About cutscenes, and how you can help

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Liberal arts are not my forte, but I will give it a shot:

Intro starts with a camera zoomed into a very old, duct taped car cassette player, and Beatles "Imagine" is playing over the revving engine.
Camera zooms out to show an old wrangler with make shift armor and .50 cal speeding along a dilapidated highway with 4 rangers inside.
The Jeep is slowing down and pulling into a small town with some buildings overgrown with flora and others closer to the center with signs of civilization (wind turbines, awnings, grills and people on the street). Spaces between buildings are turned into small vegetable gardens and goat and chicken corrals.
The center of the city has a small citadel built out of cars, sheet metal, roofing, sandbags.
People on the street are waving to rangers-it is generally seen that rangers are welcome guests.
Jeep pulls inside of the citadel and a bearded, large fella who seems to be some sort of the town leader waves to rangers to come inside of a church-turned into the city hall.
Rangers dismount and follow the bearded guy inside, trading jokes and laughing.
Inside of the church is a mix between a supply room, armory and command post with a radio.
Leader of the rangers:
-Hey Joe, what's so urgent? Did that drunk Jerry start a fight again or you just wanted to take another look at corporal Bella's tits?
-I got something for you, sergeant...My boys found it this morning while hunting dogs, up in Wilma's field. It's gonna cost your colonel, a .50 cal.
Leader of the rangers:
-A .50 cal?! Whatcha got there, Joe, a pre-war crate of cognac? Cause that's the only reason colonel would part with a fifty.
-See for your self...
They walk over to the table with something on it covered by a rag. Joe lifts a rag. You can see how the eyes of the rangers grow wide. Camera pans to the table, you can see a bloody synth torso with arms and a head, but the lower part is missing. Synth appears to be dead.
Sergeant leaps to the radio and calls out:
-Come in Base, this is "white dog" leader, over!
-This is base, "white dog" leader, report, over
-Base we are at T5, request back up and armored escort, over!
-Dispatching, backup and escort, now. What's the deal, serge?
-We got a broken can, retrieved this morning 5 clicks north of T5. Get the lab boys ready, most of it is intact, over!
-You shitting me! There hasn't been one of those around in 30 years!
-Enough chatter, base, and hurry up with the pick up! Over.

Rangers walk over closer to the table and lean over the synth.
Corporal Bella:
-Where did it come from, sir?
-We'll find out soon enough. It's CPU and Power Cell seem undamaged, engineering should be able to pull it's data, once they hook it up. Too bad it's dead...
As soon as Sergeant says this, synth extends it's arm with lightning fast speed and pools a grenade of sergeant's vest, and presses it against it' chest.
Everyone starts running out of the church.
Explosion follows. Camera zooms at Joe's head, who is laying one ground with his arms protecting his head. He slowly raises his eyes. His hearing is damaged, he hears the "Imagine" song like it's playing far far away. Everything is in slow motion. Suddenly, synth's hand drops from the sky and sticks into the ground with clenched fist and a middle finger raised right in front of Joe. You can see that the fist holds a ranger's star.
Good..Bad..I am the Guy with a Gun!
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Hehe, nice one. But again, that's something that imho calls for a trailer rather than an intro sequence :) .

Reading through the thread again, I still love Zombra's idea of a mashup in the way the gameplay debut viddy did it back in February, with all sorts of random elements being picked up from different radio channels. Pair that with live footage of a pair of hands rummaging about, assorting documents and photographs on a desk and sort of trying to match them to the audio recording. End the whole pastiche with a DJ proclaiming the indispensable motto "Somehow life continues in the Wasteland." - cue the hands flinging a ranger badge on the desk, followed by the WL2 logo appearing on top- and then switch to a tune while the remaining opening credits roll.

Oh yeah, and make this the song in the credits 8-) .
This brotoflatron requires a strul!
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Joined: February 16th, 2013, 7:20 am

end with a group of enemies listening in on the broadcast, they should be largely concealed by shadows. one, probably the leader smashes his radio in anger. -end

The bad guys hiding in shadows is cliche. He might be on drugs, but radios are not $10 commodities in Post Apocalyptia; it would be cheaper and easier to just change the radio station after saying something like 'No one wants to hear your bullshit', hitting a few programs seen in the game play trailer for a few moments before finally finding music on the station. Camera pans out--there are dead people around, and the living ones don't seem to care.

okay, good point. how about this...
the leader, clearly angry from the broadcast pounds his fist on a table and the group of bad guys load their guns. fade to black and the wasteland 2 title appears

Group of badguys standing around a guy tied and hooded and on his knees as if he is about to be executed.
Ranger speech ends
Bad guy says "Fraid not" Shoots guy in back of head, then throws something into pooling blood.
Cut to thing on ground and its a Ranger badge.

Really like the feel of that last idea, adds that sense of harsh reality that comes with the wasteland image. Nothing is sacred and being the good guy more often than not just gets you killed faster. And as for style and technique, i love harsh storyboard type sequences, if made well i think it gives a lot more than an expensive CG trailer. Just find the right grit and noise to the artstyle and get a good artist on it... just don't flash animate still images please, things bending and animating in that cheap floaty flash way really is an eyesore... better to make effective use of stills, maybe with animated lighting and such.

Another similar idea going from the broadcast being heard is seeing it start from the place of origin, seeing someone over the shoulder speaking into a mic, in what seems like a bunker of some kind. Hear the speech go on, cut to various survivors huddled 'round campfires listening and nodding along, or shaking their heads alternately, depending on the place and people therein.
End the whole thing with a sudden boom and crackle over the radio at the peak of the heroic rally speech, cutting it off sharply with a death-scream or maybe a short shouting exchange before the shooting. Cut back to the bunker, pan over the glazed dead gaze of the former speaker, making sure to clearly identify him/her as a ranger. Show the place being ransacked by what appears to be a family with children held back, just trying to survive by any means necessary. No supermutant, no special striketeam, just random survivors. They don't care about the broadcast or who was sending it.
Show cuts of people listening dejectedly, some chuckling and others just shaking their heads at the static and then shutting down their radios. This would lead well into the game where you will be that hope, trying to establish a force able to clean up the wasteland. To most, just another dumbass with a short lifespan, but as the player you will be able to make good on some of that promise, depending on how you play i guess.
Having the "bad guy" in this case be just another dude trying to survive will also feel much more interesting in my mind than making it an evil super-mutant, as that really would just be what is expected.

I'm no scriptwriter or storyteller so take the whole flow and process above with a grain of salt. :)
Getting that sense of harsh brutal reality into it would really sell me on the world. That is what to me sets the wasteland setting apart from most others. The desolation and total disregard for almost anything but survival. People stooping to horrible activities to keep themselves and their closest alive. Much more about how people like you and me change because of the horrible situation rather than the horrible monsters that have spawned in it... if that makes any sense.

Someone with a better eye and mind for this sort of thing can hopefully get something cool going, just wanted to give a thumbs up the whole thread there and most notably that last one while adding my random thoughts to it.
And once again I really love the downright depressing side of seeing the harsh boot of reality crushing hopes and dreams in this sort of setting. ;)

Anyway, happy days and have a good one all!
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Joined: June 13th, 2013, 11:04 am

I was thinking, a great way for these intros to look great without breaking the budget, would be to use, as someone may have already mentioned, still montages.

Quality factor has to be, for example, something akin to the wallpapers up on the wasteland 2 website, so as not to appear too cheap and retain it's feel.

Have the montages transit, from one image to another, with music (a must), and either voice-overs or text-overs in the right places.

This is much cheaper than full-blown cinematics.

A more prominent example, would be the intro 'cinematics' of Baldur's Gate 2 (not throne of Baal), where aside from the footage bits, it's mostly just pictures and sound.

Except in Wasteland 2, leave out the footage to save up on costs.
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Joined: February 21st, 2013, 2:25 pm

I definitely agree with this. It gives the old school fallout cut scene feel. A voiced narrator for text would be a must for the cut scenes themselves. You have to have the audio impact in conjunction with the visual aspect or else your image stills just look like your going through a imagine gallery.
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I haven't read all the comments in this thread, so excuse me if I'm ignorant of previous suggestions.

I think it would be awesome if expository info (cutscenes, etc.) could be conveyed through physical objects in the game world. Let me elaborate, using a potential opening. The screen is occupied entirely by a mid-1980's television (drawn in the mostly realistic graphic style of the game world) which begins to play a home movie shot in real FMV but with the resolution that a mid-80's camcorder would possess. The first scene shows some random footage of 1980's suburban family life shot from the perspective of a youth recently given a camcorder for his/her birthday. (All narrative information will be quickly conveyed through family members speaking to the camera and the verbal responses from the person shooting the footage. Perhaps some comment can be made about the shooter's desire to "one day be a movie director.") Eventually there is footage of the nuclear holocaust: skies darkened by smoke, frightened monologues from family members, a recording of the family inside some sort of fallout shelter. As the video continues it is obvious that time has passed. The voice narrating the video has deepened. The images show a familiar landscape ravaged. The narration has become increasingly myopic and even unstable. The video ends with a suggestion of the narrator's demise, either self-inflicted or maybe perpetrated by one of Wasteland 1's baddies. We zoom out from the TV screen to one of the player's rangers ejecting the cassette from a VCR. (The player character would have to be using something to power the tv/vcr, I suppose) We are now in Wasteland 2's game world, and the player is treated to an isometric view of the home featured in the video and the nearby dessicated corpse of the the person who made it. It is obvious that a number of years have passed since the video ended (nature has crept into the house.) The holocaust, the time of Wasteland 1, and the present day of Wasteland 2 have all been addressed, organically, by one of the player's character's stumbling upon a videocassette in an abandoned house while on patrol. Cool, huh? Any ideas?
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I enjoy slideshows and narratives where the pictures are compelling and tell stories in and of themselves, in addition to the gripping narrative that is spoken.


Can't the art team just reposition an in-game camera to film over-the-rooftops shots or first-person shots? then maybe copy and cut out that set piece and spruce it up so it plays smoothly and enjoys higher attention to detail? With some anti-alaising or filtering you could produce very cinematic scenes without having to create any new resources.

Mass Effect is a good example of turning in-game technology into cutscenes, but its not as good of an example because everything had high resolution textures when zoomed in up close.

Food for thought.
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Why not something documentary style. Kind of like Ken Burns presents the Civil War, type. B&W photos with overlapping dialog, by multiple people, explaining the backstory.

Whatever is chosen, however, keep it brief. I'd rather spend time playing than watching cutscenes (even awesome ones).
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Joined: March 13th, 2012, 2:31 pm

For the cutscenes you might want to contact Tomasz Bagiński of Platige Image. They did the cinematics for both of the Witcher games.
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The intro could be told in in cave drawings what occurred after/during Wasteland 1 till the beginning of Wasteland 2 the cutscenes could be made in form of a diary and the end in a super8 style movie.

I think with this best you can see how humanity is rebuild and evolves again also Stone drawings preserve information the longest with good voice acting you can't tell a story better than in a two minute shootout movie. But thats just an idea.
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the game starts with an 80s like game (c64, ...). and you are playing. when you finish the game or die, the camera zooms out into the wastelands and the intro begins.. a ranger is playing an old 80s game... and then... ( i would still like to see an tarratinoesque dialouge :D)
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Probably it's too late for new ideas, but I'd like to mention that the best cutscenes I have seen lately were the ones in the adventure game series Deponia (for example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeU6dk5-1Gw). Naturally for wasteland the song would have to be a different style, a western ballad (a few western movies also did "cutscenes" like this). The problem with this approach is that it very much depends on the quality of the song.

Oh, and my vote for the best idea in this thread goes to zombras multiple viewpoints.
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