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  1. 1. Storytelling from the perspective of an auxiliary NPC

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I just realised the best storytelling in a game is done with a method where the story is told indirectly from the perspective of an auxiliary NPC. This is the case with Diablo 2 and IWD2. I love this type of storytelling. Do you agree? Would you like to have this type of storytelling in PE? Not that the devs would change their developments by now, but Im just wondering what others think of this.

 

And what else would you like the story and its application to be like in PE?

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Well, we know the game has a narrator. Personally I thought it was really cool what they did in Mask of the Betrayer, with the narrator actually showing up in person near the end of the game (and his narration making perfect sense in hindsight).

Edited by Quetzalcoatl
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is this really the dichotomy you want to present? "auxiliary NPC" v. anything else? and is diablo 2 the kinda benchmark for storytelling you wanna use to illustrate your point? 

 

oddly enough, is our opinion that the best narration (not same as storytelling) in a black isle/obsidian game thus far has been iwd.  the narrator, vo'd by david ogden steirs, is revealed to be the game's ultimate antagonist. is not even a close competition for best narration in a black isle/obsidian game.

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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is this really the dichotomy you want to present? "auxiliary NPC" v. anything else? and is diablo 2 the kinda benchmark for storytelling you wanna use to illustrate your point? 

 

oddly enough, is our opinion that the best narration (not same as storytelling) in a black isle/obsidian game thus far has been iwd.  the narrator, vo'd by david ogden steirs, is revealed to be the game's ultimate antagonist. is not even a close competition for best narration in a black isle/obsidian game.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

Yes and yes.

 

Also, please speak for yourself as per courtesy.

Edited by Sheikh

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is this really the dichotomy you want to present? "auxiliary NPC" v. anything else? and is diablo 2 the kinda benchmark for storytelling you wanna use to illustrate your point? 

 

oddly enough, is our opinion that the best narration (not same as storytelling) in a black isle/obsidian game thus far has been iwd.  the narrator, vo'd by david ogden steirs, is revealed to be the game's ultimate antagonist. is not even a close competition for best narration in a black isle/obsidian game.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

Yes and yes.

 

Also, please speak for yourself as per courtesy.

 

where did Gromnir speak for you? we posed questions.  though we will admit that courtesy has nothing to do with why we choose not to speak for you. diablo 2? *snort*

 

HA! Good Fun!


"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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is this really the dichotomy you want to present? "auxiliary NPC" v. anything else? and is diablo 2 the kinda benchmark for storytelling you wanna use to illustrate your point? 

 

oddly enough, is our opinion that the best narration (not same as storytelling) in a black isle/obsidian game thus far has been iwd.  the narrator, vo'd by david ogden steirs, is revealed to be the game's ultimate antagonist. is not even a close competition for best narration in a black isle/obsidian game.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

Yes and yes.

 

Also, please speak for yourself as per courtesy.

 

where did Gromnir speak for you? we posed questions.  though we will admit that courtesy has nothing to do with why we choose not to speak for you. diablo 2? *snort*

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

Is the we some kind of forum roleplaying thing for you? 5/10

 

Okay. Diablo 2. One of the deepest RPG games ever made that contains practically no actual roleplaying since it is an ARPG. Atmosphere was also great all round and story was elegantly told, but not complicated I guess. Ive been through some very thorough discussions on this topic on another forum before and this is not gonna happen again.

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I just realised the best storytelling in a game is done with a method where the story is told indirectly from the perspective of an auxiliary NPC. This is the case with Diablo 2 and IWD2.

You'll have to explain what you mean by storytelling, i.e. narration like in the Mask of the Betrayer like Quetzalcoatl suggested or..? Because what 99% of people here are likely to see is storytelling used in the same sentence with Diablo 2 and IWD2, and dismiss your post.

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PST didn't use an auxillary PC to narrate.  Everything was spoken in the voice of a character with a distinct viewpoint.  Baldur's Gate used a narrator talking to you.  Fallout used a nameless narrator at the end.  In fact, I'm having a hard time thinking of a great narrative with an auxiliary storyteller.  Older JRPGs used sound effects and characters monologuing. 

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is this really the dichotomy you want to present? "auxiliary NPC" v. anything else? and is diablo 2 the kinda benchmark for storytelling you wanna use to illustrate your point? 

 

oddly enough, is our opinion that the best narration (not same as storytelling) in a black isle/obsidian game thus far has been iwd.  the narrator, vo'd by david ogden steirs, is revealed to be the game's ultimate antagonist. is not even a close competition for best narration in a black isle/obsidian game.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

Yes and yes.

 

Also, please speak for yourself as per courtesy.

where did Gromnir speak for you? we posed questions.  though we will admit that courtesy has nothing to do with why we choose not to speak for you. diablo 2? *snort*

 

HA! Good Fun!

Is this some kind of forum roleplaying thing for you? 5/10

 

Somebody obviously doesn't know who Gromnir is.

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is this really the dichotomy you want to present? "auxiliary NPC" v. anything else? and is diablo 2 the kinda benchmark for storytelling you wanna use to illustrate your point? 

 

oddly enough, is our opinion that the best narration (not same as storytelling) in a black isle/obsidian game thus far has been iwd.  the narrator, vo'd by david ogden steirs, is revealed to be the game's ultimate antagonist. is not even a close competition for best narration in a black isle/obsidian game.

 

HA! Good Fun!

Yes and yes.

 

Also, please speak for yourself as per courtesy.

where did Gromnir speak for you? we posed questions.  though we will admit that courtesy has nothing to do with why we choose not to speak for you. diablo 2? *snort*

 

HA! Good Fun!

Is this some kind of forum roleplaying thing for you? 5/10

 

Somebody obviously doesn't know who Gromnir is.

 

oh, that is typical... have to go through this kinda thing every once in awhile. what actually is deserving a 5/10 is genesis poster's mashing together o' storytelling and narration w/o any seeming concern for context. 

 

am gonna assume, for the nonce, that we is speaking only o' narration. given that tenuous starting point, one would suggest that the genesis poster should consider the purpose o' narration in a crpg. is different medium than short story or novel,

 

"A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."

 

is beautiful, but in a visual medium that also is including music, we doubt such narration is useful. in point o' fact, ps:t taught the developers that long blocks of written text were anathema to gamers, regardless of the quality o' the writting. detective/mystery novels has obvious reasoning using first-person narration, but am not aware that pillars is gonna follow traditional detective route. so, we ask-- in spite o' the genesis poster's seeming reluctance to answer question-- what is the purpose o' narration in a crpg?  and don't say, "to tell the story" or some other silly nonsense. every bit o' dialogue and character development (visual and written) as well as music and a dozen other elements is contributing to telling of game story.  

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

ps is more amusing when they don't know Gromnir

Edited by Gromnir
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"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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The point of narration in a game, I would argue, is to sum up or skim over events. Don't want players to have to spend hours marching around town rounding up basic backstory? Give a couple-second overview in narration. Or in mandatory dialog, it doesn't really make a difference, but narration probably feels less forced in most cases. Want to talk about how bad the weather is during a sea voyage, but don't have anything mechanically interesting for the player to do? Just describe it to them. It's simple, and it works. Not always optimally, granted, but it does the job at least passably.

 

Now, as to the OP's thing about who the narrator should be, I do think having the narrator be a person who really exists in the gameworld can help with immersion, and having it be the player character can be a little too much putting words into the player's mouth. So yeah, I do think having the narrator be an NPC (Belhifet, Oswald's niece, Kelemvor, etc.) is generally a good idea. I don't think it's necessary, and it's not hard to imagine that it wouldn't work for some games, but I think in general that it's a good idea.

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Well, we know the game has a narrator. Personally I thought it was really cool what they did in Mask of the Betrayer, with the narrator actually showing up in person near the end of the game (and his narration making perfect sense in hindsight).

this

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What? No.

 

I mean, an established NPC narrator can certainly work well, but it's not part of some magic formula for The Best Storytelling.


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The point of narration in a game, I would argue, is to sum up or skim over events. 

 very good. give that man a prize.

 

conversely, 

 

"I do think having the narrator be a person who really exists in the gameworld can help with immersion, and having it be the player character can be a little too much putting words into the player's mouth."

 

josh and Gromnir disagree on much but we both cringe at the overuse o' "immersion." is  fluid, vague, and for all intents and purposes, meaningless.

 

we will return to iwd for a moment. there were no single and identifiable protagonist in iwd. this will, we believe, be handled similarly in pillars-- no defined protagonist. so, by necessity, any narrator that exists as a character, no matter how fleeting or limited, would gets the npc label. that being said, we doubts one would label belhifet, iwd's ultimate antagonist, as being an auxiliary npc. see, npc is a Game term and can apply to any character other than the protagonist, which reduces the definition to meaninglessness... similar to "immersion."  the nameless storyteller who, sitting next to a campfire, begins a tale of magic and high adventure is also an npc. 'course, the fallout narrator were not only nameless but faceless. nevertheless, am gonna suggest that the fallout narration worked very well. 

 

 

we will also suggest that exposition is no better when delivered from the mouth/pen/whatever o' an npc as from the protagonist. to have belihifet do narration had value not 'cause it were less "off-putting" than protagonist narration.  the revelation that the narrator was indeed the antagonist made it more memorable, but that alone would not constitute quality narration. is also nothing 'bout the belhifet reveal that is essential to a "auxiliary npc" narrator. is our contention that auxiliary npc distinction is without merit, and we not see Inherent additional value 'o using a narrator who is part o' the action as 'posed to merely a conduit for retelling events. 

 

am gonna suggest that good game narration is dependent on 2 factors... and only 1 such factor is essential.

 

1) quality voice acting

 

is tough to argue that voice acting doesn't make a difference when delivering otherwise tedious exposition. ron perlman can deliver lines that would sound ridiculous if Gromnir tried to narrate the same text. morgan freeman can talk about freaking penguins fro 90 minutes and people give him buckets filled with awards. get a good narrator.

 

2) keep narration to a minimum. 

 

as jarr recognized, narration in games is exposition. "show, don't tell." is axiomatic in the writer's craft, but frequently forgotten. narration, as it is meant to, "sum up or skim over (essential) events," represents those important aspects o' story that cannot be told effectively by character actions.  if your storyteller is relying on narration to a significant degree, then he is failing at the aforementioned axiom. 

 

is not rocket science.

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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There used to be an adage in film reviews that if a modern film held significant narration it was because the developers tested the movie with audience who came out confused so the now panicked producers decided to do verbal info dump to explain the stuff the movies natural narrative failed at conveying.

 

Now I don't think that's 100% true (I like a number of films that use narration) but I think it is true that often narration is a crutch in storytelling - and one that I'd be wary of using but sparingly in video games for fear of the player losing the immediacy of playing the game (and if 99% of the players are going to hit spacebar to skip the narration to get to the gameplay...there's no point in having it).

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I would rather the story be told by the characters present in it, not an omnipresent narrator who may or may not even be there.  Just my two shakes.

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Now, as to the OP's thing about who the narrator should be, I do think having the narrator be a person who really exists in the gameworld can help with immersion, and having it be the player character can be a little too much putting words into the player's mouth. So yeah, I do think having the narrator be an NPC (Belhifet, Oswald's niece, Kelemvor, etc.) is generally a good idea. I don't think it's necessary, and it's not hard to imagine that it wouldn't work for some games, but I think in general that it's a good idea.

 

The narration in IWD2 was from a historical perspective, which can add an element to the atmosphere. Rather than a companion telling the story, it might be interesting to hear it from the perspective of one of the protagonist's offspring. Like a daughter telling the tale of how her family came to be--to her children while sitting around a fire at night. That would create a sense of continuity in the story. But that would depend on whether the protagonist bites the big one in the ending.


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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What? No.

 

I mean, an established NPC narrator can certainly work well, but it's not part of some magic formula for The Best Storytelling.

I don't think the formula's magic. I think it's just a regular formula. I don't think we're quite ready for Magi-matics (magic mathematics) just yet. :)


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I think it would be fun if the tone of narration changed depending on some variables.

For example what sort of npc's are in the party overall, average use of magic / brains / brawl, things like that.

Plus, it would be fun if the narrator was heavily biased against the heroes, portraying them as the evil antagonists of the story.

 

"Thus, the heroes defeated the mighty warlord and tyrant, Tazok, ruler of the seven kingdoms. After helping themselves to the many trinkets the taxpayers have paid for, the heroes boldly ventured forward to the lands of Kuldahar, seeking new adventures without giving a single tought about the many years of unstability and civil war they have caused by removing the strong militaristic leader these lands covet so much. Indeed, they were too dumb and too self-absorved in the petty trinkets they have gained by looting the corpse of Tazok, mighty champion and hero, to even try to think about the logical consequences of their actions - the starvation and suffering of the innocent folk, for many years to come. "

 

Imagine this text read by the narrator of Dungeon Keeper:

 

But maybe doing something like this would be too hilarious for a game with a mature tone.

Edited by Naesh
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As a writer myself, I really have to say there are some serious hurdles to clear if you want to do the whole character-narrator thing right. There's basically three paths you can go down:

 

1, The narrator never ever leaves the side of the main character (in this case the PC). I'm sure you can see how this might present a problem, unless you make the narrator some kind of a spirit or a talking hamster or whatever that you can have following the PC around without actually interfering with gameplay. Still, the narrator's point of view will be limited; they can't for example ever know what's really going on inside the protagonist's head, which is admittedly less of a restriction in an RPG than in a written story.

 

2. Flat-out admit that since the narrator doesn't always know how things went down for sure, their account isn't reliable. Dragon Age 2 recently did this, and it can actually work as a neat gameplay mechanic, since you can explain e.g. loading up a save as the narrator going, "No, wait, I remembered wrong." The problem with this approach, and the character-narrator approach in general, is that the player won't in the end know what actually happened, either. This is IMO a fairly important point role-playing-wise.

 

3. Make the narrator omniscient or at least clairvoyant. This option is the easiest one to pull off, but unless you have some concrete reason for why the narrator is only ever observing and never intervening, it's going to severely restrict the story paths you can take. One option is to limit the narrator's knowledge to the protagonist, specifically, or give them no means of helping or warning the heroes. Alternatively, you can make this, too, a gameplay mechanic: When you die, or meet some other unfavourable result of your choices that may make you reach for the load button, that was just the narrator showing you what might happen in the future.

 

So in conclusion, having the entire story narrated by anyone other than the PC is tricky as hell -- to pull it off properly you have to integrate to the whole affair pretty deeply into core gameplay. A lot of RPGs -- Witcher 2 most recently, I think -- have done this half-assedly, and it's at least to me always been detrimental to the story. Having an NPC narrate something that goes on "between the chapters" is fine, but unless you're going to go all out, I think it's best just to have the player as the narrator: You determine how the story unfolds. To me that's the bulk of the appeal of RPGs right there, anyhow.

Edited by Sad Panda
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As a writer myself, I really have to say there are some serious hurdles to clear if you want to do the whole character-narrator thing right. There's basically three paths you can go down:

 

1, The narrator never ever leaves the side of the main character (in this case the PC). I'm sure you can see how this might present a problem, unless you make the narrator some kind of a spirit or a talking hamster or whatever that you can have following the PC around without actually interfering with gameplay. Still, the narrator's point of view will be limited; they can't for example ever know what's really going on inside the protagonist's head, which is admittedly less of a restriction in an RPG than in a written story.

 

2. Flat-out admit that since the narrator doesn't always know how things went down for sure, their account isn't reliable. Dragon Age 2 recently did this, and it can actually work as a neat gameplay mechanic, since you can explain e.g. loading up a save as the narrator going, "No, wait, I remembered wrong." The problem with this approach, and the character-narrator approach in general, is that the player won't in the end know what actually happened, either. This is IMO a fairly important point role-playing-wise.

 

3. Make the narrator omniscient or at least clairvoyant. This option is the easiest one to pull off, but unless you have some concrete reason for why the narrator is only ever observing and never intervening, it's going to severely restrict the story paths you can take. One option is to limit the narrator's knowledge to the protagonist, specifically, or give them no means of helping or warning the heroes. Or, make this, too, a gameplay mechanic: e.g. when you die, that was the narrator showing you what might happen in the future.

 

So in conclusion, having the entire story narrated by anyone other than the PC is tricky as hell -- to pull it off properly you have to integrate to the whole affair pretty deeply into core gameplay. A lot of RPGs -- Witcher 2 most recently, I think -- have done this half-assedly, and it's at least to me always been detrimental to the story. Having an NPC narrate something that goes on "between the chapters" is fine, but unless you're going to go all out, I think it's best just to have the player as the narrator: You determine how the story unfolds. Personally, that's the bulk of the appel of RPGs right there, anyhow.

 

your examples and points is not analogous. is a game, not short story or novel. just as our lifted narration from joyce has no place in a crpg, the narrators you describe is largely unnecessary.  the omnipresent narrator is Not a requirement in a crpg, 'cause the player/protagonist is gonna be experiencing the story themselves.   jakk were swift to recognize that the crpg narrator need only  "sum up or skim over events."  the annoying and unwieldy exposition that authors believe is necessary to tell their tale, gets vomited forth by a narrator 'stead o' having the local blacksmith inexplicably describe the geopolitical situation of middle-earth and the most pressing and important current events in gondor.  and why on earth did sam the knacker feels the need to remind us that we is an orphan who lost our family to a goblin raid some 5 years ago?  the laundress who told us to bring the cleaned union-suit to our foster father, I'xparian The Wizard (the apostrophe makes exotic) were compelled to remind us that today were our 17th name day, and... etc. such exposition is ugly and awkward.  a brief bit o' narration may make more palatable. 

 

in any event, a game doesn't need omniscience, omnipresence or any other ence worth mentioning. 

 

HA! Good Fun!


"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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your examples and points is not analogous. is a game, not short story or novel. just as our lifted narration from joyce has no place in a crpg, the narrators you describe is largely unnecessary.  the omnipresent narrator is Not a requirement in a crpg, 'cause the player/protagonist is gonna be experiencing the story themselves.   jakk were swift to recognize that the crpg narrator need only  "sum up or skim over events."  the annoying and unwieldy exposition that authors believe is necessary to tell their tale, gets vomited forth by a narrator 'stead o' having the local blacksmith inexplicably describe the geopolitical situation of middle-earth and the most pressing and important current events in gondor.  and why on earth did sam the knacker feels the need to remind us that we is an orphan who lost our family to a goblin raid some 5 years ago?  the laundress who told us to bring the cleaned union-suit to our foster father, I'xparian The Wizard (the apostrophe makes exotic) were compelled to remind us that today were our 17th name day, and... etc. such exposition is ugly and awkward.  a brief bit o' narration may make more palatable. 

 

in any event, a game doesn't need omniscience, omnipresence or any other ence worth mentioning. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

Thanks for... disputing I have a point and then proceeding to present my conclusion as your own, I guess? Having a narrator in any other function than to "sum up or skim over events" (or narrate between the chapters, as I put it) is tricky and unnecessary, which was exactly the case I was making.

 

Most of the games that have been brought up as examples here, such as IWD2, the narrator has not in fact been there just to bridge the gaps, however, but is understood to be telling the entire story even if they're not actually narrating everything. This is a basic technique that was adopted to games from movies, and it's fine in movies but absolutely sucks for RPGs, since because of it the player won't actually know what happened and what the narrator just says happened, which diminishes the meaningfulness of all the choices you make. The options I gave were how this could be done properly, and what difficulties that would entail.

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oh come now, you don't really wanna suggest that the limited iwd or iwd2 narration requires anything substantial... and surely not an omnipresent or omniscient.  from iwd you got some background info at start. then chapter filler to explain what happened on Long journeys between locations. epilogue.  we linked fallout narrator.  even less, and more meorable 'cause folks is such big fans o perlman. how "tricky" were that to implement? 

 

*shrug*

 

we got some little experience with writing as well.  is not near as complicated as you suggest. in most situations, the "trick" is to do as little exposition and narration as is necessary.

 

HA! Good Fun!


"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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Most of the games that have been brought up as examples here, such as IWD2, the narrator has not in fact been there just to bridge the gaps, however, but is understood to be telling the entire story even if they're not actually narrating everything. This is a basic technique that was adopted to games from movies, and it's fine in movies but absolutely sucks for RPGs, since because of it the player won't actually know what happened and what the narrator just says happened, which diminishes the meaningfulness of all the choices you make. The options I gave were how this could be done properly, and what difficulties that would entail.

 

I don't understand why the narration for IWD 1 sucks. I thought it was great. I also liked the narration for the BG games as well.

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oh come now, you don't really wanna suggest that the limited iwd or iwd2 narration requires anything substantial... and surely not an omnipresent or omniscient.  from iwd you got some background info at start. then chapter filler to explain what happened on Long journeys between locations. epilogue.  we linked fallout narrator.  even less, and more meorable 'cause folks is such big fans o perlman. how "tricky" were that to implement? 

 

*shrug*

 

we got some little experience with writing as well.  is not near as complicated as you suggest. in most situations, the "trick" is to do as little exposition and narration as is necessary.

At this point I think you're just trolling me, but that's not the kind of "tricky" narration I was protesting, but rather the easy and efficient I was endorsing. As said, however, the problem sets in when you make the stylistic decision of using the narration common in movies.

 

For example, take The Hobbit: We begin the Bilbo settling down to write his tale, the first few sentences of which we actually hear narrated. Then we switch to "normal" movie narration where things just happen without anyone actually being there to desribe them. And I have no doubt whatsoever the third movie will again end with Bilbo, setting down his pen after writing down the very final thing we saw in the story proper, likely again with a bit of actual narration. The implication here is that everything we saw was the story as told by Bilbo, and this actually explains a lot of the apparent inconsistencies between the LotR and the Hobbit movies: Why Saruman comes off as a bit of a buffoon; the orcs are much fiercer and more colourful; the elves are insanely skilled but kind of silly; and the unlikely coincidences just keep cropping up. Bilbo will not only be inclined to embellish the story a bit, but will actually have to make some stuff up, as he wasn't in fact there to himself witness it.

 

The same approach has been applied to a lot of games, just replacing the "normal" movie with "normal" gameplay. Again, having an NPC bridge the gaps in the story is perfectly fine. That's not narration in the sense I'm talking about, but just another bit of dialogue. Things become problematic for the many reasons I have already detailed when you explicitly imply the whole thing is a story being told, which you're basically doing just by having the narrator start the tale and then having them finish it. I know a lot of people don't care about the distinction, but it is there.

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