The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by ZiN » January 10th, 2018, 7:50 am

Zombra wrote:
January 10th, 2018, 3:20 am
10% is way more than I would want. 4 hours of cutscenes in a 40 hour game? Geez Louise that would be awful.
I meant anything scripted, like monologues to dialogues, introduction/death animations etc. Obviously 10% of cutscenes is nonsense, although I'm pretty sure BT2004 had way more and I have a feeling that MT does too, as do most of current "successful CRPGs".
Let's just hope they don't "modernize" the dungeon-crawler into interactive movie levels.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by Gizmo » January 10th, 2018, 10:50 am

I play for the cutscene milestones. Every cutscene in Baldurs Gate 1 & 2, Planescape, Vampire:Bloodlines, The Witcher games, Dungeonkeeper... just about any game I can recall with decent cutscenes; were welcome discoveries for me... certainly not to be skipped the first time, and not always skipped on repeat plays. That most certainly includes the high level spell cutscenes in Planescape.

*This does not include Quicktime events; of which I'd gladly see them scourged from most games that have them.

**When The Witcher 2 first shipped, it used an in-engine cutscene that showed Geralt stumble out of the forest confused. When the game was overhauled for the enhanced/director's cut, this intro seen was scrapped for a superb (and presumably pre-rendered) scene of the king's assassination aboard ship. The advantage of a pre-rendered cutscene is the disadvantage of the in-engine cutscene; specifically that of image quality, and that the rendered scene has no limit on its content/narrative; while the in-engine scene can only render what the engine is capable of depicting, and at the level of quality that the the engine—and the user's hardware— can support.

When I first played Wither 2, the intro was a confusing slideshow, because its demands on the system were too much for it. Pre-rendered scenes lack the dynamic ability to reflect in-game changes (like equipped items, swapping out characters that have died for still living ones, and the results of in-game physics simulation), but they can present the ultimate level of visual quality and fidelity of the intended scene; regardless of user hardware, and accomplish events that are just not possible in the engine.
Last edited by Gizmo on January 10th, 2018, 11:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by thebruce » January 10th, 2018, 10:55 am

I was like that with Starcraft. I love unlocking the (then) cutting edge CG cutscenes to further the story. But RTS is also a VERY different genre mechanically for storytelling.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by Gizmo » January 10th, 2018, 11:10 am

thebruce wrote:
January 10th, 2018, 10:55 am
I was like that with Starcraft. I love unlocking the (then) cutting edge CG cutscenes to further the story. But RTS is also a VERY different genre mechanically for storytelling.
Have you not played Dawn of War yet?

*Though extensive cutscenes in a multi-player session could indeed be pace-killing, if not careful.

Homeworld:Cataclysm (Now called Homeworld:Emergence) did one better, and (sort of) had in-game cutscenes during combat; loosely in the style of the Planescape spell scenes. The player could initiate the siege cannon, or the hyper-drive jumps, and it would play out (uncontrolled by the initiator) for all players present as the others reacted to it. It would end with a devastating cannon blast, their escape/ or the sudden appearance of their capital ship.

From experience, it was amazing to successfully pull off both at once; to charge/initiate the cannon at point blank range to an enemy fleet, and warp out before the blast wave reached you (cut you to ribbons at that distance), and watch it obliterate the fleet. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

(Quite often the player would mess it up, and if not destroyed, would appear from the wormhole, a smouldering wreck.)

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by Drool » January 12th, 2018, 3:58 pm

Gizmo wrote:
January 10th, 2018, 10:50 am
I play for the cutscene milestones. Every cutscene in Baldurs Gate 1 & 2, Planescape, Vampire:Bloodlines, The Witcher games, Dungeonkeeper... just about any game I can recall with decent cutscenes; were welcome discoveries for me... certainly not to be skipped the first time, and not always skipped on repeat plays. That most certainly includes the high level spell cutscenes in Planescape.
Yeah... best thing about the Plus Patch for Vampire: Bloodlines was being able to skip the opening cutscene. Pretty much every other cutscene had me refilling my drink or checking Twitter. I'm there to play the game, not watch a movie. And the less said about the inexorable spell cut scenes, the better. Personally, outside of an opening and closing cut scene, the rest should be handled in game. If you can't do your story without grinding everything to a halt, then you need to rethink your storytelling.

But, I'm willing to concede that people have wrong opinions. Put in the cut scenes, but for the love of God, let us skip them if we want. Yes, even the first time around.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by Gizmo » January 12th, 2018, 7:40 pm

Some cutscenes have part of the story in it—or rather don't ALL of them have party of the story? Skippable the first time, allows them to be skipped the first time... even by accident; as has happened to me. Generally I consider the allowing of cutscenes to be initially skipped as a very bad idea; especially since they put all that work into it making it...so why on earth should they allow it to be skipped?

It is very easy to skip passed a cutscene one is waiting to see, by just an errant mouse click, or by bumping the keyboard. Then you have to stop the game, and find out how to replay the scene before continuing further—if that's even possible to do without reloading. :evil: I have always found that to be very irritating when it happens, because (of course) I would never continue further into a game after having passed a cutscene that I didn't see, or know exactly what it was. That would mean beginning the next segment with no idea of the information that the cutscene was to have imparted to the player before going further. They don't include the scenes for no reason; it's their time & money spent to additionally flesh out the narrative where they feel it's needed.

For instance: You mention Vampire:Bloodlines.... I recall one cutscene that is a surprise werewolf attack... and if you didn't see it (somehow), then suddenly you are in an encounter with someone you don't know, and don't even know how it started.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by Zombra » January 12th, 2018, 11:19 pm

Allowing cutscene skip is essential. Allowing accidental cutscene skip is unforgivable.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by Lord of Riva » January 13th, 2018, 12:19 pm

Zombra wrote:
January 12th, 2018, 11:19 pm
Allowing cutscene skip is essential. Allowing accidental cutscene skip is unforgivable.
a lot of games do "hold to skip" by now. That practically doesnt happen accidentally

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by Drool » January 13th, 2018, 1:39 pm

Gizmo wrote:
January 12th, 2018, 7:40 pm
Some cutscenes have part of the story in it—or rather don't ALL of them have party of the story?
Yes. The critical plot element of "a door unlocked". The story should be told in game while you're playing. How many cutscenes did Morrowind have?
It is very easy to skip passed a cutscene one is waiting to see, by just an errant mouse click, or by bumping the keyboard. Then you have to stop the game, and find out how to replay the scene before continuing further—if that's even possible to do without reloading.
I guess I don't just flail around as much. But, sure, like Riva says, have a "hold space to skip" or something. Or stick the cutscenes in a menu option in the main menu. Games in the 90s did that all the time.
For instance: You mention Vampire:Bloodlines.... I recall one cutscene that is a surprise werewolf attack... and if you didn't see it (somehow), then suddenly you are in an encounter with someone you don't know, and don't even know how it started.
Yeah, and right before that, there was an interminable three minute stretch of you... riding a cable car. And the werewolf cut scene was hardly necessary. You were in a conversation with Nines. He shouts "look out!" and goes over the cliff and then another werewolf appears. It certainly didn't require the slow zoom to the woods, the slow pan across the woods, the werewolf slowly stepping out then slowing howling. "Werewolves live here, oh shit, here comes one!" shouldn't be that difficult to get across to the player.

Edit to add: Perhaps some of this is because I'm been playing Pillars of Eternity, where I just don't care about the story. If I find the gameplay engaging but the story dull as dishwater, I have no problems skipping the story to get back to playing the game. And frankly, "you shouldn't skip the scene because they worked on it" rings utterly hollow to me; "you're playing the game wrong" is not a compelling argument.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by Zombra » January 13th, 2018, 1:49 pm

I definitely like being able to replay unlocked cutscenes from the main menu. Don't see that much nowadays. I hope you were paying attention to what that guy said, because if you sneezed during a plot-critical line, you'll have to spend the next 25 hours wondering what the hell is going on.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by Gizmo » January 13th, 2018, 4:54 pm

Zombra wrote:
January 13th, 2018, 1:49 pm
I definitely like being able to replay unlocked cutscenes from the main menu. Don't see that much nowadays. I hope you were paying attention to what that guy said, because if you sneezed during a plot-critical line, you'll have to spend the next 25 hours wondering what the hell is going on.
Dungeonkeeper and Armed & Dangerous were both really great with this.
Drool wrote:
January 13th, 2018, 1:39 pm
And frankly, "you shouldn't skip the scene because they worked on it" rings utterly hollow to me; "you're playing the game wrong" is not a compelling argument.
It wasn't meant as an excuse, it was a question... What reason would they have to hide their own work—such that the player might never once see it. From experience with Bethesda, developers (it seems) are loathe to hide anything they include in the game... even if it makes no sense to see it in a given play-through. This absolutely includes map areas, or entire maps that might logically never need seeing by a given PC—and yet they are usually contrived to be there, to show it off; rather than save it as new content for a new PC who made different choices. Cutscenes doubtless can take comparable time to create, polish, and render, as it does to create a map.

*Aside: I just don't have a problem (or consider it an affront) to have as many cutscenes as a developer may wish to include in their game; and I usually enjoy them; (allowances, of course for badly done crap cutscenes, that are detrimental to one's impression of the game). If anything, when I see careful work on par with the intros for all of the Witcher games, I wish that there were more of them in games than there usually tend to be.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by Zombra » January 13th, 2018, 6:13 pm

I agree that if cutscenes are there, the player should want to see them and I do consider them every bit as essential to the story as dialogues or gameplay. But I think it's OK that some players want to skip the story and just stab rats. I certainly disagree with a design that says, "We're not going to let a player not watch this!" because really you can't stop me from getting up and walking away ... and if I hate your cutscenes I am going to walk away. Do it enough and I'm going to stop playing the game altogether.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by Drool » January 14th, 2018, 1:22 pm

Gizmo wrote:
January 13th, 2018, 4:54 pm
I just don't have a problem (or consider it an affront) to have as many cutscenes as a developer may wish to include in their game; and I usually enjoy them; (allowances, of course for badly done crap cutscenes, that are detrimental to one's impression of the game).
But they're usually crap, or at the very least, pointless. And, generally, I'm playing a game because I want an interactive experience. Cut scenes are not interactive. I want to play the game, not watch it.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by Gizmo » January 14th, 2018, 11:37 pm

Drool wrote:
January 14th, 2018, 1:22 pm
...generally, I'm playing a game because I want an interactive experience. Cut scenes are not interactive. I want to play the game, not watch it.
I don't usually care either way... unless it's Quicktime events—which I loathe for some reason.

In general... interactive or non-interactive at any given moment, is a non-issue for me. All I'm interested in is the developer's intended experience; and that can be given in any ratio of active or passive request for attention as they see fit. The Dungeonkeeper series is superb with this, and I never once—it didn't even occur to me to feel robbed of control when the game starts each level with a non-interactive briefing, and ends with non-interactive character pieces that show off the dungeon denizen high jinks & misadventures. Cutscenes can be used to impart a broader understanding of a gameworld/setting; even when they have nothing to do with the story or the gameplay... as is done in the Dungeonkeeper series; and Baldur's Gate.

In the Witcher series (I forget which one) there is a dragon attack where the player is forced to tap the controls to have Geralt hop out of the path of dragon fire at timed intervals. I assume that this was a misguided attempt to make cutscenes interactive for the impatient, or for those that demand an effect on everything. It really limits the potential of what can be done, when the scene elements have to be possible in-engine. The main advantage of non-interactive cutscenes, is developer controlled narrative that is not limited by the game engine.

Planned interactivity in scenes makes even them entirely about the player/ character. Do you recall the cutscene in the Witcher, where the woman and child run from the hounds? Where she pushes the boy onward towards town, and draws their attention so that he can escape; knowing what will happen to her. You cannot get scenes like that if it's done under player control. It both shocked and appalled me to learn that there were players who freaked out because the game went to a map screen, and didn't interactively show (let them play) all of the mundane, and uneventful days that Geralt endured on the road to Vizema.

*It's a former understanding that CDProjekt seems to have lost, because in Witcher 3 they seemed all about delivering the experience of mundane, and uneventful time spent riding along the roads between places. They could have just had the good parts—the actually interesting encounters— happen at certain points on a world map like (the appearance of) what they had in the original game; and like Fallout actually had.

Cutscenes are wasted when it shows rote activity that the player would have the PC enact on their own; but they really shine when used to show exposition or other elements that are not under player control; and perhaps not even possible in the engine.. like the revised intro scene in the Witcher 2, or the implied (Troll) rape scene in Dungeonkeeper—yes there is one.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by thebruce » January 15th, 2018, 9:07 am

Have cutscenes as the developers wish, make them compelling to watch because story, and let the player skip them if they want, not easily by accident, but also have them easily viewable again afterwards having been unlocked the first time.
That's unarguably the best cutscene mechanic out there to compromisingly accomodate everyone on both sides of the software divide. Hands down.

Nope, I don't want the developer to force me to watch something there's no guarantee I'll like. But I do want to watch what the developer wants to show, even if I can just skip it.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by Gizmo » January 15th, 2018, 5:00 pm

thebruce wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 9:07 am
Have cutscenes as the developers wish, make them compelling to watch because story, and let the player skip them if they want, not easily by accident, but also have them easily viewable again afterwards having been unlocked the first time.
That's unarguably the best cutscene mechanic out there to compromisingly accomodate everyone on both sides of the software divide. Hands down.
I certainly agree with that.

*I don't have a problem with a scene that is not skippable; but I do have the problem when the scene is not skippable—and replays on restart/or reload. I've played games where the mission briefing was long, and not skippable, and the game had no mid level save mechanic... You die, you start it over; and the cutscene plays again. In this case it was multiple re-viewing of the same unskippable scene; over and over, every time the encounter ended in defeat.

I would prefer it if the engine marks the clip seen at the first viewing—or at least at first view for any given PC. In both cases it should be irrespective of the game's internal timeline, such that if it was seen (even just minutes before), and the player reloads an older save that is before the scene, it has already become skippable.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

Post by Woolfe » January 15th, 2018, 7:57 pm

So.. I am generally against Respeccing... Though if it exists.. meh I am not going to use it. Perhaps at the top layer menu or something outside of gameplay.

As for cutscenes.... Just don't make me wait for long winded conversations. Give me subtitles that I can read, and skip once I have read them.
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