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Rain built around the concept of playing an invisible character

Sony Japan Studio wanted to offer gamers a surprise with PlayStation Network exclusive Rain, and decided they could do so by designing the game around the idea of playing as an invisible character, according to a post on the PlayStation Blog.

In Rain, players step into the shoes of an invisible boy whose outline can only be seen when it rains. The boy is in pursuit of a girl suffering the same affliction, who also appears to be haunted by otherworldly forces. In an interview, producer Noriko Umemura said the idea for an invisible character came first, and the game was built around the concept.

"When we gathered together, we had one thing in common — we wanted to surprise to our PS3 customers with a new action adventure game," said Umemura. "We came up with the idea of having an invisible character — that's where we started and from that point design and story just came out very naturally.

"We didn't want to impose stress on the player because the character was invisible," she added. "We wanted to give them challenges and new experiences, so we had to make sure that even when the character is completely invisible there should be hints to tell the player where he is. The player should be able to guess. We crafted the game design very carefully."

Japan Studio wanted a soundtrack in which the sound of rain featured prominently, so they company sought a score that would enhance the rainy, melancholy atmosphere. The composer will be announced later this year, Umemura said.

"You will hear classical music throughout the game but not just the pieces you hear at the beginning," Umemura said. "As the game changes and the atmosphere evolves, the music will also change to enhance that. You heard Debussy in the opening scene, but there will be original music too."

Rain will launch this fall for PS3. Check out our preview here.

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