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View Poll Results: Whats your perspective regarding the different ways of Storytelling and Narrative?

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  • Agreed. I often feel frustrated with the way storytelling is executed these days.

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  • While I don't share the OP's concerns, more interactivity would benefit the Medium.

    0 0%
  • I'm fine with how things are, it doesn't bother me either way.

    0 0%
  • I like the feel of cinematic narratives, more focus and less filler.

    0 0%
  • It depends on what type of game its set out to be, the setting and genre.

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Thread: "Cinematic Narrative" in video games.

  1. #1
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    Default "Cinematic Narrative" in video games.

    So I was watching the recent SOCOM 4 developer diary, where the first thing the guy says is that they will push for a more "cinematic narrative" of the story. This isn't something new in gaming, something we've seen more and more with the progress of technology, with games like Uncharted, FFXIII or in nearly every mainstream shooter around the corner.

    However the scale and radius of effect is spreading into genres and older franchises that are not supposed to push that kind of mechanic. Dice already confirmed BF3 will also go for a more scripted and cinematic experience for the main campaign, then we have less notorious games all across the industry that see in video games an opportunity to tell a movie-like story to their audience in ways that are for most of the time poorly executed.

    My concern lies with the medium itself, from mid 90's to early 2000's we've witnessed the video game medium expand into a highly interactive form of entertainment, mostly on the PC sector with point and click adventures, and even on the PS1 you could get several high profile games with a very unique and engaging way of transmitting a story, or at the very least, a purpose to the game. Franchises like RE, Parasite Eve and Silent Hill from the top of my head.

    These games primarily focused on great atmosphere to lure the gamer into the world, and then they would set the story, or any kind of plot in a way that required the gamer some level of work to look for it, find it through puzzles, through logs, through small notes left behind by some potential key character. In other words, the gamer was constantly interacting with the scenery and objects cleverly placed. That's not to say they didn't have streamlined dialogs, of course. As a consequence I see the medium (video games) loosing its own identity, and trying to become more of a pseudo-movie type of entertainment. For those who care you can look at situation as games becoming a 7.5th Art, instead of gradually becoming the 8th.

    So we have 2 distinct forms of storytelling, the cinematic narrative of games like Uncharted, Killzone or even GTA, or something more interactive like Grim Fandango, Sanitarium or even Parasite Eve.

    Give me your thoughts and input through the poll or posts please.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "Cinematic Narrative" in video games.

    Depends on the game, genre, story, etc.

    Like Alan Wake, it would be good.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: "Cinematic Narrative" in video games.

    First of all, thank you for posting, Booster. x_x really appreciated it as I don't like when I make a well-thought thread for nothing.

    Anyways, so you believe a game like Alan Wake properly represents the medium of video games, and its separation from movies?

    I did enjoy Uncharted and Alan Wake but I felt as I was watching a movie, but just me controlling the character.
    Last edited by Hanamaru Kunikida; 04-10-2011 at 05:35 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: "Cinematic Narrative" in video games.

    IMO, yes it does, and I would like to see more of those kind of games come out.
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    Default Re: "Cinematic Narrative" in video games.

    But why? What makes a streamlined story better than a interactive one? It just stops being a game for me....It's still a game wanting to be a movie, but it still loses it's own identity.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: "Cinematic Narrative" in video games.

    I'm always a fan of storytelling in games. That's why I like playing RPGS. To me it depends on the game. Like some games, don't really need storylines to be that expanded, like some puzzle games.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: "Cinematic Narrative" in video games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Light Buster View Post
    IMO, yes it does, and I would like to see more of those kind of games come out.
    @Light Buster: Read my post above and also...

    This is what differences a streamlined story and a interactive one:

    Streamlined: "Scientist A to Scientist B: I've analyzed the data and this sample contains heavy doses of mutant DNA that we injected in subject Y in the ground level. Things went terrible wrong, people got killed."
    -Scientist B to Scientist A: "Let's store it in a containment vessel to keep from further contamination, and lock the vault containing subject X, who was also injected."
    Meanwhile through a cut-scene you can see the mutant breaking free and killing the two scientists - The player happens to be nearby, he hears the screams and heads to the lab, cuts to sequence where player needs to engage the mutant.

    Interactive storytelling:
    Player walks into the lab, no one is to be seen. Player wonders around to see what might have happened. Everything seems normal, although at better examination you can see traces of blood dragging from a room. In that room player recovers a data log. You have a tape recorder which you collected several floors behind, you can now choose several files of data stored organized by date and events. While you scan through the tape an electronic sound flashes... nothing happens. you now find a med coat from possibly one of the staff members, you see a math equation. You look nearby for a board with a puzzle that will possible open the door somewhere else in the level (you write that puzzle onto a piece of paper). When you are about to leave the lab you realize that sound flash was the emergency lock, and you realize some organic life form might be in your surroundings kicking off the quarantine break. (meanwhile the tension builds up) the player starts checking for immediate exits, no good, he is trapped... the creature appears from an unexpected area of the lab- Player engages mutant.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: "Cinematic Narrative" in video games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou+ View Post
    @Light Buster: Read my post above and also...

    This is what differences a streamlined story and a interactive one:

    Streamlined: "Scientist A to Scientist B: I've analyzed the data and this sample contains heavy doses of mutant DNA that we injected in subject Y in the ground level. Things went terrible wrong, people got killed."
    -Scientist B to Scientist A: "Let's store it in a containment vessel to keep from further contamination, and lock the vault containing subject X, who was also injected."
    Meanwhile through a cut-scene you can see the mutant breaking free and killing the two scientists - The player happens to be nearby, he hears the screams and heads to the lab, cuts to sequence where player needs to engage the mutant.

    Interactive storytelling:
    Player walks into the lab, no one is to be seen. Player wonders around to see what might have happened. Everything seems normal, although at better examination you can see traces of blood dragging from a room. In that room player recovers a data log. You have a tape recorder which you collected several floors behind, you can now choose several files of data stored organized by date and events. While you scan through the tape an electronic sound flashes... nothing happens. you now find a med coat from possibly one of the staff members, you see a math equation. You look nearby for a board with a puzzle that will possible open the door somewhere else in the level (you write that puzzle onto a piece of paper). When you are about to leave the lab you realize that sound flash was the emergency lock, and you realize some organic life form might be in your surroundings kicking off the quarantine break. (meanwhile the tension builds up) the player starts checking for immediate exits, no good, he is trapped... the creature appears from an unexpected area of the lab- Player engages mutant.
    Sorry for keeping you waiting, was studying for my college midterm. With that out of the way though I can now answer your question.

    Streamlined stories has a more suspense as well as more surprises as well as having only one way to get through it while a interactive one you can probably find a way around it without having to trigger the story which will stop all together or end up breaking the game together.

    I could be off topic or maybe my opinion/answer is very subtle (or even way off) but that's how I see things.
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    Default Re: "Cinematic Narrative" in video games.

    It really depends on what sort of experience you're looking for in a game. Some games don't have to be the long story or even have to have much of a plot to still be a great game, but that being said, it does help.

    I tend to lean on more of the interactive storylines. If I wanted to sit back and watch a bunch of cut scenes.. why not just watch a movie? If I'm playing a game, I want to be involved in each and every part of it, to the highest degree possible. That doesn't mean I don't like cut scenes, but it just seems to kinda defeat the purpose imo.

    nothing leaves me with a better sense of satisfaction than well-rounded developed characters and a plot-twisting, not repetitive, interactive story. In some cases, I'm willing to let a few things slip here and there if the game mechanics aren't so good if the story is amazing.
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    Default Re: "Cinematic Narrative" in video games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou+ View Post
    This is what differences a streamlined story and a interactive one:

    Appreciated, but too large to reproduce block of text.
    In my experience and opinion, the best execution uses a combination of overt, bash-you-over-the-head exposition whilst still hiding a lot of the really fun stuff throughout levels or other gameplay. The three core Halo games pull this off pretty nicely (as well as ODST). Players are sure to know the meat-'n'-potatoes of the plot- just as much as is necessary for pure gamers and the unobservant not to feel utterly lost- because of cutscenes and scripted events, but for the greater backstory one must explore entire levels and pay close attention to everything around them. Sometimes, you even have to get a little tin-hat to catch everything, and it can even be buried in technically non-story gameplay modes.

    The downside, though, is a thriving plot-noob component of the fan community, encouraged by the straightforward and obvious components of the plot, and Halo certainly has that in spades. Ask one of the pure gamers what "Medicant Bias" means, or comment on an excerpt of The Divine Comedy as it relates to one of the games, and they'll stare dumbly before either cheating with Google and a supplied, superficial response or reverting to arguments about headshots and who's the most awesome.



    Of course, stomping flying turtles for little apparent reason is still fun in its own way.
    Last edited by TheAsterisk!; 04-25-2011 at 02:13 PM.

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