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  #1  
Old 12-11-2008, 02:33 PM
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Default Heavy Rain Preview + New Pics

http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3171774

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=310399

Looking good.

And I'm going to say this, this game will not be the traditional game, so don't come in here saying "blah blah gonna be a movie". This game isn't being made for you so get over it.
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Old 12-11-2008, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by maley View Post
http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3171774

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=310399

Looking good.

And I'm going to say this, this game will not be the traditional game, so don't come in here saying "blah blah gonna be a movie". This game isn't being made for you so get over it.
Would you mind quoting some of the preview?
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Old 12-11-2008, 02:42 PM
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1up .
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Gaming geezers have been eulogizing the venerated adventure genre ever since Tim Schafer's appropriately funereal Grim Fandango failed to set sales charts ablaze. Even though titles such as King's Quest, Maniac Mansion, and Myst were tremendous PC blockbusters way back in the day, publishers have largely abandoned story-heavy, action-deprived fare during the last decade in favor of shooters, RPGs, and racing games. Dedicated fans can still uncover a trickle of lower-profile indie offerings on the PC side, but console gamers seeking "interactive fiction" experiences are usually left with bitter, nostalgia-souring dregs (Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, anyone?). But shockingly, an upcoming adventure game has emerged that even has the jaded console community taking notice: Quantic Dream's PS3 exclusive, Heavy Rain.

Although the previous two games to spawn from Paris-based Quantic Dream -- Omikron: The Nomad Soul (Dreamcast) and Indigo Prophecy (PS2/XB) -- were hardly mainstream hits, both pushed the routinely-overlooked adventure genre into daring new frontiers. Surprisingly, QD's third effort, a gritty, film-noir thriller titled Heavy Rain, has already amassed plenty of buzz thanks to a stunning 2006 teaser trailer known as "The Casting." Solely based on that clip's eerily realistic virtual starlet and her unabashedly emotional performance, many gamers who've rarely considered narrative-based gaming are already enraptured.
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We recently had the opportunity to get a fleeting glimpse of the game's development in Paris and came away stunned...and confused by what we saw. The title's 100-person team has forged an unbelievably gorgeous graphical engine, yet it's tough to grasp the big picture because QD is keeping nearly every aspect of the game's story line and gameplay tightly under wraps. But hey, who really wants spoilers at this point, anyway?

Heavy Rain's eerily realistic visuals edge ever closer to that fabled "uncanny valley," and it's not simply because QD has thrown plenty of polygons around. In order to capture a believable performance, over 70 different actors have had their faces scanned, motion capture sessions captured, and voice work recorded. The developers believe that it's imperative for a complete performance to be captured from each individual actor, and QD has spent over 170 days creating all the crucial elements of Heavy Rain in its own in-house motion capture facility. Because the team knew that the project would be such a massive undertaking, it purposefully avoided casting big-name stars that would be unable to commit to such a massive, daunting project. Even the game's supporting cast sparkle with believability, as random passersby in Paris were invited to have their face scanned for inclusion in the game.
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But as compelling as Heavy Rain's characters may be, we were perhaps even more amazed by its immaculately detailed environments. Rather than approach the settings as levels in a game, QD hired both a renowned movie set designer and an architect to create realistic, lived-in sets for its virtual actors to inhabit. Since nothing shatters the illusion of exploration like a flat, 2D object that you can't interact with, QD demanded that every single element in the game world must be rendered in full 3D. This astonishing level of detail wasn't easy to accomplish, and the team realized that it couldn't do it'itself. Instead, the team would build rough areas, collect all the pertinent real-world texture samples, and then outsource the heavy-lifting to various Asian development houses. Once QD got these reworked versions back, developers would go back for a final pass of artistic polish. We were shown several realtime environments that looked breathtakingly real, including a rain-soaked crime scene at the side of the highway, a stylish Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired abode packed with whimsical furniture, a cozy, cluttered apartment belonging to a young lady, a musty antique shop stuffed with ornate clocks, and a dusty, sunbeam-filled train station. We immediately wanted to wander through these areas ourselves, opening drawers, and searching for clues.
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One glance at the game's phenomenally lifelike real-time visuals will have you second-guessing your own reality's graphical prowess, but ultimately, the quality of Heavy Rain's story line will determine whether or not it's worth the price of admission. Luckily, its grisly serial-killer plot shows incredible promise. "Most publishers are still busy making games for 12-year olds," explains Quantic Dream CEO and founder David Cage. "Heavy Rain is for an adult audience who want to be emotionally engaged." Cage places immense value on depth and meaning -- two narrative tenets generally absent from even the best games' story lines. Cage even tried to pare the game's thousand-plus page script down to the size of a standard film script, but found it a fruitless exercise -- Heavy Rain's interlocking "nonlinear fractal structure" simply couldn't be contained by the antiquated medium. And you shouldn't expect to sit through oodles of talky, non-interactive cut-scenes either. Cage says that he'll resort to standard cinemas only when absolutely necessary, and he hopes to make Heavy Rain a game that can be enjoyed in short, episodic bursts. He believes that the savvy, adult audience he's courting don't necessarily have the time to sit down and plow through ten hours of gameplay -- instead, he hopes that it's an ongoing mystery that you'll keep returning to over the course of a few weeks.

True crime aficionados will surely be hooked: The game's premise has you investigating a series of unexplained slayings in a dreary, east coast American town, but the unique nonlinear "bending" narrative structure allows for greater freedom than you'd expect from the genre. Here, you're not constricted by a set path, but rather given freedom to make significant moral decisions that lead to a diverse network of interlocking story possibilities. Your dialogue choices (and contextual interactions, performed via simple, Shenmue-style button presses) will determine which ending you'll reach, and it's even possible for major protagonists to bite the dust along the way. Plus, Cage guarantees that we won't be witnessing an absurd, Indigo Prophecy-style deus ex machina moment in Heavy Rain's fifth act. "I'm trying to avoid adding yellow monsters from the Internet this time around -- Heavy Rain doesn't need supernatural elements to make an impact."
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Old 12-11-2008, 02:43 PM
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Eurogamer:
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There's no rain during our trip to Paris to see Heavy Rain, which is bad news for the photographer travelling in our group, who might have done well out of that. Then again, there's no Heavy Rain on our trip to Paris to see Heavy Rain either. Nor, it turns out, was there any sign of it at Leipzig's Games Convention in August, despite its top billing at Sony's conference and director David Cage's press briefings. When we sit down with Cage three months later to ask whether anything we've seen so far - characters, locations, scenarios - is actually in the game you'll be invited to buy in the second half of 2009, he pauses for a second. "No."

Instead we've been invited under the Channel and through the terrifying Parisian traffic to witness a speech and a slideshow. Cage - the diminutive, loquacious and occasionally poetic head of development studio Quantic Dream - wants to tell us about his ambition, his methods, and his philosophy. And it's important to emphasise his role. He wrote the 2,000-page, non-linear script that prescribes not only the game's characters, locations and scenarios, but also its gameplay mechanics, over a period of 15 months, preferring the help of Hollywood script-doctors to established game developers. He directed every one of the 60 scenes that make up the game, casting and commanding more than 70 actors and stuntmen to perfect the look. His co-CEO - the charming Guillaume de Fondaumière - treats him reverentially, greeting the press and helping us to pass the time between interview slots, but only Cage speaks about the game.

We're up against pure ego, then, in a building where everything is open plan except for a single private office (guess who), and yet we're spellbound. We can't tell you how Heavy Rain looks, sounds or plays in any great depth, but we can tell you it's interesting. As with Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy in the US), Cage respectfully declines the "pattern-based" rhythm of modern action-adventures, preferring "a complex story told through contextual actions and realistic visuals", which reaches beyond the emotional palette - as he perceives it - of frustration, anger and anxiety that underscores the majority of contemporary videogames. It's easy to trigger fear and frustration, he argues, "but to make you feel social emotions like empathy is more difficult".
'Heavy Rain' Screenshot 1

Cage says that Heavy Rain's development is "the largest motion capture project ever in games", but we're not shown how it will deal with your movements.

Ironically, contextualising these goals within the framework of what will go on sale next year is almost impossible. Leipzig's taxidermist scenario - where a woman enters a house, discovers stuffed dead people, is surprised by the return of the house owner, and has to escape - gave us an understanding of one or two core concepts, like the 'impress' system, where a character hiding quickly in a cupboard is held in place by an awkward combination of buttons designed to bridge the emotional divide between sofa and peril. We also discovered that the Sixaxis motion sensor would be used to throw, kick and generally "give an impulsion", as Cage puts it, and that your character would move when you held a trigger and follow head movements directed by the player. But Cage refuses to elaborate during our visit, except to say that "there is some kind of language regarding the interface and how we deal with things".
'Heavy Rain' Screenshot 2

Although the art is directed in Paris, a lot of the grunt work is outsourced to Asia, where artists follow a painstakingly assembled "outsourcing bible" to construct each location from a level architect's "blueprints".

We ask about the way in which Cage goes about weaving story and gameplay together, speculating that just as developers who allow gameplay to dictate the scenario are often forced to concede to cut-scenes - something Cage promises only to do as a last resort - he may be forced to concede to repetition if he's to map his game to the story he wants to tell. "I'm not starting with the story and trying to fit gameplay in," he insists, becoming animated, "because that would fail the same way. What I try to do is to think about the story and the gameplay together. At the moment that I have an idea for a scene, I try to think about the potential for gameplay in this scene. Or when I think I think about a nice gameplay mechanic, what's the potential for the story? I wrote many scenes that were deleted because they had a good idea for gameplay but not for story, or a good idea for story but not for gameplay. I need to have good ideas for both in every single scene."
Quote:
The consequences of these gameplay mechanics - whatever they turn out to be - will bend rubberband arcs within each scene in a manner that amplifies Fahrenheit's most noteworthy achievement. "There are scenes that you will get or you will miss based on what you've done," Cage tells us after his presentation. "There will be part of the scenes that you will see or not see, and there will be specific actions in the scenes, so it's really an open end. There is no way you can see everything in one play-through, because there are many scenes you can only see if you play a certain way."

Famously, Cage has even conquered death in Heavy Rain, having revealed earlier in development that the termination of a central character will not end the game. It's a problem he confesses that he couldn't solve in Fahrenheit, in which one character was essential to the unfolding story and others - though playable - were ultimately periphery. "What do I do?" he says, almost forlornly. "The game stops, what happens? I had to give you a game-over... With Heavy Rain, we took a big risk, and said, okay, this is a huge challenge but let's try to ensure that whatever happens we don't need game-over. There will be different ways of dealing with that."

Given the author, we suspect this means the death of playable characters will be essential to progress. Having elected to make another game of "choice and consequences", Cage is eager to assert that we will have to make difficult, contextual decisions more poignant and complex than the binary moralism of most adventures. Even so, a visual timeline of the game's story, which lurks uninspected by most of assembled press along the back wall of the production floor, is a straight line from left to right, and Cage confirms that while your path through the game will probably deviate from the guy standing behind you at the checkout, there's a coherent "linear backbone to the story".
'Heavy Rain' Screenshot 3

Cage describes punishment and failure within games as an "old idea" and says that he finds modern games with their ramping difficulty off-putting.

Beyond the broad strokes, our visit also contemplates the finest details - the emotional firmament of each scene, dictated not only by characters and your actions toward them, but also their surroundings. Incidentals like a mother kicking a door closed with her heel as she struggles with groceries have been motion-captured, while a prostitute's apartment reveals photographs pinned to the side of the bathroom mirror and a stereo positioned within earshot of the shower because that, we're told, is where its owner prefers to listen to it. Despite the Havok sticker on the posters, it's no surprise to learn that Cage also guides the physics within each location, insisting that your material impact on any given scene must make sense within context. "You cannot when you visit the prostitute, for example, just take a pillow and throw it on her and make a mess," he explains.

At the end of his initial presentation, Cage guides us through a number of the game's locations - its "sets" - taking in the prostitute's home, an antique shop full of dusty typewriters (each of which has individually modelled keys), a train station showered through giant windows by the light of dusk, and a grim crime scene in the night, at which a detective - potentially one of the core cast - stands at the police line, while cops in overcoats pick through the scraps of grass around a tarpaulin-suited body, under the sweeping lights of the traffic crossing a bridge overhead. Heavy rain falls. We ask Cage about his decision to set both his recent games on the US East Coast. "With these two games I tried to create dark thrillers," he says. "You don't choose the place where the story takes place just because it's cool; it has to support your story, and I think that's the case."
'Heavy Rain' Screenshot 4

Trophies will be included, but Cage hasn't decided how. "It's not exactly what we're trying to achieve with Heavy Rain, but I think we're going to make it work," he says.

It's another response that he delivers without much contemplation. That, evidently, came long ago, as did the decision to jettison anything approaching the outlandish conclusion to Fahrenheit. "When the game was released, you guys wrote that the most interesting part was probably the first two-thirds where we were just following normal people in normal life, and we were just with them. Working on Heavy Rain, we just decided [the ending] is not a mistake we should do again. We can tell a real story about real people in real life, and we can make it as interesting as anything else." Cage may be polarisingly self-assured, but it's the first time since we arrived in France that we've decided he's wrong. This is more interesting than anything else.

Heavy Rain is due out exclusively for PlayStation 3 in the second half of 2009.
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Old 12-11-2008, 02:43 PM
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Summary of Eurogamer on Kotaku:
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Eurogamer recently had the chance to visit Quantic Dream to see their new PlayStation 3 adventure Heavy Rain in development, and they returned with some interesting statistics on the eagerly anticipated title.

What sort of statistics, you ask? How about numbers regarding the game's 2,000 page script, developed over a period of 15 months and based on 6,000 pages of notes and reference. It contains more than 40,000 words of non-linear dialog, compromising 60 15 to 20 minute long scenes. A very impressive undertaking.

Equally as impressive is the amount of work that went into motion capture, which took place on-site at the Quantic Dream offices in Paris. More than 70 actors and stuntmen participated in recording 30,000 unique animations for the title, requiring 170 days of shooting spread across 9 months.

After seeing these statistics, all I can do is hope the game winds up a massive success, because anything less than that wouldn't have been worth all of this trouble. As long as the action is more accessible than Omikron and the story less twisted than Indigo Prophecy they should do just fine.
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:43 PM
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Wow, so this game really is going to be like an interactive movie. I'm totally interested
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Badger3920 View Post
Wow, so this game really is going to be like an interactive movie. I'm totally interested
Just like MGS4


I kid!!! I Kid!!!!
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Snadinator View Post
Just like MGS4


I kid!!! I Kid!!!!
I think you mean Uncharted
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by HuskerGuy View Post
I think you mean Uncharted
Oh yea! Sorry.
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