Stevivor recently had some time to sit down with Gregorie Diaconu, Deputy Game Director at Quantic Dream, and see how Detroit: Become Human is shaping up.
Shane Wall, Stevivor: As Quantic Dream is known for short- to mid-length, narrative-driven titles, what type of length should we expect from Detroit?
Gregorie Diaconu: We are still in the progress of making it, so we don’t have an exact time, but it’s comparable to other games that we normally do. But much much wider in a sense that there are a lot of scenes that you won’t see in one playthrough, so there is a lot of replayability.
Stevivor: It sounds like a game we’ll have to complete a bunch of times to see all it has to offer — but how many options will we be able to choose from when we are prompted with a decision?
Disconu: Sometimes there will only be one or two [choices], but sometimes there are more. Some actions would be impossible depending on the choices you’ve made so far. Those actions are more like consequences that choices.
Diaconu then said that making an initially more violent decision early in a scene made it possible to destroy public property and incite a riot with subsequent decisions later in that same scene. I wanted to find out if the outcomes are always so black and white.
Stevivor: Can you go down the middle without committing completely to anarchy or pacifism?
Diaconu: You could, but then the response of the media will say that you didn’t know what you were trying to say. Are you trying to reach out as a pacifist or with a violent message? What do you mean exactly? They won’t understand what you’re trying to say, and your people won’t understand what you’re trying to achieve.
Stevivor: So a clear and concise message works best. Is there a specific number of endings we can expect to see?
Diaconu: The thing is that it’s based a lot on how the three stories will interconnect and there are so many choices in each story I have absolutely no ideas how many ways it can end. There are three characters so there’s Kara, who we revealed in the first trailer. then there’s Connor and Marcus.
Stevivor: Kara started out as a PS3 tech demo, so how did she turn into a fully-fledged character in a Quantic Dream game?
Diaconu: The birth of Detroit was based on the fact that there was a huge response to that, we were shocked. People said they really wanted to see a game of that. So we started to say okay what happens to Kara next and that the base of the whole of Detroit‘s story.
Stevivor: How important is the city of Detroit to the game? How big of a role does the city play?
Diaconu: Many of the locations in the game are actual places in Detroit so we try to use the city as a symbol of what the story of the game is. We really tried to pay homage to the town as a whole and to its history as like an industrial giant.
Stevivor: Do you worry about casting known actors in the game breaking immersion?
Diaconu: At some point, the actors take over the characters, I saw them shooting for all 3 characters and at some point, it’s not the actors anymore. It’s not just a visual thing, there were cast because we felt that they would fit the characters perfectly and they have.
Stevivor: There are a lot of science fiction themes in what we’ve seen so far of Detroit, but is the focus on sci-fi or realism?
Diaconu: We tried to visualise what the world would look like in 30 years if we had this specific technology like the androids. We really tried to base everything that we see in the game on current technology and try to build on that. There are a lot of things you can learn from the media throughout the game, we try to make a consistent and logical story with lots of detail.
It’s more anticipation than science fiction. Except for the fact that there are no androids now, everything else is based on current technology whether it’s the cars, the systems, even the design of the city itself is based on current projects that are being done now in Detroit. It’s for realism so people find it easier to connect. We don’t want to make a game about technology, we want to make a game about being in a group inside the world that doesn’t accept them. We really want to keep it grounded and witty.
Detroit: Become Human is a PS4 exclusive; its release date is not yet known.