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Yosharian

Why is it still not possible to turn off the narrator?

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Be interesting to know if people still took issue with the narration of there was less "he said, she said"

 

these are what i meant by dialogue tags. didnt need to be voiced imo.

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I AM A RENISANCE MAN

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I like the narrator but the text is far too wordy. There's loads of unnecessary words that just makes it seem a bit like a chore to listen to sometimes.

 

i think one of the issues here is trippy, fantastical nature of beyond. it encourages this.

 

is fuel for my notion that the encounters with the gods should have been largely restricted to berath and executed in-engine using that little starting room. would have removed obligation/temptation to describe all that acid-trip stuff. sensation of being pulled away could have been conveyed with a little ten second jaunt along that inbetween path with chimes ringing in background.

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I like the narrator but the text is far too wordy. There's loads of unnecessary words that just makes it seem a bit like a chore to listen to sometimes.

i think one of the issues here is trippy, fantastical nature of beyond. it encourages this.

 

is fuel for my notion that the encounters with the gods should have been largely restricted to berath and executed in-engine using that little starting room. would have removed obligation/temptation to describe all that acid-trip stuff. sensation of being pulled away could have been conveyed with a little ten second jaunt along that inbetween path with chimes ringing in background.

To me this is a problem with Obsidian's idea of video game writing. They spend way too much time writing out things that should have been animated.

 

Like in the opening sequence, where it talks about Eder looking at his pimp slapping hand (it's a joke). That shouldn't have been a narration. What's the point of 3d models and animators if they are just used for generic idle and combat animations?

 

This whole thing is weird to me because it wasn't a problem in KotOR and New Vegas, and probably won't be a problem in the new game either.

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"As the murderhobo mantra goes: 'If you can't kill it, steal it.'" - Prince of Lies

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The reason is money. It's a lot cheaper to write something down instead of animating it. And let's face it: a crowdfunding of 4 million (or whatever) isn't a lot if you want tons of animated sequences on top of a game with a lot of content. 

Edited by Boeroer
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I agree that maybe more animation was too costly and would not have been as effective but even in those scenes the images on screen portray the atmosphere well enough. I'm not saying don't add description to portray a little more of what is going on but the narration literally describes every detail of the scene and the characters, the way they behave, their entrances their expressions. Those details are more impactful if they are saved for when it actually matters. Like I don't need to hear the way a particular character is looking at me as they talk to me unless that detail is required for me to better understand the plot. 

 

Sometimes less is more, I am not a writer but I do know that one of the first steps in editing a novel is removing unnecessary words. There are a lot of things I don't need to hear, like the way a certain character looks if it is already represented on screen, I don't need a detailed description of the chiming of bells if I can see and hear the bells on screen either. This stuff doesn't bother me personally all that much but I just think it would probably be a lot better with some editing and I wonder if there would still be these complaints about the narrator if there wasn't all this fluff in those portions. 

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Sometimes less is more, I am not a writer but I do know that one of the first steps in editing a novel is removing unnecessary words. There are a lot of things I don't need to hear, like the way a certain character looks if it is already represented on screen, I don't need a detailed description of the chiming of bells if I can see and hear the bells on screen either. This stuff doesn't bother me personally all that much but I just think it would probably be a lot better with some editing and I wonder if there would still be these complaints about the narrator if there wasn't all this fluff in those portions. 

 

Now, as a general statement this depends on style, but by and large you are quite correct. Verbosity is likely to lead to trouble (very few can pull it off), but then it's not a good idea to be overly concise, either -- you'd have to be a Hemingway to really make it work, and almost no one is.

 

In this particular instance, you are completely correct. There is too much description, and it could have used some editing. Luckily, the description is not overly dramatic (we don't hear the narrator talk about the "staggering immensity of the humongous figures" or anything like that, thank god), but there's too much of it. Also, the fact that visual information is also narrated to you doesn't really work, it's just repetition.

 

Having spent the majority of the past twenty years in precisely this area, I dare to claim that I know what I'm talking about. A lot of the writing in Deadfire is good, no question (considering the genre), but here, some editing would have been in order.

 

(It's extremely interesting to compare the writing in Deadfire to that in Pathfinder: Kingmaker. They are not even in the same league. Deadfire is so much better every conceivable sense that if there's a person who doesn't see that, I'd have a hard time taking their sense of judgement seriously.)

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Having spent the majority of the past twenty years in precisely this area, I dare to claim that I know what I'm talking about. A lot of the writing in Deadfire is good, no question (considering the genre), but here, some editing would have been in order.

 

(It's extremely interesting to compare the writing in Deadfire to that in Pathfinder: Kingmaker. They are not even in the same league. Deadfire is so much better every conceivable sense that if there's a person who doesn't see that, I'd have a hard time taking their sense of judgement seriously.)

Ye, i dont have ur experience, but ive got some relative strings to my bow - most of deadfire is brisk enough that is clear the people involved know what theyre doing. and tbh, even the trippy sections arent *that* verbose when compared to prose in novels. deadfire will go off on one for a paragraph or two at most before settling back into dialogue.

 

however, there at least two big problems i recall offhand. in trippy cutscenes, it sets itself task of describing five epic supernatural creatures one after another. even if u do each one fairly quick it adds up. Also in context of video game where you have visual element, any description can seem like a lot - and considering vast amount of game is well edited. it sticks out like a sore thumb.

 

I agree with u re: kingmaker. the game has its appeal - and the writers express moments of real promise - but its in dire need of an editing pass. guess they didnt have the resources for one.

 

The dialogues where the difference in experience really shows. deadfire conveys more about its characters in about half the word count. maias little missive quest establishes more about her past, present and future than any of km's extensive dialogue trees or multi-chapter companion arcs

 

Most of km's writing feels like a first draft by an enthusiastic new team. it can be enjoyed as such - i deffo enjoyed it at such - but it suffers in direct comparison to much of deadfire.

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I have no problem with the writing, just not sure the writing is presented in a proper way, or in the "right" media.

 

All those "he said, she said" work fine in audiobooks, read entirely by one single person. But it feels funny in a game where all lines are voiced by multiple actors. Ca

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I liked the narrator, her eerie, slightly offset delivery matched godly weirdness very well, but I agree about unnecessity of voicing "he said, she said" lines.

Also, I haven't been around when PoE launched, did people whine as much about that game's narrator? Because he totally sounds like that "Here is my dull and dreary powerpoint presentation, gods how bored I am!" dude who delivered NWN2's "rocks fall, everyone dies" ending speech. :biggrin:

 

As for Deadfire's vs Kingmaker's writing (not the same thing as the story), are really there people who prefer the latter? Because as writing goes, Deadfire not as much blows P:K out of water as catapults it into the high orbit.

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I liked the narrator, her eerie, slightly offset delivery matched godly weirdness very well, but I agree about unnecessity of voicing "he said, she said" lines.

Also, I haven't been around when PoE launched, did people whine as much about that game's narrator? Because he totally sounds like that "Here is my dull and dreary powerpoint presentation, gods how bored I am!" dude who delivered NWN2's "rocks fall, everyone dies" ending speech. :biggrin:

 

As for Deadfire's vs Kingmaker's writing (not the same thing as the story), are really there people who prefer the latter? Because as writing goes, Deadfire not as much blows P:K out of water as catapults it into the high orbit.

Have you read HP Lovecraft?

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I liked the narrator, her eerie, slightly offset delivery matched godly weirdness very well, but I agree about unnecessity of voicing "he said, she said" lines.

Also, I haven't been around when PoE launched, did people whine as much about that game's narrator? Because he totally sounds like that "Here is my dull and dreary powerpoint presentation, gods how bored I am!" dude who delivered NWN2's "rocks fall, everyone dies" ending speech. :biggrin:

 

As for Deadfire's vs Kingmaker's writing (not the same thing as the story), are really there people who prefer the latter? Because as writing goes, Deadfire not as much blows P:K out of water as catapults it into the high orbit.

Have you read HP Lovecraft?

 

 

Yep. At first I found him too verbose and a bit purpley, but eventually decided it fits the stuff he writes about rather well. I mean if you write about incomprehensible, mind liquefying cosmic horrors, then muddled, meandering run-on sentences convey your message much better than, say, Hemingway'ish concision.

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The reason is money. It's a lot cheaper to write something down instead of animating it. And let's face it: a crowdfunding of 4 million (or whatever) isn't a lot if you want tons of animated sequences on top of a game with a lot of content.

Quite. I'm not sure why this notion is so difficult for some people. Obsidian aren't using description because they are obtuse or unwilling.

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I liked the narrator, her eerie, slightly offset delivery matched godly weirdness very well, but I agree about unnecessity of voicing "he said, she said" lines.

Also, I haven't been around when PoE launched, did people whine as much about that game's narrator? Because he totally sounds like that "Here is my dull and dreary powerpoint presentation, gods how bored I am!" dude who delivered NWN2's "rocks fall, everyone dies" ending speech. :biggrin:

 

As for Deadfire's vs Kingmaker's writing (not the same thing as the story), are really there people who prefer the latter? Because as writing goes, Deadfire not as much blows P:K out of water as catapults it into the high orbit.

Have you read HP Lovecraft?

 

 

Yep. At first I found him too verbose and a bit purpley, but eventually decided it fits the stuff he writes about rather well. I mean if you write about incomprehensible, mind liquefying cosmic horrors, then muddled, meandering run-on sentences convey your message much better than, say, Hemingway'ish concision.

 

 

"He glimpsed into the unknowable. The unknowable was there." - HP Hemingway

 

 

(context: based on a passage that is the most Hemingway sentence Hemingway ever wrote, which was "He came to the river. The river was there.")

Edited by thelee
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The reason is money. It's a lot cheaper to write something down instead of animating it. And let's face it: a crowdfunding of 4 million (or whatever) isn't a lot if you want tons of animated sequences on top of a game with a lot of content.

Quite. I'm not sure why this notion is so difficult for some people. Obsidian aren't using description because they are obtuse or unwilling.

 

 

i do get that, its why i try to consider limitations and efficient workarounds when critiquing such - rather than 'snarl gnash roar this should be better'

 

and even if you know best practice, it can get swallowed by the vagaries of project management. i doubt i could raise anything a dev aint voiced at some point or other. ol' triples not one to claim any special insight.


I AM A RENISANCE MAN

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Also in context of video game where you have visual element, any description can seem like a lot 

 

This is exactly it, in a novel it's better to not be too descriptive but you still have to be descriptive. In a video game with voice acting and illustrations as well it's gonna feel like a lot more than reading a novel or even listening to an audiobook.  

 

I don't want to seem like I am making a big deal out of this, I still enjoy the narration and if I get tired of it I can skip it. I just think it would have been better and saved them money on VO to edit down those lines. Like I don't need to hear about how a character is holding a sword if I can see that on screen. 

Edited by Mikeymoonshine
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To answer your question, I prefer the writing of Pathfinder Kingmaker. But i am not sure if one person makes a people.

I liked the narrator, her eerie, slightly offset delivery matched godly weirdness very well, but I agree about unnecessity of voicing "he said, she said" lines.

Also, I haven't been around when PoE launched, did people whine as much about that game's narrator? Because he totally sounds like that "Here is my dull and dreary powerpoint presentation, gods how bored I am!" dude who delivered NWN2's "rocks fall, everyone dies" ending speech. :biggrin:

 

As for Deadfire's vs Kingmaker's writing (not the same thing as the story), are really there people who prefer the latter? Because as writing goes, Deadfire not as much blows P:K out of water as catapults it into the high orbit.

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To answer your question, I prefer the writing of Pathfinder Kingmaker. But i am not sure if one person makes a people.

 

Ok. Why? I'm genuinely curious.

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Her voice sounds completely out of place to me, and is especially bad when she interjects with "...he says" or whatever as people have already pointed out. I don't know of any other games with such an option though.

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I do see Gods sections as their way of doing cutscenes. In the end those are lengthy story bits, over which character has little output. And they are done in an audiobook way (I think? Never listened to an audiobook). I personally had bigger issue with graphics - imagination is always more powerful, and I found PoE1 way ofpresenting Gods much more impactful and intimidating.


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I personally had bigger issue with graphics - imagination is always more powerful, and I found PoE1 way ofpresenting Gods much more impactful and intimidating.

would have been cheaper to implement as well. sometimes laziness is the best judge.


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I personally had bigger issue with graphics - imagination is always more powerful, and I found PoE1 way ofpresenting Gods much more impactful and intimidating.

 

Yep. In move terms, it's Alien vs. Aliens. When it comes to impactful and intimidating, the first one wins hands down. (The second is great, too, just in a totally different way irrelevant to this particular discussion.)

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You could make the Aliens argument for Deadfire too; after the revelation that the gods aren't true gods it's appropriate for us to see them in the cold light of day and demystify them a bit

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I personally had bigger issue with graphics - imagination is always more powerful, and I found PoE1 way ofpresenting Gods much more impactful and intimidating.

 

Yep. In move terms, it's Alien vs. Aliens. When it comes to impactful and intimidating, the first one wins hands down. (The second is great, too, just in a totally different way irrelevant to this particular discussion.)

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You could make the Aliens argument for Deadfire too; after the revelation that the gods aren't true gods it's appropriate for us to see them in the cold light of day and demystify them a bit

I don't think that's the intention though. I like some (Rymrgand, Skaen) but Magran, Galawain, Hylea and especially Wael just don't work for me. Wael looks funny, and kinda cute instead of really weird and creepy. But then how do you portrait the ungraspable? 


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