Heavy Rain DLC planned; creator claims that industry must “grow up”.
The interview is extensive (and highly recommended) and touches upon many pertinent subjects while focusing on the studio’s upcoming mature and groundbreaking game as a cornerstone of the much needed change within gaming.
It’s poignant to see David emphatically declare that, as a demographic, this industry we love so much needs to stop perpetuating the never-ending cycle of repetitive game mechanics and embrace the fact that it is now time to “grow up” and take gaming to the next level. Strong words we hope you’ll agree, and words we’re extremely happy to hear coming from such an eminent vanguard of the industry.
Check after the jump for some more details about Heavy Rain itself including the possible narrative avenues available to players, upcoming DLC and the hot topic of QTEs within the game.
Heavy Rain bucks gaming industry norms on so many different levels. The lead character can die, and the game can continue, the emphasis is not on progressing through a linear narrative but exploring the many branches of a core story with numerous choices and the ensuant consequences available to the player while even the UI has been noted as being revolutionary.
The story itself, though multi-faceted, David claims that it’s not the case of there being endless variations available but more nuances on a central theme. He states in the interview:
“I created a backbone for my narrative. I wrote all the possible variations based on the player’s decisions I could think of, using techniques like Bending Stories to follow their consequences and give a feeling of freedom to the player within the context of the story […] It’s impossible to say how many paths there will be, just because there won’t really be any. Actions have consequences, sometimes they are limited to the scene, sometimes they will severely impact the narrative.”
But where did all this come from? What is Quantic Dream’s motivation for such an innovative game. David explains:
“If I had to summarise my motivation for Heavy Rain, it was to create an emotional simulator, use all means to make the player feel something, making an experience rather than just another video game.”
The intention here with Heavy Rain is total player immersion; a degree of player involvement that will super-charge this emotional investment. With navigation similar to how racing games work (R2 ‘accelerates’ you forward and the left analog stick controls head movement and hence your direction), it’s evident that Quantic Dream are literally trying to get inside the head of the gamer, making everything feel and move naturally.
It’s because of this salient intention that many saw the presence of QTEs in previously revealed footage as a disjoint aberration; an element that uncharacteristically pulls the player out of a realistic experience so meticulously constructed. David assures however that the prevalence of QTEs within the game is limited and even justifies their inclusion, stating:
“QTEs are a minor part of the game-play in Heavy Rain. They are used in some action sequences for scenes that would have been impossible with any other types of interfaces.”
Finally, when asked about everybody’s favourite (and costly) acronym these days, David confesses that, though there is extensive DLC plans for Heavy Rain in the near future, there is more than enough content on the shipped disc to keep everyone interested. We may just have to wait a little before more content comes along.
â€œHonestly, my focus is on putting as much content as possible on the Blu-ray. We have many plans for DLC, but I wonâ€™t work on them until the game is finished and fully satisfying. Games are expensive; my focus is to give as much as I can to gamers for their money.â€
Heavy Rain is out at the end of 2009.