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April 18, 2014, 10:52:53 PM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeDesignLet's talk about Quick Time Events
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Author Topic: Let's talk about Quick Time Events  (Read 3427 times)
Malice
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« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2012, 05:03:55 PM »

Selecting which narrative track to follow isn't what I mean by meaningful. Whether you succeed or fail at a QTE, you did so based on dexterity or your desire to see some specific outcome, but not because of how you managed in-game resources, systems, mechanics, or anything else relating to actually altering a game state; there's no opportunity costs, no expenses, nothing. It's fundamentally boring. That's why Heavy Rain is a choose-your-own adventure novel more than it is an interesting game, which it certainly is not.
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unsilentwill
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« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2012, 05:14:33 PM »

They're a garbage attempt to keep movies in games. What happens is you see a cutscene and say "oh, i can't do anything anymore" so when someone swings an ax at you, unlike when you're playing the game, you don't think to dodge because it's a cutscene. That's a cruel trick.

The worst part is they throw out the idea of knowing what buttons are for in the game as an extension of character and turn you controller into this:



Which means they yell blue! at you instead of letting you interpret the actions on the screen as something you should dodge using the dodge button.

If you simply change the camera instead of going to a cut-scene and take the instructions off the screen, it would actually be gameplay and keep the drama. The term QTE wouldn't exist and everyone would be happier.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 08:54:53 PM by unsilentwill » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2012, 05:19:14 PM »

yeah heavy rain is bad. it's bad as a choose your own adventure novel (shouldnt that be movie?)

Quote
Selecting which narrative track to follow isn't what I mean by meaningful.
and how am i supposed to know that? it's a "meaningful choice" in the context of the game it exists in. it's not an interesting choice from a mechanical standpoint ofc.
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Malice
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« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2012, 05:21:32 PM »

Quote
Selecting which narrative track to follow isn't what I mean by meaningful.
and how am i supposed to know that? it's a "meaningful choice" in the context of the game it exists in. it's not an interesting choice from a mechanical standpoint ofc.
One, from the context that I was talking about it as a dexterity challenge and not a ~narrative fork~, and two, because this is the design forum, and the assumption should be that we are talking about game design, not narrative.
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Tuba
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« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2012, 05:56:26 PM »

The QTEs in Heavy Rain are a pretty bad way to choose a branching path, exactly because they are more of a dexterity and attention challenge. If the player misses a QTE and want to see what happens if he get it right, there's no guarantee that he'll be able to hit the button in time the next time, then he's stuck with the same path. A simple menu asking what you want would be better IMO.
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EdgeOfProphecy
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« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2012, 06:21:07 PM »

Quote
Selecting which narrative track to follow isn't what I mean by meaningful.
and how am i supposed to know that? it's a "meaningful choice" in the context of the game it exists in. it's not an interesting choice from a mechanical standpoint ofc.
One, from the context that I was talking about it as a dexterity challenge and not a ~narrative fork~, and two, because this is the design forum, and the assumption should be that we are talking about game design, not narrative.

Well, I do think narrative intersects with design, particularly when you're attempting to meld mechanics and story-telling together.  The time travel aspect of Chrono Trigger was inseparable from how the narrative unfolded.

yeah heavy rain is bad. it's bad as a choose your own adventure novel (shouldnt that be movie?)

Quote
Selecting which narrative track to follow isn't what I mean by meaningful.
and how am i supposed to know that? it's a "meaningful choice" in the context of the game it exists in. it's not an interesting choice from a mechanical standpoint ofc.


I think QTE's fail the "interesting mechanic" sniff test real hard.

A good execution challenge requires a few things.

1)  That it provides the player with interesting choices.  The mechanic should have a context that fits within the overall system of the game.  For instance, last hitting in a MOBA makes sense as an execution challenge because it ties into the economy of the game and opens up strategic opportunities for the players (Using a skill to last puts that skill on cooldown and might consume a resource, last hitting with an attack forces you to stand still and leaves you open to retaliation, etc).

2)  That it be consensual.  A good execution challenge is going to demand concentration and focus from its player, and it is very jarring when the game sneaks up behind you and suddenly demands you press some random buttons.  It would be like replacing the Olympic games with a squad of cameramen that go around randomly waylaying world class athletes in their daily lives and demanding they do their routine on the spot, right there.  Sitting at the coffee shop having a latte and suddenly, "HOLY CRAP YOU'RE ON CAMERA CLEAN AND JERK THIS 350 POUND BARBELL RIGHT NOW DO IT DO IT DO IT".  It would not beget a world class performance.  By denying the player the opportunity to get into the mindset of concentration and performance, and the environment to experiment with different strategies for success, you are doing them a disservice.

I would argue that Shenmue is a good game in spite of its reliance on QTE's.  I don't think they're endemic to the telling of the story, and I think it could have been a more successful franchise had there been more weight behind the mechanics.  Imagine if it didn't have a compelling narrative, it would have been a complete bomb.

The point about RE4 subverting convention in cutscenes is an interesting one, but I'm still rather dubious about their inclusion in the game.  For instance, the portion where you're chased by El Gigante through the canyon is not a QTE.  You have to actually run, shoot locks off of doors, drop the boulder on him, etc.  Had the entire thing been an QTE sequence, I don't think it would have been as engaging.

I think once the initial shock wore off, it returned to business as per usual.  I see a cutscene, I'm on the guard for a QTE to pop up.  I do it, I proceed through the game, I fail it, I have to try again until I succeed.  At that point, they're no longer shocking since the game has established "Cutscenes are not safe."  Afterward, they return the being an annoying and pointless Simon Says game mechanic.  I would rather they have replaced those scenes with something that leverages the game's current mechanics.

Regardless, cutscenes have been successful subverted and we can move out.  We've had our "Ceci n'est pas une custscene" moment and it's passed.  Personally I find giving the player freedom during otherwise scripted sequences/plot dumps is more interesting, and less intrusive into the flow of the game.
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Castle
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« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2012, 07:02:33 PM »

I think they're fun

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I must be too simple to understand complicated things like "meaningful choice"
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« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2012, 07:08:59 PM »

i liked the QTE (if you can call them that) in ff7, if you can call them that. the little ones where you had to give cpr to a person by pressing buttons in a particular rhythm, or had to do squats by pressing buttons in a sequence. if you've played the game you know the ones i mean. they probably aren't really quick time events, but i'm not sure what they're called (story-focused mini-games?)
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EdgeOfProphecy
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« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2012, 07:39:51 PM »

I think they're fun

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I must be too simple to understand complicated things like "meaningful choice"

Nah, it's just people's opinions. 

i liked the QTE (if you can call them that) in ff7, if you can call them that. the little ones where you had to give cpr to a person by pressing buttons in a particular rhythm, or had to do squats by pressing buttons in a sequence. if you've played the game you know the ones i mean. they probably aren't really quick time events, but i'm not sure what they're called (story-focused mini-games?)

It's actually a bit hard to sit down and formally define what is and isn't a QTE, but yeah I'd consider those mini-games instead.  Mini-games are different.
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« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2012, 07:49:38 PM »

yeah they're closer to mini-games, but they differ in that you only do them *once* and that's it, and that you need to pass them to continue the story. so they aren't mini-games in the sense that the card game in ff8 is a mini-game (since that one is optional and you can play it at any time), instead they are small games inserted in the big one that are mandatory in order to pass through a sequence of the story. so maybe "quick time mini game" or something
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EdgeOfProphecy
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« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2012, 08:10:27 PM »

I believe the thing that makes them distinct to me is the lack of the ubiquitous "Simon Says" aspect most QTE's have had.

If I remember the squat game (it has been a long while since I played FF7), you had to press a specific sequence of buttons over and over with timing to do the squats, and the goal was to do as many as possible (with a target of X) in 30 seconds or something.

That's a bit different.  It's more of a skill execution than pressing random buttons, and it is explained to the player before embarking upon it.  If you mess up, there's more room for improvement and you understand why.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2012, 08:12:11 PM »

what about the ones in heavy rain? would those be mini-games or quick time events? they seem to be a mix of both too
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EdgeOfProphecy
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« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2012, 01:36:44 AM »

I never played Heavy Rain, so I'm not really sure.
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DavidCaruso
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« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2012, 10:53:03 AM »

Truly, Heavy Rain is filled to the brim with meaningful choices.

Anyway, QTEs are dumb and usually a half-assed compromise. Shocking the first time, then just annoying and uninteresting. If you want to put interactivity in certain parts of your game then go all-out and let me properly play it, and if you can't due to limitations regarding camera visibility, model resources, etc. but still think the game would benefit from me seeing it then let me watch or read it. Button press prompts aren't going to make cutscenes much more engaging than they already are, and I'd rather have narrative branches based on things you do outside of them (i.e. choices you make in the context of the main game world.)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 11:05:57 AM by DavidCaruso » Logged
EdgeOfProphecy
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« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2012, 11:16:53 AM »

Truly, Heavy Rain is filled to the brim with meaningful choices.

Anyway, QTEs are dumb and usually a half-assed compromise. Shocking the first time, then just annoying and uninteresting. If you want to put interactivity in certain parts of your game then go all-out and let me properly play it, and if you can't due to limitations regarding camera visibility, model resources, etc. but still think the game would benefit from me seeing it then let me watch or read it. Button press prompts aren't going to make cutscenes much more interesting.

Ok.  That's pretty awful.  Would be a better sequence if you could just chase the guy.
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