The way conversations are done in most games now is so boring



  • @naltmank said in The way conversations are done in most games now is so boring:

    @ezekiel said in The way conversations are done in most games now is so boring:

    No, they aren't.

    I can't think of any that have started more recently. Pong came out in '72 -- less than 50 years ago.

    And my point is that as they've incorporate more interactive elements, they've hit a snag where they have these boring dialogue moments that you don't like. I can't speak to Control, but the consensus seems to be that it's especially egregious in this regard. I'm also a fan of the more simplistic 'interact with character to hear their line' that you get in most standard rpgs, but I also recognize that those kinds of moments are inherently more passive. I think Mass Effect was when I started noticing these new kinds of systems becoming more prevalent, and that only came out in 2007. It seems that the movement has been towards more in-depth choice/dialogue options, as opposed to making those scenes more visually interesting, which I'm guessing you would prefer. I would prefer that as well, but if you think of progress as piece-meal I think you should have faith that games will progress to a point where you can have the same level of interaction with NPCs that these current games are trying to push while also maintaining a semblance of visual flair present in more classic-style cutscenes. My guess is that we'll get there in the middle of next generation, but who's to say.

    47 years is not young! We've had eight console generations. Games have had a long time to iterate on and modify the old and figure out what works. We've already had plenty of amazing games that were constructed with what has been learned and improved upon. As for storytelling, games have had other already mature mediums to take inspiration from. At what point are they not young anymore? It's time to stop making excuses. If they struggle so much at this particular thing, then maybe they should not try to incorporate such expansive stories loaded with quests errands. Majora's Mask still has more meaningful guests than most modern games with a much smaller budget. I would have preferred a more minimalist story in Control over all this talking and talking. Instead of a hundred different conversations, it could have had a few important cutscenes. The graphic novel Blame! is an epic adventure that takes place in a similarly strange megastructure. There's little dialogue. The author uses visuals to tell the story, which more game developers should probably do. There are characters in the megastructure, but they only say enough. It has a satisfying sense of eerie isolation. Control and most games like it have dull, tedious stories.



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  • @ezekiel said in The way conversations are done in most games now is so boring:

    47 years is not young! We've had eight console generations.

    I think this is where we're mainly disagreeing - 47 years is incredibly young for an art form. It's younger still if you consider Pitfall didn't come out until '82, which, as the first adventure game, arguably opened the door for player/narrative driven games down the line. Just look at how long it took for film to develop into its current form. Like video games, film had previous art forms to build from, and I would argue that the vast majority of films prior to the 60s skewed closer to theater than anything uniquely filmic. Obviously there are exceptions - Nosferatu in '22 and Metropolis in '27 pushed film as a visual medium forward, followed by the Wizard of Oz in '31 and Citizen Kane in 1941. Hitchcock revolutionized how to use editing and framing to build suspense throughout the 30s, but he was essentially unparalleled until much, much later, in my opinion. The majority of dialogue and acting was still primarily theatrical until Brando hit the scene in the 50s, albeit in adaptations of famous stage plays. Brando was really the first to try and go with a more naturalistic approach to his performances, and he changed cinema forever. I think one of the reasons The Godfather is so spectacular is because it essentially encapsulates almost a century of progress in using film as a visual medium for storytelling, and even though there were obviously great movies that came out before then, I think it would be difficult to argue that they were all capturing those essential revolutionary moments that their predecessors did that were uniquely filmic. I also think television is still going through this, and people are still trying to figure out how best to distinguish TV shows as a medium of storytelling separate from film.

    Regarding your other issues - I largely agree with them. From Software is great for the way that they use the medium to tell stories experientially and through interactivity. Not every studio is there yet, though, and not every story can be effectively told this way. I think a lot of the problems you have with this method of storytelling are absolutely valid. I just also think they're a growing pain. Every medium goes through this, and it takes visionaries to break the mold and create something that truly pushes the industry forward.



  • Pretty much the next youngest medium of art is film/television. And for the first 50 years or so of film, they didn't even have recorded sound.



  • Sometimes going the cinematic route isn’t better. I actually prefer Fallout New Vegas to Fallout 4. There is something immersive and true to RPG games when you just zoom in on someone’s head when you’re speaking to them.

    Edit:

    to add to that, I really didn't like the opening in-game cutscene in Persona 5 (not the anime cutscenes). The animation felt wonky, and sometimes JRPG games feel uncanny when they try their hand at proper blocking. Despite me being tired of shorthand JRPG animation and blocking, for example, hand flipping gestures and everybody standing in a line - it still kinda works and is pretty effective for the genre.

    So sometimes the simple way is the right way.



  • Why can't everything be like the stuff I like? Why do things have to be different?

    As others have already stated, there are various reasons for why these things are the way they are. Budgets, limitations, developer skill, time constraints, artistic vision, etc etc etc.

    But hey, I would love to see more games be like God of War, where they try to maintain a cinematic air while still having deep and engrossing gameplay and mechanics.
    That is what you are trying to say, right?

    For somebody who often complains at length about how games are trying to be too much like movies, you sure do want videogames to be more like movies.



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  • I've been having the same problems as the Op but it's with daily conversations I've been having in real life. People just look at me & reply when they talk to me. Sooo to spice things up everytime someone wants to talk to me I blast some power metal & knee skid up to them. Brightens my day right up.



  • @paulmci27 Vanquish sequel when?



  • @naltmank One thing at a time I'm trying to help the Op with his question first.



  • @ezekiel Listen dude if you don't want to talk about the subject matter that is fine, but some of us here would like to continue having a discussion.
    Please try to stay on topic.



  • @paulmci27 said in The way conversations are done in most games now is so boring:

    I've been having the same problems as the Op but it's with daily conversations I've been having in real life. People just look at me & reply when they talk to me. Sooo to spice things up everytime someone wants to talk to me I blast some power metal & knee skid up to them. Brightens my day right up.

    I don't think an appeal to realism is a smart justification for a lack of style or formal diversity.



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  • @ringedwithtile Formal diversity. Damn I'm getting old. We didn't have that class in school.



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  • @naltmank said in The way conversations are done in most games now is so boring:

    @ezekiel said in The way conversations are done in most games now is so boring:
    Regarding your other issues - I largely agree with them. From Software is great for the way that they use the medium to tell stories experientially and through interactivity. Not every studio is there yet, though, and not every story can be effectively told this way. I think a lot of the problems you have with this method of storytelling are absolutely valid. I just also think they're a growing pain. Every medium goes through this, and it takes visionaries to break the mold and create something that truly pushes the industry forward.

    I like FromSoftware's storytelling style and kind of also don't. So much is told in item descriptions that it's not really much different than a character spewing exposition for a while. The descriptions feel arbitrary at times. What I mean is that the character would have no way of learning the information. It's not like they can go into a pause menu and read them. Dark Souls III is the one where I stopped caring as much and no longer read most of them. I'd still rather take FromSoftware's style over western alternatives like Control, which have hundreds of journals and audio logs on top of lengthy NPC cutscene conversations for stories that usually aren't that great anyway, and are full of lazy errand quests. I watch movies or TV shows every day, but when I'm playing an action game, I don't want to be buried by dialogue and text. Of course there are exceptions. I wouldn't have posted that MGS3 video if there weren't. But I want more AAA games to be games instead of trying so hard to incorporate huge narratives that frequently interrupt gameplay. Team Ico and Valve blended the two very well. I'd also love the simpler narrative style of Blame! (where there is talking, but not much) in a game, as I mentioned already. If they do decide to go the video game movie route, then please give me proper cutscenes, instead of doing these lifeless, robotic, three camera Mass Effect interactions in non-RPGs. Adventure games like Until Dawn, The Walking Dead and Life Is Strange are fine too, in my book.