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Obsidian making Fallout: New Vegas

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Hey man, it's "show not tell". Lots of stories to be told...like...that pack of noodles I found in the cupboard clearly meant this was the last stand of a man defending his homestead from invaders. And stuff.

 

lulz. i hate that argument. i'm sorry, but that is NOT "storytelling." it's atmosphere enhancement and every game should have it regardless of story. it should not appear in lieu of an actual well-planned and written storyline. trying to argue that graphical dumps like that are the story is the laziest bunch of b.s. i've ever heard.

Edited by Fionavar
Please do not avoid the language filter :?

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Yeah, it wasn't written on your forehead using a speech bubble, then it just can't be of any value, right? Oh, and it was in Fallout 3! Then it's automatically ****, even though a million people seemed to appreciate it. Which of course says nothing because they're not you.


Swedes, go to: Spel2, for the latest game reviews in swedish!

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Yeah, it wasn't written on your forehead using a speech bubble, then it just can't be of any value, right? Oh, and it was in Fallout 3! Then it's automatically ****, even though a million people seemed to appreciate it. Which of course says nothing because they're not you.

 

Well for the most part, thinking skeletons in some arrangement that in all likelihood is random is storytelling is pretty flawed. Ah, it's fun to take things to extremes to battle them, heh. I suspect that a lot of people that appreciate the game in its entirety like the game for other reasons than the "storytelling". The shooty-asplosion bit does seem to draw a bit, for example. Funny too, my friend commented to me that games are lot like TV or movies these days, pretty much think he's right. heh.

 

Back to getting in lock-step.

Edited by Malcador

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Yeah, it wasn't written on your forehead using a speech bubble, then it just can't be of any value, right? Oh, and it was in Fallout 3! Then it's automatically ****, even though a million people seemed to appreciate it. Which of course says nothing because they're not you.

 

It's worthless if it's so obscure that you have to think hard to figure out what happened here. Environmental storytelling is the mastery of Valve, Bethesda's only attempting to do that. Or, rather, relearning after seemingly losing that skill when transitioning to Oblivion from Morrowind.

 

I blame Emil Pagliuro and his hate for text-based storytelling.


[ The Vault ] [ The Wasteland Wiki ] [ Pillars of Eternity Wiki ] [ Tyranny Wiki ]


 


My, that's a whole lot of wikis!


Why, thank you, I love them.

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Malcador, there are way too many examples of mini-stories told through prop placement in Fallout 3 for it to be a giant series of coincidences. The skeletons embracing each other with a series of empty Med-X syringes on the nightstand next to them was nice. I also like the skeleton dangling at the apex of a jump from a ramp with a motorcycle embedded in the opposite wall.

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Well my original comment was more a mockery of some fans' claims about the storytelling. In any case, seeing the skeletons hugging, or the one in the tub is nice and all but there's not much there without my expending a lot of effort to invent a lot, heh. At least they're good at not-so-deep tales.

Edited by Malcador

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Yeah, it wasn't written on your forehead using a speech bubble, then it just can't be of any value, right? Oh, and it was in Fallout 3! Then it's automatically ****, even though a million people seemed to appreciate it. Which of course says nothing because they're not you.

 

that wasn't my point and you know it (at least i hope, for your sake). you've got a personal issue with me, fine. just ignore my posts, i ain't gonna continue to interwebs-fight with you.

 

Malcador, there are way too many examples of mini-stories told through prop placement in Fallout 3 for it to be a giant series of coincidences. The skeletons embracing each other with a series of empty Med-X syringes on the nightstand next to them was nice. I also like the skeleton dangling at the apex of a jump from a ramp with a motorcycle embedded in the opposite wall.

 

sure, sure. prop placements were fine and fun. but again, calling them "storytelling" is, imo, b.s. they were great little bits of "wow, cool. i wonder what happened here." and i love them. the couple with the morphine (read: heroin) on the nightstand? great stuff. but to call it anything more than atmosphere enhancement is stretching. sorry, just how i feel. FO3's main story was a joke and no amount of prop-placement can make up for it...regardless of Bethesda's ability to do it often and well.

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I would expect Obsidian to use prop placement in NV, whether we call it 'environmental story-telling' or 'atmospheric enhancement.' As regards story-telling through dialogue and some narration, I'd like to see more, but I also see prop placement as a positive thing. I don't want the game to read like a book. I think the design team will have to be able to count on the imagination of the player somewhere along the line. Games (and even books, movies, etc.) are a cooperative effort between the person making the game and the person playing it. It will always fall on the player to use some imagination in order to complete the work. If you've established the story well enough, then judicious use of prop placement will undoubtedly encourage the player to invest more in the partnership.

 

In fact, the player already uses props from the environment to discern part of the story, right? I mean, the fact that he's in a vault is apparent from the dialogue, sure. ...But imagine the dialogue is missing. The deck, bulkhead, and overhead are all smooth metal and clean. The technology is clearly advanced. The player and NPCs wear jumpsuits all made from the same material and sporting the same number. These props all help the player feel like part of the story.

 

On the other hand, text limits imagination. When the design team uses text, in any way, they've effectively defined something. The result is that the player's imagination can no longer roam free. Now there is no question as to the nature of the item and the player's imagination is now confined to what that item does in the story. For example, if the player had no text, he might believe that the areas he sees in the vault might be part of a vault, but he might as easily imagine that he's seeing the deck of a ship or even some sort of spacecraft. Explicitly telling the player that it's a vault cuts off further speculation about the environment.

 

Using props is a great way to empower the player. It adds unresolved mystery to the game and gives the player a lot of room to let his imagination wander. Since it's not part of any specific story, the designer doesn't even take a hit for the fact that the mystery remains unresolved. Finally, the fact that the player is exercising his imagination encourages him to use his imagination to help complete the text-based story.

 

Now, I don't think these environmental vignettes can take the place of the actual story itself. I also agree that the area where FO3 could use the most improvement is in the story-telling and, like twinkie says, prop placement cannot replace a compelling plot. Enhance it? Sure. Replace it? No. Let the player's imagination roam, but keep it on a leash.

 

Reading over this, it sounds more didactic than I had intended. :)

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I just remembered Morrowind and the amount of stuff you could do there and the amount of storytelling... damn awesome. Shame Fo3 isn't even remotely as expansive, coherent and rich.

 

Heh, Morrowind's storytelling was so "rich" that I never finished the main plot. Something about having to walk all the way across the map for a brief text conversation, then go all the way back for the next one.

 

More on-topic, I think cleverly placed remains etc., unless they are part of a plot that involves the player, are just a gimmick. I wouldn't call their existence *bad*, but they are no substitute for stories that give the player an impact on the world.

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I also see prop placement as a positive thing. I don't want the game to read like a book.

 

same here. i'm just saying it can't simply be used to justify a lack of traditional storytelling everywhere else.

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On the other hand, text limits imagination. When the design team uses text, in any way, they've effectively defined something. The result is that the player's imagination can no longer roam free. Now there is no question as to the nature of the item and the player's imagination is now confined to what that item does in the story. For example, if the player had no text, he might believe that the areas he sees in the vault might be part of a vault, but he might as easily imagine that he's seeing the deck of a ship or even some sort of spacecraft. Explicitly telling the player that it's a vault cuts off further speculation about the environment.

Heh... A gymnast in zero gravity has the ultimate freedom of movement but to what ends(?), while a gymnast constrained to a floor can use it as a launching point for some incredible leaps of logic & imagination.

 

Text is unmatched in any day and age ~provided the author is a good one. :)

Edited by Gizmo

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Text is the difference between sleeping alone on a mattress and never being alone and generic stained mattress model #3.

 

Although it's interesting to see the difference on the forums between the way people who appreciate text use it and those who don't.

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Please do try not to bait one another or avoid the language filter ... play nice in the sandbox please.


The universe is change;
your life is what our thoughts make it
- Marcus Aurelius (161)

:dragon:

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i wasn't avoiding the language filter. i use that word at every forum i'm at, regardless of language filters. it's Irish slang. but if it floats your boat, go ahead and pretend it's something else.

 

*shrugs*

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Wow, now I'm curious to know who flamed whom.

 

As regards the point of the vignettes, I don't recall an argument from anyone in this thread that we should remove all the text from the game. Likewise, I'm not claiming that other folks want a text only adventure game. If we can keep from trying to take every argument to the extreme, we can probably have a proper discussion.

 

My point, the condensed version: A solid story conveyed through text (dialogue or narrative) is necessary to further the plot. I have never advocated taking the text completely out of the equation just as folks who don't like the vignettes want to remove all graphics from the game. However, the use of vignettes are an excellent way to introduce broad ideas and grant the player an opportunity to use his imagination dwelling on it.

 

"A gymnast in zero gravity has the ultimate freedom of movement but to what ends(?), while a gymnast constrained to a floor can use it as a launching point for some incredible leaps of logic & imagination."

 

"A gymnast shackled to the floor has absolutely no freedom, while a gymnast constrained only by gravity can use it as a launching point for some incredible leaps of logic and imagination."

 

Remember, the argument isn't whether to have a story in the game. The argument is whether props unattended by text can add to the game. There isn't much of an argument there. No game I've played, with the exception of text adventures, has ever relied on text to convey every single idea anyhow.

 

...And, geez, I'm a big fan of increasing the text and fleshing out the story with better dialogue.

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But this way of building and decorating the world to make it an exciting and varied place to visit (with lots of immersion enhancers/mini stories/ props/whatever) was sorely lacking in the first two Fallout's. It's actually a first for the Fallout series and a big step forward in my opinion.

 

I agree that the actual story of Fallout 3 was very weak, but that doesn't mean everything Bethesda did in Fallout 3 was bad. It's annoying to read the same monkeys typing over and over how incredibly bad Fallout 3 did everything. I mean how interesting is that to read? Especially in a thread dedicated to a new game in the Fallout world? Personally I loved the mini stories (what I prefer to call them) everywhere and would love to see them return to Fallout: New Vegas. Preferably with a few scripted occurrences this time.. like that giant domino trap in one of the stores in Fallout 3. Instead of just letting things lie still, make a few surprises for the player to discover. Great for replayability too (unless you find everything on your first try..).


Swedes, go to: Spel2, for the latest game reviews in swedish!

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But this way of building and decorating the world to make it an exciting and varied place to visit (with lots of immersion enhancers/mini stories/ props/whatever) was sorely lacking in the first two Fallout's. It's actually a first for the Fallout series and a big step forward in my opinion.

 

I agree that the actual story of Fallout 3 was very weak, but that doesn't mean everything Bethesda did in Fallout 3 was bad. It's annoying to read the same monkeys typing over and over how incredibly bad Fallout 3 did everything. I mean how interesting is that to read? Especially in a thread dedicated to a new game in the Fallout world? Personally I loved the mini stories (what I prefer to call them) everywhere and would love to see them return to Fallout: New Vegas. Preferably with a few scripted occurrences this time.. like that giant domino trap in one of the stores in Fallout 3. Instead of just letting things lie still, make a few surprises for the player to discover. Great for replayability too (unless you find everything on your first try..).

What Fallout 3 did well was to tell stories indirectly, using graphics as well as text (terminals) and voice shorts (holotapes). I find it more interesting to look at the surroundings and piece together what happened there. I would perfer this form of storytelling...the indirect way, to more "in your face" type of storytelling. Direct,e explicit storytelling has it's place to be sure, but so does the indirect approach.

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Hey man, it's "show not tell". Lots of stories to be told...like...that pack of noodles I found in the cupboard clearly meant this was the last stand of a man defending his homestead from invaders. And stuff.

 

lulz. i hate that argument. i'm sorry, but that is NOT "storytelling." it's atmosphere enhancement and every game should have it regardless of story. it should not appear in lieu of an actual well-planned and written storyline. trying to argue that graphical dumps like that are the story is the laziest bunch of b.s. i've ever heard.

 

That's a cheap shot, and a strawman argument. There are several instances of well executed storytelling in the game, and those little stories makes exploration fun. I guess it's not for everyone.

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lol @ "prop placement" = story telling.

 

Its a sad day for crpgs when story is reduced to a bunch of skeletons gathered around a bathtub.

 

OMG LOOK ITS A STORY.

 

lol. Its amazing what Bethesda gets away with.


Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.

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