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Cage: Technology Is Only A Tool; You Still Have To Say Something

Quantic Dream boss David Cage rarely says something with which we disagree.

In speaking during an open Q&A at Gamescom (and as summarized at IGN), the director, writer, and CEO talked about the kinds of games that will attract Hollywood talent in the future. You may remember that his new project, Beyond: Two Souls, features accomplished film actress Ellen Page.

Said Cage:

"If we keep making things based on violence and platform jumping, you don't need Ellen Page to do this, to be honest. It would be a waste of time and a waste of money.

If the games we make continue to go in that direction, then no [we don't need Hollywood actors]. Now, if there are more and more games trying to create something more meaningful with proper actors, proper story and a proper portrayal of emotions in games, then we will need talented actors."

In regards to the technology for Beyond, the filming took a full year to capture the vocal, facial and body performances required in the 2000-page script. The team used 65 cameras (compared to the 28 used in Heavy Rain) and yeah, they took advantage of some superior technology. But Cage warned us that in fact, technology is still only a tool.

"The thing is, the better the hardware the more time we spend to improve the visuals to take advantage of the hardware. Technology remains a tool: you can have the best tool in the world but if you have nothing to say it will remain an empty experience."

We hope this guy lives to the age of a hundred and twelve and makes twenty more games.

Tags: david cage, quantic dream, beyond two souls, gaming industry

8/16/2012 9:00:57 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (23 posts)

Temjin001
Thursday, August 16, 2012 @ 10:09:27 PM
Reply

Well Uncharted is a violent platformer. Pretty much, right? ANd isn't Uncharted one of the most cinematic Hollywood-like games we've got? I dont think anyone feels all of the cinematic work is wasted effort in a game like that. ANd Ironically, wasn't Ellen Page the inspiration for a Last of Us lead character? That looks mega-violent, maybe even platformer'ish.

Maybe I'm missing the point. but from what was stated I don't really see how I am.

Anyhow, I'm glad David Cage knows how to put those graphics tools to work because it looks to me he's making one of the PS3's best looking games to date. (I think it's more impressive so far than Last of Us ;)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 16, 2012 @ 11:15:10 PM

Both Uncharted and TLU bring us strong characters and (presumably in the case of TLU) a well thought out, even emotional story that is communicated to the player while they control the adventure. Those are cases in which I think Cage would not be against the mechanics. I think he's saying that play mechanics, devoid of story, emotion, character, and plot, are not an advancement. I'm sure he would say violence is okay in a plot but not JUST for the sake of being violent.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 8/16/2012 11:16:29 PM

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Temjin001
Thursday, August 16, 2012 @ 11:32:41 PM

But I don't think those games are the only ones that fall into that description, as if they're an exception to the norm. I think Metal Gear, Assassin's Creed, Grand Theft Auto etc., are among the most popular single player experiences that define gaming today. He states that if "we continue to go in this direction" leads me to think he's suggesting the whole of gaming is not benefiting from expensive story telling cinematics, which includes motion actors and cinematics, where in fact, games like Enslaved and upcoming titles like Tomb Raider and all of the ones I mentioned are a part of this "direction" we should be avoiding, otherwise expensive actors is a waste. DOn't know, just not seeing it. I do for multiplayer games. Not sure how many of those qualify as platformers, but I suppose he meant multiplayer games where stuff like that doesn't seem to matter... yet

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/16/2012 11:34:12 PM

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Temjin001
Thursday, August 16, 2012 @ 11:40:43 PM

I think if I put myself in the shoes of Cage, and judging by games like Heavy Rain what he says makes sense. If you think about it. Nearly every big game is massively violent. Uncharted is essentially a non-stop kill fest. I think he's saying we need to just get the heck away from that, and that includes most every big budget game these days.

I think he's suggesting that all of the emotions and themes a story can tell can't be done if we keep taking care of things with guns and blades.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/16/2012 11:41:37 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 16, 2012 @ 11:40:56 PM

But those games DO use a great deal of voice and motion acting, though I think he's getting ahead of himself by suggesting they NEED to be Hollywood types. I'd call Nolan North the very first human being video game star, and I think that in the future there will be a lot more like him.

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___________
Friday, August 17, 2012 @ 7:45:57 AM

yes it is, but not for its acting!
uncharted is regarded to hollywood for its big epic set pieces and pacing.
its a michael bay film!
put it this way, would you be more attached to drake if he was played by a famous actor?
would that acting talent improve the game?

as david said uncharted and games like it dont need good actors.
if your trying to tell a emotional story though thats a whole other kettle of fish.

Last edited by ___________ on 8/17/2012 7:48:14 AM

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Temjin001
Friday, August 17, 2012 @ 10:49:33 AM

no name guy. one of the great things about Naughty DOg is that their story telling feels like Hollywood in talent. The game absolutely would've rated worse all around if ND wasn't spending the time they have on that stuff. So no, it's not worthless to invest the effort there. As I think Cage is suggesting.

Cage is just calling out the norm of the industry. One violent death-kill game after another. The game play is near always about planning or surviving your next kill in practically every big budget game these days. Heavy Rain is an acception to that, and probably Catherine, too. There's no baby cuddling etc. Game play comes in very few flavors as it is now.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/17/2012 10:50:13 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 16, 2012 @ 11:20:54 PM
Reply

These sentiments are dead on imo and precisely why folks like David Jaffe are on their way out of the industry. There will always be times and cases where gamers just want fun gameplay (like Twisted Metal) but when I look around I see that gameplay is just one facet gaming now.

Back in the day we didn't actually care Princess Peach was locked up, we just wanted to bounce Mario around and kick Koopa ass. Now I think if you want a AAA game in next gen gaming you have to remember your graphics and tech ARE just tools and it's the underlying overall picture that counts.

This is one reason I'm looking forward to DmC, it won't just be lots of swift combo action but Ninja Theory knows how to tell a great story.

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Beamboom
Friday, August 17, 2012 @ 5:00:58 AM
Reply

I think he's too eager to promote his own games here. Action movies need good actors too. It's the same with games.

Let's face it; Games with "violence and platform jumping" will completely dominate the gaming world for at least until we got holodecks.

And if there is one thing that most every action game today suffer from, it is poor scripting of a cliche riddled story, performed by actors that highly likely are paid for a couple hours studio work, reading straight from a piece of paper with next to no preparations. At least, that's how it often sounds.

Cage is only advocating his (type of) games just like any good marketer would, but *every* genre game benefit from quality work.

Last edited by Beamboom on 8/17/2012 5:25:53 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, August 17, 2012 @ 9:53:43 AM

This has absolutely nothing to do with promotion. If you knew Cage and understood his philosophy, he has never - not EVER - put self-promotion over what he feels is the good of the industry.

The reason most anything action doesn't feature good acting is because no, it isn't necessary. It isn't necessary because the general intended audience for that genre is, let's just say it, dumb. Or at least, not typically as smart as those who watch independent films and play Heavy Rain. Yes, I know plenty of smart people play both Call of Duty and Heavy Rain. It isn't a sweeping rationalization.

But to say action movies and action games require equally good facets of the more artistic elements is just wrong. It isn't necessary due to the majority of the audience simply not caring.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 8/17/2012 9:54:06 AM

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Beamboom
Saturday, August 18, 2012 @ 2:05:58 AM

All I say is that good acting is important also for action games, "Hollywood actors" got a lot to contribute to those games too.
It even surprise me that you argue against this, since you've earlier focused on this yourself both in reviews and editorials. And then now you all of a sudden say that good acting isn't necessary in action games? It's... Puzzling!

And speaking of puzzles, what was it that pulled Portal 2 up from being just a good puzzler to the epic level it ended up on? The script and the actors!

One of the reasons Bioshock is such an ocean(!) of difference in quality from, say, Army Of Two is the writing and acting. And nobody cares about this? Getoutahere!

Frankly I think this whole attitude that Cage express here is pretty darn snobbish.
It's not only "independent movies" or his little melodramatic interactive movies that benefit from great acting. Acting is important for *all* movie and game genres:
From action heroes to children's stories, dramas to thrillers; Good actors makes all the difference. And that goes for all game genres too.

I'd not even call that an opinion, but a fact.


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/18/2012 8:28:07 AM

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___________
Friday, August 17, 2012 @ 7:51:22 AM
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if i could have 1 wish in the world it would be to create a cloning machine so we could have thousands of david cages so we could have thousands of games from him every generation!
its such a shame we have so few visionaries like him!
leave it to the frogs to innovate and push the industry into areas no one would even dare!

f*ck bioshock infinite, tomb raider, hitman absolution, the last of us, the last guardian, halo 4, forza horizon, ect, ect, f*ck them all!
if i could have beyond 2 souls right now, once ive finished with it id happily accept the apocalypse!
thats how in dire straight i am for something new and unique!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 17, 2012 @ 10:43:32 AM

You take that back about Bioshock!

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AcHiLLiA
Friday, August 17, 2012 @ 11:45:25 AM

ah crap, blank line going to far.

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TheCanadianGuy
Saturday, August 18, 2012 @ 2:47:10 PM

i'm surprised anyone still bothers reading his comments.

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xenris
Friday, August 17, 2012 @ 8:33:39 AM
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I like what he says about technology. Most of what this guy says is true, and while he has a point with talking about platforming and action, it think he is really calling out Call of Duty and nintendo games like Mario that usually have no story or important dialogue.

Not saying Call of Duty isn't well acted in the Single player but we all know where people spend most of their time in that game.

Because he says when you keep making things based on platforming and action. Uncharted and other games seem to really be made with narrative in mind, and they construct set pieces around the narrative.

I would like to see what he has to say about games like Journey, and uncharted though.

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Lotusflow3r
Friday, August 17, 2012 @ 9:33:03 AM
Reply

We need games from both ends of the spectrum to keep it going.

If it was exclusively Cage-like games available then i don't think i'd be a gamer and vice versa, infact, it wouldn't be a game industry if exclusively Cage-like, it would be an interactive movie that ties into the movie industry.

Sometimes we need that scoreboard and health meter for example. We need new ideas, definitely, but i don't entirely care for Hollywood talent in a game.

I agree with a lot of what he says, but not everything needs to be artistic, progressive, emotional etc. Sometimes i like to platform, sometimes i like to Duke it out.

But what i definitely agree on is that there needs to be far more of the progressive, artistic style games in all types.

Last edited by Lotusflow3r on 8/17/2012 9:35:04 AM

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AcHiLLiA
Friday, August 17, 2012 @ 10:49:30 AM
Reply

indeed if it's there, say something, do something about it, pass it on, and maybe the other devs will follow, instead of some devs just caring for the money.

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Rogueagent01
Saturday, August 18, 2012 @ 11:33:44 AM
Reply

I completely agree with him! Like he said we wouldn't need Hollywood type actors in the industry if there weren't games trying to be emotional.

And as far as action games, well think about 80s action movies. If anyone tries to say Stallone, Arnold S, Van-Damme, or any of those actors are good actors, then you have truly poor taste in talent. Many of the action games of today are very similar to 80s action movies in the way that they don't need big talent to make money, and like he said it would be a waste of money to even hire a talented actor for say a CoD or Mario.

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Amnesiac
Saturday, August 18, 2012 @ 3:26:35 PM
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Can this guy be the President-
of video games?

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PHOENIXZERO
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 7:54:12 PM
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This would have more weight with me if Cage didn't come off so full of himself and was a better writer.

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dbrasco75
Monday, August 20, 2012 @ 1:34:58 AM

Hey, if I made HR, two souls and i got one of the most talented leading ladies in hollywood film, to star in my game....oh yeah, plus wrote and directed them...I think i'd be a little full of my self too.

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Qubex
Monday, August 20, 2012 @ 2:24:56 AM
Reply

David Cage has proved himself to be a wise wise man... enough said!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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