Creator of Omikron, Fahrenheit, Heavy Rain and the soon to be released Beyond: Two Souls, Cage is someone considered to have created a more successful blend between the mediums of film and video games. With his recent titles utilising motion capture, quick-time interactivity, prominent choices on the part of the player, and storytelling which branches at every turn. Cage spoke of the differences in production during a Q&A session at Event Cinemas in Sydney, Australia and why it differed from film.
"When you're James Cameron doing Avatar, you can really calculate one frame per week, and there are 24 frames in a second,” Cage explained citing key differences between the two “and that’s ok because everything is pre-rendered and in the end you just see the results in the theatre, but you can’t interact, you can’t change anything."
"We captured this performance, and in cinema they use quite invasive systems with cameras and helmets and sometimes projectors on the faces, sometimes a backpack, everything is wired, heavy and quite intrusive.
We wanted to have something that would be totally non-intrusive. We wanted all actors to be basically free — no wires, no helmets, no projectors in the face, no backpack, nothing — just their acting. We developed the technology to do this and also developed the specific technology to capture the movements of the eyes just by placing very small markers around the eyes just to see how the little muscles moves as the eye turns and you can detect these movements. We can then recreate that in the game."
While Cage openly stated that one was not simply better than the other, he emphasised how one could achieve things the other could not. Namely that the greater choices and interactivity in games meant bigger scripts and very different forms of work from film productions: “When you’re a film writer, you write one version of the story. As a writer you probably consider different possibilities and different options, but you actually have to make a choice and that’s the one you’re going to get.
When you’re an interactive writer, you don’t write one line, you write a narrative space in which the player is free to move, so he can engage with the story. It’s not just one version, it’s all the possibilities in the story. You write everything that can happen, and you let the player deal with that and choose his path."
It’s an interesting highlight of how different the two can be, and of Cage’s thought process in creating these video games.
Beyond: Two Souls is set to be released this coming Friday in Europe.
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