This Man Is 'Fed Up' With Space Marines

David Cage, director of psychological thriller Heavy Rain and co-founder of French studio Quantic Dream, is not thrilled with the same generic games - noting that many US developers feel the same.

The game designer tells the Guardian, "Developers are fed up – they want to talk about their families, politics, whatever – why not in a game? Why not?! There is no reason."

Cage most recently designed Heavy Rain, which he based on his relationship with his first son and how the kid changed his life. At a shopping centre a few years back, his son wandered away for five minutes - the longest five minutes of his life. "It was something really strong," Cage told Wired back in February 2010. "I guess the story of Heavy Rain comes from these five minutes."

For him, the game was about how it felt to love someone without expecting anything in return.

"There should be more people trying this," he says. "Don't write about being a rookie soldier in WWII, because you don't have a clue what that's like. Talk about yourself, your life, your emotions, the people around you, what you like, what you hate – this is how the industry will make a huge step forwards. I'm fed up with space marines."

But, is he fed up with bald space marines?

Heavy Rain creator: I am fed up with space marines! | Technology | [Guardian][Pic]


    A good point to be sure but many people play games to do things impossible in real life.
    Reality is boring and games about things you can do irl may be more realistic but not necessarily more fun.

    I like this guys attitude.

    The only true space marines are the ones that inhabit the 40k universe, all the others are just just pretending.

      What about Aliens? They moulded the stereotype.

    While this man is clearly very smart and we should all pay close attention to him as a pioneer in this new 'maturation' of video games, I hope he doesn't forget one important aspect of his work... You're making VIDEO GAMES man!

      What? Expand the very nature of the genre and create something new and interesting which changes people's perceptions? NO! you shouldn't draw something abstract out of cubes, you need to remember one very important aspect of your work: you're making PAINTINGS man! Paintings are ONLY landscapes and portraits dammit.

    I agree with what he says. It's not so much that games with space marines suck though, just that the range of games available is far too narrow, a little bit as if we only had the choice between crappy quality action movie with Jean-Claude VanDamme, or high quality blockbuster Indiana Jones, but never anything like "The son's room". The movie industry is healthy because if you don't like a genre, you just don't go and watch it, but it's there for whoever likes it. Video games should be the same. Heavy Rain sold 2 millions of copies, that's enough to say that there's a crowd out there interested in it. Beyond that, game designers will argue about what's best just as movie directors or writers will, there won't be a consensus but that's healthy.

      AAA gaming will never be the same in regards to genre depth as movies: The economics don't work out.

      The difference is that every single videogame is a summer blockbuster and costs seven digits to make. You can, in theory, bash out a movie with your friends and only a few thousand in capital.

      Imagine if every movie was Avatar, and therefore needed to be 100% guaranteed of a large return. That's what gaming is like. And it's really sad.

        Well there's always indie game developers. I disagree that everything has to be a blockbuster, there is a huge market for things like Live Arcade and PC indie games.


        You're correct when talking about the big "blockbuster" games with high development budgets.

        Investors like consistent returns. Thus, investors are risk-averse. Risk-averse media results in media that sticks with what is tried and true, or only evolves incrementally, rather than radically different and novel ideas.

        There are, of course, exceptions. Still, you're right about the nature of the situation.


    Its also not to say that you have to make quotidian everyday stories to explore real human concerns. Star Trek TNG was a space show, but it wasn't based around combat and violence. They explore the galaxy, but also more importantly what it is to be human. So you can do both, appeal to the imagination and desire for fantasy, and also present meaningful truths through your fiction. So just to be clear, the problem with Space Marines isn't the "space" bit its the "marine" bit. Soldiers are boring when that's ALL we get to play with.

      Agree with this. The best fantasy/sci-fi/[insert genre] writing can discuss meaningful human experiences (directly or through analogy) while involving the player in great gameplay.

      That gameplay doesn't necessarily have to be combat, mind.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: when this guy makes a game that doesn't have an absurdly arcane control system, whose first hour or two isn't less interesting than watching paint dry, and doesn't have a story whose twist creates plotholes the size of 747s; THEN we can start talking.

    I like hearing about how these guys come up with the idea of their games - I don't own a PS3 - but having watched that whole "Press X to Jason" sequence on YouTube my heart was in my mouth the whole time which is an unusual impact for a video game.

    There goes my hopes of pitching to Quantic Dream "Utimate Space Marine" - a time traveling saga of a rookie soldier in WW II. ;)

    The only space marines I'm interested in for the foreseeable future are the ones in the long-overdue Aliens: Colonial Marines. The entire industry has been aping that film for decades now. I want to get a dose of the real thing!

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