David Cage on Heavy Rain BAFTA Award Wins, Quantic Dream’s Next Project

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David Cage on Heavy Rain BAFTA Award Wins, Quantic Dream’s Next Project

To our American and Canadian cousins, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is kind of the British equivalent of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), which organises the Academy Awards, otherwise known as The Oscars.

BAFTA recognises video games and has done since the late 90s, which not only means that we get to wear tuxedos once a year and attend an opulent awards ceremony, but also that the British games industry gets support and acknowledgment from a highly respected institution.

You can read my report from the 2011 ceremony over on PlayStation.Blog.EU, but the summary is that Heavy Rain won the awards for technical innovation, original music and best story, while God of War III collected the gong for artistic achievement.

Just as the after party threatened us folk working the next morning with full swing, I had a chat with Heavy Rain’s writer and director David Cage about what these awards mean and what Quantic Dream has planned for the future.

David Cage Reflects on Heavy Rain’s BAFTA Success

What are your initial feelings after collecting three BAFTA awards this evening?

I’m very proud to have collected three awards. We came here with no expectations and I’m proud for my team who all worked so hard during those three years of development. I’m also proud for Sony, because they took a big gamble on this game and showed faith and support throughout, which not all publishers would have done.

Which is the most gratifying to you personally: winning awards, critical acclaim or lots of sales?

Definitely sales, and not because of the money. When you create games, you don’t create them for journalists or awards panels; you create them for real people – for gamers. To have nearly two million people paying good money to play Heavy Rain is a really great feeling for me.

Which of tonight’s awards is the most pleasing?

I’m proud of all of them but, from a personal point of view, it has to be best story. I worked so hard on this aspect of the game, inventing rules for the world; trying to be creative and emotional while all the time thinking about the technical aspects like structure and the different variables that were necessary to make it all work. I spent a year writing for 12 to 15 hours a day and there have been many personal sacrifices. As I said on-stage, I want to dedicate this all to my family, especially my two sons, who I didn’t see much of during that time but they shared my passion.

Can the auteur theory be applied to games, with development teams getting bigger all the time?

It must be applied to games – there is no other way. If this industry wants to mature and evolve then we need to talk about emotions and work on stories that appeal to all people, not just hardcore gamers between the ages of 15 and 17. We have a much wider market out there just waiting to interact if we can go to them with the right ideas.

I know no good stories written by 50 people. A story is something emotional; something personal that you want to share and it is strongly linked to your own life and experiences. We need auteurs and the biggest problem in this industry is that we don’t trust them – we trust programmers instead. Auteurs are scary because they come back with ideas, but that is exactly what this industry should be about.

Is this recognition of Heavy Rain the culmination of your work on Indigo Prophecy?

We are working with a young medium and there is no pre-existing language with which to tell an interactive story. Everyone needs to learn and I’ve had 15 years of learning, starting with Omikron: The Nomad Soul. Nobody knew what the story was about in that game because it was so messy and poorly told, but then I had the chance to work on Indigo Prophecy and the story was kind of OK for two-thirds of the game, but got a bit messy at the end. So I progressed some more as a writer and, with Heavy Rain, I feel that there were many stories in there and they were all good from start to finish.

Heavy Rain is the result of those 15 years of fighting and struggling with this new language. Receiving this award is undoubtedly one of the highlights of my career but I don’t see it as an achievement, more like the first step – it’s like I’ve finally got something that works. Now, I can build on it and continue learning. I’m a student and I’m still at the beginning.

For our next project we’re going to build on what we have discovered with Heavy Rain. We own this genre of Interactive Drama and we want to show that Heavy Rain was not a coincidence; it is something that makes sense and we can build on it.

At the same time, we will not make a sequel and I made that very clear from the beginning, regardless of whether the game was a success or a failure, because I wanted to show that this is a new genre that you can use to tell any kind of story, in any style.

We’re going to be exploring a different direction, which will still be very dark and still for adults, but completely different to Heavy Rain. Our challenge is to satisfy our fans, and also surprise them.

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  • Well deserved awards for Heavy Rain.

  • make a heavy rain 2 plz and bring the dlc also add online co op some day if u make heavy rain 2 if u agree and think they should make heavy rain 2 say i

  • It would be nice that they can make some DLC as it was planned… the game have deserved this chance..

  • I was lucky enough to sit in on his lecture about the rollercoaster ride that is Heavy Rain at GDC. Knowing his thought process, whatever game he makes next will be just as great as HR.

  • More DLC? *pouts*

    This is the only M rated game I have ever bought–as soon as I was convinced the violence wasn´t just senseless, I decided to get it.

  • Could we get some information on where those DLC chapters went? I already Platinum’d the game. I haven’t sold it yet because I’m still holding out hope that there will be a few more DLC chapters.

  • I agree with him, There should not be a Heavy rain 2. I think it will be better to make something in the way Heavy rain did but completely different. I really enjoyed that game even if a retard was spamming the name of the killer on a blog… idiot. Anyway, very unique exxperience and I’m looking forward to their next project.

  • Well deserved game which is called Heavy Rain

  • Heavy Rain was ny 5th Platinum. I loved that game to death. I like the vision that David Cage is trying to express to the gaming industry.

  • I hope to hear about their next project soon and I hope it will be on the PS3.

  • @XxDeathDoctorxX

    Online and co-op are not what HR is about. Its a story first and foremost.

  • Heavy Rain was one of the best experiences I have had on any gaming platform. The game deserves all the recognition it deserves. In fact, it deserves more.

  • Amazing game, deserves everything

  • This game is the shiznit!

  • god of war 3 loved it and i just bought heavy rain 2 days ago which i have not played yet only because i’m playing “dead nation” to get all trophies. i played the heavy rain demo when it first came out and i loved it, so why did i wait this long to buy it? Simple, was waiting for a price drop to which it did (greatest hits) and i also will be buying the taxidermist add on.
    anyways congrats on the awards, great games. (i know i will love heavy rain)

  • James, maybe you could let Sid Shuman know about White Knight Chronicles 2. He works for Sony and posts on this blog but seems utterly clueless about the announcement that the EU blog made regarding that game almost two weeks ago. Plausible denial only works in politics, and even then, not very well. Kind of hard to deny something that your sister European blog has already posted. The game is real, it has been translated into English (the Queen’s English for the UK, but I’m Canadian, so I’m ok with that :) ), let the cat out of the bag already.

    Selective information filtering ftw.

    That aside, HR was a great game it deserves every accolade it gets. Wasn’t perfect, but was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. Next time Cage needs to hide his killer a little better. It was painfully, painfully obvious “who” they were after the clock-shop scene.

  • It sucks that there won’t be a Heavy Rain 2. But then again it could be a lot worse than that. The next project from him will be exciting.

  • Release date? this is a great game, that I need!!, loved the first one!!,its amazing, better than any game ever, it had a wonderful story, please be a disc game!

  • @16 Can you please relax a bit with the White Knight Chronicles 2 stuff? I want to play it just as much as you do but you need to exercise a little patience. I’m not sure that it would be the classiest move to call up Level 5 and ask them what the status is considering they might be on the brink of nuclear fallout. I don’t know the protocol for these types of situations but I think it’s best if we just wait and we’ll be notified accordingly when they’re ready to tell us.

  • @ 19

    I’d think that they would want to give more coverage and support to Japanese games during this grim time. I have no issue with patience, its simply vexing when one territory gleefully announces the game and the other pretends like it doesn’t exist. If there is a delay or issue for the game due to the Tsunami, by all means, shed some light and sympathy on the subject: CREATE A STORY ABOUT IT ON THIS SUPPOSED USER/ COMPANY BASED BLOG. What a novel idea. But instead we get post after post about overpriced PSN games and hubris filled Crysis 2 stories.

    Calling up Level-5 and hounding them was your suggestion, and I agree, its not very classy.

  • OMG :) Heavy Rain Deserves more than that .. the best game ever
    Sony .. please make a Heavy Rain 2

  • great game and im glad there wont be a part 2 since we need more new IPs

  • Good for them. Heavy Rain was shown some harsh reaction from gamers expecting it to be a shooter or something. Many people just approached this game wrong. They wanted all out action, well you won’t get that in such a story driven game like Heavy Rain. This game is one of my favorite gems this generation and has my eturnal respect for showing that great games don’t need to be part of the normal array of genres. I look forward to seeing what his next game will be like.

    PS if you do release any of the other planned DLC some day, I will buy it day one

  • that game suck get over the thing that you think you are all that f*** that game

  • I’m getting VERY excited about his next project! He said it will be “dark and for adults” however “in a completely different direction”? I’m VERY intrigued!

    Both David Cage and Jenova Chen are pushing video games in new directions, and I’m absolutely loving it! By the time I start working in the industry, Video Games will hopefully be a mature medium, and will finally be recognized for their full spectrum of abilities. (Much like movies or music or even art itself!) We’re at the brink of the evolution of video games and the images they reflect.

    Personally, I’m anxously awaiting the day that video games gain social exceptance as an important medium within any given culture.

  • That is absolutely the best response I have ever heard about what is important, sales, critical acclaim or awards.

  • my post will take a thousand years to be “OK’D so David will probaby miss what i say but this is one of my best gaming experiences and itsver immersive… it broke my heart to hear no part to but you said another direction but still for adults so i cant wait, i like that dark feel… i happened to lost my game but i’ll get it again i wish i can just download it insted of buying the disk… keep up the great work! Cant Wait!

  • Sony keep up with games like this… Cage…. Can I pre order gamme NOW?! this is the msn Crytek MUST LEARN FROM… to be in PlayStation Famaly or even make 1 step forward…in the community .

  • I’m looking forward to the next game!

  • @ 27 That Crytek article a few days back was terrible.

    Oh, and I don’t know about the rest of you, but of the entire HR experience, I enjoyed the tense, claustrophobia of “The Taxidermist” the most. Played it a few times and was impressed by the various ways in which the scenario played out.

  • Congrats Heavy Rain! Excited For Quantics next project, and a very awesome interview!

  • I would have loved even one more DLC episode, especially to explore Norman Jayden’s backstory a bit more. There’s a lot of hypothesis in various forums and wiki pages that his character is gay, which would have been really nice to acknowledge in the game itself at some point (especially one of the happy endings).

    Heavy Rain is a game I still show to people to convince them to buy a PS3. It still works. Frankly, I think it was a mistake to force the exclusive choice of adding Move support versus another episodic add-on. Both should have been done. That being said, I’m glad we got to experience something like this at all.

    Indigo Prophecy does fall apart a bit at the end, but it was still AMAZING. Omikron was also pretty cool, especially the soundtrack. I would really love to see HD versions of these games for download on PSN.

  • Congrats to David Cage and Quantic Dream for all the recognition Heavy Rain has achieved. It’s definitely a good thing that a game like Heavy Rain has managed to become accepted by both gamers and non-gamers alike. At this point it’s important for Cage and QD to take what they’ve done with the game and look in to how the game can be improved even further.

    As much as I liked Heavy Rain, it isn’t the end result, or the answer to all the problems we see in narrative based games these days. It’s a solution, a suggestion, a path that we can take even further . I hope Quantic Dream goes further with this and I hope even more studios take up the same challenge. What could Capcom do with a game like Heavy Rain, or Konami/Kojima productions?

  • A congratulations is in order. But where’s the rest of the Heavy Rain Chronicles that was promised?

  • David Cage definitely deserved it. Heavy Rain is one of the best game this gen! Cant wait too see the upcoming title from Quantic Dream :).

    Congrats to David Cage

  • I just finished this game last month even though I bought it the first day it came out due wanting to play it with the Move controller and let me say this. Absolutely loved every second of it. What an experience. I only beat it once through but am going to try to make some time to beat it again to get more trophies.

    It was kind of ironic that I beat it on a night where it was pouring here in the Bay Area too which was sweet as it added to the feel of it.

    Way to go Quantic and Sony. Well deserved awards and I continue to recommend it to many of my friends who’ve yet to experience this awesome game. Cannot wait for your next project!!!!!

    Thanks again for making such a great game. Awesome.

  • Good stuff. Just stay with Sony as your publisher, David. Use Sony to send a message to the industry. We can help kickstart a revolution.

  • A great game, well deserved Quantic Dream.. such a dark game yet so pleasing to unravel through the mysteries.

  • Two thumbs up for Heavy Rain (and Sony), one of the few games that you love more and get caught inside the more you dare venture on its different storyline paths (so engrossing I platinum’ed the game to see it all). Tremendous interactive achievement and one of the true shining beacons of the PS3 library. I’m very happy for Quantic Dream and David for this, cheers!

  • Indigo Prophecy: David Cage talks about interactive drama. Also, you’re Zombie Neo who has sex with a cop and the homeless are the Illuminati. Game played like Simon.
    Post-Indigo Prophecy: David Cage talks about interactive drama.
    The making of Heavy Rain: David Cage talks about interactive drama.
    Playing Heavy Rain: First trophy is “thanks for supporting interactive drama.” Unintentionally hilarious melodrama in an action game with a strange control scheme. This took how long to develop?
    Post-Heavy Rain: David Cage talks about interactive drama.

    …I wonder what David Cage is up to now.

  • @21 Mind you own business, I know the disaster happend, they’re not gonna make it away, I feel bad for the people in Japan, i’ve donated, i’m just saying when its made it’d be better off on disc because not everyone has online, (I do), but sales would be better if it was a disc about $30 or so.

  • heavy rain sold 2 million so i can’t wait to see Quantic Dreams’ next project.
    BTW Sony should buy these guys LOL =)

  • I really admire David Cage for sticking to his guns and not following the easy path by turning Heavy Rain into a franchise.
    The games industry seems obsessed with the concept of sequels, even more so than Hollywood. Even games which don’t sell that well (Dead Space, for instance, even though it’s a fine game) get turned into series because of the time and money investment put into them.
    Very pleased that Quantic Dream are taking the high road on this, and expanding on their work in Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain, as opposed to slavishly recycling it for a cynical, cash-grab sequel.

  • “We own this genre of Interactive Drama and we want to show that Heavy Rain was not a coincidence; it is something that makes sense and we can build on it.”

    Whatever you create next, we’ll be right there with you. Everyone wants to see where this medium can be taken, and you’re really pushing us somewhere.

    Excellent stuff, Heavy Rain was in my top 10 from 2000-10.

  • i surely don’t want heavy rain to become a franchise and then lose all its greatness along the way. quantic dream has enough knowledge and great minds to make another kickass game. indigo prophecy was beautiful, and heavy rain was a masterpiece, easily the most beautiful, touching, and well produced game i’ve ever played. i’m looking forward to hear more about david cage’s plans and let’s hope that quantic dream delivers us another awesome game asap :)

  • Congrats Quantic Dream. I never could get more than halfway through Heavy Rain after I bought it Day 1…as a result of some game killing bugs, but I’m definitely hoping to get back to it in the near future.

  • Heavy rain is one of the best Game i ever Played…a million thanks to David Cage.

  • I really hope the next project is published by Sony as well.

  • My sincerest congratulations to Cage and all the other amazing folk who worked on Heavy Rain. Truly one of the best gaming experiences out there.

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