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Cage: "Game Over" A State Of Failure For The Developer

In Quantic Dream's last title, Heavy Rain, any of the four main characters could die, but there was no Game Over. The story simply changed and adapted as you played.

We can expect the same structure in Quantic's new PlayStation 3 exclusive, Beyond: Two Souls. Studio boss David Cage told Joystiq that he has always felt the "game over" is actually a failure on the part of the developer:

"I've always felt that 'game over' is a state of failure more for the game designer than from the player. It's like creating an artificial loop saying, 'You didn't play the game the way I wanted you to play, so now you're punished and you're going to come back and play it again until you do what I want you to do.' In an action game, I can get that – why not? It's all about skills. But in a story-driven experience it doesn't make any sense."

So, Cage has decided to impose consequences rather than failures, which would give the narrative a free-flowing feel. If you can't escape from the cops, for example, the game doesn't end; Jodi just ends up in handcuffs, locked in a train car. If this happens to you, you won't see the rooftop battle but on the other hand, if you successfully evade the police, you'll miss the escape narrative. It's a branching storyline that we always love to see from this developer; it brings interactive entertainment to another level.

Also, it's important to remember that the game apparently bounces around quite a bit. We'll experience 15 years of the protagonist's life but they don't all come in chronological order. Can't wait to see how this plays out! Beyond: Two Souls launches on October 8.

Related Game(s): Beyond: Two Souls

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

8/22/2013 10:36:35 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (24 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 22, 2013 @ 11:08:46 PM
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That's good to hear, I was wondering if it would do that again. That's one of the things that sets these projects apart from imitators like Walking Dead. Not all that crazy about the story bouncing around, but QD can probably do that well.

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bigrailer19
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 11:28:06 AM

I dont know. The Walking Dead is pretty dang good. Its deserving of some credit.

Not GOTY good.

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Lord carlos
Thursday, August 22, 2013 @ 11:13:18 PM
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The dying didn't apply to two of the 4 characters untill the later stages of heavy rain!
One of its bad points,hopefully beyond does things better.

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newchef
Thursday, August 22, 2013 @ 11:17:32 PM
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im not sure how i feel about the story line bouncing back and forth in time, im sure QD can make it smooth but i havent really seen it done well before

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 22, 2013 @ 11:34:21 PM

Me either in general but with QD they did use it effectively in both Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy.

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fatelementality
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 12:01:05 AM
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I've always agreed with this. There are a ton of games out there that feel so trial & error sometimes. The original Splinter Cell felt that way to me. So does Hitman come to think of it. Perfect Dark Zero...my God. I never quite understood how one guys sees what they think might be a shadow from 20 yards away and all of a sudden the entire compound is raining bullets on your soon to be dead ass. Metal gear seems to give you options like putting people to sleep, evading alerts, choking guys out, disrupting radio frequencies, stunning, knocking them out, or fighting through it. Didn't have as much of a problem with SC2 or 3 as more options were available.

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Knightzane
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 12:48:30 AM
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Awesome. One of my problems with pretty much every game is there is no real consequence in dying. Demons Souls and Dark Souls took away your souls if you died. I would really like to name more but i cant really think of any. No game really punishes you for dying, which would be cool so every game wasnt a constant trial and error fest.

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bebestorm
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 1:27:42 AM
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Not surprised by no game over. Hopefully Beyond doesn't have a 1001 endings like Heavy Rain. I would like Cage to tell us more about the actual storyline unless I missed some news.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 3:17:30 AM
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Doesn't Jodie get involved in some pretty hectic firefights though? What if she gets shot and dies? Does Aiden bring her back to life or something? I don't see this working nearly as effectively as it did in Heavy Rain, but it's good to see that Cage is sticking to the script. His script, not the one that just about every other developer is following, but.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 10:21:27 AM

You probably get wounded and pulled out of the battle, so you miss a tense firefight and get treated to a hospital recovery drama scene instead. Something like that maybe.

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Beamboom
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 3:58:13 AM
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"'You didn't play the game the way I wanted you to play, so now you're punished and you're going to come back and play it again until you do what I want you to do.' is a state of failure more for the game designer than the gamer"

It's so great to hear others with tons more weight to their words say this too - this is my *exact* problem with those kind of games. I call it "forced gameplay" and I really hate it. A missed opportunity with an interactive medium - it's *not* required to tell a story. Games are not movies!


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/23/2013 4:00:03 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 10:23:13 AM

Trial and error gameplay is pretty played out.

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Underdog15
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 4:35:07 PM

@World
Bah dum, chh!

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___________
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 7:02:34 AM
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one thing i hated about heavy rain, and it sadly seems like its here as well.
david would not shut up about how the game changes, and makes suffer through your actions as the game drastically changes depending on what you do.
but it does not, the ONLY thing that changes is you miss out on a cut scene or two.
get caught when your being chased by the cops, you get a different cut scene.
you forget to remove some evidence from manfreds shop you get a cut scene.
i thought oh sh*t i left evidence there, im going to be a suspect.
but nope, you just get a cutscene questioning you for a second and then thats it the game continues like it never happened.
WTF!?

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Ludicrous_Liam
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 7:57:31 AM

Yeah, that's exactly it. Most decisions will affect whether Ethan has his cereal that day, or something to that effect, lol. It's a total cop out. Despite what Cage is saying, the story he created has a pre-determined flow that you can't change too much of until the final stages, like someone else said. I'm not gunna say it wasn't cool having the power to kill a character or create incredibly awkward scenes by saying/doing the absolute wrong things, because it was! I loved Heavy Rain.

But as a game creator, you can't keep tabs on everything the player is doing. Creating a story and limiting the player to do things in that story, means that you absolutely know the things they've done. In this way you can really affect the way the player is feeling. With multi-branching stories, creating the sense that EVERY decision matters (without feeling like a cop out), would be impossible. It'd just be a really messy game without a sense of direction or flow.

EDIT: And you think about how HUGE game's are getting, that one decision, to feel authentic, would have to have some sort of effect on the rest of the narrative. That's like 1000's of subtle changes. Recipe for failure.



Last edited by Ludicrous_Liam on 8/23/2013 7:59:58 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 10:32:22 AM

That's pretty narrow-minded, as if a Quanitc Dream cut scene isn't important and getting one instead of another doesn't affect your overall experience with the game. It does.

I wanted to see what I was missing in the scenes if I managed to get rid of all the evidence on the next playthrough (that made the scene tense for a second time, which is rare) because I enjoy the different settings, the actor performances, and the structure of the narrative that my playing ability creates.

They aren't just meaningless cut scenes they are pieces of the story that make up the whole. And an example of how it affects your ending would be whether or not you managed to establish some kind of good relationship with Lauren. Yes you get an extra cut scene, but it's a powerful one that adds to the experience.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 8/23/2013 10:33:13 AM

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___________
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 11:14:25 AM

right, so missing evidence and getting caught and interrogated is making people regret their decisions?
oooooooooookay.

of course you can, alpha protocol did it and did it f*cking brilliantly!
every single little decision made in that game drastically effects the story, and also your missions, literally everything!
also shows you both sides of every coin so you dont have to replay the game again to find out what the other possibilities are.
then theres the same for how you play the game, stealth or rambo can drastically effect things.
than theres how you treat people, who you decide to be nice too, which also drastically effects the story.

and thats obsidian, not exactly a big very talented developer, and lets not forget, well, $ega are not exactly swimming in money this gen so the budget for that game would of literally been two pennies and a stick of gum!
so i think a very talented studio, backed by one of the biggest publishers in the industry can manage.........

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bigrailer19
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 11:25:32 AM

Thats just not fair. You are critiscizing the game for doing something not many other games present. You are critiscizing the game for giving us choices and the experience changing, but because in a virtual world there has to be a script.

Not fair.

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Ludicrous_Liam
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 12:27:43 PM

"That's pretty narrow-minded, as if a Quanitc Dream cut scene isn't important and getting one instead of another doesn't affect your overall experience with the game. It does."

"And an example of how it affects your ending would be whether or not you managed to establish some kind of good relationship with Lauren."

Yes, for the scenes that actually affect the overall narrative. But you take the scene underline is talking about, one that could potentially reveal who the killer is earlier, it just underplays the consequences. That's what you'd call a cop out. My reaction on my second playthrough was "oh...that's kinda lame".

Character's can't even be killed until the last 1/3 of the game. Even if you miss all the QTEs in life and death sitations (driving the wrong way down a highway...I mean come on). Of course, when you get to that last 1/3, like the Mad Jack scene - I mean that stuff was instense. I really felt like I could mess up at anytime.

But what I'm talking about is like, the smaller decisions. If you don't properly nurse Ethan, will he continue to have walking problems or will he just do it himself? No, you just trial and error until you find the right solution as Madison - you can't progress unless you do so. So "You didn't play the game the way I wanted you to play, so now you're punished and you're going to come back and play it again until you do what I want you to do." This is effectively an invisible game over screen. Except if you played it with the intention of f*cking up Ethan, it's very visible and jaring.

If you have a story with only one path (and one way of doing things), it means you avoid those jaring moments.

Just so every one knows, I loved Heavy Rain, and especially my first playthrough. But when David goes on with these talks (did anyone hear about the Sony president falling asleep while listening to him? LOL), I feel the need to bring it all down to earth a little.

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Ludicrous_Liam
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 8:38:09 PM

Speaking of jarring momentshhhAAAUNNNNNNN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1SFm62Etyc

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___________
Saturday, August 24, 2013 @ 12:32:35 PM

im not criticizing the game, im criticizing a developer who does not know how to stop running his mouth, and keeps writing checks with his mouth his games will NEVER be able to cash!
if he did not constantly keep cock waving about consequences of your decisions, and every scene in the game a character can die and that will drastically change the game, had he not written checks he could not cash, i would not be complaining.
thats why almost every game this gen has been so disappointing, because developers dont know how to keep their fat mouths shut!

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 5:07:56 PM
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I just pre-ordered the Special Edition of this for 32.99 from Amazon, thats damn cheap for a new release, let alone Special Edition, I paid 45 for my Heavy Rain Special Edition which delivered similar content. I haven't seen much of the game much adored Heavy Rain so I think I will just have faith in them as developers and see what I get :)

As for the no Game Over. Heavy Rain the majority of Heavy Rains endings could be viewed as a failure. I don't want to spoil it for anyone foolish enough not to have played the game but it has something to do with how successful you are as a player during the QTE the events rather than choices you make. So in that sense the punishment is still there.

But I recommend everyone who intends to play Heavy Rain or Beyond for the first time do not use a guide, do not worry about the perfect ending, just experience it. As then the replay value you can look back on certain mistakes and make the changes, which adds so much replay value.

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ricksterj
Sunday, August 25, 2013 @ 4:50:52 PM
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Depends on the game.

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smileys_007
Sunday, August 25, 2013 @ 9:32:52 PM
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I've got 3 weekends to finish Grand Theft Auto V before Beyond Two Souls arrives. That's not an ample enough of time to finish the game.. sheesh..

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