Heavy Rain's got four main characters. All of them can die. So, it's essentially four "lives," and then, game over, right? Not quite. Quantic Dreams is challenging the ingrained notions of game endings. Sure, if your clumsy button presses manage to kill off all four of your characters, the game's mysterious antagonist, The Origami Killer, gets away. But this is simply one of many potential outcomes in a player-created story, director David Cage explained during an E3 breakout session for the game. Even if all four die, there will still be "a sense of closure."
Speaking to this design, Cage confirmed that during a single playthrough, "you never get to come back to scenes you've visited before." The save system is "transparent" and records data any time something significant happens. "You don't need to bother about saving," Cage insisted. "I would like people to play this game without playing too much with the saving system."
In all, the game contains roughly sixty, 15-minute "scenes" (levels), but Cage encourages players to weave their own complete dramas from the potential pieces. He suggested that everyone play the game from start to a finish once, "and maybe never play it again." Cage's advice is to not attempt to progress to a "right" ending or play out every scene, but for each player to create a "unique story that they have written themselves."