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Topic: Depth in gaming.

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bro2dragons

1. Posted:

Hey everybody. I've mentioned this before, so some of you know, but my ultimate career goal is to become a narrative director for a gaming company. so obviously, i take a lot of interest in videogame stories. what do you guys think about them? not so much should they have them, or no, but as to depth of thematic matter. for instance, should videogame stories be used to make the player stop and examine themselves or a viewpoint the same way a book, short story, song, or film would? should they at times include themes pertaining to religion, politics, morality, human nature, history, philosophy, etc.? or should they simply be thrilling and fantastical avenues to move the gameplay along with no more depth than, say, a Twilight or Harry Potter (not saying those are bad... they're good fantasy novels with engaging stories, but they're no Crime and Punishment for depth)?

just looking for your opinions. i'll chime in after a few posts so that the first few people can come in without jumping straight to (hopefully friendly) debate.

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WanderFan91

2. Posted:

I think it's a good idea. :)

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Odnetnin

3. Posted:

Cinematic games can either be really epic or fail really epically.

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WanderFan91

4. Posted:

One of the reasons I liked The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning is because it had widescreen, cinematic cutscenes that looked like it belonged to a movie. :) It would've all been great, had the majority of the plot not been lifted from Eragon. :( [Not that Eragon (movie) was bad, it's just to me it was clearly blatant that some elements got lifted straight from that source]

Edited on by WanderFan91

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bro2dragons

5. Posted:

@StarBoy: i agree about Spyro. i greatly enjoyed the cutscenes in the game... but i never really played very far into it because the game itself is just so horribly bland and monotonous.

@NintenTurd: i agree with you as well. again, Legend of Spyro=meh at best. Resident Evil 4=phenomenal at worst. it was also a game that i had in mind when i started the topic, as it tackles themes of racism and the horrifying and oppressive greed inherent in human nature quite beautifully and terrifyingly, in a manner that rivals that of Joseph Conrad's moving masterpiece Heart of Darkness. so really, it's all about the quality of gameplay, but i think that a cinematic presentation with depth of theme can be pulled off even more effectively in a game than in a book or movie, because of the gameplay if it's done right. it's interactive, and therefore, an automatically more immersive experience that can therefore impact the audience more.

Edited on by bro2dragons

“I am a brother to dragons and a companion to owls." Job:30:29
We, like Job, are destitute save for the love of Jesus.
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WanderFan91

6. Posted:

I played through the game, and it took me three (nonconsecutive) days to beat it. What almost killed it for me was the constant LAG that would appear when the action would get so overly hectic (especially when you execute you're power)! You'd think it would be a (beautiful) N64 game with that much slowdown. And I've only ever played it those three days, and I loved the orchestral soundtrack. It gave me a sense of atmosphere.

Edited on by WanderFan91

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bro2dragons

7. Posted:

yeah... it was just so dull... and repetitive. i couldn't get into it. the whole thing was kinda dungeon based (at least from how far i got into it) where it's just go into a room, clear it out, and repeat. ugh. horrible game design. the developers should be locked in videogame prison for that.

“I am a brother to dragons and a companion to owls." Job:30:29
We, like Job, are destitute save for the love of Jesus.
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WanderFan91

8. Posted:

Another thing I didn't like about A New Beginning is that they have turned Sparx into a wisecracking selfish, narcissistic egomaniac. WHY???? :P

I haven't played The Eternal Night yet for the Wii, and I've had it since the Easter of 2008. How can I lack the motivation to try a title like that when I have the motivation to give Zelda 2 (for GBA) another chance? Then again, I got A New Beginning in Christmas of '07 and haven't played it 'til sometime February or March of '08, so who am I to talk? >_>

Edited on by WanderFan91

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FATEM

9. Posted:

Considering how utterly awesome 'Farenheit' was ('Indigo Prophecy' for US people) I would say it's a brilliant idea.

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Stuffgamer1

10. Posted:

If done well, a deep story in a video game is a wonderful thing! But you have to make sure the game fits the story, of course. No point writing the next Great American Novel (as the saying goes) if you're going to try to shoehorn it into a doofy puzzle game (I realize as I type this that it could seem like I'm bashing Professor Layton...I'm not, really; I had more like Tetris or Bejeweled in mind). The BEST games for storytelling are, not surprisingly, all about the story. The Ace Attorney series is an excellent example, alongside Hotel Dusk, Indigo Prophesy (from hearsay...I haven't gotten around to playing it), etc. Uncharted (both, but especially 2) makes for a great example of story-filled, engaging gameplay. The most cinematic games EVER!

RPG's can be great at storytelling if done correctly, like Breath of Fire 2 (religious themes), Chrono Trigger (very well done time-travel story), and Lufia II (too deep and varied to give decent partenthetical insight). It's a balancing act, and NOT an easy one.

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WanderFan91

11. Posted:

Breath of Fire 1 also had a good plot, even when a bit mistranslated. Who could forget such instances where you fight your...[considers those who have not played it]uh...it's got unforgettable moments, let's just say. :)

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bro2dragons

12. Posted:

@Stuffgamer: well said. i keep hearing a lot of good things about Mass Effect and Bioshock, as well, in the story department, and both also have reportedly satisfying action. you played either? my computer can't handle them, and i only own a Wii at the moment...

“I am a brother to dragons and a companion to owls." Job:30:29
We, like Job, are destitute save for the love of Jesus.
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The_Fox

13. Posted:

I'm sorry, I kind of lost interest when I saw you write that Twilight was a good fantasy story with engaging depth.

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WanderFan91

14. Posted:

(Don't listen to Fox, bro, he's a downer.)

Edited on by WanderFan91

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Nintendork

15. Posted:

The+Fox wrote:

I'm sorry, I kind of lost interest when I saw you write that Twilight was a good fantasy story with engaging depth.

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Stuffgamer1

16. Posted:

@bro2dragons: No, I have not played either. Haven't been terribly interested, really.

@The Fox: But that's NOT what he said. Look again:

bro2dragons wrote:

or should they simply be thrilling and fantastical avenues to move the gameplay along with no more depth than, say, a Twilight or Harry Potter (not saying those are bad... they're good fantasy novels with engaging stories, but they're no Crime and Punishment for depth)?

See, he said they have engaging STORIES, not depth. There's a difference. And of course, how engaging any particular story is will vary by the reader.

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The_Fox

17. Posted:

@Suffgamer1

Slight misqoute aside, any praise of Twilight is like nails on the chalkboard to me.

Edited on by The_Fox

"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."

-President John Adams

Treaty of Tripoly, article 11

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bro2dragons

18. Posted:

@The Fox: not a fan myself, just trying not to upset anyone and still make my point. i find it horrid personally, but recognize that some must find the plots well written and captivating or else it would not be the senseless obsession that it is. and really, i was referring more to the Harry Potter side. which is a wee bit better, in my opinion.

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We, like Job, are destitute save for the love of Jesus.
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Philip_J_Reed

19. Posted:

Hotel Mario's got a pretty deep story.

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Token_Girl

20. Posted:

It's like any other media. It's great to have a deep, thought provoking story sometimes. Other times you just want to bash some goombas, so you can get yourself some cake. There is a time and place for everything. I really like good stories in RPG games. Those really make the game more engaging and motivate me to keep going, since turn based battles are pretty repetitive and formulaic without some other compelling motivation to keep you going.

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