Beyond: Two Souls' focus is 'meaning, not fun', says David Cage

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#1 Posted by Soapy86 (2619 posts) -
"My goal is to surprise people, to give them something they want without knowing they want it," he tells us. "I want to create an emotional journey, a unique experience.
"I am not interested in giving them 'fun', I want to give them meaning; I don't want to challenge their thumbs, I want to challenge their minds."
"Maybe this is irrelevant or just overly ambitious," he says. "Maybe this is not what most people out there actually want. But this is the goal I set myself with Beyond: to create something different."

Source

I didn't realize making glorified adventure games qualified as "unique" and "different", but okay. Whatever you say, David Cage.

#2 Posted by falserelic (5278 posts) -

Isn't the point of a game is to have fun. But well see how this game goes.

#3 Posted by rubberluffy (439 posts) -

Cage is a pretentious dick.

#4 Posted by TwoArmed (110 posts) -

This sounds like what David Jaffe was talking about when it comes to stories in games. Don't make a game just to tell some story that you think is so amazing when it would be better served by/in some other format. But who knows, maybe it'll work out.

#5 Posted by Daneian (1202 posts) -

That's great to hear since Indigo Prophecy wasn't fun at all.

#6 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

The only thing I ever liked in Heavy Rain is this hillarious glitch

#7 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19305 posts) -

@falserelic said:

Isn't the point of a game is to have fun.

That's the very sentiment—an idiotic one, in my opinion—that's holding video games back as an entertainment medium.

#8 Posted by OllyOxenFree (4970 posts) -
@Daneian said:

That's great to hear since Indigo Prophecy wasn't fun at all.

OUCH!
#9 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ:  Because you never experience fun in any other entertainment medium right?
I want games to stay games, not become quick time fests like Heavy Rain was.
#10 Posted by zombie2011 (4968 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@falserelic said:

Isn't the point of a game is to have fun.

That's the very sentiment—an idiotic one, in my opinion—that's holding video games back as an entertainment medium.

Activity engaged in for diversion or amusement! Thats the definition of a game.

Whats so idiotic about it?

#11 Posted by believer258 (11565 posts) -
My goal is to surprise people, to give them something they want without knowing they want it

Actually, I can tell you right now that I play video games for fun. Can they have deeper meaning? Certainly! But the ride there has to have some measure of entertainment value or I don't care for it.

#12 Posted by Emperor_Jimmu (249 posts) -

It is a shame the stories he likes to tell are the worst boiler plate, clichéd pulp imaginable.

#13 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1378 posts) -

I get what he is saying. Video games today are much more advance than back then, allowing developers tell stories in very unique ways. I think video games can now be like films, where the audience may be participating in something beyond the sake of entertainment (kinda like Patrick's experience with Amnesia). I watch films for entertainment, but I get deeper satisfaction out of more challenging and disturbing films.

#14 Posted by MrKlorox (11198 posts) -

If you didn't find any of his previous games fun, then it's your own fault. Fahrenheit was pretty adrenaline pumping at the time, and there were some really intense parts in Heavy Rain as well. But considering most of you think Saint's Row 3 is a good game, I certainly can't trust the public opinion.

#15 Posted by Daneian (1202 posts) -

@OllyOxenFree said:

@Daneian said:

That's great to hear since Indigo Prophecy wasn't fun at all.

OUCH!

There were things worth liking, but the gameplay certainly wasn't one of them.

#16 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19305 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong: @zombie2011: I'm saying that the point of a game shouldn't solely be for pure and simple "fun". If that was the whole point to video games, we wouldn't have games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent or The Path and emotional response or anything of the sort would be a no-go. I don't agree with that at all.

Maybe even games like The Walking Dead wouldn't exist with that mindset because hard decisions just wouldn't be "fun" for players to take and would be too stressful. A great experience for many wouldn't exist if the sole purpose of video games was to just have the player have fun without actively engaging their minds or their thoughts/emotions.

Another great example that Soffish brought up is Journey. One of the greatest experiences I've had this year but the whole thing wasn't about having fun. Sure, there were moments that were just plain fun such as

but, really, the whole game was designed to play upon the players' feelings.

#17 Posted by Bocam (3668 posts) -

Fun things are fun.

#18 Edited by Klei (1768 posts) -

In my opinion, Indigo Prophecy started up delightfully until the shit hit the fan. Then, it turned into an unforgiving piece of shit.

I liked Heavy Rain's premise, but got tired of the storyline before the game finished.

And now, another QTE fuckfest named '' Beyond ''. I seriously don't think this is going to be any different from Quantum's first two games, thus, making me completely uninterested. Especially when the game isn't supposed to be fun. Look, you want to make movies, then do fucking movies, for fuck's sake. Especially when you say out loud that your game doesn't aim at being fun. To me, it feels like whenever David Cage opens his mouth, he just happens to dig a deeper hole for himself. He sounds like a megalomaniac.

Oh and, books are hell of a lot cheaper to produce. Why doesn't this guy just write a book?

#19 Posted by falserelic (5278 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@TaliciaDragonsong: @zombie2011: I'm saying that the point of a game shouldn't solely be for pure and simple "fun". If that was the whole point to video games, we wouldn't have games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent or The Path and emotional response or anything of the sort would be a no-go. I don't agree with that at all.

Maybe even games like The Walking Dead wouldn't exist with that mindset because hard decisions just wouldn't be "fun" for players to take and would be too stressful.

It really depends on people's preference of what they want in a game.

#20 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19305 posts) -

@falserelic said:

It really depends on people's preference of what they want in a game.

Preference is fine, but that doesn't mean because of one's preference they should then say that all games are supposed to be a certain way. How would it make sense that if someone disliked FPS games they said "FPS games shouldn't exist"? Games meant purely for fun like a Mario game can exist alongside games like Amnesia. Both bring about very different emotional responses, but they can coexist. One has the freedom of choosing what they want to play, but it makes no sense to just say a certain kind of game shouldn't exist because that's not what you're looking for in the medium.

#21 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1378 posts) -

On a similar note, I think Naughty Dog is handling this matter the right way.

#22 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ: Besides indie titles that thrive of their gameplay innovations there's few games out there that rely on fun alone.
Even Saints 3 has a story, even Mortal Kombat has a (now worthwhile) story.
I want them to combine gameplay and story and make me a masterpiece like The Witcher 2, not come up with amazing stories packaged in silly gameplay.
 
Either make a book out of it or make the game fun to actually play.
#23 Posted by Jimbo (9769 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ said:

@falserelic said:

Isn't the point of a game is to have fun.

That's the very sentiment—an idiotic one, in my opinion—that's holding video games back as an entertainment medium.

I agree with you, but at that point, referring to them as 'video games' is kinda misleading. A broader term would be more appropriate.
 
@TaliciaDragonsong said:
@FluxWaveZ:  Because you never experience fun in any other entertainment medium right?
Non sequitur.
#24 Posted by KingBroly (1645 posts) -

Good thing to know that it's not a good game already.

#25 Posted by Draugen (619 posts) -

Well, if meaning is going to be the focus, he'd better come up with something better than a second-rate serial-killer thriller like last time.

#26 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19305 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

I agree with you, but at that point, referring to them as 'video games' is kinda misleading. A broader term would be more appropriate.

I've always thought the term "video game" was outdated. Don't know if "electronic entertainment" would be the thing, but I think something that conveys that the medium doesn't all have to be "games" would be more appropriate.

@TaliciaDragonsong: Okay...? Well, I agree with you there. Not sure what you were saying before, then.

#27 Posted by Lunar_Aura (2779 posts) -

ruh roh, raggy :( I like my games to be fun

#28 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ: That I just don't want to be as enticed by a story as Heavy Rain's again but be limited by the gameplay it offered.
All I want in my games :P
 
@Jimbo: A game without fun ain't a game to me, just a interactive storybook.
#29 Posted by Jimbo (9769 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ said:

@Jimbo said:

I agree with you, but at that point, referring to them as 'video games' is kinda misleading. A broader term would be more appropriate.

I've always thought the term "video game" was outdated. Don't know if "electronic entertainment" would be the thing, but I think something that conveys that the medium doesn't all have to be "games" would be more appropriate.

'Interactie' is dumb as hell, so I vote for that.
#30 Posted by Soffish (139 posts) -

I don't think a game needs to be "fun" in order for it to be a worthwhile interactive experience. I loved Journey and I'm currently loving The Walking Dead, yet those games couldn't be simpler from a gameplay perspective.

#31 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

The thing that really bothers me about cage, and the people who think he's oh so brilliant, are the fact that he gives absolutely no credit to the people who came before him.

It's like if I got on the news and started talking about my quest to create a machine that would "empower a human to maximize their individual potential to propel themselves great distances with relatively little effort". And then I kept trying to talk in vast poetic terms about it and how novel a concept it is. But, hey, you know what? It exists. It's called a bike. ANd people have been making and improving upon them for hundreds of years.

Gage seems to forget taht there have ALREADY been games that had meaning. There have ALREADY been games that make people cry. THat make people mad. That make people want to quit, or perservere no matter what. We're decades into this grand tradition known as videogames and Cage hasn't once, in my knowledge of this industry, done anything novel. In my opinion, the things he does do, tend to beregressive instead of progressive. Taking things out of videogames without replacing it wtih anything of merit.

#32 Posted by falserelic (5278 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@falserelic said:

It really depends on people's preference of what they want in a game.

Preference is fine, but that doesn't mean because of one's preference they should then say that all games are supposed to be a certain way. How would it make sense that if someone disliked FPS games they said "FPS games shouldn't exist"? Games meant purely for fun like a Mario game can exist alongside games like Amnesia. Both bring about very different emotional responses, but they can coexist. One has the freedom of choosing what they want to play, but it makes no sense to just say a certain kind of game shouldn't exist because that's not what you're looking for in the medium.

I can't speak for everyone but for me. If I'm not enjoying a game then I could care less about what the game is trying to accomplish.

#33 Edited by morrelloman (605 posts) -

I don't know what to make of this guy. He is so annoying, and so douche city. But at least he is trying something different. I just don't like when he does press. He seems like he is annoyed with every question. I liked heavy rain.

#34 Posted by Daneian (1202 posts) -

@KingBroly said:

Good thing to know that it's not a good game already.

Now i can spend the time i would have watching new trailers and reading articles about this game to create and feed a drug problem.

#35 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@Jimbo said:

I agree with you, but at that point, referring to them as 'video games' is kinda misleading. A broader term would be more appropriate.

I've always thought the term "video game" was outdated. Don't know if "electronic entertainment" would be the thing, but I think something that conveys that the medium doesn't all have to be "games" would be more appropriate.

@TaliciaDragonsong: Okay...? Well, I agree with you there. Not sure what you were saying before, then.

Gross.

This is why I've been saying for a number of years that I think gaming needs to cell divide. I love games and hae played them all my life. I have a middling/passing interest in "interactive entertainment". I feel like a lot of gamers like me are being left in the cold by games constant need to cater to people who want very little actual game or challenge and instead want tons of story and movies.

The two concepts are, honestly, mutally exclusive. You can't have the pacing and nuance that a good "cinmatic experience" needs while simultaneously having good, well formed gameplay. It's a servant with two masters.

Gaming needs to remember what it was and be that. People who want interactive entertainment need to go off and do that in it's own industry.

Until that happens, we're going to keep getting games li ke Mass Effect 3 that say "do you want to play this as a videogame or as "interactive entertainment", and ultimately do niether as well as could be done.

#36 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19305 posts) -

@JazGalaxy said:

Gaming needs to remember what it was and be that. People who want interactive entertainment need to go off and do that in it's own industry.

I don't understand why we can't have both under the same branch. Film: action movies and romantic movies. Two completely different genres, yet they're still a part of film. Why can't video games fulfill the dichotomy you've presented for the two different audiences? Furthermore, why not fulfill the desire of those who want both the "gamey" games and the emotionally resonant ones?

Fine, you don't want the latter. That's great, so you know you can just ignore those kinds of games and focus on the former ones. That doesn't mean that the latter ones shouldn't exist at all and not be considered a part of gaming.

@falserelic said:

I can't speak for everyone but for me. If I'm not enjoying a game then I could care less about what the game is trying to accomplish.

And that's your prerogative.

#37 Posted by Jimbo (9769 posts) -
@TaliciaDragonsong said:
@Jimbo: A game without fun ain't a game to me, just a interactive storybook.
Your dismissal of his original position was still logically flawed. Just because some non-game media is fun, it doesn't follow that all 'games' must therefore be fun.
 
If your issue is actually with the nomenclature surrounding interactive media then I agree with that, but that battle was lost years ago. 'Games' / 'Video Games' are the accepted terms for referring to all of these things now, regardless of whether they are actually games or not, whether we like it or not.
#38 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4674 posts) -

I'm glad. Not all games need to be fun to be good.

#39 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@Jimbo:  There's the beauty of a opinion however.
In my opinion there's a divide between games and other interactive stuff (Dear Esther I believe is a good example of that) but to name them one and the same silly and outdated.
We have diffferent names (or genres, if we go bigger) for movies and music as well, how you name a piece of media is often up to your own as you can call a documentary a film as much as you could the new Batman.
They're all movies, and they're all games.
But to divide them we have simple terms, like documentary, and I believe that should be implented in gaming as well to some degree.
 
Mind you, when someone says games I think of the interactive ones, the classic ones.
Stuff like Heavy Rain and this upcoming title are not games in my book and while they may provide me with a great story, the gameplay element of it is severely lacking for me as I like games like The Witcher 2 where they combine stuff and don't make one at the expense of the other.
#40 Posted by Daneian (1202 posts) -

@JazGalaxy said:

Gross.

This is why I've been saying for a number of years that I think gaming needs to cell divide. I love games and hae played them all my life. I have a middling/passing interest in "interactive entertainment". I feel like a lot of gamers like me are being left in the cold by games constant need to cater to people who want very little actual game or challenge and instead want tons of story and movies.

The two concepts are, honestly, mutally exclusive. You can't have the pacing and nuance that a good "cinmatic experience" needs while simultaneously having good, well formed gameplay. It's a servant with two masters.

Gaming needs to remember what it was and be that. People who want interactive entertainment need to go off and do that in it's own industry.

Until that happens, we're going to keep getting games li ke Mass Effect 3 that say "do you want to play this as a videogame or as "interactive entertainment", and ultimately do niether as well as could be done.

You mean like Uncharted, Batman, Metal Gear, Halo, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, God of War, Dead Space, Assassin's creed, Skyrim, Bayonetta, Persona 4, Fallout 3, Metroid Prime...

Don't those games do action setpieces and compelling story in a virtual world while having celebrated gameplay?

#41 Edited by Zenogiasu (192 posts) -

I have no problem with this. Minimalist gameplay is fine if it makes sense within the narrative context. The same works in reverse--Super Mario Galaxy is allowed to have a plain, repetitive, and one-dimensional narrative because the gameplay is so fantastic. A truly superb game would be able to deliver on both, but far too often I see good gameplay mechanics or good stories diminished by some sort of forced obligation to the other--better to excel in one category than come up short in both, in my opinion.

Ultimately, it comes down to expectations. If you buy a Cage game looking for a bombastic romp through Disney World, you're going to be disappointed. Take it for what it is.

#42 Edited by killacam (1284 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@Jimbo said:

I agree with you, but at that point, referring to them as 'video games' is kinda misleading. A broader term would be more appropriate.

I've always thought the term "video game" was outdated. Don't know if "electronic entertainment" would be the thing, but I think something that conveys that the medium doesn't all have to be "games" would be more appropriate.

@TaliciaDragonsong: Okay...? Well, I agree with you there. Not sure what you were saying before, then.

yeah, the term video game is really holding back the medium. i'd feel much better saying something like interactive media (still a lame name, i admit). video games just conjures that image of a game with little substance, like frogger or asteroids, something that exists purely for the sake of its mechanics with nothing to offer above that. but, in my opinion, of course (and many others'), the greatest games in the past 25 years are more than just games, they are worlds to explore, stories to be told, works of art that transcend the sum of their parts.

i can't agree with the simplistic sentiment that all video games should be fun. fun is a shallow term, and not nearly the only reason i enjoy interacting with a screen through a controller. having that interactivity gives video games a dimension that film or literature lacks, and it's almost offensive to think this added element should be used purely for shallow enjoyment. that interactivity is a visceral link from you to your avatar, and gives a game an added depth and significance, no matter its purpose or subject matter. let's not feel the need to waste something so special and unique on "fun" alone.

#43 Posted by Jimbo (9769 posts) -
@JazGalaxy said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

@Jimbo said:

I agree with you, but at that point, referring to them as 'video games' is kinda misleading. A broader term would be more appropriate.

I've always thought the term "video game" was outdated. Don't know if "electronic entertainment" would be the thing, but I think something that conveys that the medium doesn't all have to be "games" would be more appropriate.

@TaliciaDragonsong: Okay...? Well, I agree with you there. Not sure what you were saying before, then.

Gross.

This is why I've been saying for a number of years that I think gaming needs to cell divide. I love games and hae played them all my life. I have a middling/passing interest in "interactive entertainment". I feel like a lot of gamers like me are being left in the cold by games constant need to cater to people who want very little actual game or challenge and instead want tons of story and movies.

The two concepts are, honestly, mutally exclusive. You can't have the pacing and nuance that a good "cinmatic experience" needs while simultaneously having good, well formed gameplay. It's a servant with two masters.

Gaming needs to remember what it was and be that. People who want interactive entertainment need to go off and do that in it's own industry.

Until that happens, we're going to keep getting games li ke Mass Effect 3 that say "do you want to play this as a videogame or as "interactive entertainment", and ultimately do niether as well as could be done.

What you're asking for is just an arbitrary division though. The same things would still get made. Whether we choose to refer to them 'video games' or 'interactive entertainment' (the former already falls under the latter anyway), or consider them seperate industries or two branches of the same thing, is largely irrelevant.
 
Where I do disagree with you is the suggestion that the two concepts are mutually exclusive.  I think it is absolutely possible to forge gameplay and narrative together and create something which resonates to become more than the sum of its parts, but it is incredibly hard to do and has rarely been done well (the more common approach being to just alternate between gameplay and narrative, which I don't really consider the same thing). I think we will see more of this in future, when people figure out how to do it well.
#44 Posted by MrKlorox (11198 posts) -

Interactive CGI "movies" are clearly part of the future, and the fastest way to bring such a thing to the present is to branch out from the videogames side. If folks tried to attack it from the movie industry side, you'd end up with producers and other people in charge who know nothing of the way interactive media works and who would be stuck in their stubborn ways (much like we're already seeing in this very thread from enthusiasts from the "games have the word GAME in them therefore 'fun' is a prerequisite" side). I agree with Jimbo and FluxWaveZ that keeping the term "game" is doing more of a disservice than it should. But that's the way it is at the moment.
 
Hopefully more people like David Cage and Hideo Kojima keep the idea alive and continue to say fuck you to the people who want to prevent their medium from existing. Once the concept becomes more popular then we can finally give it a real name of its own instead of continuing to incorrectly call them "videogames'.

#45 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@JazGalaxy said:

Gaming needs to remember what it was and be that. People who want interactive entertainment need to go off and do that in it's own industry.

I don't understand why we can't have both under the same branch. Film: action movies and romantic movies. Two completely different genres, yet they're still a part of film. Why can't video games fulfill the dichotomy you've presented for the two different audiences? Furthermore, why not fulfill the desire of those who want both the "gamey" games and the emotionally resonant ones?

Fine, you don't want the latter. That's great, so you know you can just ignore those kinds of games and focus on the former ones. That doesn't mean that the latter ones shouldn't exist at all and not be considered a part of gaming.

@falserelic said:

I can't speak for everyone but for me. If I'm not enjoying a game then I could care less about what the game is trying to accomplish.

And that's your prerogative.

Becuase, in short, how many games have you played where people say "I hate it when I lose because then the pacing is ruined and it takes me entirely out of the story so I just quit".

It's, as I said, a servant of two masters. When developers are trying to serve the "story and experience" master, as they are in modern games, they want to make as many consessions as possible to the gameplay to keep you from failing or having to repeat a scene. Gamers wouldn't feel nearly as mad or frustrated when they fail if it didn't mean tehy had to repeat tons of meaningless gameplay and watch scenes they've already seen just to get to the point where they made a mistake.

#46 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@Daneian said:

@JazGalaxy said:

Gross.

This is why I've been saying for a number of years that I think gaming needs to cell divide. I love games and hae played them all my life. I have a middling/passing interest in "interactive entertainment". I feel like a lot of gamers like me are being left in the cold by games constant need to cater to people who want very little actual game or challenge and instead want tons of story and movies.

The two concepts are, honestly, mutally exclusive. You can't have the pacing and nuance that a good "cinmatic experience" needs while simultaneously having good, well formed gameplay. It's a servant with two masters.

Gaming needs to remember what it was and be that. People who want interactive entertainment need to go off and do that in it's own industry.

Until that happens, we're going to keep getting games li ke Mass Effect 3 that say "do you want to play this as a videogame or as "interactive entertainment", and ultimately do niether as well as could be done.

You mean like Uncharted, Batman, Metal Gear, Halo, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, God of War, Dead Space, Assassin's creed, Skyrim, Bayonetta, Persona 4, Fallout 3, Metroid Prime...

Don't those games do action setpieces and compelling story in a virtual world while having celebrated gameplay?

No. They don't. Or, at least many of them don't. Even here on the bombcast you've heard people like Patrick and Ryan say that the combat in Skyrim and Fallout is the worst part and a necessary evil to get to the parts they want to play. And the story in games like Bayonetta or, and I'm adding this one, Lollipop chainsaw is frequently said to be terrible and devoid of any merit aside justifying it's action.

I mean, this is my personal opinion, but I would go so far as to say that Bayonetta's plot os almost completely incomprehensible due to translation. People may say they enjoy it, but that doesnt' take away from it being an almost complete non-sequiter.

#47 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@Jimbo: That is what I hope, that the games will keep evolving and that we end up playing the things we always wanted to play since we started gaming.
Tthat projects like these branch out just to gain experience in the field of it and for another game they will return with that experience and hopefully offer the best of both worlds, eventually. 
 
I want gaming to evolve but not heavily lean on switching between narrative and gameplay as you said, but to have actual actions in game and made during gameplay affect the story or events, not just picking option A, B or C changing some dialogue.
Basically, you play the game and the game/story evolves around that, while nowadays we watch a cutscene, get pumped, hit some baddies, watch more cutscenes.
#48 Edited by MrKlorox (11198 posts) -
@JazGalaxy: Let's be clear here. The reason fail states ever existed in the first place was to get another quarter out of you. Ideally fail states that stop you in your tracks should not even exist, except at the climactic ending (at which point it's no longer a failure and is instead a form of completion). The way to handle it would be to offer many other paths that progress the story along regardless of your decisions.
#49 Posted by ProfessorEss (7254 posts) -

The day Cage and crew make a game that's more than a string of branching cutscenes driven by quicktime events and boastful claims I'll care about what he has to say.

I want games to "move forward" as much as the next person but not courtesy of Quantum Dream. If Heavy Rain is the example of where they're headed I'd prefer if they just stayed where they are until someone or something more clever comes along.

#50 Posted by kpaadet (409 posts) -

Come on you guys lets all grab our torch and forks and lynch this guy, for trying to make some different and maybe also flawed. I demand we get more generic FPSers, hopefully set in a modern military setting.

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