Submitted by leonHurley 750d ago | interview

David Cage: why it’s “impossible to tell a decent story with a hero who can only run & shoot” - OPM

OPM chats with the creator of Beyond on the difficulties of telling good stories in games. (Beyond: Two Souls, PS3)

Persistantthug  +   750d ago
HALF LIFE 1 & 2?
Irishguy95  +   750d ago
Don't bother, Cage doesn't acknowledge others achievements, he probably doesn't even know what Half life is. He is an arrogant ***
Flavor  +   750d ago
Well, it's not impossible, but it does severely limit the narrative.

Honestly, what range of stories can you tell that require the protagonists to be constantly embroiled in heavy close combat for 90% of the book? That's why we have action SCENES, and dramatic setpieces, not 'action stories'.

You build up to segments with heavy action/peril with well paced tension and plotting, or have it burst out early then deconstruct it or see the consequences in depth.

Think of your favorite TV show, movie or anime - what percentage of a typical Game of Thrones episode is non-stop swordplay war scenes? And what percentage is character building, romance, or emotional conflict?
Soldierone  +   750d ago
How'd you get disagrees?

It's honestly what people are missing these days in both movies and games. Think about good movies back in the day.

Sure you wanted more more action, but that just says it was done right. Proper treatment to emotions and development make you want to see something get out of hand. If zombies were constantly killing people and being devastating in The Walking Dead, then you no longer care when they eat someone.

However these days its constant explosions of everything. Then they go and try and make the character develop through it, but anything that steps away from the explosions seems really dull and boring.

I mean look at Medal of Honor Frontlines compared to todays shooters. You had D-DAy which was epic as heck, then it immediately slows down a little, then it slows down even more with sneaking mission, then finally picks back up rather quickly for a finale. The new MOH was basically D-Day throughout the entire game, with odd parts of dullness just to get to the next "epic" sequence.

It's not as immersive as it once was. However there are "shooters" that do things better than a lot of games. Mass Effect would be one of those examples. It takes a lot of effort to combine both aspects into one, while its a bit more easy to tell a drama like Heavy Rain.
Tapani  +   750d ago

You're right! :)
plaZeHD  +   750d ago
#1.3 (Edited 750d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
TheEnigma313  +   750d ago
Nathan Drake?
PlayBox360   750d ago | Spam
Hellsvacancy  +   750d ago
Max Payne 3?
Kurylo3d  +   750d ago
max payne 3 was hardly oscar worthy lol...
StockpileTom  +   750d ago
Metal Gear?
-GametimeUK-  +   750d ago
Is a story that is developed through a heavy use of cut scenes and not gameplay.
MysticStrummer  +   750d ago
Are you suggesting that all Snake does is run and shoot?

What a weird thing to say.

The answers from cochise and Hellsvacancy are strange too, since those characters also do more than just run and shoot, but not as strange as yours. Congrats I guess.
InTheLab  +   750d ago
Bad example. Played the correct way...Snake rarely fires a lethal shot..
SlapHappyJesus  +   750d ago
Keep telling yourself that, David.
Ron_Danger  +   750d ago
I like Cage. I don't always agree with him, but he brings up good points that can lead to mature conversation. It sounds like he's just getting frustrated with how gaming is all about guns and explosions and how Michael Bay style games are the ones that get the most attention profit wise. He's more of a Coen Brothers style of game developer where character development comes before kills.

That being said, I know Half Life and Uncharted were mentioned already, but I'd also throw Far Cry 3 in the mix. The story was great and the slight gameplay change half way through made it feel like 2 different games.
Hercules189  +   750d ago
He shouldnt really talk if he doesnt make any "games". And sometimes silent characters are actually the best. The masterchief would be totally different if he was a Nathan Drake type of guy. They want you to feel like you are the character.
Ducky  +   750d ago
The fully quote actually goes "It's almost impossible to ..."
The 'almost' part is key.

I usually don't agree with Cage, but I think he's right on this point.
He's including the fact that in most action games, the gameplay and story happen in different worlds.
In a cutscene, a bullet is lethal, while in gameplay, a barrage of bullets can be tanked easily.

Some games manage to get around this by keeping the story and gameplay consistent with one another (such as in Portal) but it's not always possible with every game.
#7 (Edited 750d ago ) | Agree(12) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
StockpileTom  +   750d ago
Then why not make bullets extremely dangerous just like in the cutscenes? I guess people would whine to much about it? Why do they insist on running out into a hail of gunfire?

Shooters need to stop being corridors and incorporate some more open levels with stealth. Make the bullets kill within 2-4 hits for both the player and enemies... an even playing field.

I'm not saying to turn them into a full stealth game but rather encourage stealth with the mechanics (like SOCOM). This would mean more natural and realistic battles instead of a hail of gunfire explosionfest.
Hufandpuf  +   750d ago
The ARMA series.
MysticStrummer  +   750d ago
"I'm not saying to turn them into a full stealth game but rather encourage stealth with the mechanics (like SOCOM). This would mean more natural and realistic battles instead of a hail of gunfire explosionfest."

All the interviews with all the David Cages in the world won't stop the hail of gunfire explosionfests until Call of Duty stops selling so much more than just about everything else.
Soldierone  +   750d ago
It's still done, but those games don't sell.

The reason being what you said early in your comment, "its too hard."

COD sells so well because its easy as hell to just pick it up and play. Everyone feels like they are "good" at the game. If you suck for a while the game will eventually "handicap" for you and make you feel awesome.

If those same players jump into a "realistic' game, then suddenly they suck and hate the game. Being bad at a game is no fun. I mean look at why people never jumped to Bad Company 2, they sucked at it, so they hated it and went back to COD. What does EA do? Make BF3 super easy and more streamlined, and the game booms.
StockpileTom  +   750d ago
It's sad but true... I'm not gonna place all the blame on the developers or publishers. The blame should go to the gamers that would rather a mediocre game that they are instantly good at instead of a great one that they have to maybe learn new skills and think logically.

I have no idea why the core gamers suddenly (mostly) became a group of people that lack the perseverance to grow and get better at a game. I kinda always liked that high I get for overcoming an actual challenge...that is why I game. I won't get that high anywhere else unless I get into the NFL or something...

(LOL @ cleft5 below.... "Press X to Jason" hilarious)
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Ducky  +   750d ago
Another option is 'why not make bullets less lethal in cutscenes?' and this is actually more commonly seen in games.

Some games try to explain the protagonists special abilities, such as Freeman's suit, MasterChief's armour, nanomachines in MetalGear, or general badassery as in DevilMayCry.
The only problem is, you're kinda restricted to sci-fi~ish stories.

As for difficulty, I think it's mostly unrelated to story. Well, if anything, a stronger focus on story is likely to make games easier because devs want players to keep playing to see the entire story.
The most challenging games usually don't have that great of a story.
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specialguest  +   749d ago
How the hell did this article get approved??
They changed the damn title by leaving out the keyword ALMOST just to get hits. David said "almost impossible" and explain his reasoning as in most fps games have to rely on cut scenes to help tell the story.
#7.2 (Edited 749d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Sketchy_Galore  +   750d ago
You haven't told a decent story yet, David. I honestly respect the efforts to make us question our definition of what a game is and find new ways to interact with a story but having played both Heavy rain and Fahrenheit, they do NOT have good stories. They have the plot and characterisation of a low budget made for TV drama from the 80's. they're as desperate to look grown up but as truly shallow and trite as a thirteen year old boy growing a bumfluff moustache and wearing his dad's suit to try and look like a man.

History has shown us that a truly gifted writer can tell a good and intriguing story with no more than a few shadows cast on a piece of cloth. That's the point of art, to use whatever medium available to you to move another human being emotionally or improve them intellectually. The more talented an artist is, the less they have to rely on the medium they're using.
cleft5  +   750d ago
What are you talking about. Press X to Jason was an amazing story telling device.
NarooN  +   750d ago
I agree.

But I'm really replying just to say +100 for the 'Lil Slugger avatar. ;)
Sketchy_Galore  +   750d ago
Hurray, somebody noticed. Congratulations on having good taste.
Williamson  +   750d ago
I usually dont mind what cage says but this time i disagree 100%. In resistance 3 you "run and shoot" and it told a good story. Almost any type of game can tell a good story, its up to the writers to come up with it.
smashcrashbash  +   750d ago
Without reading then above comments I can guess it is is mostly filled with hateful reactions without really considering or think about what he is trying to say. N4G is becoming so predictable it is almost funny.
yaz288  +   750d ago
spec-ops the line and bioshock1 comes to mind.

"We don’t want to give people what they expect, we want to give them something they want without knowing they want it."

yeah that is actually what I want. looking forward to beyond.
Jek_Porkins  +   750d ago
Definitely not impossible, but it takes a developer who takes the time out to do all parts of the game right, from the shooting and running, to the story telling itself.

So I have to respectfully disagree.
smashcrashbash  +   750d ago
He said ALMOST impossible. Try reading something besides the title.
Jek_Porkins  +   750d ago
The guy talks a lot, there are a lot of good games out there that tell a damn good story with shooting and running. They are video games, they are supposed to be fun, and sometimes mindless.

So as I said, a lot of games tell a good story, while shooting and running.
Hicken  +   750d ago
Wait, is this ANOTHER case of you not reading past the headline?

And this time, rather than realize you're wrong, you defend your being wrong.

He didn't say IMPOSSIBLE, but ALMOST. Obviously, if it's ALMOST impossible, then it's not COMPLETELY impossible. And if that's the case, then there ARE some games that can pull it off. When Cage is talking about telling a decent story, he's talking about better than what's being done in most shooters right now. I mean, let's face it: most of those games DON'T have decent stories. It's hard to do, if all your character is doing is running and shooting.

There ARE NOT "a lot" of games out there with shooting as a primary focus that tell a good story. There are SOME, and some of them are very good, but even compared to the number of games in the same genre, they're vastly outnumbered.

So Cage was spot-on. Whether you think he talks too much is irrelevant.
linkenski  +   750d ago
I'm cool with developers like Quantic Dreams exploring alternative ways to make games, but i really think the norm in gaming should move away from striving to make games that are movie-ish. You shouldn't compose the story of a game by looking at a movie analysis-model because most games are more than 10hrs long, and the movie-structure won't work in the same way. Games should rather explore other ways of conveying a story. Not that this hasn't done before, but i'm a little skeptical that developers are almost making animated pixar movies at this point rather than games. Some PS2 games have more gameplay-fidelity than current gen titles.
Mr-SellJack  +   750d ago
This guy OWNS!!lol nothing comes to mind tbh except story fps games when it comes to run and shooting games that have good story.I mean look at rage had one of the best gfx and had one of the most mediocre stories i have ever played,look at crysis,bulletstorm.Completely agree with this guy...very few have good stories as mgs,uncharted,batman,rdr and others
Capodastaro  +   750d ago
But it's also impossible to tell a decent story when every game you've made has suffered from massive plot holes...
smashcrashbash  +   750d ago
You mean like Gears of War?
Capodastaro  +   750d ago
I wouldn't really know...
specialguest  +   750d ago
careful David
Before the "this guy talks too much" and the "he needs to stfu" comments start to pop up from silly n4g members.
VivaLaGordo  +   750d ago
Two words: Bioshock Infinite. That is all.
Fatty  +   750d ago
Someone didn't play Spec Ops: The Line...
Edito  +   750d ago
Im starting to dislike David Cage day by day his being arrogant and square minded, he never played a good action game? Not every FPS or Action games are mediocre... not every body likes the narratives the way u tell... so i think he and Quantic should mind their own business and let the other devs make the other games ppl like...
ame22  +   749d ago
BioShock begs to differ.

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