Detroit: Become Human Director on Being Respectful to Real Cities in Games

Detroit director David Cage says that you need to be respectful of the city and its people when you use it as a setting for a video game.

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Now Playing: Detroit: Become Human - E3 2016 Trailer

Detroit: Become Human was announced last year, and we finally saw gameplay footage of the narrative-driven game at Sony's E3 press conference. Game director David Cage stopped by GameSpot's live E3 stage show and talked to us about what developers must do if they use real-world cities in their games and why he chose Detroit.

Cage said setting a game in a real city is "a very sensitive thing" and that it was important to him and his team that it was done "in a very respectful way."

"[Detroit] has its own history; there are people living there. They love their city," he said. "You need to pay attention to that and be respectful and not just use what you want to use for a game."

Cage credited that history as what made him fall in love with Detroit and choose it as the setting for Become Human.

"It was an industrial giant in the 20th century and then it went through very hard times," Cage explained. "And now it's trying to be reborn again somehow. ... This idea of being very high and losing everything and coming back is so strong and it's such a human story.

Cage also mentioned its history of racial issues, in addition to Motown and "all the great artists" that contribute to the city's culture. However, Cage said you can't write about a city without going there. He noted that you could research it on the Internet and find pictures on Google, but you don't "feel the place, you don't know the people" that way.

"We visited the abandoned factories, the abandoned churches that everybody knows," Cage said. "But at the same time we saw some wonderful things, we met some incredible people. The Fox Theatre, for example, in Detroit is one of the most amazing places I've seen.

"The people there are full of energy and they're struggling and they're fighting, but they're revitalizing this city in a very interesting way. And all this combined, we came back from Detroit, thinking, 'Yeah, this is the place where we want this story to happen.'"

Detroit: Become Human releases exclusively for the PS4, but its release date has not been announced.

You can see all the Sony E3 news here or check out some of the surprises from its press conference through the links below.

Head over to GameSpot's E3 hub to stay up to date with all of the news and impressions from the event.

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Avatar image for mistergorilla

david cage is a pretentious fuckwit

Avatar image for icelandichossi

My dad was born in Detroit and the place is a dump. He went to college and after he got money he literally got all of the family out of that hellhole. I am proud of my dad for doing that. I hate when people sugarcoat what Detroit really is. They did the same crap in Deus Ex and now this french retard is doing the same

Avatar image for Pelezinho777




Avatar image for Gooeykat

Worst game title ever.

Avatar image for sonypony4eva

No offense to the good citizens of Michigan, but Detroit is one of the most rundown and worst cities to live in terms of appearance and crime rates. No need to sugarcoat and paint the city as this luxurious city regardless of the nice looking parts. It's a video game that I can't wait to play.

Avatar image for edwardnygma

Detroit is easily one of the worst cities on the planet (yes I lived there) so I will be interested to see how it works out. I laughed when he said people love their city.

Avatar image for deactivated-5a807722de4ed

@edwardnygma: I agree and getting tired of all this Detroit revitalization. this dev is obviously influenced by funding in Detroit. "people love their city" - normally I would say this is probably true for every city...but, especially not Detroit. LOL.

Avatar image for edwardnygma

@caseyrybek: Completely agree.

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide

I enjoyed Heavy Rain. Everyone lived on my first play through. Still have to dig into Beyond two souls.

I feel in a way Telltale games have outdone him in the interactive storytelling game department.

Avatar image for skrilla99

Looked really good to me at first. But then when the newness wears off and you start thinking about the game, then begin remembering previous D Cage games, you realize that they're all just linear interactive movies which feign diverging choices. I wonder what the actual gameplay will be like aside from the "branching" choose your response options like what we saw in the E3 video? I'm interested but need to see more of what the actual gameplay will be like.

Avatar image for art_of_victory

Excellent game design - love the choice factor and allowing your decisions to affect consequences in real time.

Very excited about this game, and yes, I am a HUGE David Cage fangrl.

Avatar image for Gravity_Slave

How exactly can you be respectful and still remain true to the story? Sometimes you have to show the bad sides...and Detroit has tons of bad. Besides, we wouldn't want to offend the thugs and drug dealers of Detroit...*rolls eyes*

Avatar image for randuir

@Gravity_Slave: I think by 'respectful' he doesn't mean ignoring the bad sides, just not changing a real location into something unrecognizable. For example, if you make a near-future game set in Paris, you can't just have the Eiffel tower being replaced by a shopping mall.

Avatar image for milk

@randuir: You need to be respectful to these hypothetical future Parisians. Perhaps there's an upcoming revolution which prioritizes commercial shopping centers above historical landmarks.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

@7tizz: Americans no longer *make* american. We've gotten rid of everything... incorporation/head, manufacturing, support, all being done outside the US and now we're giving our money to buy the products that all of this brings, which means our money is all going out of the country too.

All we have is IP and we're really hoping other countries 'harmonize their laws' to respect that.

And once we're bled dry and have nothing to offer, please everyone be nice to us.

Avatar image for Gravity_Slave

@7tizz: Americans not buying American isn't exactly true. The reason Detroit is the way it is, is because these companies have outsourced their facilities in other countries to save money. If anything, you see more Chevy's and Fords out the than anything else. The problem isn't 'what''s 'where'

Avatar image for bicelis

@7tizz: That's the thing, America does not make great cars. At least not anymore. It's the main reason for those companies' troubles. American car makers were mainly focusing on old ideas of what Americans wanted and not adapting fast enough to the changing world. Europeans and the Japanese were moving forward by giant leaps and provided what the public wanted, both in North America and everywhere else in the world.
It's too bad, but as it is now - American car makers are way behind.

The only one relevant now is Tesla.

Avatar image for dr_derogatory

@7tizz: I'll have to assume that you haven't done a whole lot of research on this whole automotive thing. Dodge has the worst reliability/dependability ratings of any vehicle, period. GM has made great strides in dependability and reliability, but still lag behind Toyota overall, since Toyota owns Lexus. I agree with your assessment of the Volt, which is a compelling model of vehicle. Volkswagen is towards the bottom, but not dead last. That belongs specifically to Dodge, and likely always will. Hyundai and Kia fall squarely in the middle of the pack. I honestly don't know where you got your information, but it wasn't accurate. Please reference J.D. Power & Associates for their ratings, followed promptly by Consumer Reports, which offers very similar results.

Also of note is that the reliability ratings you see from J.D Power & Associates is based on a 3 year review. Longevity has historically shown that the Japanese designed cars have the greatest overall reliability. That is almost unquestionably still the case. Lastly, please don't ever think that a Dodge Caravan is a smart buy. Ever. Probably one of, if not the, worst vehicles on the road and ever made. Problems galore.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

@7tizz: We make cars so great that the companies that make them had to be bailed out

Avatar image for chiporeo

Well, people still buy and drive said disposable vehicles here in Georgia, but then again; this is Georgia we're talking about here. . .

Avatar image for VooDooPC

When David Cage visited, did he not realize that 90% of the Detroit population is black? Where's that in the trailers?

Avatar image for burrp

@VooDooPC: It just means he is being mindful of very vocal minority and special interest groups. I don't know if you noticed or not but they can now move mountains.

Avatar image for youre_a_sheep

@VooDooPC: Maybe the robots are all white so they can be distinguished from the human residents.

Avatar image for hystavito

@VooDooPC: Yes, although maaaaybe that's addressed by the current population being pushed out when the robotics boom happened?

Avatar image for stage4saiyan

Oh hey, this game looks pretty co--

>David Cage