>>249925526 Something can be fantasy schlock or wacky and be well written literarily. Lord of the Rings is fantasy schlock and Hitchhikers Guide is wacky and they're both considered good to great literary works.
Videogames are still young as a medium. There's also that other problem. Do you put all your eggs in the basket of having great writing or do you put the focus on having a game to play and putting the story second? How many ways can you explain away one player character slaughtering half a country on his own? I guess you could go the VN route but then you have to make sure all the story paths make sense and have the same impact for each player choice.
This unironically. What the fuck do the contrarians in this thread hope to accomplish by shitting on videogames? Sure, the average game has shit-tier writing, but to say that even the best games aren't even as good as the AVERAGE movie or book? You all sound like Ray Bradbury being butthurt that TV exists.
>>249935285 We all start somewhere. Although I don't like the trend I'm seeing. Seems as though the only way people know how to improve the writing is to turn games into movies. Except that doesn't really solve the problem and you get mediocre writing in addition to mediocre gameplay. No one knows how to marry the two yet. So people are going to continue to fuck it up until they get it right.
>>249935332 nothing can come close to 19th century russian writing. there has never been a game with a story on the level of crime and punishment.
also ray bradbury is an idiot.
>>249935439 I disagree, I think writing is getting better. Of course there will be some shitty games (Call of Duty, etc.) but then there are games that are engaging (Mirrors Edge, Dishonored). Although simplistic, the latter two games stretch the notion of storytelling in video games. I also think the Mass Effect series showed how storytelling can be incorporated into video games quite well.
>>249935662 Mass Effect had the problem of biting off more than it could chew and had to half ass a lot of the decisions so that they don't deviate too much. Also the whole thing about the writers coming down with a severe case of Alzheimer's half way through.
I'm kind of impressed that somebody on /v/ knows Ray Bradbury. I don't know whether I should be or not, but I am.
I'm not a big fan of 19th-century Russian writing, but I can see why some people would like it. The key to understanding writing is to recognize that 90% of it is garbage no matter the medium. Just because your work of fiction is in the form of a book doesn't make it inherently superior.
>>249936743 No, it by itself would not make an awesome game. It could be a good game, but it wouldn't be anything groundbreaking. This is because you would know the end result before you even started playing. You could introduce some choice in how you go about your revenge but you will always either succeed or fail in it; or a third option of just walking away.
However, if you took a more sandbox approach with a main storyline, and gave the player the ability to "Monte Cristo" the bad guy that dicks him over, that could be amazing. Emergent gameplay is always more fun than following a linear path because it allows the player to actually become the character they're playing as.
Not that linear story driven games are necessarily bad, but their strength is telling you a specific story in a specific way. Some stories work better one way and vice versa.
I don't have as much of a problem with that because of movie games. I still wish there was a Rogue Squadron 4. But it would be cool to see some classic novels retooled as sandbox games, with meaningful choices instead of red, blue, green or black. Of course, depending on the novel you pick, it could end up as anything from a set of endings that the readers balk at to some kind of fourth-wall-breaking multiple-timeline Drakengard clusterfuck, and you have to fit gameplay into that somewhere. It'd take a beast of a development team to pull it off.
>>249938586 Of course. Not all books/movies would make good sandboxes. And if it was a straight adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo, a more linear approach might be better. But if you're designing a game where taking revenge on your friend who betrayed you; then a sandbox would be much better.
It wouldn't take a top tier dev team to pull it off either. You just need to have the main storyline, and side quests really. Put in the mechanics that allow you to pull off some very creative plots.
I guess I'm not talking too much about straight adaptations, and more about games that revolve around the central ideas of a novel.
>all these people saying planescape torment Retards It's good writing, but it's not great or amazing. The only thing it has going for it is the fact there's so god damn much writing after a few hours even the dumbest shit makes perfect sense. Read the bible front to back in as few sititngs as possible and you'll be saying it has 10/10 writing and you'll be looking into joining monasteries in no time.
I believe that there is a difference between a game's story and a game's writing. A game is a good medium to tell a story, usually being fairly simplistic. Take the game DnD (not a video game, but other games follow similar formats) the purpose of the story is to give you reason to do the things you are doing. They are hardly ever complex, and are usually relatively simple. It serves its purpose, which is to push the gameplay along while remaining kinda interesting. There are several games that can tell a good story, but are not written very well due to the part of the game that makes it a game: it's gameplay. Gameplay gets in the way of the more complex parts of the story telling. For example, Bioshock Infinte tries desperately to give us a complex plot, but fails when it makes no sense in the game's context. I think that if yhe video game medium is given more experimenting in regards to story telling and writing, we might eventually find a game well written enough to compare it to the great writers.
>>249940460 It's not hard to skip the boring parts. I recommend reading The Book of J, which takes all of the material that's considered to be from the Jahwist source according to the documentary hypothesis, and renders it in English. It includes most of the famous stories from the Torah and provides a coherent narrative
>>249939515 Oh, I always wanted to play it, actually have it on vita, but I don't know if I wanna grind through the whole game just so I can know the story..
It's funny, some games are good for their time but aren't that worthwhile from a gameplay perspective nowadays.
Watching the story on YouTube is silly since it's not like they're literary masterpieces, their merit relies on the combination of story and gameplay, but since their gamegameplay is kinda inadequate for today's standards it leaves it on this sort of limbo where they're really not worth to experience if you didn't at the time...
>>249941794 Remember that one book that let you walk around the story and effect the outcome of it's by deciding how the life of one character turned out, or even just outright killing the character who was meant to play a larger role somewhere down the plot line but now doesn't?
I think its an issue with the maturity of the medium. We've had the bulk of human civilization to figure out how to tell stories that are interesting to observe or listen to, in various forms (theater, song, verse, prose, etc.), and its just now that we're writing stories that are designed to be experienced or interacted with.
The kind of story that's interesting to read isn't necessarily one that's fun to play. Who'd play a Great Expectations game? What sort of gameplay would it even have? Some sorts of "literature"-tier stories lend themselves to what we expect out of a game. They have battles or riddles for us to participate in and make us feel like we're doing cool things, because that's what we want out of games. But we haven't figured out how to express the breadth of literary storytelling and still give us things to do in a game.
>>249943146 It's not that hard. You make the gameplay reflect the story you're trying to tell. If you're fighting in a war, don't have the player walk down a linear path and shoot bad guys. Put them IN a war.
Imagine a game where the tutorial is your basic training. You meet characters, build bonds with them as you complete the challenges of training. You get shipped off to war and you and your squad get separated from everyone else. You don't know the surrounding area, but you find some local refugees. They agree to help you navigate the area, but one of them gets wounded in a firefight from a randomized enemy patrol. You have limited medical supplies, what do you do?
Don't even prompt the player, or force them to make a choice. Carry on at a slower pace and maybe have to fight more enemies. Use your dwindling supply on the civilian. Or leave him/put him down. Leaving him behind might make the other refugees refuse to continue helping you. Maybe because you used that medpack, that character you grew super attached to in basic gets wounded and you no longer have the supplies to patch him up, and all you can do is watch him die.
You're following a story and you don't even know it. Certain things are predetermined but how you reach them is entirely up to you, and the ways you can reach them have to fit with the game.
No modern soldier taking fifty bullets and your buddy taking one and dying. No badass crazy ninja murdering thousands of monsters only to be knocked out by a single punch from the big bad in a cut scene. Make the drama and action come from actually playing the game. You can still tell the story you want to tell, and you can make it feel like it's all the players own.
Can somebody explains to me why books are praised as gods of art? From what I've gathered, people say books sharpen your mind because apparently it's hard to imagine pictures in of what's happening in a book when you read it. I like reading, I just never considered it mind sharpening, how something written by a man can really sharpen your mind? Everything he or she written reader understand differently, but when this understanding isn't the same as other reader's, then you're stupid.
>>249944212 >Imagine a game where the tutorial is your basic training. You meet characters, build bonds with them as you complete the challenges of training. You get shipped off to war and you and your squad get separated from everyone else Literally OFP.
>>249944212 Because now you have to write a dozen stories that don't suck as opposed to one, which means that everything you learned from writing/reading regular fiction doesn't quite apply as well as you thought it did. It's a daunting task for writers, to be able to write a story that will accept deviations from The One True Path.
Of course, you can make all those choices compartmentalized and inconsequential, which makes writing your main narrative easy. But then you end up with Mass Effect or other Bioware games, where your choices either don't matter at all, or don't matter at all until the very end, and then your "points" are tallied.
It means you have to record a dozen times the dialog, script a dozen times the scenes, potentially create a dozen times the art assets, and test a dozen times the scenarios. "A dozen" is an exaggeration, for sure, but its still a lot more work. Visual novels get away with wildly branching paths by limiting the complexity of the gameplay or locking the user into effectively narrow paths after a certain point, so only the first third is truly complex, the rest is a Bioware-tier straight shot to the end.
And studios are always trying to do more for less. Is it any wonder they don't do this?
>>249932868 >People confuse this game with having ''great writing'' when really all it has is a shitload of long winded backstory.
The reason it is a strong story is because of the emotions that the writing touches on. I've never been moved more by guilt, sadness, anger, curiosity and awe in a videogame than I have when playing Planescape.
Also, there's a strong central theme in the form a the question: "What can change the nature of a man?" All your party members can have this question applied to them and ultimately, the player has to decide on their own interpretation.
>>249946130 No, you do not. You can tell the story you want to tell, you just have to let the player figure out their own way to get there. It's about the journey not necessarily the destination.
Sort of like how a good DM in tabletop will have a general idea of things that need to happen, but will let the players figure out how to get there. You can have ten different ways to get inside that castle, all of them correct, and some of them change how things play out.
You should feel like you went on an actual journey all your own, rather than followed your character through a set of predetermined events. Even though the events ARE predetermined. Do you see what I'm getting at? Make the player feel like they're telling their own story and making their own way, when really you're still laying the path out in front of them. If done right, the player should feel like whatever happens next is a direct outcome of what they did. You can have different options change what happens and have them get to the same goal in a more roundabout way.
Is this far more work than what studios are doing today? Absolutely. Is that an excuse though? We won't pursue this because it's too much work? Or is it a case of a bunch of failed screenwriters trying to turn the scripts they could never sell into video games?
If that's the case, then this industry will never improve. If nobody is willing to take the risk and do the hard work, then things will never get better.
Legacy of Kain (series) Final Fantasy Tactics (PSX translation) Vagrant Story Final Fantasy 12 Thief (series) Metal Gear Solid 1-3
The problem with vidya is they aren't meant to be books or movies. They're fucking vidya. You have to balance writing, setting, cutscenes, music, and gameplay to create something good that people will talk about years or decades after they're released in a positive manner. Of all the games that come to mind are the ones I listed because they're still talked about on /v/ to this day.
Amy Henning, Yasumi Matsuno and Hideo Kojima are the only writers in the vidya industry that have managed to make me fall in love with their worlds and characters they created. Each character is written and balanced by the story progression without much of a slowdown to keep you engaged with the gameplay. The main problem with games like PS:T is that the writing does get in the way of the actual gameplay, or what you can call gameplay in that game. It's not that it was badly written it's just that it doesn't stand up with the other games out there. I was at the point where I just wanted to read more about the world and characters while playing PS:T to the point where I wanted to just be reading it as a CYOA book instead.
These games aren't for everyone and they bring more to the table after the game is finished since all of them are filled with themes of war, power, free will, manipulation, control and so on. It's an interesting thing that the writers managed to do WHILE somehow balancing gameplay around all of this. In Matsuno's case he was the director of FF:T so he had full control over the gameplay design and writing along with Kojima for the Metal Gear Solid series.
Whatever the case play some vidya you fagoots. I didn't list everything here just what came to mind.
Not sure if Roadside Picnic would classify as great writing. It didn't really blow me away with ideas like good sci-fi should do and it didn't blow me away with characterisation like good novels do. Cool book though.
>>249938586 While I enjoy the reactivity of the story in sandbox games like New Vegas I don't think every game has to follow the full player agency approach to tell a good story. I haven't played Spec Ops but that sounds like a good example of linear storytelling with the player being forced to either participate in the game and feel bad, or put it down and stop playing. And that's a pretty cool idea; emotion through gameplay, supported by exposition.
One of the challenges that storytelling has in games is that, unlike films, tv or literature, the audience has control over the character. Which means even if you provide legitimate motivation for the character, the player may not agree. And when they don't agree and are forced into a path of action, there's a disconnect.
More could be done to make the player empathise with the player character. Permanent consequences rather than restarting at a checkpoint for one, time limits is another. A tone of urgency that Deus Ex HR was set in the first mission by having the hostages die if you take too long and later with defending Malik. These were powerful moments, for me at least. And they helped me get "into character" as Adam Jenson.
>>249948905 I think the challenge is with the game designers being too simpleminded towards their medium.
Do you know the filmmaker Peter Greenaway? He does some lectures on how movies are still not really movies yet, because we tie them down to old ideas and traditions stemming from literature and theater, with our attention on acting and writing, rather than a genuinely cinematic mode of storytelling. It's like early painting still focusing on representing nature, it's not a full understanding of the medium.
It's clear how this can be applied to videogames, only it's literature and movies (and theater by extension). Just look at OP's question, nobody asks which book reaches the closest to theater or which movie is the most literary (well some do, but that's the problem).
See, the relationship isn't between the player character and the world, it's between the game and the player. The multiplayer relationships that spawn in loose, organic MMO's like Ultima online and EVE are the stories. A game like Journey is a step towards understanding this, or Sub Rosa, Ace of Spades. It doesn't have to be multiplayer, Elite, Seven Cities of Gold, they reach towards this. It's about an organic relationship, not between the designer and the player, but the designer's program and the player. The program stands on its own and interacts with the player. It's not simply one text, or at least, it doesn't have to be. Too bad everyone in the industry, AAA, indie, journalists, are all so dumb.
>>249953453 Papers Please is just as overrated, it's basically genre crap, at the level of a dumb indie thriller. Cosmology of Kyoto is the only you got right. Killer7, also, which does more than scratch the surface.
NieR Is probably the best example of a well told vidya story because the story wouldn't be told as well in any other medium, not even books.
Multidimensional characters, engaging plot which is more than meets the eyes, thought provoking themes and overall a great story is what sets it apart. It's the kind of game Bioware will never be able to make.
Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions had a pretty nice script to it, although many of us do prefer the original translation as it was more sensible and not as Shakespearian.
If you're looking for story, I think Rule of Rose would be a good one, because it was way too good at leaving the right things to interpretation and is probably one o the best cases of a player character lying to the viewer (via self-censorship and repressing some horrible shit).
On that note, although Baten Kaitos had a brilliant case of that, it didn't span through the whole game and by the time you reach the end, it's just a very good story but not the best literary achievement.
>>249956519 >and is probably one o the best cases of a player character lying to the viewer (via self-censorship and repressing some horrible shit). I haven't played that game but I'm really interested in that part.
It may or may not warrant a replay, but some things are pretty obvious when you see 'em, but other times you really need to hink over what is actually making you go, "Guh?" about a particular scene.
The combat is neither good nor bad. Just deal with it for 10 hours and it easily becomes the best suspense/horror-themed game for the PS2.
The children murder the nanny Orphanage owner aborts a fetus from a preteen that he knocked up Crazy man comes in and murders all of the children Orphanage owner hangs himself, which is only ever hinted at at the very beginning of the game before you even meet him
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