Playing-Reading Balance while Gaming



  • Hey guys,

    I started to play Doom(2016) and as you know game has fast and smooth gameplay. And like most of the games, there are extra reading materials about different topics, story, environments etc.

    So, my question is: How do you guys balance the gameplay part of the games and reading materials in the games? Do you read them as soon as you get them, or do you pile them up and then read them altogether after combat part slows? Or you just simply read some of it or none of it; just experience the gameplay/cutscenes? What is your style and what do you do to prevent from gameplay becoming slow and pausing too often?



  • @scotty In games like Doom, I usually just do a super quick glance at the text being given most of the time, then if I find it interesting I'll try to read it more closely. Unless the game seems to demand it, I usually just skip most of these lore texts since most games treat them as extra/bonus content instead of being must-know info. Doom has some pretty cool lore stuff though, the fact that I didn't play the game for any story stuff but managed to read a few of the lore texts anyway is quite an achievement.



  • Playing Control and I read every single journal entry and text log I come across because they're all fucking amazing. It's basically a sort of Best Of for SCP.



  • Depends on the game and if you actually can take the lore with you, but if you can I usually gather up a good bit of it, then the next time I fire the game up to play or at the end of the current session I read through everything I've gathered. Really depends on the game though, because some games make you feel like you need to read stuff in the moment for the context of the environment around you. I get the impression from watching various steamers that I read that stuff, even when it is clearly not important, more often than most players though. Some people act downright allergic to reading anything while playing a game.



  • I try to read all of the text documents I come across in games, but I hate them. Reading puts me to sleep, and whenever I have to read more than one or two pages of text in a game I just lose focus and want to get back to the gameplay. But whenever I skip them I feel like I miss out on part of the game, so I try to push myself to read all that I can. However I often get to a point where I just stop caring about the text based lore because there will be like 1 to 3 new things to read in every room. Too frequently the information in these reading materials has been or could be better explained in game, and when I already know what I am reading about it makes it feel twice as useless. Contrary to @El-Shmiablo I quit Control after 8 or 9 hours because there were so goddamn many text things and little videos getting in the way of me having fun playing a 3rd person shooter.



  • the first time i played Metroid prime i just went through the game without reading anything for the most part but when i've gone back and replayed it i found that reading all the Chozo and Space Pirate Lore helped immerse me more in the game than when i didn't read it. so i ended up reading as much logbooks as i could throughout my Prime 2 & 3 play sessions.

    Youtube Video



  • I don't play games to read documents or other materials. I know many games include reading materials to expand their lore, but many of them are a hindrance to gameplay. The only reason to walk around and collect them is to unlock achievements/trophies or to help gain 100% completion. Audio logs tend to be fine because you can listen whilst playing the game, but reading drags and drags-if you want to read this stuff then it should be included as extra content in the main menu. Perhaps the worth of reading in games hinges on how quickly you want to complete game and how patient and allowing you are-and whether the kind of game really needs you to read. I don't know why DOOM would want you to read so much when your prime motivation in the game is to maim and eviscerate aliens. Developers should be proud of their work but put the excess in a place for gamers to access in a menu and don't interrupt the flow of the game with constant staring at text.



  • I'm glad most of you think alike about reading texts in games. I like to read short paragraphs like in The Last of Us, remake Resident Evils or now Doom which doesn't have too long texts fortunately. But yeah, it is a little bit annoying when you have to stop gameplay and just read texts. I'm an obssessive person unfortunately, not in the level of a disorder but enough to make me feel uncomfortable if I just pass the materials in a game unless like Assassin's Creed which have too many and too long texts about history etc.

    @brandon_reister said in Playing-Reading Balance while Gaming:

    whenever I have to read more than one or two pages of text in a game I just lose focus and want to get back to the gameplay. But whenever I skip them I feel like I miss out on part of the game, so I try to push myself to read all that I can.

    This! I just can't ignore it and feel like I have to read them as much as I can otherwise I'll miss the content. :/



  • It's impossible to say what makes me want to sit and read all the text in a game other than my attraction to the "vibes" it's giving me. For example, I ravenously read through all of the terminals I could find in Alien Isolation because I was so engaged in what happened to the Sevestapol Space Station.

    What was also working in Alien's favour is how walking down a hallway can be deadly, so the back story info dump was working so well for me because it felt sooooo rewarding to survive reaching a computer terminal and reading the text.

    --

    One that didn't work for me was Control. On one hand, I was pretty into the back story of the Bureau of Control, but I think there was an over-classification of the text you're reading. Again, it works in some ways because it organizes your collectibles but it also feels like too much, a bit forced.

    Pulling my thoughts from the Control thread that I wrote back in 2019 at launch:

    @dipset said in Control (PC/PS4/Xbox One):

    I definitely appreciate that they balance the collectibles out into categories: Correspondence, AWE, and one more I can't remember. It makes it easier to digest and follow the plot along. I don't think these were super maliciously placed though. They'll have a bunch about the same AWE all scattered in one area for the sake of finding more things when one maybe two collectibles would have been fine. I don't need to find "AWE- Ordinary 4.b" - read it - walk a few steps and find - "AWE - Ordinary 1.B" - read it - walk a few steps and find - "AWE - Ordinary 1.A" - rinse and repeat 5 times. It really makes the game feel so stop n start at a bad time near the end.

    I think generally speaking, in-game text collectibles or lore dumps are fine, but I really don't like that stop n go nature. If you play for 20 seconds, then find another full blown page of text that takes 60 seconds to read; then the ratio is off there and I'll probably just outright skip reading it.



  • I think it really depends on the game and how it handles them. I'm of the mind that if something were important, the game wouldn't hide it away in a text document, so it really has to make me want to read them. I think both Cyberpunk and Witcher do this poorly because they throw so many chips/books at you, most of which are inconsequential, that I stop caring and likely end up missing out one some of the cool ones. On the other end, I think Fallout is incredible when it comes to this because each one feels like a story. It makes me excited to find them because I know that instead of receiving a lore dump, I'm getting a mini story set in this world that I love.

    I also tend to enjoy small things like codex entries if they are in a game I care about. I eagerly read the short character entries in a game like AC Valhalla because it's a small thing that enhances my understanding of the game, instead of a lore dump that means nothing to me.



  • I used to love reading codex entries and such until my eyes became terrible a couple years back. Now I just wish publishers would give me the option to increase text size. FFXV and God of War, I'm looking at you.



  • @capnbobamous said in Playing-Reading Balance while Gaming:

    I think both Cyberpunk and Witcher do this poorly because they throw so many chips/books at you, most of which are inconsequential, that I stop caring and likely end up missing out one some of the cool ones.

    I completely agree with you that The Witcher and Cyberpunk have way too many and horrible collective lore crap that is just outright boring.

    BUT

    And this is a big "but"... The Witcher series and Cyberpunk to a lesser extent have the greatest journal / codex of any game I've played. I recently played Mass Effect 2 and that Codex is riddled with dry information about the galaxy. In Kingdom Come, the information is almost like a historical encyclopedia; it's very interesting from a historical perspective, but my god is it a bunch of dry historical facts.

    The Witcher journal is written by Dandelion. It's such an obvious thing to do, but it's quite literally my favourite feature in the entire series. And the writing is just perfect by the third game. I think it's completely genius in a fantasy game to have every journal entry about a quest to be written by an actual character from the world, but what makes it even more genius is how poetic it is. CDPR didn't just say "wouldn't it be cool if Dandelion wrote the journal entries" but they went in and made it read like actual poetry. Such an amazing feature that had me going through and reading every Quest Log, Character Bio, and all that jazz.

    My favourite part is when you get to Dandelion's character bio and he's describing himself. It's amazing.

    0_1611869236857_89573fae-ef28-43e3-9dd9-e45bd5bafcea-image.png

    "I would wager anyone that you, dear reader, are a person of culture and taste — and therefore already familiar with me, Dandelion, and the role I am to play in the following tale. Nevertheless, allow me to sketch a few lines by way of self-portrait, for the sake of thoroughness, and in the event you have spent much of the last half-century in some dark corner where the light of my star has yet to reach.

    "Born in 1229, a talented poet and troubadour, a graduate of Oxenfurt Academy, a frequent performer at royal courts, an unequaled lover appreciated, and in some cases adored, by ladies worldwide, a skilled negotiator and a stirring orator" — such is the image of the bard Dandelion as painted by his friends and promoters.

    This image is, of course, somewhat overbright in its coloring — I personally prefer to think of myself as a dedicated artist in thrall to his Muse, one whose work has benefited immeasurably from the fact that I was, am and forever will remain a close friend and steadfast companion to the witcher Geralt. It is his fate I chronicle in this present work and his story which I shall sing till the end of my days."



  • Depends a lot on the game and my mood.

    Doom Eternal I couldn't care less about their lore dumps. I read maybe a couple of lines, thought to myself "it's a shame someone had the trouble of creating this and I have absolutely no interest".

    Then a game like Kentucky Route Zero at times is almost like reading a book and I thoroughly enjoyed every line.

    Part of my RP in Skyrim was being a book collector and read every single book.

    Control was a mixed bag, the documents are great but their sheer number is way too much. To their credit I did read them all because there's a ton of great world building there.

    Cyberpunk is the kind of game were I just read diagonally every text and if something is interesting I then read it carefully. Like history documents I loved reading them and mission stuff enjoyed it too. But then there's a ton of stuff that seems like too superfluous.