Quantic Dream's David Cage, whom you know for Indigo Prophecy, was at France's mega science museum Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie to talk about emotion and immersion in games, and Gamasutra covered Cage's talk:
The more subtle, social emotions such as love, empathy, joy, sadness, jealousy, anger, and shame are frequently addressed in literature and cinema, Cage pointed out, but are rarely successfully tackled by games. He pointed to Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Rez, Katamari Damacy, and The Legend of Zelda as a few titles that draw from both ends of the emotional spectrum.
Blah blah emotion, blah blah social behavior, Mr. Cage - tell us something about the mysterious, much-reputed Heavy Rain:
Of course, the gamers and video games journalists attending the event expected to get some exclusive info on the so-far mysterious Heavy Rain, and entreated Cage to offer new details. The designer noted he couldn't speak in detail on the game, but he did indicate that the game follows in the footsteps of Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy.
Though Cage is intrigued by the possibility of real-time player-to-NPC conversation, the current impracticality of such technology means the game will, like its predecessor, use traditional dialogue trees.
It will be a heavily author-controlled story, eschewing the open world trend in favor of delivering a fuller, more directed, emotional experience.
Is "linear" a bad word now? I hope not, when there's a good story.
Heavy Rain's Cage: Games Stuck In Primitive Emotional Range [Gamasutra]