During a broadcast from DICE Summit 2017, Quantic Dream founder and Detroit: Become Human Director David Cage talked about writing his games, revealing why coming up with the story for his latest title took a really long time.
Cage explains that a few years ago, games were just focused on mechanics, and they were just about testing your skills, but the more time passes, the more gamers need a reason to fight or shoot, and the story is that reason. In fact, according to Cage, games with a good story and good narrative in general are the ones with the highest completion rate, as people want to know what is going to happen and they want to see the end of the story. That keeps them playing.
Cage then went on to mention that writing stories the way he does it, takes a “crazy amount of time,” at least eighteen months, and Detroit: Become Human actually took “Much more than that.”
According to Cage, it’s an incredibly long and even painful process. When you’re a writer you need to be inspired, and to have an instinct that results in the story you have to tell. While he has that instinct, he then starts thinking about all the combinations and variations, the gameplay, and the consequences of everything. That’s when writing becomes a puzzle. At that point, he needs to connect things. He doesn’t want to make compromises on the story and gameplay, so he needs to find a way in which they can talk to each other in a way that is consistent, blending nicely.
Detroit: Become Human currently doesn’t have a release window, after Sony erroneously dated it for 2017 in a recent trailer, only to backpedal afterwards. You can also check out the latest full trailer from E3 2016.