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  1. #61
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    It was really impressive that you feel like your decisions do matter, when all of the branching paths end up rejoining later. It was done for the most part in very plausible and impactful ways, unlike, well, every other video game ever.

    What a great series!

  2. #62
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirKicksalot View Post
    Explanations often suck. Some things are more fun if left mysterious.
    True that. In ME1 Sovereign made a bit play about how we mere insects couldn't hope to comprehend the reapers motivations, and then in ME3 they felt the need to try and explain it, when in reality they should of just focused the game on stopping the reapers and left it at that. As dumb decisions go, up there with Lucas conjuring up midichlorians to explain 'The force'. No one needs to understand why there are zombies in the walking dead, all they need to concern themselves with is survival.
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  3. #63
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    I'm OK with midichlorians being the biological interface between the still mysterious Force and the creature. That doesn't explain anything about the Force, just adds a bit of depth to the lore.
    The problem is that their number decides who's the best Jedi. That's where the whole concept went to shit IMO.

    ... I feel like I should add something about TWD to this post but I don't know what.

  4. #64
    Lesser Hivemind Node SirDavies's Avatar
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    Just finished it. I think it's safe to say this is one of the best storylines we've had in videogames for years. There were some situations that felt a bit forced (for example (spoiler): Kenny's death when trying to save Ben; he could have done it a lot faster and just run away, but it looks like he wanted to be killed, totally contradicting what he was saying just seconds earlier about fighting till the end. Also the final dialogue with Clementine's kidnapper feels a bit weak when I hadn't took stuff from his car) , but the overall feeling of having control over the destiny of these characters was excellently executed. Looking forward to the next season.

  5. #65
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    Blog: How Telltale's Walking Dead tricks us into feeling

    I wrote up some thoughts on the way the decisions work in the game. Main point being that it's about exploring emotional spaces, rather than plot possibilities.

    ---------

    "This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play."

    This is the message that greets the player at the beginning of every episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead game. But is it true?

    After finishing the final episode last night, I resisted the call of the pillow and had a bit of a dig around some spoiler-heavy threads on the game’s official forum. Like me, most people had really enjoyed the experience, but there was one recurring negative response. In essence:
    “The decisions I make don’t actually change anything! Everything’s the same at the end! Telltale are liars!”

    Read more: http://digitalspiritguide.com/how-te...-into-feeling/

  6. #66
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    True that. In ME1 Sovereign made a bit play about how we mere insects couldn't hope to comprehend the reapers motivations, and then in ME3 they felt the need to try and explain it, when in reality they should of just focused the game on stopping the reapers and left it at that. As dumb decisions go, up there with Lucas conjuring up midichlorians to explain 'The force'. No one needs to understand why there are zombies in the walking dead, all they need to concern themselves with is survival.
    I agree, at least in part. The Reapers were the ultimate enigmatic force - totally implacable, with apparent reasons behind their widespread destruction which were on such a massive timescale and from such an alien intelligence that we could never hope to comprehend it. But sometimes that walks a fine line between enigmatic and apparently random or pointless, like a lot of the art games. I can understand why they wanted to explain things in ME3 (and it added a sort of twist on the purpose of the Reapers, namely that they were also preserving galactic life). Of course it fell over by having an AI that had a massive logic flaw and a bunch of endings which didn't make a lot of sense.

    In something like TWD though that unknown factor is really important to the story to create that sense of fear and sometimes hope. They don't really understand what it is, how it happened, or what they can do about it, which leads to extreme methods like hacking off an arm to try to delay the disease (if it is a disease?). If they came out and said "Oh yeah it's a rogue prion and it works by blah blah blah" you'd get a clear ruleset which removes a lot of the unknown element (and thus part of the fear).

  7. #67
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Ravelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    True that. In ME1 Sovereign made a bit play about how we mere insects couldn't hope to comprehend the reapers motivations, and then in ME3 they felt the need to try and explain it, when in reality they should of just focused the game on stopping the reapers and left it at that. As dumb decisions go, up there with Lucas conjuring up midichlorians to explain 'The force'. No one needs to understand why there are zombies in the walking dead, all they need to concern themselves with is survival.


    That part was so good, bone chilling VA and superb writing, it still gives me goosebumps. He goes on about us not understanding and that there is no reason, they just do and are. And like you said it is all explained in ME3 a spreadsheet manner. A bit sloppy letting them contradict themselves.
    Last edited by Ravelle; 24-11-2012 at 05:28 PM.
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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravelle View Post


    That part was so good, bone chilling VA and superb writing, it still gives me goosebumps. He goes on about us not understanding and that there is no reason, they just do and are. And like you said it is all explained in ME3 a spreadsheet manner. A bit sloppy letting them contradict themselves.
    SO GOOD.

    ME 3 FUCKUP = SO BAD.

    Question is, could they have ever explained the Reapers without making them shit?

    Would the leaked dark matter storyline have been better? Obviously.

    I reckon we'll see all of that in ME4 if it ends up been a sequel.

    Hmmmm ME1 with ME3's combat minus heat clips would be epic

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul View Post
    “The decisions I make don’t actually change anything! Everything’s the same at the end! Telltale are liars!”
    Telltale are not liars. The statement that "the game adapts to the choices you make" is not the same as saying "the game will give a different plot for every possible combination of choices made." That's just ludicrous to think that they could possibly craft endings, narrative, assets, voice work, etc. for such a massive number of possible combinations of choices, and I'm personally sick of hearing gamers whine about their choices not mattering.

    Your choices DO have an effect on the game. They affect your path through the narrative, but eventually, it has to come together for the vision the CREATOR OF THE GAME is ultimately defining. Just because they give you some choice in the narrative doesn't mean that they are giving you complete control over the plot direction. It's THEIR story to tell, so why can't people just enjoy it and quit bitching because it doesn't cater to their every whim?

    Do you bitch at the end of a movie you are watching or book you are reading when the plot doesn't go where you want it to go? And no, those mediums are not designed to give you any involvement in the narrative, but games give you a BONUS of involvement the narrative. It's never meant as a complete concession of narrative control. You want the game to end differently, go make your own damn game and take it wherever you like.

    And yes, this reply is also squarely pointed at those jackasses still griping about Mass Effect 3.

  10. #70
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    After each episode I walked away from the computer, took some sofa time, performed menial household tasks - anything that didn't require thinking. There was no way I'd be able to boot up another game right afterwards. I won't say it left me depressed - drained will suffice. Then a little angry. Angry because there are so few games out there which make you feel anything other than a vapid fleeting adrenaline rush.

  11. #71
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Ravelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Swayze View Post
    SO GOOD.

    ME 3 FUCKUP = SO BAD.

    Question is, could they have ever explained the Reapers without making them shit?

    Would the leaked dark matter storyline have been better? Obviously.

    I reckon we'll see all of that in ME4 if it ends up been a sequel.

    Hmmmm ME1 with ME3's combat minus heat clips would be epic
    You can explain things through out the game, let the player piece together the plot him/herself instead of an info dumb at the end of the game. Can you imagine reading a book that made no sense with on the last page a complete explanation of everything?
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  12. #72
    Lesser Hivemind Node Stellar Duck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kstress71 View Post
    Telltale are not liars. The statement that "the game adapts to the choices you make" is not the same as saying "the game will give a different plot for every possible combination of choices made." That's just ludicrous to think that they could possibly craft endings, narrative, assets, voice work, etc. for such a massive number of possible combinations of choices, and I'm personally sick of hearing gamers whine about their choices not mattering.

    Your choices DO have an effect on the game. They affect your path through the narrative, but eventually, it has to come together for the vision the CREATOR OF THE GAME is ultimately defining. Just because they give you some choice in the narrative doesn't mean that they are giving you complete control over the plot direction. It's THEIR story to tell, so why can't people just enjoy it and quit bitching because it doesn't cater to their every whim?

    Do you bitch at the end of a movie you are watching or book you are reading when the plot doesn't go where you want it to go? And no, those mediums are not designed to give you any involvement in the narrative, but games give you a BONUS of involvement the narrative. It's never meant as a complete concession of narrative control. You want the game to end differently, go make your own damn game and take it wherever you like.

    And yes, this reply is also squarely pointed at those jackasses still griping about Mass Effect 3.
    Seeing as I'm on occasion one of those jackasses I'll reply. :)

    No, I don't bitch if a book doesn't end up where I want it. But I'll bitch if it contradicts itself, pulls a badly executed deus ex machina, isn't coherent or becomes plain stupid in the last 20 pages.

    If the ALMIGHT CREATOR cares so deeply for his "vision" he should care enough to make it internally consistent.

    And really, you're deluding yourself if you think a movie was never changed based on audience reception.

    This idea that a work is immune to criticism because the "creator" has a "vision" is baffling More so when we're dealing with a commercial product and not art. And no. Mass Effect 3 is not art. Art does not end with the final words of the "creator" telling me to buy DLC. That's a commercial product.

    Bioware was not averse to changing the ending of Dragon Age so it's weak that they now claim infallible "vision" as a defense to criticism. That went out the window when the french chick I decapitated in DAO showed up in DA2 or when they did Witch Hunt, as far as I'm concerned.

    It may be "their story" but I paid money for it. And it was shit. And I'll say so. (Bioware. Not TellTale. They did a great job and actually know how to write.)
    Last edited by Stellar Duck; 24-11-2012 at 09:27 PM.
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  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravelle View Post
    You can explain things through out the game, let the player piece together the plot him/herself instead of an info dumb at the end of the game. Can you imagine reading a book that made no sense with on the last page a complete explanation of everything?
    I think that book is called FIGHT CLUB ;D

    But yeah, I understand.

    I didn't actually mind the delivery of the ending to be honest. Just that the Reapers became dumb robots rather than the Cthulian space horrors they were previously.

    I think overall the Mass Effect trilogy was poorly planned. Too much retconning and chasing the of COD crowd when they already had a devoted following. Fucking about with writers.

    We need a Mass Effect aftermath topic now to be honest because this is a WALKING DEAD TOPIC

  14. #74
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    Just because it's already been sorta hijacked - I feel that the reapers in mass effect have already been outdone in the ancient, enigmatic cosmic unstoppable force front.

    The Shivans from freespace 1 and 2 were doing the reaper thing before the reapers were a thing - and I feel they were better enemies, too - simply because they were so resolutely uncommunicative. The reapers whole 'we're too smart for you' schtick was blown the first time one talks to you - and doesn't sound especially intelligent.

  15. #75
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kstress71 View Post
    And yes, this reply is also squarely pointed at those jackasses still griping about Mass Effect 3.
    They're both games that came out this year and they're supposedly both big on choice and consequence. One of them just raised the bar for other developers to aspire to in the writing stakes, the other (despite a lot of early promise) managed to alienate the vast majority of its key audience in less than 10 minutes. In both games the protagonist dies at the end. If you can't see grounds for comparison, I think you need your eyes checked.


    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    Then a little angry. Angry because there are so few games out there which make you feel anything other than a vapid fleeting adrenaline rush.
    Indeed. It really is rather sad that the vast bulk of what we're fed when it comes to narrative in games is largely drivel and lacking in nuance (where's gamings 'Breaking bad' or 'The Wire'). For all the high praise one can throw at Dishonored with regard to mechanics, it's story was as predictable as that of Max Payne 3 and a hundred others beside. Gamer's are smart people, we deserve better narratives.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stellar Duck View Post
    No, I don't bitch if a book doesn't end up where I want it. But I'll bitch if it contradicts itself, pulls a badly executed deus ex machina, isn't coherent or becomes plain stupid in the last 20 pages.

    If the ALMIGHT CREATOR cares so deeply for his "vision" he should care enough to make it internally consistent.

    And really, you're deluding yourself if you think a movie was never changed based on audience reception.

    This idea that a work is immune to criticism because the "creator" has a "vision" is baffling More so when we're dealing with a commercial product and not art. And no. Mass Effect 3 is not art. Art does not end with the final words of the "creator" telling me to buy DLC. That's a commercial product
    Indeed 'artistic integrity' is a fine defense if you're defending a controversial message, but it doesn't stand up so well when you're defending a botched job.
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  16. #76
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    I thought the conversation was okay.

    It added life to what we perceived as an artificial entity.

    I always thought it was going to turn out the Reapers were something that evolved prior to everything else (biological) or even something from beyond time/space, and that biological life was their construct.

    Woulda been cool

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by kstress71 View Post
    Telltale are not liars. The statement that "the game adapts to the choices you make" is not the same as saying "the game will give a different plot for every possible combination of choices made." That's just ludicrous to think that they could possibly craft endings, narrative, assets, voice work, etc. for such a massive number of possible combinations of choices, and I'm personally sick of hearing gamers whine about their choices not mattering.

    Your choices DO have an effect on the game. They affect your path through the narrative, but eventually, it has to come together for the vision the CREATOR OF THE GAME is ultimately defining. Just because they give you some choice in the narrative doesn't mean that they are giving you complete control over the plot direction. It's THEIR story to tell, so why can't people just enjoy it and quit bitching because it doesn't cater to their every whim?

    Do you bitch at the end of a movie you are watching or book you are reading when the plot doesn't go where you want it to go? And no, those mediums are not designed to give you any involvement in the narrative, but games give you a BONUS of involvement the narrative. It's never meant as a complete concession of narrative control. You want the game to end differently, go make your own damn game and take it wherever you like.

    And yes, this reply is also squarely pointed at those jackasses still griping about Mass Effect 3.
    What a horrible post. The fact I don't make games doesn't mean I can't criticize a game for failing to live up to its promises, or presenting only the illusion of choice.

    Telltale knew full well when it said that the game adapts to player choice that some players would interpret that as an invitation to change or shape the narrative. I was personally very disappointed, for example, when Episode 2 presented me with supposedly huge choices -- who lives or dies? -- only to replay the level and realize that the characters die no matter what.

    True branching narratives in a game like this are hard to pull off. Telltale didn't try hard enough.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgetownhoya View Post
    What a horrible post.
    What a horrible reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by georgetownhoya View Post
    Telltale knew full well when it said that the game adapts to player choice that some players would interpret that as an invitation to change or shape the narrative. I was personally very disappointed, for example, when Episode 2 presented me with supposedly huge choices -- who lives or dies? -- only to replay the level and realize that the characters die no matter what.
    So it's only an "invitation to shape the narrative" if that means a completely unique path? Getting from point A to point B in a different path than another person IS shaping the narrative by your choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by georgetownhoya View Post
    Telltale didn't try hard enough.
    Now you're just being ridiculous. No matter how far they went to make your choices have impact on the narrative, you would still say they didn't go far enough. You would endlessly want more, more, more, because the narrative didn't give you want you specifically want.

    Simply put, the fact that the plot sometimes returns to a common point doesn't, in and of itself, invalidate all of the variety of the branching paths that got you there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kstress71 View Post
    What a horrible reply.



    So it's only an "invitation to shape the narrative" if that means a completely unique path? Getting from point A to point B in a different path than another person IS shaping the narrative by your choices.



    Now you're just being ridiculous. No matter how far they went to make your choices have impact on the narrative, you would still say they didn't go far enough. You would endlessly want more, more, more, because the narrative didn't give you want you specifically want.

    Simply put, the fact that the plot sometimes returns to a common point doesn't, in and of itself, invalidate all of the variety of the branching paths that got you there.
    No, but the game's insistence on schizophrenic NPC personalities does. (Ep. 2 spoilers ahead!) Cross Kenny once? Might as well never have been nice to him. Refuse to put an old man to death because he may be a zombie? Don't worry, someone else will do something completely out of character to kill him anyway. Don't want to go to the cannibal farm, or kill the crazy old lady in the camp? Don't worry, that choice is just there to make you think you can do something else. You're gonna go to the farm, and she's gonna get a bullet in the brain.

    Gamers are fellating Walking Dead for the same reason they fellated Spec Ops and Bioshock: It dares to have a plot. Doesn't matter how bad the plot is. The fact they tried elevates this game to "videogame art" status.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgetownhoya View Post
    schizophrenic NPC personalities
    Well, I can at least agree with this point. Some of the NPC personalities were inconsistent, so say the least.

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