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"It ain't exactly Shakespeare..."

24

Posts

  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ballman wrote: »
    I liked that article, darleysam. It hit on something I was thinking of while reading this thread but couldn't find the words for: "playing the story" as well as playing the game. I've been hungry for something in gaming that allows me to do this, and there just isn't much out there like it. I think one shining example of this can be found in Deus Ex. The story itself might only be decent at best, but the game did a great job of immersing you in it. Half-Life 2 is a great example as well, using almost the entire first level to tell you a story.

    ...unfortunately, I'm having trouble thinking of other games that do this well.

    i was actually thinking the other day, you've got the start of both Half-Life 1 and 2, where you're just walking around and taking in the atmosphere. There's no guns, there's no action, just characters, scenery and setting. Those bits are used as breathers elsewhere in the games, where you're free to just walk around and take things in at will, without fighting and stuff. I would like to see what happens if someone extended those bits, and took out needless combat and action altogether. Like, it could still be in there if necessary, but not build the game around it.

  • ZoolanderZoolander Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Ugh Xenogears *vomit*

  • BallmanBallman Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    darleysam wrote: »
    i was actually thinking the other day, you've got the start of both Half-Life 1 and 2, where you're just walking around and taking in the atmosphere. There's no guns, there's no action, just characters, scenery and setting. Those bits are used as breathers elsewhere in the games, where you're free to just walk around and take things in at will, without fighting and stuff. I would like to see what happens if someone extended those bits, and took out needless combat and action altogether. Like, it could still be in there if necessary, but not build the game around it.

    I feel the same way. Several times in "tell us about the video game you'd like to design" threads that we have from time to time, I've brought up an idea where you would play out a detective story. In the story itself, there would be a LOT of gameplay like the first level of Half-Life 2, but less linear. Usually, I don't think anyone pays attention to this idea, but at the very least, this is where I'm trying to go with it.

    JC of DI wrote:
    Mr. G wrote: »
    So, there's a video of Kurt Cobain in [Guitar Hero 5] out. I feel dirty watching this, he just looks wrong.

    Well Cobain's mo-cap session was completely useless, so you can't blame them.
  • xraydogxraydog Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Rust wrote: »
    I, uh, never suggested that. Actually I thought XII's dialogue was the best in the series, at least since VII.

    Oh shit..maybe that's why I didn't like it. I can't actually comprehend english.

  • FelronFelron Registered User
    edited February 2007
    darleysam wrote: »
    the general consensus with Half-Life is that it's not so much the story as the strength, but how it's delivered. This is fair, and honestly where i think games should be going. Using their unique abilities as an interactive medium to tell you the story, rather than aping cinematic or literary conventions. And this article on gamasutra covers that nicely:
    http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20070215/schneider_01.shtml

    Heh, I read that earlier today. But I'm not sure if I like their conclusion: "But when they get a few more tastes of what games can be, they’ll be back. They will be back, and they will beg us for more."

    I think games can tell great stories, and much like Half-Life, we can involve gameplay into that story. For example, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time allowed you to change the flow of time should your character die. While it feels a little bit gimmicky to some, I think it helped tie in the story with the game extremely well. Everything felt more real because you didn't have these ridiculous new tools, skills, or equipment only usable in cutscenes. There was no idiotic "GAME OVER" screen to remind you it's just a game. You worked with what you had, and what you had was a pompous prince with a dagger that had the ability to turn back time, release the sands of time, and capture the sands of time.

    But the game sold extremely poorly.

    It wasn't a bad game, the issue was there is no market for that kind of game. People don't want an intelligent, mature story. They want bitches with guns and anime emoticons. But I don't think sending more games out to slaughter is the kind of solution we should be expecting. With the DS, (and to a lesser extent the Wii), I think we have a perfect tool to create games with a powerful story. Not because a story-driven game would lend themselves better to those platforms, but because the market would be easier to create there due to high cost restrictions on the 360, PS3, and PC. The faster they could break even, the faster we could turn a profit on them, and I think that, in turn, could create both a market and publishers interested in backing those kinds of games.

    I think what I'm trying to say, is that I don't think game storys are cheezy because we have a hard time telling great stories, but because our budget doesn't allocate enough funding towards it.

  • SirUltimosSirUltimos Don't talk, Rusty. Just paint. Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Whenever a thread on stories in games come sup I always have to mention an old RPGMaker game by the name of A Blurred Line. It has a fantastic story that I think would actually be enjoyable as a movie or novel.

    Unfortunatly, the game was never finished and never will be, so I'm not sure if it could have kept up the fantastic story all the way to the end. What was present was amazing, though.

  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ballman wrote: »
    I feel the same way. Several times in "tell us about the video game you'd like to design" threads that we have from time to time, I've brought up an idea where you would play out a detective story. In the story itself, there would be a LOT of gameplay like the first level of Half-Life 2, but less linear. Usually, I don't think anyone pays attention to this idea, but at the very least, this is where I'm trying to go with it.

    yeah, i love looking for ways something like that could be fun. I think as Felron says (and as another gamasutra article, about Merchant Ivory games, says), it wouldn't be a big success. Wide audiences just don't seek out games of that ilk, they're generally perceived as being action-based. But personally, i would love to see something based purely around storytelling and atmosphere. Even a game like HL2 is held together primarily by action, with story-developing sections interspersed. I'd be much happier to see something reverse this, a detective game like you said, would be ideal.

  • EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2007
    What the fuck is a Shakespeare?

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I think it is some gay sex term.

  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    They do make games that focus on story and atmosphere. Not just the text adventure games like Zork; Myst was most successful but there have been other adventure games that focus on storytelling and character interaction - Longest Journey and Sam and Max: FP both went the extra mile to whip up witty dialogue.


    Oh, and Xagarath, questioning your mortality in a game like Planescape is not nearly as enjoyable as Planescape's twist was. I thought Planescape was great but, come on, both Jade Empire's and Planescape's plots hinged on surprises that made the games even better in the end. It's not like Planescape's story was super before the plot twist, right?

    easybossfight_zps4752c132.gif
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    What is the twist in Planescape: Torment?

  • XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    emnmnme wrote: »
    They do make games that focus on story and atmosphere. Not just the text adventure games like Zork; Myst was most successful but there have been other adventure games that focus on storytelling and character interaction - Longest Journey and Sam and Max: FP both went the extra mile to whip up witty dialogue.


    Oh, and Xagarath, questioning your mortality in a game like Planescape is not nearly as enjoyable as Planescape's twist was. I thought Planescape was great but, come on, both Jade Empire's and Planescape's plots hinged on surprises that made the games even better in the end. It's not like Planescape's story was super before the plot twist, right?

    Questioning your morality was the entire direction of Planescape's plot, right up until the final confrontation.
    Plus, you're obviously forgetting the development of the other characters around you and your relationships with them, and forgetting the points I made about lyricism, description and dialogue.
    Read my post fully next time?

    For that matter, I'm baffled as to what you think the plot twist in the game was, as the entire game was a long sequence of plot reveals.
    Edit: beat'd on the latter question.

  • NinjacratNinjacrat Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Ok. The next person who cites Half Life 2 as 'mixing story and gameplay', I will stab them in the crotch.

    Seriously. Half Life 2 delivered its plot by locking you in a warehouse and having the plot shouted at you by animatronic puppets. You cannot talk back to the puppets. You cannot interact with the puppets (marvel as they smash aside anything in their scipted path like humanoid bulldozers!). In later stages you cannot even move: the only way it could be considered a 'game' is that you can elect whether to stare at the floor or at the ceiling. I had felt more involved in 'talking heads' JRPGs, because at then you could communicate.

    if the best way to deliver a scene is as a cutscene, then just do it. Don't cry about you game 'becoming a movie'. Just do it. Do each scene in the way it would work best.

  • VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Let me know when Joss Whedon writes a story for a game

  • ToadTheMushroomToadTheMushroom Registered User
    edited February 2007
    I think the conversation system in Mass Effect (with the ability to interrupt, and rather than choosing specific dialogue just choosing an 'emotion' or 'feel' for your response) is going to be revolutionary.

    Like the cover system in Gears of War or R6:Vegas (where playing ANY other FPS or shooter feels so out of place because you cant duck behind cover. Im looking right at Halo 3 here)

    He seems to project beyond himself, exerting a kind of Reggie Field that dogs and many birds find unpleasant. Hearing a man speak with this much drive and confidence about an imaginary plumber is sort of enthralling.
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Planescape spoiler.
    Spoiler:

    Jade Empire spoiler.
    Spoiler:

    easybossfight_zps4752c132.gif
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    emnmnme wrote: »
    They do make games that focus on story and atmosphere. Not just the text adventure games like Zork; Myst was most successful but there have been other adventure games that focus on storytelling and character interaction - Longest Journey and Sam and Max: FP both went the extra mile to whip up witty dialogue.


    Oh, and Xagarath, questioning your mortality in a game like Planescape is not nearly as enjoyable as Planescape's twist was. I thought Planescape was great but, come on, both Jade Empire's and Planescape's plots hinged on surprises that made the games even better in the end. It's not like Planescape's story was super before the plot twist, right?

    To be fair, most adventure games, be they point / text / whatever, lean on their story more heavily than other games because they don't have a whole lot else going for them.

    Seriously, we didn't play Monkey Island because the control scheme was awesome. We played it for the story and the humor.

    The Journeyman Project games, although not funny, also told a decent story, I thought.

    And The X Quest games always had a half-decent story to go with their item-focused puzzle solving. When you don't have gunplay, jumping from platform to platform, or some other gimmick, the story really has to click, be funny, or something.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    None of the plot reveals never felt like plot twists. A plot twist is suddenly finding out that you are the brother of the main bad guy or that you are actually a big bad guy who got amnesia. With Planescape: Torment, you never thought that your immortality was due to something else. Half the plot was finding out what wants you dead and how you got your immortality. They never tried to trick you into thinking that it was something else that was responsible for those things.

  • edited February 2007
    I think the conversation system in Mass Effect (with the ability to interrupt, and rather than choosing specific dialogue just choosing an 'emotion' or 'feel' for your response) is going to be revolutionary.

    Like the cover system in Gears of War or R6:Vegas (where playing ANY other FPS or shooter feels so out of place because you cant duck behind cover. Im looking right at Halo 3 here)
    are you sure you've played other games since? because i'm doing just fine with not ducking into cover

  • Bloods EndBloods End Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    VoodooV wrote: »
    Let me know when Joss Whedon writes a story for a game

    He wrote the story for a Buffy game.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Gorilla SaladGorilla Salad Registered User
    edited February 2007
    I liked KOTOR's story.
    Spoiler:
    And you could decide how the story was to go. That's always nice.

    Organichu wrote: »
    The main rub is that, fuck, I'm already paying some to upgrade the length... why not pay a little bit more to upgrade the length AND width?
  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    When it comes to stories in games, how often does it seem like a line such as that comes up? It's a definite given for something like Mario, even on his best day, no matter how otherwise enjoyable the game is.

    But what about other games? Games known more for characterization and story? Your Halos, your Final Fantasies, your... er, Mortal Kombats?

    Anyway. The wife is writing a piece regarding why video game stories are typically cheesey. In a good way, mind, that fits the medium, though "the average RPG plot would never make it past an editor's slush pile."

    Not that we can't love them. I've got a friend who rags on the story to Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, and along with another, talk about how cliche' all the characters are.

    I never even noticed, as I had a blast running around and beating the crap out of things many times over. In fact, the story was part of what drew me to this particular title, after a CV hiatus of many years.



    And hey, if something you said is used, you might even get your name in print. Well, as "print" as a website counts for, anyway.

    "The average RPG plot would never make it past an editor's slush pile." Typically cheesy? Must be a slow news day.

    I just got back from Borders and i saw ANOTHER Tom Clancy book, ANOTHER Hannibal book now a movie, ANOTHER Steven King lookout its a killer lamp book, ANOTHER oh look its Oprah endorsing a lesbian book book, etc etc etc. Books churn out just as much cheese as do video games, if not more so. This falls more into the realm of video games not being art because some grad art student or the monopoly man says they arn't art.

    Meanwhile, yes there has been a decline in good stories these days... mostly because of the death of adventure games and the rise of these bullshit Japan demon plots. Then again most scifi/fantasy books suck to begin with.

    Mainly this rant is about how there has been nothing new worth reading that has come out over the past 2-3 months. (taking recommendations)

  • PunkBoyPunkBoy Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    When I read the OP, I immediately thought of the Ace Combat series. Cheesy? Sure. Melodramatic? Yep. But I loved the story to every game I've played (04, 5, and Zero). Maybe it's because instead of some post apocalyptic future or some fantasy land, the stories take place in a world similar to ours, and instead of fighting with mechs/magic/ whatever, you fight with modern day fighter planes. For some reason, I find this setting, and therefore the stories, to be very appealing to me. I can't really explain why.

    Steam ID:
    Spoiler:
    The Linecutters Podcast: Your weekly dose of nerd! Tune in for the live broadcast every Wednesday at 7 PM EST, only at www.non-productive.com!
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I thought the Final Fantasies had pretty good stories, on the whole.

    FF6's story is certainly better than most anime I've seen.

    I think it's more fair to compare videogame stories to film/TV stories than literature. There is no payoff in literature except the words in the book. But TV and film, like games, have visual and audio payoffs too. I know that when I play a Zelda or FF game, one of the driving forces is the anticipation of seeing what the next weird place or temple looks like.

    The best games have pretty good concepts and visuals—on par with Hollywood, at least. The problem is the delivery and figuring out how to work the story around the interactivity. And games like Zelda and Okami need to tie their fucking storylines together at the end so they actually make sense internally—although many animes have the same problem.

  • Captain UglyheadCaptain Uglyhead Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Shakespeare isn't actually all that fancy if you care to think about it. Some of the perceived greatness comes from the archaic language, obscure allusions, and plain old brand-name recognition. Look at the stories at their cores, and they aren't complicated. Not that they're bad stories, no, they're quite thrilling and rather well-written.

    A game must include actual gameplay, though, and this alone breaks up even a good narrative. Goodness help you if the gameplay is at all difficult, too.

    Besides, why bother with a good story? Put a twist or two on a few cliches, or don't if you feel like "getting back to the roots of the genre", and games can often get by with below-average stories so long as they have acceptable gameplay, pretty visuals, or even their very own name recognition.

    Plus, one more thing; making games isn't free or cheap, the goal is often to make money rather than art, and can you be surprised if the majority of products reflect this?

    Spiderweb Software makes fun, reasonably priced games for PCs and Macs. Big demos, too!
  • StollsStolls Brave Corporate Logo Chicago, ILRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I like it when a character is at least passingly familiar with works of fiction themselves; book, movie, whatever, so long as they at some point have heard this story before, and can apply that understanding in some way - or at least recognize the absurdity of their situation. I find this goes a long way in helping a character be tolerable, if not likeable.

    A game can have the greatest story ever, but for me the selling point's in the storytelling, and that includes the characters I'm playing as and with. Get me to like the cast, I'll sit through the same show one more time; if they do something new with the story, then all the better. I find this generally doesn't work as well in reverse, though - if I wind up hating the character I'm playing, then I probably won't care too much how good the story is.

    I'm also of the opinion that a story should have to conclude (note: this does not preclude ambiguous endings) before it can be considered good.

  • kedinikkedinik Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Noray wrote: »
    Obligatory props to MGS of course.

    You meant obligatory dig on MGS's patentedly terrible writing, right? Usually I play through games because I'm interested in how the story will develop, but playing through MGS2 was more akin to being unable to look away from a trainwreck. The jokes consistently fall flat. The dialogue alternates between being excessively goofy and unbearably philosophical. The plot twists do not make sense, even after they have been explained. Seriously, it's like they wrote 3 endings and couldn't settle on one.

    lancealot_zpsb9e62895.png
  • Gorilla SaladGorilla Salad Registered User
    edited February 2007
    kedinik wrote: »
    You meant obligatory dig on MGS's patentedly terrible writing, right? Usually I play through games because I'm interested in how the story will develop, but playing through MGS2 was more akin to being unable to look away from a trainwreck. The jokes consistently fall flat. The dialogue alternates between being excessively goofy and unbearably philosophical. The plot twists do not make sense, even after they have been explained. Seriously, it's like they wrote 3 endings and couldn't settle on one.
    Just take the story from MGS2. Forget it. No one can make any sense of it. Don't bother trying. Your head will just explode.

    Organichu wrote: »
    The main rub is that, fuck, I'm already paying some to upgrade the length... why not pay a little bit more to upgrade the length AND width?
  • BiggNifeBiggNife Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Senor Fish wrote: »
    Just take the story from MGS2. Forget it. No one can make any sense of it. Don't bother trying. Your head will just explode.

    Yes, MGS2's plot sucked, but since it was the first MGS I ever played, I loved the gameplay so I was able to look pass it.

    But I'm guessing neither of you have played MGS3, since it takes the dumbest concept of MGS2 and actually makes logical sense out of it. I have to give Kojima kudos for that one.

  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    How did Vamp run on the surface of the water in the middle of MGS2?


    EDIT: Sorry Kami, but Lost isn't a good example.

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/02/16/tv.lostratings.ap/

    easybossfight_zps4752c132.gif
  • KamiKami Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I believe MGS2's story, while the weakest of the three main installments, will completely shine through once MGS4 is released and added to the canon. It will work in much the same way that MGS3 aided in the storytelling of the original, and MGS2.

    Metal Gear's narrative is a puzzle, in the truest sense of the analogy. The more pieces are brought out, the more the overall story develops. Much like LOST, in a lot of ways.

    steam_sig.png
  • Gorilla SaladGorilla Salad Registered User
    edited February 2007
    BiggNife wrote: »
    Yes, MGS2's plot sucked, but since it was the first MGS I ever played, I loved the gameplay so I was able to look pass it.

    But I'm guessing neither of you have played MGS3, since it takes the dumbest concept of MGS2 and actually makes logical sense out of it. I have to give Kojima kudos for that one.
    I played and loved MGS3. Story, though. Can't remember to well. I know that
    Spoiler:

    Organichu wrote: »
    The main rub is that, fuck, I'm already paying some to upgrade the length... why not pay a little bit more to upgrade the length AND width?
  • ZonkytonkmanZonkytonkman Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    The writing in the most recent timesplitters is some of the funniest i've ever seen in a game. I was literally waking up roomates with laughter at many scenes. I'd never played any of the other games in the series, but it's one of my favourites now that I have.

    I really wish that ninja gaidens story made more sense, it was really a beautiful game.

    Spoiler:
  • Gorilla SaladGorilla Salad Registered User
    edited February 2007
    The writing in the most recent timesplitters is some of the funniest i've ever seen in a game. I was literally waking up roomates with laughter at many scenes. I'd never played any of the other games in the series, but it's one of my favourites now that I have.

    I really wish that ninja gaidens story made more sense, it was really a beautiful game.
    Ninja Gaiden had a story? (I never made it very far. The game always kicked my ass.

    alma. I beleive that is the bosses name. AHHH! DIE IN A FUCKING NINJA INDUCED FIRE! YOU EVIL BITCH!!!!)
    I thought it was just, "Dude, your village just got royally fucked. You should go kill some people. Especially the ones who fucked your village up."

    Organichu wrote: »
    The main rub is that, fuck, I'm already paying some to upgrade the length... why not pay a little bit more to upgrade the length AND width?
  • BiggNifeBiggNife Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Senor Fish wrote: »
    I played and loved MGS3. Story, though. Can't remember to well. I know that
    Spoiler:
    Pretty much. But what I'm trying to say is
    Spoiler:

    And like Kami said, I'm sure Kojima will flesh the story out more in MGS4.

  • Gorilla SaladGorilla Salad Registered User
    edited February 2007
    BiggNife wrote: »
    Pretty much. But what I'm trying to say is
    Spoiler:

    And like Kami said, I'm sure Kojima will flesh the story out more in MGS4.
    Well, I tend to forget anything that has to do with the story of MGS2(and really, there is also the one part that because of these MGS2 discussion keeps coming up in my head. the part that never should have existed. The part that leaves scars. I dare not say more.)

    Organichu wrote: »
    The main rub is that, fuck, I'm already paying some to upgrade the length... why not pay a little bit more to upgrade the length AND width?
  • DelzhandDelzhand motivated battle programmerRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Metal

    Gear

    Solid.

    The most ridiculous and contrived plotting in the world.

    You haven't played Lunar Knights, another Kojima game. Aliens are giving vampires magic armor so they can live in sunlight, and they've built a system to control the weather and block the sun! Humankind is enslaved! The son of a famous gunslinger and a half vampire vampire hunter need to kill vampires and seal them in caskets so they can take them into outer space so they can be shot with a solar satellite.

    It's a hilarious concept, and if the writers had approached it with any modicum of humor (or any fucking iota of talent), it might have been half decent.

    Alas.

    jk0Btsj.png
  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Metal

    Gear

    Solid.

    The most ridiculous and contrived plotting in the world.

    But for some reason I am compelled to eat it all up!

    Hell, the only reason I want to play MGS4 is for the plot. I want to know what Liquid Ocelot is up to, I want to know what the deal is with the Patriots, I want to know who the man behind the curtain is. The plot may be ridiculous, but it sure sucks me in.

    ix3uu000mwdx.jpg
    3DS Friend Code: 0817-5033-8184 // Nintendo Network ID: AbsoluteZero
  • StollsStolls Brave Corporate Logo Chicago, ILRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Senor Fish wrote: »
    Well, I tend to forget anything that has to do with the story of MGS2(and really, there is also the one part that because of these MGS2 discussion keeps coming up in my head. the part that never should have existed. The part that leaves scars. I dare not say more.)

    I'd like to submit that explaining a stupid idea doesn't necessarily make it less stupid, especially if the explanation is lacking. MGS4 may be able to explain half of the insanity that went on in MGS2, but that won't somehow make it okay that the President of the United States of America got to second base with Raiden, to say the least.

    Not to rag too hard on 2, of course, since it at least had the courtesy to be fun to play. But I have a growing suspicion that 4 will ultimately just pile on to the craziness.

  • Gorilla SaladGorilla Salad Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Stolls wrote: »
    I'd like to submit that explaining a stupid idea doesn't necessarily make it less stupid, especially if the explanation is lacking. MGS4 may be able to explain half of the insanity that went on in MGS2, but that won't somehow make it okay that the President of the United States of America got to second base with Raiden, to say the least.

    Not to rag too hard on 2, of course, since it at least had the courtesy to be fun to play. But I have a growing suspicion that 4 will ultimately just pile on to the craziness.
    It all ready made Raiden not look like pussy. The game is going to make heads explode with it's plot.

    Organichu wrote: »
    The main rub is that, fuck, I'm already paying some to upgrade the length... why not pay a little bit more to upgrade the length AND width?
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