In the lead up to the release of his studio's upcoming game Beyond: Two Souls, David Cage has been in Australia, taking part in a live forum this week with movie industry experts in a discussion focused on how games and cinema are beginning to converge.
A few of the movie industry folk seemed a little naive and uninformed on video games in general, but I found it particularly interesting to hear how cinema had responded to the last 20 years of video games. We frequently explore how games are influenced by movies, but the discussion rarely flows both ways.
David Cage was there to represent the gaming end of things, and was the focal point of much of the discussion. Perhaps the most interesting part of the discussion was the idea of how technology might increase the level of creativity and how big budgets can restrain creativity in larger studios. It's a common theme for folks like us who are engaged in video games on a day-to-day basis, but it was still interesting to hear David Cage discuss the issues, particularly since he's been such a major proponent of cutting edge technology in his games.
David Cage has previously been very forward in his support of the idea that tech can allow us to tell better stories, but this time round he seemed more restrained.
"It's great that we have more power," he began, "but if it doesn't change the experiences we create then what's the point? My hope is that we're going to use this great power we have on next-generational consoles to create experiences we've never had before, break away from the traditional paradigms and invent new ideas.
"I want to see games that are meaningful, games that have something to say and not just games where there is someone to kill."
Cage was also keen to note the efforts of other studios involved with Sony, and their attempts to make unique video games.
"I'm not saying we are the only ones. There are many people trying very different things in very different directions. And that's what's so exciting about this medium. We are story driven, we like stories and we want to explore these possibilities, but there are other people trying different things. Sometimes they aren't story driven but they are still very emotional. I'm a big fan of thatgamecompany, who created Flower and Journey. I also like the Japanese developer Fumito Ueda — he is a fantastic creator with a real sense of poetry. They are both very different but they are doing great things.
"Big AAA titles with big budgets, big teams, a lot of marketing money, they're not taking many risks because there is so much money invested. They can't take risks. On the other side of the spectrum we see small companies, indie developers. They don't have money, they don't have big marketing budgets, so they have to be creative. This is what's exciting now, these indie developers."
We also had the chance to chat to David Cage yesterday. Check Kotaku for the results of that conversation in the coming days.