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"The controller is just a means" - Cage

Move won't "solve" mainstream uptake.

Quantic Dream's emotional leader David Cage does not believe motion-sensing controllers are the key to unlocking mainstream acceptance of videogames.

Speaking to Eurogamer, the Heavy Rain creator said "the controller is just a means" and that the content must do the talking - presumably in a silky French accent.

"For me, the main challenges are in the content; how we can get rid of gameplay loops and invent new ways of playing; how we can bring more complex emotions in our experiences; how we can invent worlds, stories, characters and gameplay that will fascinate and immerse from the first minute to the last," Cage shared.

"Motion control is an attempt at expanding the audience of games by getting rid of this barrier that is the controller. We can probably get new people playing tennis with a motion controller in front of their TV, but I am more interested in discovering how we can create content that will make them want to play more mature games. Both can be compatible, but getting more people playing party games won't support creativity unless we create different types of content for this device.

"What is important is what happens in players' minds," he added, "the controller is just a means, and won't solve all the issues we have in making interactivity a valid creative and mainstream medium."

Cage comments were made on the topic of the Move Edition of Heavy Rain, which is being bundled for retail this year as well as offered to existing game owners via a downloadable patch.

Cage has been open about his disappointment at sacrificing Heavy Rain's Chronicles DLC in order to accommodate Sony's new controller. However, he also told us the Move Edition is closer than ever to what Quantic Dream had originally visualised for Heavy Rain.

"The device we imagined at the beginning of the game was based on motion detection on both hands with a plastic shape embedding both fists," he revealed. "Our approach was maybe a little bit more organic but, in general, we are close to what we initially imagined for the game.

"This is what makes the Move edition fluid and natural to play, it ideally fits the interface we initially designed."


Cage went on to say that the reaction to the Move Edition had so far been good.

"We get a lot of very positive feedback about this version - even players who were initially reluctant about the device because it has been mainly used for party games," said Cage.

"The action sequences especially are extremely well perceived because they become very physical and intense, while the adventure part of the game benefits of a reinforced sense of mimicry even in the simplest actions."

Cage told us how Quantic Dream tried to "push the boundaries of what the hardware could do" and avoid a "quick and dirty conversion just for the sake of making it".

He said the team explored depth, twirling the Move controller, using "composed movements" for complex actions and changing the orientation of the device. Even opening a door in-game became a "pleasant experience", promised Cage.

But, he cautioned: "I would not say that it is a better experience; rather a different approach to the original game."

Cage admitted he has been impatient to start work on new ideas, but said Move controls weren't necessarily a certainty for future QD output - apparently your reaction to them will decide that.

"We now have the technology and tools to make games that are fully compatible with both control systems and taking the best of each," boasted Cage. "Where we will put the emphasis in the future depends on how gamers react to the Move version.

"We are prepared for both possibilities, although I doubt that there will be a huge shift with all games being motion controlled in a near future.

"It is great for certain games at certain moments," he added, "but not all players want to move and jump on their coach."

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About the Author
Robert Purchese avatar

Robert Purchese

Associate Editor

Bertie is a synonym for Eurogamer. Writes, podcasts, looks after the Supporter Programme. Talks a lot.

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