David Cage's Goal With Heavy Rain Was To 'Kill Game Over'

Gamasutra currently has a pretty interesting interview with David Cage, where he discusses, among other things, the development of Heavy Rain — its successes, its failures. His observation that Heavy Rain had to completely do away with 'Game Over' situations was perhaps the most interesting for me, mainly because that was precisely what I felt made the game so compelling.

"I think my goal in Heavy Rain was to kill death, in a way — was to kill Game Over," claimed Cage. "So, I started thinking, "How can I get rid of Game Over situations?" Because in the context of storytelling, having a part where you die and you need to play again — the same bit of story, the scene — doesn't make any sense. It becomes really boring.

"So, I really had to find solutions to say, "How can I get rid of Game Over situations?" and the first answer was to say, "Hey, why not have four different characters, so if you lose one, two, three, or four, it just alters the story one way or another, but the story carries on." This is just what I tried to achieve with Heavy Rain. And yeah, the complexity came out of this, but I think people enjoyed it."

The whole permadeath thing worked so well in Heavy Rain, mainly because of the conversations afterwards: how did your game end? Did 'X' survive. I probably had more fun talking about Heavy Rain than I did necessarily playing it. That's not really a criticism, just an observation.

If you have time, it's well worth checking out the entire interview.


    Heavy Rain is one of my favourite games of all-time, I only wish there wasn't a gaping plot hole in there. :S The industry is better off with David Cage in it. Can't wait to see what he's got next...

      Yeah, agreed. Heavy Rain wasn't always successful, but it was always interesting. In fact you could probably say the same thing about David Cage's games in general.

      Hopefully we'll see what he's got coming up next at E3.

    Even with it's plot holes, it's still one of my favourite games on the PS3. However i do hate Sony for making them focus on move support instead of doing more DLC though. The DLC had so much potential to make the game even better by answering some questions and filling some of those holes......

      disagree. move support was fantastic and added a whole new dimension to the game.

    Gaping plot hole? :S

      There was a red herring in there that was never explained in-game, the subject of much discussion at sites like Adventure Gamers. David Cage eluded to his intentions in an interview saying it was better left cut out and unexplained but it just comes off as a plot hole. (Sorry I'm being vagued, don't want to spoil any one.)

        I liked that redherring/plothole because it meant that the identity of the killed was an actual surprise to me and that was awesome. Such a good game. Only thing I didn't really like was that virtual reality thing the cop was using. It felt out of place in an otherwise modern setting. I get that they wanted you to be able to gather and analise evidence while out on the field and all that but it still felt out of place.

          It was slightly futuristic, huh. I didn't mind too much, though. I think Jayden was the character I could relate to most in the game too. Had the social awkwardness going for him. :P

          Yep the VR thing really ground my gears, it was so out of place. Really let the whole thing down into being 'video gamey'.

      Rguna xrrcf jnxvat hc va gur enva jvgu na bevtnzv penar va uvf unaq. Jul vf guvf? Vg vf arire rkcynvarq, naq jr yrnea ur vf abg gur xvyyre. Fb jung tvirf?

      www.rot13.com for translation

        David Cage's explanatin is here if any one's interested: http://au.ps3.gamespy.com/playstation-3/quantic-dream-project/1078899p1.html -- there's all kinds of spoilers, so be careful. Also if I'm not supposed to link to other sites feel free to IP ban me forever. Ain't no thing but a chicken wing. :P

          Wow, so they actually wrote and produced an explanation, and then left it out... INTERESTING! Thanks for the link, dude.

    I finished this game last week, I missed one clue on the ground and I was locked into a bad ending, and I couldn't force myself to watch it, so I reloaded and replayed 3 hours worth to get a good ending.

    I think that it didn't kill off Game Overs, there was only really 1 good ending and the rest were some sort of variation on a bad ending. If the plot was less serious, say it was a romance instead of a thriller, then I think it would have worked better, but when there's so much on the line and you fail, then it's not really an ending, it's a game over.

    Still, freaing epic game. That one plot hole did bug me a bit, but I thought it was extremely well written and the permanent actions thing was really really really interesting and clever. I just think it could have been handled a little differently.

    And I did not see the identity of the killer coming. I was like HOLY CRAP!

      To be honest any thing with a happy out come for Shaun is what I percieved to be a good ending. Folks fallen on the way was just collateral damange, alas. :P (Man, that's cold blooded.)

      I'm sure I read an interview somewhere that said that ****SPOILERS Rguna'f qrngu /SPOILERS**** at the end was part of the 'canon' ending, if such a thing could be said to exist.

      I was a bit disappointed with the standard of the voice acting. There were obviously a lot of French actors in there trying (and often failing) to carry an American accent. I realize that Quantic Dream are French, but Sony are a global organization - you'd think they could have got some American actors to play American characters.

      When you're trying to make the drama the core of your game, you really can't afford to fumble the ball on something as central to that as acting.

    Another qualified like for Heavy Rain. The different stylistic spotlights on the the PI and Fed are handled in ways that seemed more than interesting enough for their own games. The weather was well handled too. But jumping jimminy, the quick sequence button mashing! Ugh, hated that on ice.

    And the chore of doing mundane stuff that should be naturalistic and easy, it reminded me of Suspended or something, where unlike Heavy Rain, there's a reason it gets in the way.

    With this, it was like the gameplay was a sort of cheat for delivering the kind of story the makers want to tell, and they made playing it such a bother in parts that you are expected to just put up with the ending you didn't want as a consolation prize for buying it. Basically, it cheezed me off...

    I'll be hesitant to adopt so early the next project unless it is a lot more enjoyable to play, even if it looks at least as pretty and the story is better than Heavy Rain turned out to be. I played it through once, and even if I didn't have the backlog of games on multiple platforms I do, I doubt I'll ever return to it.

    you cannot kill "game over". What you can kill is punishing a gamer who makes a wrong decision. Make the decision, good or bad, affect the course of the game and you have been successful as a game designer. That is why Heavy Raid was a brilliant game.

    I swear this is my last post in here. (Probably.) But does any one else remember when David Cage appeared in Fahrenheit? I thought that was incredibly awesome, something Alfred Hitchcock or Rod Serling would do if they were into games... and not dead. :P http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO9ke7ohkv4

    I really enjoyed Heavy Rain - enjoyed it so much that I played the entire thing in one sitting the weekend it came out. I always intended to play it again once the Move version was released, but I didn't want to pay for it again. Surely they could have released to Move edition as DLC for people who had already bought the game?
    Anyway, I've only played in once and loved it - so while the overall plot (well, MY overall plot) is a little vague to me now, I can still remember most of the pivotal moments. Maybe it's time to bust it out again ... or maybe I should leave it on ice a little longer so the plot's REALLY vague. Hmm.

      They did, man. Move version comes in an epic patch! (Last post here, for real, I wouldn't lie! :P)

        Really? Booting up my PS3 now to have a look! Cheers for the heads-up!

    Heavy Rain was very fun . Even WITH the gaping plot hole and accents on the voice actors, it STILL managed to grab me by the throat.

    I'm not sure whether I'd say it was one of the BEST games of this generation, but it was clearly one of the most enthralling and effective.

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