Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

1eyedking Long-winded dialogues suck

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Darth Roxor, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. Sheepgender: ⚧ Prospernaut

    Sheep
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Parrots:
    2,070
    Location:
    Hungry
    Click here and disable ads!
    The difference is that I would say that writing walls of texts sucks and PS:T is shit while Roxor wants to discuss it.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  2. Shingender: ⚧ Savant

    Shin
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Parrots:
    416
    As an OCD player I have a huge issue with just running across RPG town and skipping dialogue, who knows which NPC might be hiding something? I remember when I tried playing PoE the first time and I kept running into those backer characters and didn't know wtf they were supposed to signify. I had this vague idea their plots were somehow all related and I broke my fucking brain on this for a few days before I finally gave up on the game altogether. So why was I so fucking in a hurry to talk to these tards? Probably because I don't want to close my eyes, I don't want to fall asleep, 'Cause I'd miss some quests and I don't want to miss a thing.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
    ^ Top  
  3. Make America Great Again Lord Andregender: ⚧ Arcane

    Lord Andre
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    Parrots:
    3,480
    Location:
    Gypsystan
    The problem is that there are 2 reasons why writing sucks:

    One is talent, imagination and creativity, the lack of which makes a story uninteresting.

    The second is technique, the lack of which can make the reading and comprehension of the text a chore irrelevant of the actual quality of the story being told.

    While the first one falls into "you're either born with it or you're not" territory, the second is something that can be learned and should be learned by any professional writer.

    The over verbose text with 3 unnecessary flourishes every sentence and no coherent focus but "feelz" is a sign of the second issue and that's why it's annoying. In layman's terms it's called trying too hard.

    TLDR: Roxor is right, may he forever ride the edge! :salute:
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
    ^ Top  
  4. Abeliangender: ⚧ Somebody's Alt

    Abelian
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Parrots:
    2,278
    My guess is imershun and padding game length cheaply.
     
    ^ Top  
  5. Bubblesgender: ⚧ I'm forever blowing

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Parrots:
    7,817
    That seems like a rather pointless complaint. What's the last RPG that didn't make proper use of paragraphs?
     
    ^ Top  
  6. Fargusgender: ⚧ Savant

    Fargus
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Parrots:
    213

    Haha good old ADWR. Great nwn module for the whole fucking family. Hard to tell how many times you get raped in it.

    As for the topic, i love walls of text and lenghty dialogues if they provide an interesting read.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
    ^ Top  
  7. Lhynngender: ⚧ Arcane

    Lhynn
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Parrots:
    7,253
    If i had to guess, its because they write to fill a quota.
     
    ^ Top  
  8. dragonul09gender: ⚧ Arcane

    dragonul09
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2014
    Parrots:
    844
    This is especially true when it comes to that pile of dung PoE and Wasteland 2, where every Npc regurgitated the same shit again and again but with different words and i wonder, why the fuck would you even bother writing the same shit again and again?
    What's the point of telling the player the same information of a city,god but with different words? I would understand if the npc had personalities and different views about the world but no,it was just pure static information coming out of an encyclopedia.

    And let's not forget the constant name dropping of every meaningless shit that you will never encounter or at least care a little bit,just endless words of pompous words describing cities,gods etc.

    Fucking hacks indeed and fuck the idiots who supports this kind of writing.
     
    ^ Top  
  9. Make America Great Again Average Manateegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Average Manatee
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Parrots:
    8,270
    I'd imagine that after chafing under the tyranny of full voice acting that writers are overcompensating when they are provided as much rope as they wish to hang themselves with.

    Also for PoE in particular you can see that Obsidian was very overly proud of their not-D&D and thought that reading about their setting would be interesting like PS:T was. It wasn't.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  10. Karellengender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Prophet

    Karellen
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Parrots:
    274
    I don't think it's entirely fair to put the onus of managing the "pacing" of an RPG on the player. To a large extent, players will set their pace based on the design of the game and the cues that the designers have placed in the game. I hardly ever have this particular type of pacing issue with JRPGs or adventure games, and I don't think anyone can claim that those are particularly better written, yet their dialogue, lengthy as it might be, generally doesn't frustrate the players because it doesn't break the flow of the game.

    The fact of the matter is that many CRPGs are structured in such a way that any dialogue option could lead to a reward or content, which obviously encourages players to approach them in an exhaustive way. Just for an example, Planescape: Torment had a lot of hidden rewards for going through dialogue - whether it was a quest, a memory of the Nameless One's past, some small C&C, your stats getting raised for no apparent reason or, Hell, a whole new character to follow you, why the Hell not! Sometimes there would be some small hint as to which characters are important and which are not, but sometimes it's completely arbitrary - I think my favourite example is that to activate the portal to visit Coaxmetal, you have to talk to a completely random weapon merchant's son, who doesn't even tell you anything - the Nameless One will spontaneously realize the correct solution to enter the Siege Tower from talking to the kid. From a gameplay perspective, there is absolutely no way to know which characters you need to talk to and which ones don't matter, and so the only way to play the game is either to lounge about at random or talk to everyone, which obviously makes PS:T an awkwardly paced game.

    It gets worse in games where there is no clear main quest and no defined main character. Dialogue in PS:T, even when you go around systematically talking to everybody, remains interesting because many characters you meet will have an interesting reaction to the Nameless One, either due to his unusual physical appearance or because they know him from before; meanwhile, the Nameless One often has some vague excuse to talk to them, if only that he's looking for clues about Pharod or Ravel or something. But in a game with an open-ish world and a player-generated character, exactly what kind of dialogue can you even write for arbitrary NPCs? Just exposition or arbitrary quests, because - and this is the clincher - the designer has no idea why the player decided to initiate conversation with some random NPC. In fact, usually there is no reason, in-game - the player just got into town and goes around clicking on hotspots to see if content comes out. In this sort of situation, it's impossible to write good dialogue, because really, is there anything meaningful that a NPC even say to a player-generated traveling murderhobo? And so, you end up with some arbitrary exposition or a small quest to prevent the gameworld from looking "empty" when the players are dicking around doing nothing in particular.

    Basically, to stop players from treating NPCs as exposition/quest/reward pinatas, designers must avoid rewarding players for that sort of behaviour and give them incentives to go about things in some other way. In many adventure games, the number of interactable characters isn't that high to begin with, but also, you can't simply go around talking to everyone and reap all the benefits like that - you have to have a reason to talk to a character until you get anywhere with them. You could say that this reduces player freedom, but I think it's a good tradeoff - the dialogue ends up better when it's more specific to the situation, while the freedom to knock on every door in a village and talk to every person there just in case they will give you stuffies is a really dumb kind of freedom. Having some structure to how the gameworld can be explored is basically just having some game in your game.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 13
    ^ Top  
  11. JarlFrankgender: ⚧ I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Parrots:
    21,602
    Location:
    卐 The Cyberreich 卐
    Yeah, that's pretty horrible. I'm a hack writer myself and I'd never do something like that. Exposition is shit, don't fucking do elaborate exposition, show don't tell, etc. First thing you learn when you start doing creative writing of any kind. Not because someone tells you to but because you fucking notice how shitty elaborate, overly long exposition is while you write it. When you get bored writing it, just imagine how the people reading it will feel. Ugh.

    Game devs should hire more B-level pulp writers who know how to write trashy adventure stories that are short and to the point (because if you want to sell short stories to magazines and shit, you have to keep a word limit, usually between 5k and 10k words max).
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  12. I'm With Her SausageInYourFacegender: ⚧ for prison Arcane Patron

    SausageInYourFace
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Parrots:
    2,118
    Location:
    In your face
    Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    You should definitely post more, bro.

    Let me add, with regard to the parts I quoted, that I agree, but that PS:T is a very particular beast that does not really offer a great deal of gameplay elements outside of walls of texts, hence it is so hard to dictate your own pace. Either you read all that shit or your don't. But W2 and PoE are different in that regard because they offer more opportunities to just go off and do something else for a while.

    Anyway, the ultimate way of 'pacing yourself' remains of course to just turn the game off for a little while. Even though I love it, I find PS:T way more exhausting than most other games, so I give myself a break more often, just like I would with a great but exhausting book. Combat is not that draining on the mind (at least not on mine), so - I am just speculating but - I assume what happens is that a lot of players (combatfags?) view the reading as a chore after a while (cause redding is teh hrad) and simply want to get to the next 'relaxing' combat portion as quickly as possible because they want to continue playing. Fair enough, but what it boils down to is, that complaining about text in text heavy games is the same shit as complaining about combat in combat heavy games.

    I was not entirely facetious when I wrote that we have to 're-learn how to read' in games. I think its possible that 'the writing is shit' has become the new 'I don't like it', perhaps not so much (or 'not only') as a result of the writing itself but as an after-effect of players who are simply not used to the fatiguing effects of reading long in-game texts anymore.
     
    ^ Top  
  13. Gragtgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Gragt
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Parrots:
    1,864,679
    Location:
    Dans Ton Cul
    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin
    Unless it’s done right. All these stupid rules about writing just show how little people understand about it—or art in general. What matters isn’t the technique itself but how it is used, and it isn’t a reason to avoid it because so many can’t use it right. Same thing with the good ol’ “show, don’t tell” canard: a good writer knows when to show and when to tell, and not to arbitrarily favour one to the detriment of the other.

    First thing one should learn when doing creative writing is to be creative, experiment, and not to be hampered by arbitrary rules.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 11
    ^ Top  
  14. dragonul09gender: ⚧ Arcane

    dragonul09
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2014
    Parrots:
    844
    Oh cry me a river you talentless hack.I'll take the c-d-b level pulp writers at any hour of the day over any confident fuckwad that think writing is a trifling matter.
    At least i know the b level faggot can provide some sort of excitement at one point of the game,while PoE writing provided me with hours of boredom that could only be compared to reading the shampoo bottle while i'm on the john.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  15. Monkeyfingergender: ⚧ Augur

    Monkeyfinger
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Parrots:
    468
    Couldn't disagree more with this.

    A good video game writer spells out all important information as clearly and succinctly as possible, with as little room for misinterpretation as possible, no matter how unnatural it sounds coming out of the speaker's mouth.
     
    ^ Top  
  16. JarlFrankgender: ⚧ I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Parrots:
    21,602
    Location:
    卐 The Cyberreich 卐
    :retarded:

    Read my post again. What I said was "I'd rather have B-level pulp writers writing for games than the long-winded exposition-dumpers that write for games now", which is the exact thing you're saying.

    So we actually agree.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  17. dragonul09gender: ⚧ Arcane

    dragonul09
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2014
    Parrots:
    844
    My bad,got a little confused reading multiple posts here so i kinda misunderstood your post.:retarded:
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  18. rohandgender: ⚧ Savant

    rohand
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Parrots:
    278
    Location:
    Planet Escape
    I love reading, but I constantly feel that those textwall games are increasingly making me blind.

    For some reason, one of the games which dialogue I loved the most was Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession.
     
    ^ Top  
  19. DavidBValgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron Developer

    DavidBVal
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Parrots:
    2,040
    Location:
    Madrid
    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    Only a suicide note would appease the codex.

    If it's brief.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  20. Dorateengender: ⚧ Arcane

    Dorateen
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Parrots:
    2,202
    Location:
    The Crystal Mist Mountains
    ~Fen's Fineries, Might & Magic III: Isles of Terra
     
    ^ Top  
  21. V_Kgender: ⚧ Arcane

    V_K
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Parrots:
    2,926
    Location:
    at a Nowhere near you
    Come to think of it, starting a long-winded thread full of badly written walls of text about how bad long-winded walls of text are is some brilliant trolling.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  22. Cosmogender: ⚧ Arcane

    Cosmo
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Parrots:
    1,237
    Project: Eternity
    [​IMG]

    And that's exactly what the PoE writers failed to understand. Static and flowery writing is like a dead horse in your living room, when it's perfectly capable of conveying action and interaction, and without any physical limitation.
    But hey, even Avellone thinks writing can't be dynamic enough now...
    Shows you how devastating all those years of 3D ARPG indoctrination have really been.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  23. Volrathgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Volrath
    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Parrots:
    3,176
     
    ^ Top  
  24. AwesomeButtongender: ⚧ Cut a deal with the authorities Patron

    AwesomeButton
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    Parrots:
    2,754
    Location:
    At large
    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I remember when I was 15 I was lapping up every word of BGII's crappy writing and enjoying it.

    Nowadays, when I catch myself skipping sentences of loredumps/shitty writing unfit to be read from a computer screen, I just leave the game until I'm interested in it enough so I don't skip dialogue lines.

    As you all have noticed I suppose, with age, we begin attaching different value to time. Suddenly reading games' exposition carefully seems to cost too much time and we tell ourselves "ok, but let's move on to actually playing".

    I fear Roxor, that games' writing quality hasn't deteriorated, or if it has, I argue that it's never been much good to begin with. It's just you that have gotten older.

    That being said, of all the games you've listed I've played only PoE, D:OS and AoD. I've enjoyed AoD's writing the most, and PoE's writing the least. Of those three games AoD is the one that's pretty much targeted at grognards in their 30ies. Could it be a coincidence that I find its writing the best?

    On a sidenote, AoD's writing reminds me of Fallout 2, which I also liked back in the day and I still like today. Maybe good writing always feels good, and crap writing only feels right for a teenage brain?
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  25. Lhynngender: ⚧ Arcane

    Lhynn
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Parrots:
    7,253
    Na, writing has definitely gotten worse. i should know, im still a fucking kid at heart and i enjoy cheesy shit, or the same crap i did when i was 15. My tastes havent so much evolved as just broadened.

    And i can tell you, writing in poe is just fucking awful, i dont care about the shit thats being said to me, i have no reason to, no stakes in the world or the people in it, its an unbelievable blunder from the part of obsidians writers. Fucking shit.

    As for HK, i didnt get very far, it was too buggy and havent found the time to start playing the game now with the latest patches and shit. But i can see where roxor is coming from just by remembeirng that night club at the hub and the dump i got from the people there. I remember being surprised that most npcs just wouldnt shut up, but i didnt mind that much because i didnt play enough for it to get old.

    D:OS writing wasnt for me, it never felt personal or put me in an interesting situation narratively speaking, but meh, the game wasnt in the writing and it wasnt forced down my throat so its fine.

    WL2 melts my computer on start, so wouldnt know bout the writing.

    There was a certain mindset when writing shit in the 80s and 90s that is not present nowdays, it was playful, it had fun with its premise and subject, at times it was a little obvious about what it was trying to evoke, but it didnt matter, it still worked. They knew their writing wasnt good so they used it as a vehicle for gameplay.

    Nowdays it seems writers arent aware their writing is shit, so they take it seriously without realizing other parts of their game suffer because of it.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)