Jump to content
Karranthain

Narrated sequences instead of cutscenes (let's use our imagination again).

Recommended Posts

You all are very silly. Everybody knows you can't tell a good story without detailed cinematics and lots of jump cuts. I mean, just look at Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, how would his staff writer J.R.R. Rowling have been able to write the movie tie-in novels without those great visuals that he provided for him? ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You all are very silly. Everybody knows you can't tell a good story without detailed cinematics and lots of jump cuts. I mean, just look at Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, how would his staff writer J.R.R. Rowling have been able to write the movie tie-in novels without those great visuals that he provided for him? ...

 

Good thing George Lucas came up with the hobbit idea for him, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently torn between Rodger Bumpass (Narrator in MotB) and Sara Kestelman (Kreia, KOTOR II).

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-huTFB57yEc&feature=player_embedded

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDVCHKeM1Uk

 

Just imagine them reading area descriptions (http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/60371-narrated-sequences-instead-of-cutscenes-lets-use-our-imagination-again/page__st__60#entry1199801).

Edited by Karranthain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like narration but prefer when there are storybook like still images to along with it (ala-IWD).

 

Aye, I like it too. But I'm fine with a static image as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like narration but prefer when there are storybook like still images to along with it (ala-IWD).

 

Aye, I like it too. But I'm fine with a static image as well.

 

I agree. A static image (better yet, painting) and a powerful narrator would be perfect for this game.

  • Like 1

2 atoms walk into a bar, the one says " I believe i have lost an electron!" the other says " Are you sure?" the first atom says " I'm positive! "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A nice example where narration and atmosphere made the whole game:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7VJ4lP-05A

 

Of course there was also a good portion of awesome graphics involved, but images can build as well an atmosphere!

 

For those who don't know Dear Esther: You walk through the whole "game" with almost no interaction at all, save that you might trigger additional narration if you visit certain places. It's actually more like a set of beautiful landscapes that you walk through while a touching story unfolds through the narration. I recall someone calling it "interactive poetry".

Don't try it if you're looking for action or suspense!


nec temere, nec timide

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep. My vote does here too.

Actually, I don't even need voiceover — I can very well read a well-written text myself.

That's my general viewpoint.

Narration itself doesn't add much for me ... that's going to be dependent on whether I like the narrator's voice/intonation, and that's a hit and miss affair for most people. So if we're talking imagination here, I'd actually rather just have text and imagine a voice myself. Or really, sometimes, none at all if possible - I'd rather story/narrative be somehow integrated into the game itself in some way, rather than needing huge chunks of sudden exposition.

 

eg, there's the too many cutscenes ="I'll just watch watch a movie" aspect (which I agree with) but there's also the "then I'll just read a book" aspect. It's a fine line at times.

  • Like 2

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep. My vote does here too.

Actually, I don't even need voiceover — I can very well read a well-written text myself.

That's my general viewpoint.

Narration itself doesn't add much for me ... that's going to be dependent on whether I like the narrator's voice/intonation, and that's a hit and miss affair for most people. So if we're talking imagination here, I'd actually rather just have text and imagine a voice myself. Or really, sometimes, none at all if possible - I'd rather story/narrative be somehow integrated into the game itself in some way, rather than needing huge chunks of sudden exposition.

 

eg, there's the too many cutscenes ="I'll just watch watch a movie" aspect (which I agree with) but there's also the "then I'll just read a book" aspect. It's a fine line at times.

 

Well, if it was in the BG and IWD style with floating text, you could always mute the sound and read yourself. ;)

  • Like 1

nec temere, nec timide

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like narration but prefer when there are storybook like still images to along with it (ala-IWD).

 

Aye, I like it too. But I'm fine with a static image as well.

 

I agree. A static image (better yet, painting) and a powerful narrator would be perfect for this game.

 

Alternatively, the camera would zoom in (and move around) to show details of the accompanying art piece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just dropping in to say absolutely YES to narrators!


The purpose of abstraction is not to be vague, but to create a new semantic level in which one can be absolutely precise. -- Edsger Dijkstra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep. My vote does here too.

Actually, I don't even need voiceover — I can very well read a well-written text myself.

That's my general viewpoint.

Narration itself doesn't add much for me ... that's going to be dependent on whether I like the narrator's voice/intonation, and that's a hit and miss affair for most people. So if we're talking imagination here, I'd actually rather just have text and imagine a voice myself. Or really, sometimes, none at all if possible - I'd rather story/narrative be somehow integrated into the game itself in some way, rather than needing huge chunks of sudden exposition.

 

eg, there's the too many cutscenes ="I'll just watch watch a movie" aspect (which I agree with) but there's also the "then I'll just read a book" aspect. It's a fine line at times.

 

Fair enough - if you don't particularly like the narrator's voice it could be a problem.

For me, the narrator would be very much like a game master in a Pen & Paper game - a good one can really enhance the atmosphere, ideally he'd leave a lot of space for your imagination; but the picture he paints should have just enough details so you could work from there.

Edited by Karranthain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep. My vote does here too.

Actually, I don't even need voiceover — I can very well read a well-written text myself.

That's my general viewpoint.

Narration itself doesn't add much for me ... that's going to be dependent on whether I like the narrator's voice/intonation, and that's a hit and miss affair for most people. So if we're talking imagination here, I'd actually rather just have text and imagine a voice myself. Or really, sometimes, none at all if possible - I'd rather story/narrative be somehow integrated into the game itself in some way, rather than needing huge chunks of sudden exposition.

 

eg, there's the too many cutscenes ="I'll just watch watch a movie" aspect (which I agree with) but there's also the "then I'll just read a book" aspect. It's a fine line at times.

 

Portal 2 is amazing at the story being integrated into the background. Fallout 3 and Skyrim are pretty good at this too, if you are into this sort of thing.

 

I like that, but for a game like PE I'm all for the narrated scenes...

 

I'd much rather READ it than get the narration, too. Everytime the voices come out of nowhere in PS:T right now, for example, I get thrown. I can read so much faster than they speak, for one. For another the inconsistency is jarring most of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Baldur's Gate used three different types of exposition for different reasons (at least by my analysis)... Even non-game-engine cinematics have their place when used sparingly.

 

The static-image-VO-narration type is useful when the technology can't emulate events, textual imagination far outstrips direct visuals, and/or it's impossible to include the necessary variety of NPCs in a cinematic. One example is the BG1 dream sequence narration, where an attempted cinematic visual would be far less rich in terms of abstract ambience. Another example is the sea voyage in BG2 when the ship is attacked by those, uh, fish-men; for one, the game engine couldn't support sprites acting underwater and secondly, a cinematic wouldn't make sense because there was no way to show your own party and even your PC (choice of party members, PC sex/race/etc.). I think in general the static-image-VO-narration exposition is most flexible, but the other types have their places too. Though the biggest weakness would also be, as LC said, whether you like the narrator's presentation or not--I had just re-started IWD a little while ago and didn't care for the narrator's voice and reading style. There could be an option to disable narrator VO, I guess.

 

The game-engine cutscenes that are acted out and VO'ed by NPCs outside the player's view are basically an extension of the omnipresent 3rd person narrator voice in books (the reader = the player); I think this is a fine method to further the narrative holistically and less immersion-breaking (for an iso game) than a full cinematic, but I can see how some RPers would hate it as being less immersive if we take the view that the player should know nothing of outside events except when directly involved. I don't know how the latter view can be addressed with any exposition, I guess. Examples include the chapter cut-scenes in BG2, like Irenicus taking over the asylum, and the final party NPC battles at the end of PS:T.

 

Now, game-engine cutscenes when the PC is present on the scene and cannot act---not a fan of those in general. While they might further the narrative, I'd rather have the style above.

 

Cinematics can be used well, just not how they're used most of the time these days. I think they're better for particular action sequences that may be awkward to describe in text and don't exactly require subtle ambience (e.g. BG2:SoA end, Irenicus' end); or if a video is actually "better" than a pure textual-narration presentation--this can be tricky and easily overdone. Examples here would, I think, include the BG1 final cinematic of Sarevok's statue and the final PS:T cinematic. (Obviously, I'm sure plenty of people will argue that a pure textual narration is still fine for stuff like that.)

 

Now, having said that, I think all styles have their places and can be used well, but since games have moved completely away from the first style into lots of cinematics, then we definitely need more of the narrated exposition. :p


The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can read so much faster than they speak, for one.

I have this issue too. Most of the time I'm done reading before the voice is even half way through talking, so I sit there feeling impatient. :lol:

Even regular dialogues this can come up for me. When they have the option, turning the dialogue subtitles off as much as possible helps because then I'm "forced" to listen instead of automatically reading because the text is there.

 

I'm not against narrated stills/cinematics per se, btw. I just like to see them kept to a bare minimum, like most such things. Start of/intro to the game, maybe one for the ends of a couple big "act" sections, and end of the game.And as mentioned, can sometimes work/be needed for certain things like dream sequences etc. Altho, IIRC, I didn't even realize there were dream sequences in BG1 for a while because I kept force-marching without resting a lot of the time. Heh.

  • Like 1

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can read so much faster than they speak, for one.

I have this issue too. Most of the time I'm done reading before the voice is even half way through talking, so I sit there feeling impatient. :lol:

Even regular dialogues this can come up for me. When they have the option, turning the dialogue subtitles off as much as possible helps because then I'm "forced" to listen instead of automatically reading because the text is there.

 

I'm not against narrated stills/cinematics per se, btw. I just like to see them kept to a bare minimum, like most such things. Start of/intro to the game, maybe one for the ends of a couple big "act" sections, and end of the game.And as mentioned, can sometimes work/be needed for certain things like dream sequences etc. Altho, IIRC, I didn't even realize there were dream sequences in BG1 for a while because I kept force-marching without resting a lot of the time. Heh.

 

I do the opposite. My hearing isn't the best, so I much prefer reading than listening... I sometimes miss words or phrases. On top of that it's rare for me to be in a silent, solitary location to play a game so head phones and avoiding distractions becomes an issue, where I can read the text at my own pace.

 

I always turn sub-titles on.

 

I think I played Mass Effect 1 or 2 once with sub-titles off. It did give a completely different, and not unenjoyable, experience. I prefer reading, but I can see the appeal to the cinematic approach.

 

In non-RPGs, in games with absolutely set characters and little to no dialog choices, cinematic games are things I can and do enjoy.

 

For cRPGs... meh, less voice acting, less pre-rendered sequences, less cut-scenes entirely, the better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started trying the turn off subtitles approach because I thought maybe I was missing some potential emotional immersion via vocal tones, as well as my being tired of feeling impatient all the time - plus in some games rapid-fire hitting Enter causes truncated, bizarre cutoffs that also become disruptive to me. ;) This assumes that the voice doesn't annoy you or something...I've had games where the main voices annoyed me so much I'd do everything to skip/silence them instead.

 

I did like some of the extra immersion of letting the voices speak, and I can be a huge fan of voice-acting if I like the VO/characterization, but even then some impatience would creep in. As always ... "just depends." :)


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skipping voiced dialog used to be a thing for me, but I've noticed the same thing you mention - in some games trying to skip the voiced dialog either skips all the dialog or makes for a very jarring experience...

 

so I end up having to deal with the impatient for the voices to finish. :mellow:

 

It's not a major complaint, but it is there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like very much narrated scenes (static scenes or animated scenes), because the player can take some rest between two parts (or Acts), and I think it's an opportunity to get some more immersive option of a game: to focus on the ambiant music, and on the narrator, to force to imagine all the scene.

 

I loved IWD series intros, (in fact much better than BG's scenes, but I liked them too) but I can notice even action games didn't necessarily use cinematics...

 

I remember Exhumed/Powerslave :

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TLY2m3Ec9Y

 

:p

 

Thus, it's also a question: what is the more interesting? A silence with narrator only speaking? Or with a music which theme is changing according to the action? Personally, I think it must depend of the situation.

 

About skipping narrated scenes, in fact, personally, at this point (the two opinions: not to skip to prevent some mistake like a wrong key shortcut, and to skip especially for a second run becaus of the knowledge of the plot, are balanced for me), I don't really know what I would prefer, but I think it could be better not to skip them to keep immersion.

Edited by Huinehtar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All narration/cutscene/cinematics longer than a few seconds should be skippable after you've seen them once, imo. I can't imagine it's that difficult for the game to keep track if they've played once already and then add in the "skip" button, or whatever.

  • Like 1

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved IWD series intros, (in fact much better than BG's scenes, but I liked them too) but I can notice even action games didn't necessarily use cinematics...

 

IWD"s story (yeah, I said it!) was awesome and better than BG's story, IMO... but that intro and closing *shivers* were amazing!

 

Keyser Söze ain't got nothing on that. :yes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I definitely enjoy good narration for the key sequences ... if you do get a good professional narrator for the audio book you might be able to use him or her for the game narrations also ... might save a little that way

 

I would love to see a nice intro to the Mega dungeon with a good narration giving us some history on this ambitious and dangerous attempt at the depths we are about to pursue :biggrin:


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All narration/cutscene/cinematics longer than a few seconds should be skippable after you've seen them once, imo. I can't imagine it's that difficult for the game to keep track if they've played once already and then add in the "skip" button, or whatever.

 

It could be reasonably the best option. It would be nice to have a menu to replay every scene however.

 

IWD"s story (yeah, I said it!) was awesome and better than BG's story, IMO... but that intro and closing *shivers* were amazing!

 

 

As far I can remember, I enjoyed IWD much more than BG, but since I plan to play again all IE games (plus early Fallouts and other OE's and Troika's games) before PE's release, I will have to compare! :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...