Jump to content

Welcome to Obsidian Forum Community
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Character Expression

portrait expression dialogue choice

  • Please log in to reply
85 replies to this topic

#61
Osvir

Osvir

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 3799 posts
  • Location:Stockholm, SE
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Lords of the Eastern Reach Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!
Good/Active drawing at least :)

Likewise, the artist would be inspired by the writer's writing and/or feeling of expression, so I don't see where it'd be bad/lazy at all.

Edited by Osvir, 04 January 2013 - 08:32 AM.


#62
clippedwolf

clippedwolf

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 28 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Now imagine that same dialogue but with all the descriptive text removed and instead we get *Happy Face* *Sad Face* *Angry Face*.... All the beautiful nuance of that conversation is gone.


Alright, you favor the interactive book approach. To say that the portrait approach can't have nuance is ignorant or perhaps simply close minded. The downside to expression portraits is that for every nuanced expression you have to make a new portrait, and each new expression needs to "read".

#63
Duke

Duke

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 17 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Now imagine that same dialogue but with all the descriptive text removed and instead we get *Happy Face* *Sad Face* *Angry Face*.... All the beautiful nuance of that conversation is gone.


Alright, you favor the interactive book approach. To say that the portrait approach can't have nuance is ignorant or perhaps simply close minded. The downside to expression portraits is that for every nuanced expression you have to make a new portrait, and each new expression needs to "read".


Feel free to open my mind with an example. . .

#64
clippedwolf

clippedwolf

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 28 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
Shin Megami Tensei. JRPG. What people post on youtube is the amusing stuff, not the dramatic moments, if you bother to check.
Don't know why I bother, your tone suggests you are quite wedded to your fixed-mindset and your preference, any post opposing your view only entrenches it.

Edited by clippedwolf, 05 January 2013 - 04:41 AM.


#65
Duke

Duke

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 17 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Shin Megami Tensei. JRPG. What people post on youtube is the amusing stuff, not the dramatic moments, if you bother to check.
Don't know why I bother, your tone suggests you are quite wedded to your fixed-mindset and your preference, any post opposing your view only entrenches it.


In fairness, you did just call me ignorant and closed-minded. I don't know what sort of response you were expecting.

You are right though - I am quite wedded to my preference. Just as you are to yours. It is a preference after all - you have to prefer one or the other.

I looked at some videos on youtube - it looks good for what it is (which, for the record, I love) but the highy stylised faces in Anime really lend themselves to this sort of thing quite well and so far the only visual examples anybody in this thread have provided have been in that style. I just can't see it working with the sort of visual style we've seen so far from Project Eternity.

#66
Falkon Swiftblade

Falkon Swiftblade

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 777 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
all this talk of facial expressions, and to me it's body language I was looking for. We barely ever saw the npc faces in the IE games besides the portraits. I would feel pretty gipped if this game comes out and they don't include someone punching their fist, or taunting the npc, or kicking the dirt, etc. The portraits never really meant anything to me because all they served was a background for the health bar to rest upon, but I liked my lil action hero on screen. If I was reading, often the text is right near him or her. That's why I commented on my last post the way I did. I do think we're in 2013 now, and another yr and a half before this comes out, so I would expect a modern technique to rig some faces with motion capture and have some portraits that move and breath. If it's not there it's not going to ruin anything, but I don't think it would ruin it by using the tech available to us now either.

Edited by Falkon Swiftblade, 05 January 2013 - 01:40 PM.


#67
Nonek

Nonek

    Not of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 3040 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
God help any animator trying to map out Nameless' expressions during the Deionarra's sensory stone scene, they simply couldn't do the rich text any justice.

I wouldn't mind little combat taunts on my avatar during combat, such as Torments idle and mid combat animations.
Axe Idle: Nameless slides his thumb along the edge of the blade. Axe Combat: He waves his opponents to come and try him.
Club Idle: Hefted before his face and inspected. Club Combat: Waved before him in a figure of eight pattern.
Can't remember the rest, but they were nice little additions.
  • Naurgalen and Malekith like this

#68
Ieo

Ieo

    White Gazebo of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 1410 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

I do think we're in 2013 now, and another yr and a half before this comes out, so I would expect a modern technique to rig some faces with motion capture and have some portraits that move and breath. If it's not there it's not going to ruin anything, but I don't think it would ruin it by using the tech available to us now either.


Right, so how much will that cost out of the game's budget and how long will it take to render as opposed to actually writing content?

#69
Merlkir

Merlkir

    (5) Thaumaturgist

  • Members
  • 412 posts
  • Location:Czech Republic
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
Spirit Egine 2 did something of the sort, quite successfuly I thought.


  • Osvir likes this

#70
Nonek

Nonek

    Not of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 3040 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
Sorry to say this but there's no nuance to those Spirit Engine 2 facial expressions, and they do not encompass what the player may be doing with his body or his tone of voice. All these things are easily expressed in text, and a whole legion of other options are available too. I would say why use something that limits one options, when text can easily and cheaply do far more?
  • SqueakyCat likes this

#71
Duke

Duke

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 17 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

I do think we're in 2013 now, and another yr and a half before this comes out, so I would expect a modern technique to rig some faces with motion capture and have some portraits that move and breath. If it's not there it's not going to ruin anything, but I don't think it would ruin it by using the tech available to us now either.


The problem with this is that unless it's done REALLY well, it will look cheap and awkward. Motion capture can produce stunning results for faces (watch some videos of L.A Noire if you haven't played it) but it's just so far outside the scope of this project.

#72
Merlkir

Merlkir

    (5) Thaumaturgist

  • Members
  • 412 posts
  • Location:Czech Republic
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

Sorry to say this but there's no nuance to those Spirit Engine 2 facial expressions, and they do not encompass what the player may be doing with his body or his tone of voice. All these things are easily expressed in text, and a whole legion of other options are available too. I would say why use something that limits one options, when text can easily and cheaply do far more?


IIRC spirit engine 2 uses both these faces and description in the dialogue window. Which worked quite well. I thought.

#73
Shadenuat

Shadenuat

    (7) Enchanter

  • Members
  • 900 posts
  • Location:Russia
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Think about it. You will never have 20, 30 different portraits for NPCs - so you will just see them cycle through Normal, Angry, Sad, Pensive - but really, do you need such wide, general expressions visualized? What does it add?


It can actually work wonders when you immerse yourself in the game and that type of dialogue visualisation like in the comic book. It works just like Pavlov's bell - when you get used to set of these faces, with text and music, they create special emotional state. Also when faces change you pay more attention to dialogue.

It is JRPG feature for sure, and it pretty much originates from manga, BUT here's the thing - manga had a history of creating feel of something (emotion, movement) by the least amount of instruments avaible (for example, it perfected using things like lines to mimic movement on the page).

There are a few nuances, of course. One which I can think of is that face sets work in JRPGs because dialogue there often have short lines and lack narrative, third-person backup.

Still, this feature is actually pretty interesting. And it works really well with abstract isometric games with low to none voice acting. I've yet to see that approach implemented in a western game though, because "hurr animu and comics evil hurr". But damn does just a small set of portraits add variety to regularly static and lifeless dialogue screen.

Edited by Shadenuat, 05 January 2013 - 04:27 PM.


#74
Nonek

Nonek

    Not of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 3040 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
To me it just looked lifeless and very static, compare it to the Deionarra sensory stone scene or Christina's finger talk from Dead Money. Both the limited descriptions and few facial expressions of this Spirit Engine 2 pale in comparison, obviously that games for children while Eternity is aimed at a far more mature demographic, but i'd still say that Obsidians text trumps these few animations.

For comparison:

The Cipher slumps to the ground, his body wracked by spasms of pain, his hands shaking as they rise to clasp his temples. For a brief moment of eternity he struggles, silent and senseless, wrapped in his own world of agony. Finally his blood red eyes rise from the floor to lock upon yours with the force of a hammer blow. "Get out," he groans.

Versus:

Grimace facial expression: Get out!
  • Malekith likes this

#75
Merlkir

Merlkir

    (5) Thaumaturgist

  • Members
  • 412 posts
  • Location:Czech Republic
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
You're making it into a false dichotomy, it's entirely possible to have both.

Also SE2 is not a game for children.

#76
Nonek

Nonek

    Not of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 3040 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
I'm sorry I just naturally assumed the game was for children with the childlike avatars and simplified dialogue, no insult intended. However i'd still say that the text description is far richer and more descriptive than a grimacing expression, which really adds nothing whatsoever. If Spirit Engine 2 can have text like I describe, then it would be far more text heavy and once again not need the two or three expressions particularly.

I'd rather have a fine portrait or some such, than a few pointless expressions.

#77
Osvir

Osvir

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 3799 posts
  • Location:Stockholm, SE
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Lords of the Eastern Reach Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

Spirit Egine 2 did something of the sort, quite successfuly I thought.

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


Kaltos, 6:10 to 6:35 to 6:50 to name a few. You could just jump straight to those marks to see the 3 different expressions instead of watching it though, that should suffice as a good example for the conceptual idea.

#78
ClutchR5

ClutchR5

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 11 posts

I see some people saying text can work wonders at being expressive. I counter with: This isn't a novel, it is a video game and the only reason text was relied on so heavily in the past was because graphical fidelity was not good enough to actually show emotion on a character.

You're saying video game animations are good enough now? Maybe if they were made by Pixar, but regardless, PE won't have that kind of funding (and even if it did, it would probably be better spent elsewhere). To dismiss writing strength in a video game isn't really different from dismissing what good animations/acting could bring to the table; the difference is the 'good writing' part can be achieved, while the animation part can be... *insert perverted Shepard picture*

#79
Osvir

Osvir

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 3799 posts
  • Location:Stockholm, SE
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Lords of the Eastern Reach Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!
Thought.

VO is expensive, right? Does portraits cost more? (Replacing VO expression with portrait expression = costs less? If so, would a portrait representation be more desirable than VO?).

#80
Ieo

Ieo

    White Gazebo of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 1410 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Thought.

VO is expensive, right? Does portraits cost more? (Replacing VO expression with portrait expression = costs less? If so, would a portrait representation be more desirable than VO?).


When it comes to decision-making in ANY business, it's not mere "cost." It's "return on investment."

Then what does emotive portraiture (painted, not anime/cartoony) actually add to the game experience? In the example clip, it looks like merely a matter of matching the portrait to the text; in well-written text, you should infer the underlying emotions near instantly, quite easily, or simply be told narratively. Then anyone with a working imagination can go with that. "She pursed her lips" or "he slouched dejectedly into the table"--you can see it, along with the body language. Multiple portraits become redundant. Even without PS:T's style of descriptive narration, the dialogic writing style carries significant undertones as well.

And then how many portraits would we need for "nuance"? The video clip above doesn't seem to be from an actual role-playing game; there are no dialogue choices, just a couple buttons that seem to work like a passive webcomic in which you have no control over multiple branching choices. So that seems ridiculously simple--both that game itself and the concept of matching maybe five portraits to some basic dialogues.

If you were going to the trouble of creating different and NUANCED portraits for dialogue choices of the level we might expect in PS:T, something like this can't work:

Posted Image

Let's not forget that we already know the initial lines for NPC dialogues will be voiced. That's all the emotive/mood/attitudinal punch we need right there since that sets the tone for the entire conversation already. If there were no voices at all, you might have a better argument for this kind of inclusion. But in a game without "good" or "evil," which we're expecting to have dialogic and narrative content between BG and PS:T, having only a handful of emotive portraits would not do the true story content, the text, justice. Trying to match up for conversations like the above and beyond--it would become an impediment instead of an enhancement, IMO.
  • Nonek, Tauron, Osvir and 1 other like this





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: portrait, expression, dialogue, choice

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users