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TSL Story From a Writers Perspective


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how do you corrupt a non force sensitive soldier?? do you blame him for the deaths of his comrads?? do you drive him nuts with the memories of his fallen friends?? do you hammer him with questions in the lines of why did I survive and the others did not?? in fact how do you turn them.. to be completely loyal even if it means to stand there while a sith adept throws your buddy to console killing him... (like darth brandon did when he enters into the bridge of the leviathan)

 

just thinking

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i do understand the concept of sentences. that should be pretty obvious since i've been using them quite a bit. some of what i wrote has bad grammer but still works perfectly well for what i intended.

 

OK -- didn't realize you intended to come across as being twelve or so.

 

 

i believe he was saying suprise indirect attacks. kinda like that rocket to the ship as they were arriving but then they met them with blasters. they should not be so confident and attack head on if they see the jedi are not noticibly injured.

 

Overconfidence is a trademark of the HK-50 series. Sure, it's bad programming, but they're perfectly consistent throughout. For instance, the HK-50 on Peragus doesn't seriously try to conceal his nature from the PC.

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All good replies, everyone.

 

I think Aurora hit the nail on the head... For me... When she made her Buffy and Angel comparsions with regards to their final seasons and overall themes.

 

It seems to me that TSL is about sacrifice... But it is also saying sacrifice is basically worthless because we (humans; Jedi; Sith; The Galaxy) are all screwed regardless of what we do and we are all just pawns of the all mighty Force.

 

I know this isn't a new perspective... Especially, for the SW universe... But I think the big problem is the writers never really asked themselves does this make for an interesting plot for a video game?

 

I don't think it does.

 

I think it is too cerebral -- to be blunt -- And this is why I said I think the storyline (even with all of its flaws) may be too sophisticated for the SW universe and this is ultimately why it just does not feel like a SW story darker theme, or not.

 

And since this may be the underlying theme, or foundation the story is based on, then I think this is ultimately the crux of why the story really doesn't work any way you slice it if you view it as not working (some do).

 

Granted, I don't want every SW RPG to be a black-and-white story of redemption like KOTOR was either. However, I think who(m)ever writes the next one should find a better way to balance trying to be unique and original with still keeping with what SW is at its core (Swashbuckling, Sci-Fi Fantasy)

 

Is this possible? Maybe it is not. But I think TSL, in my humble opinion, is possibly a cautionary tale in trying to be original and unique and possibly going too far as a result.

 

Also, I know we all are entitled to our subjective opinions and that is fine.

 

But from someone who has been paid to write screenplays for production companies... The "professional" part of semi-professional...

 

When I look at TSL as a whole (story)... There are things that leap out at me that as much as people try and defend, just should have never made it into the game in the current form they did because they are in fact plot holes and leaps in logic that you can't just "ignore" even if you just want to play the game. As I said, it is this lack of polish you (me in this case) notice if you are paid to deliver stories on a similar level, or are just a fan of well-written stories in general.

 

Anyway, keep those thoughts coming :blink:

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All good replies, everyone.

 

I think Aurora hit the nail on the head... For me... When she made her Buffy and Angel comparsions with regards to their final seasons and overall themes.

 

It seems to me that TSL is about sacrifice... But it is also saying sacrifice is basically worthless because we (humans; Jedi; Sith; The Galaxy) are all screwed regardless of what we do and we are all just pawns of the all mighty Force.

 

I know this isn't a new perspective... Especially, for the SW universe... But I think the big problem is the writers never really asked themselves does this make for an interesting plot for a video game?

 

I don't think it does.

 

I think it is too cerebral -- to be blunt -- And this is why I said I think the storyline (even with all of its flaws) may be too sophisticated for the SW universe and this is ultimately why it just does not feel like a SW story darker theme, or not.

 

And since this may be the underlying theme, or foundation the story is based on, then I think this is ultimately the crux of why the story really doesn't work any way you slice it if you view it as not working (some do).

 

Granted, I don't want every SW RPG to be a black-and-white story of redemption like KOTOR was either. However, I think who(m)ever writes the next one should find a better way to balance trying to be unique and original with still keeping with what SW is at its core (Swashbuckling, Sci-Fi Fantasy)

 

Is this possible? Maybe it is not. But I think TSL, in my humble opinion, is possibly a cautionary tale in trying to be original and unique and possibly going too far as a result.

 

Also, I know we all are entitled to our subjective opinions and that is fine.

 

But from someone who has been paid to write screenplays for production companies... The "professional" part of semi-professional...

 

When I look at TSL as a whole (story)... There are things that leap out at me that as much as people try and defend, just should have never made it into the game in the current form they did because they are in fact plot holes and leaps in logic that you can't just "ignore" even if you just want to play the game. As I said, it is this lack of polish you (me in this case) notice if you are paid to deliver stories on a similar level, or are just a fan of well-written stories in general.

 

Anyway, keep those thoughts coming  :blink:

 

Again, I still don't see these leaps of logic or plot holes. I wrote professionally, I love to read and have an extensive library - its not like storytelling is unfamiliar to me - and don't really see any leaps of logic at all.

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The whole, I'm a "professional writer" thing is really no way to gauge anyone's opinion. Please stop, half of my family could have their careers described as such, and in no way would that make their opinions any more creditable, nor would they ever say, "Well I'm a professional writer and my opinion would be......"

 

I really have no problem with the way that the character's past was presented to the player. I do see how certain elements of the story seem to conflict with my preception of events that where mentioned in Kotor, but thats a reality I think anyone who has ventured into something like the star wars "EU" should be used to. The whole idea that it was this gravity generator that finished off the Mandalorians and not a real epic battle that tested Revan's tactical brillance disagreed with me, but tit was an event we still don't know everything about and I'm expected some sort of fuller explination in Kotor 3.

 

My probems with the plot exist mostly in the end of the game. The Jedi Masters all presented themselves to me like they had learned the error of their ways and where traveloing top Dantoonie to start to make amends. Then the whole Kreia thing happen and it really fell flat. Then her make up with Sion and really all the explinations of Malachor really justed peaved me.

People laugh when I say that I think a jellyfish is one of the most beautiful things in the world. What they don't understand is, I mean a jellyfish with long, blond hair.

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I'm going to agree with you partway.

 

You are right about your character not being an amnesiac. I mean, nobody said anything about being knocked out or anything. Some dialogues I even wondered if amnesia was supposed to be in the game but it was cut like a lot of good content. :ermm:

 

So, anyways, I sort of diagree about Handmaiden. She went because Atris told her to.

 

Sometimes, I wanted the option to ask Disciple and Mira "Why the hell are you on this ship?"

 

I mean, I think Mira has some substance to her. She can walk through mines but... why is she there? Just because she saved your ass on Nar Shadda doesn't give her automatic rights to a place on your ship. I think she said something about you being her bounty but its like "What the hell woman, if I can kill my way through a bunch of assassins and attackers then I can surely kill you. You are a slave for me now, so either shut up about me being your bounty or get off my ship."

 

And if that wasn't annoying enough, here this gay man comes along and screws up what romance I was thrown with Atton. I wanted to cuss him off so badly... and when I got that cutscene after Dantooine after reuniting the Jedi Council where he wouldn't shut up, I wanted to scream at him, "You're nothing to me!" or "Get the hell off my ship!" He could do nothing but treat injuries. And when I was close to death he wouldn't even heal me. WTF is up with that?! I just got up from fainting after a battle. I knew about the treating injury option so I said that I needed to be healed and he said something about how good of condition I was in. I wanted to take his teeth (that you can so annoyingly see whenever he speaks) and shove them in his eyes and say, "See now?! Get off my ship you retard."

 

Kreia was annoying too. And like someone already said, I can give someone 5 credits. Who cares?! I wish you could kick people off your ship...

 

So... basically:

 

Team Members Who had Reason to Stay:

 

Mandalore: "To reunite the Mandalorian clans" - not a very good reason but at least one is there

Visas: "To lead you to my Master" - probably the one with the most substance

Goto: Protect you or something? The Reupblic? I wanted to blow him up.

Handmaiden: Atris told her to go. - weird, Atris said somethign about learning the hard way

 

Team Members Who Should be "Spaced":

 

Disciple: Why is he here? To spy on you for the Republic. I specifically told him on the screen to "die in a hole".

Kreia: She's your mentor because...?

Mira: Um, fyi, you're my bounty now.

 

 

Team Members Who Are "Iffy": (Meaning could stay/go)

 

Atton: What is your reason again...?

HK-47: Droids don't desert unless you throw them in a trashpile?

T3-M4: ^ see above answer

Bao-Dur: Following the General or help save the galaxy since you couldn't save Telos?

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1) Your Character Does Not Have Amnesia

 

Handmaiden joins you because Atris orders her to and you have the opportunity to change her mind. I haven't played with a female character, but I get the impression that the Disciple is serving the Republic and he joins you to observe. Also, both could be attracted to the protagonist.

 

 

Even if you're playing male you get a little cut scene of Disciple phoning some Republic general saying "General, I've found the exile on Dantooine." or somesuch. So he's wanting to keep an eye on you.

 

All this talk about why people join you is explained fairly well by Kreia when she talks about your character's ability to attract followers like a magnet. Revan had that quality as well, she explains, and thus was able to turn Republic soldiers into loyal Sith. Just as you can turn your followers to the light or dark sides simply by your very presence.

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and if they're going to make a character as annoying as kreia they should at least give you an option to kick her off the ship or kill her. wtf kind of reject fortune cookie did she get her wise "dont give 5 credits to a bum or he will be killed" lesson? ffs why the hell would the mugger care if he actually earned the 5 creds or if he was just given it. either way he would have killed and taken it, how the hell is it my fault for giving him 5 credits. why the hell does my character pretend that made sense and why dont i get a "get the hell off my ship, moron" option?

 

 

I thought Kreia made some good and not-so-good points. This I happen to somewhat agree with. When you've got lots of desperate people, and you give one of them some credits, it makes him a target. Its sort've like tossing meat into a tank full of hungry sharks. The sharks will bite at each other in an attempt to get at the meat.

 

However, what I dislike in that particular instance, is that you lack options. I would've liked to see some like this dialogue wise.

 

[Awareness]What are you going to spend it on?

 

or

 

I could buy you a meal if you're hungry...

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After doing some research... aka looking at older threads on other Obsidian/TSL boards... It has come to my attention that others of you have managed to succinctly and more accurately describe what I was struggling with through three pages (here) and I would like to list a few of them for you.

 

The story itself also feels far too contrived. I mean, I am a KOTOR fan and I bought KOTOR2 the first day it was out (I had to wait for the PC version) - and I really have difficulty getting into the storyline.

 

The dialog is just interspersed with way too much force / jedi / sith mumbo-jumbo that I don't really understand. I mean we (the players) do live in a world without the force, after all. So it's alot easier for us to understand a choice of honor vs. dishonor, oath vs. power, and love vs. discipline than some weird force based philosophy that we don't know anything about anyways (and no one really explained).

 

What the game fails at is in it's execution of those ideas. For what ever reason, deadline, budget, or some hackney falling out within the programming staff... doesn't matter to me. What matters to me is the game is left flat and seems that it should have forced there to be something like a Kotor 2.5 or something.

 

Having mysteries is good for a game, but it assumed that I knew my past. Due to the influence system, I couldn't find out my past without using one of the "perfect" influence walkthroughs. I don't have the will to go through the game again using a meta-game "influence" cheat sheet to get the full story, so I remain unfulfilled.

 

....

 

(I think the influence system sounds nice, but for major arc issues for the story, the characters should talk. The influence system should only be in effect for character flavor. In this respect Atton was well done, but Kreia, HK-47, T3, and Bao-dur were not. The story is not effected if I don't know that Atton used to be a Jedi Hunter, but it sure the frack is, if I don't know what happened in my own past!)

 

It has always been my contention that the KOTOR series is mainly an adventure game, but with (lots of) RPG elements. This did not, however, prevent me from enjoying KOTOR I (inability to engage in wanton slaughter of innocents aside thumbsup.gif ), since it had a coherent plot, engaging NPCs, interesting locales, and an inovative gaming system. It would be reasonable to assume that a sequal would take these elements and improve upon (or, at least, expand) them. Instead, what we get is a plot that is muddled, NPCs that can't even manage to banter, gameplay that is unbalanced, enemy AI that is retarded (dark Jedi with no force powers?!? WTF?), dialog trees that are incomplete, deus ex machina out the wazzo, unresolved technical issues from the first game (Dantoonie is still giving ATI users fits), and the list goes on... What am I missing here?

 

This sums up my feelings in a nutshell.

 

I'm sorry... But it does.

 

You can call me a "dumb ass who should go back to playing Tetris if this is too complicated for you"... But the truth is that the game, in my humble opinion from someone who knows what good storytelling is just has a lot of problems story and execution-wise.

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Even amongst "semi-professional" fiction writers I suspect opinions of what is good writing and what is not good writing will vary.

 

I don't actually wish to get into a point-by-point debate over the story, which I thought was actually pretty danged good despite some flaws and loose ends that I personally would have preferred to see handled differently, but I am having a bit of a problem with the concept you seem to have that somehow your opinion is more "right" than someone else's simply because you hold some magical status as a writer.

 

Oh, and I have 32 published fiction novels, over ten million copies sold in 17 languages at last count, so I guess my disagreement should be worth as much as yours. The fact is that the opinion of folks who haven't published so much as a syllable counts as much as your opinion, and counts as much as my opinion. You are not special amongst those who "know what good storytelling is".

 

My suggestion to you would be to discuss your feelings and opinions about a story, or the writing, or the dialogue because you have every right to do so. But please, don't preface it with the "I'm a semi-professional writer" thing to imply that your opinion is somehow better than anyone elses. Doing so does indeed make you seem "conceded," as you opined in your original post. It might even make you seem conceited! Just like I was to lay out my own writing credentials in order to make myself seem more important and bolster my opinion. See what I mean? :thumbsup:

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I don't want to say that I expect less from games, but I never really can get too critical of video game writing. I'm not expecting "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Hemingway, but I wouldn't accept "For Whom the Bell Tolls" from Metallica.

TSL for most of the game has exceptional "feel" to it and thats obviously due to pretty good writing.

People laugh when I say that I think a jellyfish is one of the most beautiful things in the world. What they don't understand is, I mean a jellyfish with long, blond hair.

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Master Dahvernas you think the story is too complicated for the Star Wars universe, but the Zahn Trilogy which was written as a sequel to RoTJ was pretty well thought out itself. And Lucas gave it two thumbs up. The movies are made with all audiences in mind, the books, games, even some of the comics are made for more mature people.

What if I wanted to kill the other bounty hunters but still have the Twi'leks chase me?

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Even amongst "semi-professional" fiction writers I suspect opinions of what is good writing and what is not good writing will vary.

 

I don't actually wish to get into a point-by-point debate over the story, which I thought was actually pretty danged good despite some flaws and loose ends that I personally would have preferred to see handled differently, but I am having a bit of a problem with the concept you seem to have that somehow your opinion is more "right" than someone else's simply because you hold some magical status as a writer.

 

Oh, and I have 32 published fiction novels, over ten million copies sold in 17 languages at last count, so I guess my disagreement should be worth as much as yours.  The fact is that the opinion of folks who haven't published so much as a syllable counts as much as your opinion, and counts as much as my opinion.  You are not special amongst those who "know what good storytelling is". 

 

My suggestion to you would be to discuss your feelings and opinions about a story, or the writing, or the dialogue because you have every right to do so.  But please, don't preface it with the "I'm a semi-professional writer" thing to imply that your opinion is somehow better than anyone elses.  Doing so does indeed make you seem "conceded," as you opined in your original post.  It might even make you seem conceited!  Just like I was to lay out my own writing credentials in order to make myself seem more important and bolster my opinion.  See what I mean? :p

 

 

I don

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Oh, and I have 32 published fiction novels, over ten million copies sold in 17 languages at last count, so I guess my disagreement should be worth as much as yours.  The fact is that the opinion of folks who haven't published so much as a syllable counts as much as your opinion, and counts as much as my opinion.  You are not special amongst those who "know what good storytelling is". 

 

For someone claiming the credentials don't matter, you seem to take a bit of pride in them.

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Even amongst "semi-professional" fiction writers I suspect opinions of what is good writing and what is not good writing will vary.

 

I don't actually wish to get into a point-by-point debate over the story, which I thought was actually pretty danged good despite some flaws and loose ends that I personally would have preferred to see handled differently, but I am having a bit of a problem with the concept you seem to have that somehow your opinion is more "right" than someone else's simply because you hold some magical status as a writer.

 

Oh, and I have 32 published fiction novels, over ten million copies sold in 17 languages at last count, so I guess my disagreement should be worth as much as yours.  The fact is that the opinion of folks who haven't published so much as a syllable counts as much as your opinion, and counts as much as my opinion.  You are not special amongst those who "know what good storytelling is". 

 

My suggestion to you would be to discuss your feelings and opinions about a story, or the writing, or the dialogue because you have every right to do so.  But please, don't preface it with the "I'm a semi-professional writer" thing to imply that your opinion is somehow better than anyone elses.  Doing so does indeed make you seem "conceded," as you opined in your original post.  It might even make you seem conceited!  Just like I was to lay out my own writing credentials in order to make myself seem more important and bolster my opinion.  See what I mean? :)

 

 

Interesting how you go out of your way to state your own credentials in an effort to show how stating one's credentials is not the proper way to win friends and gain influence. This is thinly-veiled hypocracy at its finest.

 

I don't have a problem with others opinions... Professional or not.

 

But I think, as much as some posters don't want to hear this, there are those of us who are skilled in storytelling more than others and that some of the flaws I and others have pointed out amount to just sloppy storytelling any way you slice it.

 

Does this make me "superior" to somebody who isn't as knoweledgeable (or analytical) who is just looking to enjoy the game?

 

Of course not... But it does gives me and others a more informed perspective than someone who doesn't care about writing or storytelling (in general) just as someone who has is a CPA a more informed knowledge of tax codes and accounting practices.

 

It is obvious I have struck a nerve with some people...

 

But what I am also seeing (on this thread and others) is that some people desperately wanted to like this game and are justifying a lot of sloppy writing because they need to like this game to justify their $50.

 

I apologize if that does make me conceited :thumbsup: ... But I've never been one to shy away from telling it like I see it.. And I don't say this because we are on the internet in a shallow attempt to seem "cool" or "rebellious".

 

I want to thank everyone's opinions because you all have raised good counter-points and that is all I ask: You can disagree with me as long as you back it up just like I did in my initial post.

 

====

 

What I think I have a real "problem" (best word) with TSL and its story is that it is challenging the genre/basis that the SW universe was created under and that is Romantic-Adventure, I.E. Romanticism.

 

Romanticism often entails extremes of clear-cut good and evil. TSL is trying to inject a grey area into that (as I mentioned before) and I think *this* is what I may be having a problem with because of the way the game itself is built around the absolutes of LS/DS in terms of its gameplay mechanics... But the actual storyline/theme is almost 180 degrees and working against that.

 

I think this cognitive disonance is what a lot of players are picking up on... But they don't know how to describe it... Just like I didn't until I did read a few other threads (both pro and con) and it hit me like a Corellian freighter.

 

Some can and will argue that the two elements (story and gameplay mechanics) compliement one another... And I will agree to a point. I still think that the gameplay mechanics that are based on absolutes are in direct conflict with the overall theme that Kreia represents and had their been MORE gameplay alternatives and scenarios that actually built on what Kriea was saying then maybe I and others wouldn't feel this way. However, I still think there are some illogical plot holes and things that just can't be overlooked no matter if the overall theme and gameplay mechanics are working together or not.

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For someone claiming the credentials don't matter, you seem to take a bit of pride in them.

 

Indeed. It was to make a point, which is why I added at the end of my post "It might even make you seem conceited! Just like I was to lay out my own writing credentials in order to make myself seem more important and bolster my opinion. See what I mean?"

 

I believe that everyone on this forum has a right to an opinion... and I do not believe that claiming to be a "semi-professional writer" or a "professional writer" gives us credence to "know what good storytelling is" while implying that other gamers, and in fact the developers themselves, do not have such knowledge.

 

If I hurt anyone's feelings, I apologize. My point, and I did have one, is that the originator of this thread had no special ability to know good storytelling because of his writing credentials, and neither did I. However, I probably didn't get that point across well. I never said I was a good writer; merely a prolific and published one! :thumbsup:

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1) Your Character Does Not Have Amnesia

 

...And do you think that Chris Avellone (he was lead writer or something, right?) would do that again? I mean, you practically start off in a morgue - one room away from a morgue - so having amnesia would be going too far (or too back, or something).

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...

My point, and I did have one, is that the originator of this thread had no special ability to know good storytelling because of his writing credentials, and neither did I.  However, I probably didn't get that point across well.  I never said I was a good writer; merely a prolific and published one!  :thumbsup:

 

This is a follow up.

 

One thing is writting a book and another making a game plot.

 

R.A. Salvatore that is a "prolifric and published" written the story on that Forgotten Realms:Demon Stone" and reading the reviews of that game it seens that the story is weak.

 

I am not going to debate R.A. Salvatore abilities as a writter but it seens that in Demon Stone he simply failed acording to professional reviewers and the lack of success of that game futher reinforces their opinion.

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I just feel the need to point out that the best fictional written I've seen was in fact a video game, Planescape: Torment.

 

And I've read many a story, and published a few myself, that were total and unabashful crap.

 

I originally had a point, but I forgot it... so um.... Hello to you all :thumbsup:

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But I think, as much as some posters don't want to hear this, there are those of us who are skilled in storytelling more than others and that some of the flaws I and others have pointed out amount to just sloppy storytelling any way you slice it.

You have not proved to me you are more skilled in storytelling than anyone here. Proof is in the pudding, baybee. You are also not the only writer here - and other writers disagree with you. You being "semi-professional" (again, whatever that is) does not make your opinion more considered or more valuable than anyone else's, whether they write or not - after all, we can assume everyone hear reads and that is as valid an opinion as someone who writes.

I write. I like this story and find it interesting and nicely done. I'll note many of your issues with the game come from your lack of comprehension and not from issues in the story itself.

I'm happy for you that you write - it is a valuable outlet and storytelling (at least in my culture) is a sacred gift. But that does not make you Mr Bigstuff of Opinions on any level.

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