The game was full of challenges, it was three-four times bigger than Heavy Rain! We used a brand new 3D engine and wanted to improve the graphics. Plus, we also started working with a piece of technology called “performance capture” which recreates the performance of an actor and translates it into the game. This was also used by David Cameron in the making of Avatar. Also, we tried to innovate the level of interactivity in the gameplay, which was an interesting task.
The video game industry is definitely male-dominated and oriented, so video game with a female protagonist differentiates the game significantly from others in the market. Why did you choose a female for your central character?
I get asked a lot whether having a female protagonist will be a big issue, people are concerned it won’t sell because of this. My response is always “Yeah! Why not?”. I think she’s awesome, she’s emotional, vulnerable and brave. The game has a great mix of epic sequences and times when the focus is more on her and how she’s feeling. I really did enjoy writing the female character. I did that for the first time with Kara. As long as the story is interesting and the characters are compelling- then it could totally have a female protagonist.
Could you explain a bit about what a dual mode is? And how do mobile come into play in the overall gaming experience of BEYOND: Two Souls?
When we talked to fans about Heavy Rain, they all told that even though only one person could have the controls, they would sit and share the experience with their friends, and even parents or grandparents! So, because BEYOND has two characters we thought we could add a two-player mode, but many people don’t like DualShock controllers, so we thought, what device allows anyone to interact with the game in a simple way? We thought smart phones were the best choice and developed the free app: BEYOND: touch, (available for iOS and Android). It allows you to use your phone or your tablet, instead of PS3 controllers, connecting via Wi-Fi, plus it has a very simple interface.
How do you connect with the game on a personal level?
When you write, you generally write as yourself. I discovered I enjoyed writing for games when it involved my own experiences- rather than having weird powers or being supernatural. Heavy Rain was about my experiences being a young father to my son- and BEYOND is more about the experiences I had dealing with the loss of someone very close to me. I tried to translate my sad experience into something positive, so I focused on how I grew emotionally after the tragedy and used that in the game.