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Heavy Rain Week: David Cage Interview Part Two

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In part two of our interview with David Cage he talks motion control, influences, building from archetypes and that dreaded term; QTE. Even more revelations come from Heavy Rain’s director on day two of our Heavy Rain Week.

Q: Have you had the chance to get your hands dirty with Sony’s new motion controller?

We have a lot of interest in the motion controller developed by Sony. We’ve seen the prototypes and we’ve had a chance to play with them and I think it’s a very interesting direction. Also the interface of Heavy Rain is already a lot based on movement; we use sticks to do the moves and when you open a cupboard or door, you really do do it with the stick, so doing it with a motion controller would be very natural and wouldn’t require a big change in the game. Also the same thing when you hit the robber with the bottle, you really do this with the Six-Axis’ motion sensor – it would be very easy to do with the motion controller. So we feel really close to this already with the game as it is, but, who knows, maybe we’ll think about a motion controller version.

Q: That should be interesting during the sex scenes. Although we understand that some of that, as well as violent content won’t make it into the builds available in certain countries. Does that bother you? What are your thoughts on censorship in general?

It’s always a very frustrating situation because you design the story and experience in a certain way and then you need to change it for reasons that I personally don’t understand. So it’s always something frustrating, but at the same time I do it because the ratings system is done the way it is done; we’re not going to change it on our own. And neither can Sony, by the way, it’s an international system. So if you want your game to be on the shelves, you need to be compliant to those international laws. At the same time, the compromises I’ve had to make so far are… okay. They didn’t greatly effect the experience, so I can still comfortably feel that the game is pretty much exactly the way I designed it.

Q: Even though it’s fine, then, from a censorship point of view, to cut the stuff you’ve had to for certain regions, have you had to cut any scenes purely to improve the gameplay and/or story, or because they simply didn’t work?

Oh, we’ve done that just two weeks ago. We cut three scenes. We had questions internally about these scenes and we were discussing them for the last six months. Some people defending them on the team, other people saying they’re more confusing than really adding anything to the experience. Then we did a user test session with twenty people playing the game; the feedback was unanimous – ‘You know what? These scenes don’t work’. They were all right at the beginning and they were making the beginning of the game too slow. So we took the information back to the office and just cut the scenes.

Q: That must break your heart with the amount of work that goes into one single scene?

Yes and no, because what matters is the experience at the end. You have to feel that in the end, these cut scenes aren’t a part of the final work. So yeah, there are some of them that I really love and there were some with great special effects, but at the end of the day they were confusing for the player so… maybe we’ll put them in as a bonus ‘Deleted Scenes!’ [laughs].




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