The Creators of Shenmue and Heavy Rain Have a Chat About Storytelling

Yu Suzuki and David Cage walk into a room. This isn't the setup of a joke, but rather what ends up being a thoughtful session of comparing notes over the methods of storytelling in Shenmue, Indigo Prophecy and the upcoming Beyond: Two Souls. Take a look—the relevant bit starts 22 minutes in.


David Cage Talks Storytelling with Ryan Payton and Yu Suzuki [Game Informer]

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Say what you will about Heavy was a bit clunky, and it did have writing issues. Even so, I understood perfectly what he was going for when I saw my friend's reaction to the "Cut off your finger" scene and the fact it took him the entire time to actually pull it off.

t also was innovative in the way it handled death - the story would actually change and go on without the dead character, which is very unique, and it was a cool idea that you could actually refuse to do some scenes because they might kill your character. Very neat way to add the fear of death to an actual death-defying event. I wish it went a lot further, but it was a very novel idea, at least.

I also liked the idea that you could screw up 50 times in a fight, and still win - it would dynamically change the fight instead of automatically killing you or being an invisible difference. Rather than just "Oops, you didn't press A. Krauser stabs you. Try again." Implementing player failure into the story of a game? An idea I love, and I can think of very few games that do it (Way of the Samurai is still my favorite).