its architecture right, we conceived everything for the PS3.
We invested a lot of time in the skin and eyes shaders, to make them look real, but also in the lighting system, the camera work, facial animations, etc.
Although many say the game is one of the best looking ones on next gen platforms (which is always something pleasant to hear...), this is just the first iteration of our technology on this platform and we know it is possible to go much further... which we intend to do on our next productions.

David Cage

PC Version?
    Heavy Rain seems like a game I would really like to play, unfortunately I don't own a PS3 (nor X360). I do however have A PC that should handle it easily, so will there be A PC version in the future?

    I have no plans to get a console as I prefer PC gaming.
    Innsendt av: snyte
No, the game is produced by Sony, Heavy Rain will remain exclusive to the PS3.

David Cage

Cage and Spielberg.?
    since you are taking a big step in to the movie world with this game and steven spealberg has done the same in the opposite direction with wii boom blocks. i think you two should make the runnerup on this game together. i`m convinced that he would seriousley consider this. and it would beat the shit out of any game ore any movie ever made. What do you think.?
    Innsendt av: khalid masud
I totally agree. If you know him personaly, please let me know that I am available at any time !
More seriously, I hope that Heavy Rain will create more creative bridges between movies and games, by showing that games now have solutions to tell more interesting stories and trigger subtle emotions. At the moment, most games based on movies just isolate an action sequence and make it the game, even when the action scene in the movie is nothing important.
Games can do more than fights. I hope that Heavy Rain will be the first step in this direction.

David Cage

Inspiration by experience
    You say that one of the most important messages in the game is, how far will you go to save someone you love?
    Have this been inspired by your personal experience?
    Innsendt av: Jon-Andrè
Yes, Being a father is something that really changed my life and the way I see things. You suddenly have someone loving you inconditionaly and counting on you. This strange love is really unique and I wanted to see if I could write something about it. The writing was actually inspired by a personal experience, when I lost one of my son in a crowded mall, and get terrified for ten minutes before I found him again. After this painful experience, I just wanted to imagine what would have happened if I did not find my son...
I think that writing about personal experiences is a very important step in the future for video games. We wrote so much about super heroes and zombies, time has come to talk about things we know and that are closer to us.

David Cage

Lessons learnt from Fahrenheit
    I've played the demo of Heavy Rain, and barring some weak voice acting, I greatly enjoyed. However, I was burned by the horrible story in Fahrenheit. I want to buy it, but can you promise me there will be no aliens or something equally stupid?
    Innsendt av: Orusaka
I promise: only real people in real life confronted with extraordinary events, but no aliens and nothing surnatural.

Read the reviews, I think the story got a lot of positive feedback so far.

Voice acting is also much better than what you seem to think too.

David Cage

PC version?
    Fahrenheit was excellent, and I would very much like to play Heavy Rain, but bying a gaming console is out of the question. Is there a slight possibility that HR will ever be released as a "game for windows"?
    Innsendt av: J. Peterman
Unfortunately (or fortunately...), Heavy Rain is produced and published by Sony exclusively on PS3, so I doubt there will be one day a PC version.

David Cage

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