Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Felithvian

Emotional Impact

Recommended Posts

Incidentally, you don't need to use blood magic to save the kid. The optimal ending for that quest is getting a bunch of mages together, going into his head and fighting the demon. Everybody wins.

 

Hmm, is that even possible?

 

You might not use blood magic, however exposing your body and soul to the Dream Realm, the Veil is not a great idea, especially for somone who's roleplaying as a follower of the Maker, for demons are drawn to you. They seek to use you as a gateway to this world.

 

Depends on how you look at the situation. The demon has used Conor as its gateway. Conor is wildly unprepared and thus unable to resist the demon. You could enter the Fade to kill the demon that has clearly already learned how to pass into the world or you could simply close this particular gateway and end this one situation without risk. However, the later would mean that you've left a demon that knows and yearns to cover over as strong as you found it. It would also assume you understand possession and the Fade perfectly, which you do not.

 

Oh the joys of role playing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stop LARPing and realise that Dragon Age has the emotional intensity of Pokemon.

 

I have to interject here, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games have far more competently written plot lines and more so called "emotional impact" (shudder) than anything Bioware could ever hope to create in their tried and true "lock 100 fanfiction writes into a cubicle" approach to story-telling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Your point is entirely fair and I withdraw my slur on the good name of Pokemon.

  • Like 1

sonsofgygax.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing the video proves is that proper voice acting + written text cam give better atmosphere than the whole cinematic approach where dolls wave around to pretend they are people and the result is usually pretty laughable because people behind video games are usually not good directors. Maybe some other games did it well but certainly not Bioware RPG's.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eigentlich kann ich etwas Deutsch, aber bin schon eingerostet, und benutze Englisch mehr seit mehrere Jahre. ((translation: Actually I know German somewhat, but I am a bit "rusty", and use English more since years))

 

I am from Hungary, I know 5-7 languages, so that is no problem (number depends on adding languages I can understand but not properly write/speak, or not) :)

 

I guess the argument of yours just made it seem as if it was something different in "the light I read it". For me it looked as if you support ingame situations where true choice is taken away from the player, or the player char acts against the wishes of the player even.

 

Wow, respect! I wish I knew that many languages. Alas, I only know 4 (well, 4 if you don't count Swiss German). Hungarian is mindblowing! And well, since you know German, give my article a read! It might be outdated now (in the sense of how I see these topics) but nevertheless a possibility to sychronize our opinions :D

 

No I really don't support these situations but they can have a real impact on the way of how you see things. I generally don't like the trends towards sandboxing, because, somehow, I think, it's just a symptom of our society that cannot focus on anything for more than an hour. Also: Not having much power (that's why I love low-fantasy and low-power) is a very interesting perspective game-play and storywise.


Elan_song.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Melodrama doesn't bother me so much, as long as my character doesn't get dragged into it. That kid from ME3? The one that appeared for a cutscene at the begining and died, only to have Shepard lament over him for the rest of the game, whatever their moral integrity? That was just really bad. I had no established connection to this arbitrary child, and yet he determines my psychological state for the whole game!

 

No, if any emotional impact should be conveyed on the player (player, not PC) it should be through others. If the above mentioned child dies and I have to witness/console his mother about it, who is justifiably crying, perhaps screaming at Shepard's incompetance, I, the player, might feel a lot worse about the whole ordeal, but I wouldn't be forced to through my PC. Then I can have my PC react according to my own sentiments on the subject, or my character's if I'm roleplaying.

 

By making the player react to such situations, they can better connect to their PC, and thus to the emotional content of the game. Forcing the PC to feel something for narative purpose is NOT good mojo for an RPG, and more than anything disconnects the player from any emotional content. Like in the case above - seriously Shepard, screw you.

Edited by Pipyui

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to also admit that I *HATE* the kid in ME3. I mean, my first playthrough was with a strongly renegade shepard. I ended up being pissed off at the issue as it contradicted the personality/temperament I had been developing as that character for the first 2 games.

 

I am fine with emotional moments as well, but I'd also rather that they are subtle and perhaps work more by chilling than by beating over the head with melodrama. I'm also suspicious of the introduction because of the temptation to control the PC's emotions and deny the player the ability to define that character. I have to admit that I liked how DA2 tended to handle emotions, including the deaths of several main characters. I mean, I am actually impressed with how they managed to make reactive responses(So Hawke is casually a jerk when you make him pick jerk dialogue options) and the handling of emotions. I am not so compelled by the Connor example, because Connor is really not different than anything else you've had to kill except for being a kid. At that point, a number of innocent people have died because of him, so I feel no reason to really care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stop LARPing and realise that Dragon Age has the emotional intensity of Pokemon.

Hey whoa, Team Rocket cut off Slowpoke tails - that was pretty intense.

 

*Sheds a tear for the poor Slowpokes*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rather than edit my last post, I'll make a new post:

 

Melodrama isn't inherently bad and can add to a story, but one issue for me is that I tend to get more impact from facial expression and body language during the dialogue (or lack of dialogue if it's a silent emotive scene) ... a good voice acting job that fits a character is a great thing, don't get me wrong, and I love/admire many a voice actor. But the problem with current games is that with today's shiny graphics, they still can't reproduce human expression/movement to the extent that a live human actor can. Thus the voice-acting has to be something seriously top notch for shown melodrama to work. More often than not, however, it becomes more of a case of uncanny valley on top of overwrought voicework, making the whole scenario feel kinda creepy instead, and I end up laughing.

 

In something like anime/cartoons, it can work a little better because there's no uncanny valley (you don't expect much detailed expression) and you're focused more on just the words and tone. So in the case of P.E., where we won't have VO or full animations anyway, some melodramatic dialogue moments, if done/written well within believable scenarios, could be just fine.

 

What if a simple face could show us the emotion without any voice acting at all?

 

Would Character Lead and Portrait Lead have to work side by side with Dialogue and Portrait emotions and it would take resources from somewhere else?

 

Maybe a simple ominous sound in background as someone specific is talking to cause an atmosphere of their emotion. The Sun is shining, you're strolling on a road right by the forest edge. Sagani stops you and says "Something is lurking here, I can sense it" or something and there is an alertful sound. But I'm sure Obsidian knows about all this already.

 

In the Attachment:

Jpg files that is a little thing I did in Photoshop, trying to showcase a Baldur's Gate dialogue with the faces/portraits of our companions in P:E.

 

EDIT: Attached another picture

 

EDIT2: I've got an idea how to make it into a Fan-based "Dialogue Creator" but my Flash trial just went out... anyone interested? I've got a .PDS from Photoshop with everything in parts and thinking it could be possible to make some interactive "program" wherein you can switch around pictures, perhaps add pictures~emotions, Cadegund raises her eyebrow ever so slightly to make it feel like she is really confounded, or give her a "I-don't-give-a-****"-face. Write text of course. Lastly with a function to save picture/frame or import/export.

post-44542-0-11745500-1352664478_thumb.jpg

post-44542-0-99522400-1352665377_thumb.jpg

Edited by Osvir
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stop LARPing and realise that Dragon Age has the emotional intensity of Pokemon.

 

I find quite a bit of emotional intensity in Dragon Age, but probably not where you'd expect (and it's different on different playthroughs). I don't think this sort of thing can be made fully consistent. The best you can do is to throw a ton of darts and hope some of them strike a nerve. When you try to make big darts, they are usually laughable or squirm-producing when they miss.

  • Like 3

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What if a simple face could show us the emotion without any voice acting at all?

 

I do find that in Dragon Age and Mass Effect and other cinematic games, the opportunity to use just a facial expression or body language for communication is ignored.

 

Another one that bugs me is that they have a voiced protagonist in these games, so they pretty much have no choice but to give the protagonist SOME personality, yet they don't take advantage of the opportunity to have the PC be a fully-realized character. I don't mean fully-dictated, I mean, fully-realized. They still have dialog like this:

 

Tali: I am on my walkabout. (I forget the exact term she used, bear with me.)

Shepard: I've never heard of this.

Tali: Oh when my people reach a certain age, we leave and travel through the galaxy. We seek out valuable resources which determine our status when we return.

Shepard: oh. Moving on.

 

Instead of:

 

Tali: I'm on my walkabout.

Shepard: You think tracking the Geth will be of value to your people?

 

Same information conveyed, half as many lines, and Shepard isn't portrayed as somebody who's never been outside of Podunk, Iowa. When the PC is unvoiced, you can get away with having their major contribution to conversation be an endless list of:

 

1. What's that?

2. How do I get there?

3. How many do you need?

4. I don't know what that is.

5. Tell me more.

 

When the PC is voiced and animated, lists like that look and sound idiotic. It becomes vital to for the PC to deliver just as much characterization and information as the NPCs do.

  • Like 5

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I do find that in Dragon Age and Mass Effect and other cinematic games, the opportunity to use just a facial expression or body language for communication is ignored.

 

But then, cutscenes often show mimics and gestures that don't totally relate to what's being said. And then you have to think of the semi-Aspergers (like me)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that this particular scene veers over into melodrama, but I did like the setup. If Connor's mom hadn't had such a lackluster voiceover (rare for Bioware, at least anymore) it might have worked even a little better. And yes, there is an "optimal" solution where nobody loses. And knowing its there actually diminishes the impact of the whole affair, IMO.

 

I may prove to be in the minority on the board potentially, but I think Bioware has done a number of quality plots and scenes that worked emotionally at least for me. One problem if you were trying to slap Roger Ebert with them though is that the best ones all require major setup. Mordin's sacrifice only means something because you have dozens of hours with that character, many of them hilarious. So you remember the character fondly. You understand his underlying moral conflicts. You realize his age and how he has few years left and looks back on all the things he's done. You need all that experience to make that one scene hit home. Just posting a single clip on YouTube couldn't possibly make that work. Its like trying to post just a clip of the end of GodFather 2 where Fredo goes out in the boat and gets shot and saying "OMG, so moving!" You need the entire previous film series to build the weight of that moment.

 

They've also done some good uplifting emotional bits at various points. There are big ones like the entire Tuchanka bit after you cure the genophage, assuming you have the right charcters in play there for it to feel like the rebirth of a species. There are smaller ones too. One of my personal favorites is in ME2 when harassed by the reporter about the choice to sacrifice human ships in defense of the council. If you take the paragon option Shepard interrups and recites every ship that was lost and the casualties of all the races in that battle with this pride and indignation that just swelled in her voice. I was like "YES! Eat it, you idiot! You don't understand one thing about this war." I get goosebumps even now remembering it. Maybe you thought it was dumb. But it worked for at least one person who played the game. And incidentally, I can't imagine how that scene works without full voiceover. So I think the way you work your narrative magic is dependent on the medium you're using.

 

Fundamentally I agree (again) with PsychoBlonde. You have to throw a number of things at the wall and see which ones stick for which players. I can personally say that some of the plots about losing children, even some of the cheap ones, had much more impact on me personally once I had children of my own. So some things will work better on different players and its a big diverse world. (But that stupid child at the beginning of ME3 as far as I can tell works on no-one.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another example... I only used a little bit of smudge, some pixel work and sharpening (burn tool and dodge tool as well), took maybe.. 5-10 minutes, I think someone who is really good at painting could do it in world record speed that I can only dream of.

 

Compare this picture with the other ones in the previous page.

 

Haha open these in two different Tabs in your internet browser and click between them:

Picture One and Picture Two

 

Subtle art. Just like we might take note to that green gem in the sword otherwise "black/white" hilt (i.e. it's a normal hilt). Specially if we placed it there, even if it is only 1 or 2 pixels I believe we might see it briefly.

post-44542-0-00908000-1352675438_thumb.jpg

Edited by Osvir
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha ha ha ha ha.

 

* pauses *

 

Ha ha ha ha ha.

 

(etc)

 

I saw your reply before watching the video and didn't expect to actually laugh at the video...but then I did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I the only person who felt the Connor situation was best solved by using blood magic to enter the fade and killing the demon? This way the whiny bitch dies, the demon dies, the blood mage gets to die, and if I recall correctly there is an option to kill that noble douche too. So everyone dies except the kid! They were all annoying so I felt it was only fair to save their peasants from future melodrama.


Grandiose statements, cryptic warnings, blind fanboyisim and an opinion that leaves no room for argument and will never be dissuaded. Welcome to the forums, you'll go far in this place my boy, you'll go far!

 

The people who are a part of the "Fallout Community" have been refined and distilled over time into glittering gems of hatred.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What if a simple face could show us the emotion without any voice acting at all?

 

I do find that in Dragon Age and Mass Effect and other cinematic games, the opportunity to use just a facial expression or body language for communication is ignored.

 

Another one that bugs me is that they have a voiced protagonist in these games, so they pretty much have no choice but to give the protagonist SOME personality, yet they don't take advantage of the opportunity to have the PC be a fully-realized character. I don't mean fully-dictated, I mean, fully-realized. They still have dialog like this:

 

Tali: I am on my walkabout. (I forget the exact term she used, bear with me.)

Shepard: I've never heard of this.

Tali: Oh when my people reach a certain age, we leave and travel through the galaxy. We seek out valuable resources which determine our status when we return.

Shepard: oh. Moving on.

 

Instead of:

 

Tali: I'm on my walkabout.

Shepard: You think tracking the Geth will be of value to your people?

 

Same information conveyed, half as many lines, and Shepard isn't portrayed as somebody who's never been outside of Podunk, Iowa. When the PC is unvoiced, you can get away with having their major contribution to conversation be an endless list of:

 

1. What's that?

2. How do I get there?

3. How many do you need?

4. I don't know what that is.

5. Tell me more.

 

When the PC is voiced and animated, lists like that look and sound idiotic. It becomes vital to for the PC to deliver just as much characterization and information as the NPCs do.

 

you realize these are technological limitations right? It's difficult to show facial expressions with current technology, it's not that they don't want to, it's that generally speaking they can't...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you realize these are technological limitations right? It's difficult to show facial expressions with current technology, it's not that they don't want to, it's that generally speaking they can't...

 

Of course they can show facial expression, if mini-portraits are going to be included in the dialogue. I refer to my posts where I slightly modified some faces per improvisation (Photoshop), I'm no master artist in any way but I think the little modification I did proves the point, does it not?

Edited by Osvir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
you realize these are technological limitations right? It's difficult to show facial expressions with current technology, it's not that they don't want to, it's that generally speaking they can't...

 

This is actually a big problem for 'emotional impact.' The rule of writing fiction is supposed to be 'show, don't tell', but one of the major tools for accomplishing that (facial expression and body language) is simply not as easy to use in a game as it is in writing a book or making a film or whatever. This will especially be the case for a game like P:E, which seems set to resemble the Infinity Engine games, in which showing facial expression and body language was nigh impossible.

 

I'm guessing they'll go the Planescape: Torment route and write the body language you would be seeing in dialogue, but that's always going to be a somewhat unsatisfactory approach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with modern Bioware games is they write them with a formula of how an "epic" should be. An epic needs a tragedy? Okay, lets add a tragedy; think of something sad and then we'll write around that and fit it in. It's the reason why no one gave a **** about the vent kid in ME3 (despite Bioware pushing the "weight" of his death HARD), but people were genuinely sad when

happened at the end of Halo 4.

 

You can't force drama or tragedy else it just ends up feeling artificial and the emotions the characters supposedly feel vastly differ from the emotions the player feels. ****, even Saints Row did it better than Bioware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like I've said, I'm no master artist but I think this proves the point again (Although exaggerated, it does convey an emotion in the characters does it not?).

 

EDIT: Imoen, I could see her and imagine her smiling a lot, lots of times when she was sad I would imagine her eyes looking down, then shifting to the more "Happy-Go-Lucky" personality that she is. Lots of jRPG's use this method and I don't see why it couldn't fit in a game like P:E (in a more mature way ofc and without all the emoticon stuff)

 

Original art (only customized interface/text) to compare.

post-44542-0-78796700-1352714699_thumb.jpg

Edited by Osvir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish some game would have a mute character again (while the main game itself is voice acted), I am fed up with characters that hide their faces (mainly because its easier that way than to draw/make one for them by artists or devs), on the other hand a silent monk (or anything else really, even a mute gnome wizard would work) in a game of todays standards would be a more challenging character to implement interesting and well, considering the char would have to properly show emotions, and maybe even write down what it wants (of course we would have to actually see the notes shown, and not get cheated by devs by some other char "translating" for us without seeing the writing, that would be the cheap way out of the issue)

 

Becoming all cinematic, "actiony", and voice acted took in my opinion a lot more away from RPG games than it gave, and the more I play such games the more I see the tendency that the next games take away more control and imagination from the players than earlier ones.

 

Ironically, despite all the bashing against Japanese anime-like games and shows those get, I believe they express their feeling usually better than their western counterparts, even if one has to first get used to the typically manga "emotion symbols", those don't get scared away from showing some pain and love themes which would in most cases be taboo themes in the west, or at least be censored.

Edited by Jorian Drake

IB1OsQq.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be quite blunt in my admission - I've felt more emotional turmoil from the loss of a Level 10 Knight in Dungeon Keeper than I ever felt about anything in Dragon Age Origins. Though that might have been due to the sheer amount of gold I invested... who knows.

 

Bioware have tended towards a flare of melodrama in recent years and, instead of receiving the emotional impact that was intended, I often find myself with the giggles. Which is terrible really, because some of the concepts are quite excellent.

 

The last plot-line that made me feel emotional turmoil in a game was probably Shandra Jerro's death in Neverwinter Nights 2, and even that had quite a delayed reaction. I had to stop and think on it, I needed the emotional input of a distraught Grobnar Gnomehands to wake me from my emotionless state of shock. After I finally hit the realization that Shandra was dead, I began to replay our conversations in my mind.. I came to realize that Shandra hadn't just respected me, as the other companions did, she had trusted me and cared for me deeply enough to sacrifice her own life to save mine.

 

It wasn't the voice acting that had caused my complete emotional breakdown, it was the character itself that caused me to hate myself so much. Shandra was just a poor little farm girl who had been dragged into a war that none of us could really be expected to win, yet she mustered her courage and refused to be left out of the fight. She demanded that you allow her to help. Such bravery from such an inconsequential character was quite humbling, really, and the more I thought about her the worse I felt.

 

This little no named character that had been tagging along, bugging me with questions and generally irritating the ever living Hell out of me had, in retrospect, become a well of never ending emotional distress. I had considered her beneath my notice, but in actuality she was probably more brave, kind and compassionate than my character could ever hope to be, she had genuinely worried for my safety and fought for my life at the risk of her own. She was probably one of the strongest characters in the entire game - To me at least - and her death had a huge impact on me.

 

Everyone is different, but it's really the characters that cause me to feel any semblance of emotional distress. The familiarity and the attachment, the blind trust that occurs between Player and Party, it's my safety blanket. If that safety blanket is ripped away from me I will curl into a ball and cry until the pain stops - Heck, familiarity and blind trust is probably what made me so attached to that Level 10 Knight.

 

When an insignificant character like Isolde comes up to me, screaming bloody murder and trying her damnedest to pull an emotional response from the cold, empty blackness that is my heart, I just end up with the giggles... However, if one of my own party was begging me to stop? I'd be genuinely torn up inside.

 

The major characters are my weakness, the more I see of them the more attached I become. They're my true emotional investment and the key to my particular brand of truly soul destroying turmoil.

Edited by Sylvanpyxie
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like I've said, I'm no master artist but I think this proves the point again (Although exaggerated, it does convey an emotion in the characters does it not?).

 

EDIT: Imoen, I could see her and imagine her smiling a lot, lots of times when she was sad I would imagine her eyes looking down, then shifting to the more "Happy-Go-Lucky" personality that she is. Lots of jRPG's use this method and I don't see why it couldn't fit in a game like P:E (in a more mature way ofc and without all the emoticon stuff)

 

Original art (only customized interface/text) to compare.

 

What you can do in photo-shop is different from whats possible in game...I'm not saying it would be impossible to have portraits change or use text like in PST or something, but it's not easy, and it's not all that expressive either way. Look at some of Quantic Dreams' games, they pretty much lead the industry as far as facial animation is concerned and their characters come across as very emotive, but that kind of thing takes a lot of work and simply isn't feasible in a game like this. Your probably better off with just having good voice actors, who like you said, allow you to imagine the body language of the characters.

Edited by jezz555

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...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...