Guillaume de Fondaumière
, the upcoming PS3-exclusive... we'll call it an 'interactive thriller', has a lot of people scratching their heads. On the one hand, footage makes it look moody, starkly beautiful and very intense.
On the other hand, a lot of people are looking at it and asking, 'How much control will I actually
have? Will it just be a series of quick time events?'
If you haven't asked those questions because you've seen little to nothing of Heavy Rain
, you might want to have a look at this video. It's real purdy
I sat down with Guillaume de Fondaumière, co-CEO of the game's developer, Quantic Dream, to discuss how deep the player's control of the game really goes, what his team has done to make sure you're not just passively watching a story unfold in front of you and why it made no sense for him to slap me.
David Cage has talked about not giving Heavy Rain
an open world because he said it would limit Quantic Dream’s ability to control the flow of the story. To what extent is a player able to create their own narrative and to what extent are you as developer controlling their progression through the game?
Guillaume de Fondaumière:
As I’ve said, Heavy Rain
is a game in which story is core to the experience and we really want to give players the possibility to see the consequences of their actions and how it impacts the story. So, a number of actions will have consequences on a particular scene, some will have consequences in a few scenes ahead and some will have dramatic consequences on the story.
I guess, from what we’ve shown so far, the most dramatic aspect being for instance losing one of the characters. So, it’s really a game about choices and consequences. There’s nothing right or wrong that you can do in the game, but there are choices – sometimes moral choices – that you will have to make, always contextual. You’ll always understand what the motivations of your character are, and by triggering certain actions or deciding to go into a direction or another, deciding to engage in a relationship or not, to say certain things at certain moments and not others, you’ll be able to shape your own story.
But, of course, we are always in control of the story. As David said, it’s not an open world game, it’s story-driven and what’s very important for us is that the story is consistent and meaningful from the beginning to the end. This is something you (simply) can’t achieve today with an open world and a sandbox game.