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1038180 Posts in 41950 Topics- by 33565 Members - Latest Member: Yayifications

September 01, 2014, 08:19:13 PM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeDesignLet's talk about Quick Time Events
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inkBot
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« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2012, 12:59:10 PM »

While I think that Heavy Rain could have done well without any QTE's, to its merit the story had me intrigued by the end and I actually didn't expect the killer to be who it turned out to be. But even so, from a "game" perspective, it's pretty shitty. To call it a game would be a stretch imho.

If you ask me Heavy Rains biggest weakness isn't the QTE's though. It's the minutia. You're quite literally forced into doing busy work that's frankly not that interesting, engaging or fun.

As for the "branching" storyline argument. Yes there do exist some branching I guess. I wouldn't know what they are because I only played the game once, but throughout the game I never really knew exactly which actions had impact and which didn't, which doesn't exactly lend well to doing a second playthrough.

My biggest gripe with QTE's, apart from being oversaturated, is that they detract from what's going on. Take God of War (any) as an example. I play the game and suddenly; QTE! I don't really care about what's going on on the screen, I'm only trying to get the buttons right. In the end, all a QTE is, is 1's and 0's, true or false. There's really no skill involved in completing a QTE, hence the satisfaction of doing so is greatly diminished. Back to God of War: "'I just ripped the wings of a griffin!' 'Oh! With like a combo or some magic item?' 'Eh, nah. I just pressed the buttons that came up on the screen...'"
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« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2012, 01:16:56 PM »

I loved the QTEs in Heavy Rain.

Holy crap were they a lot of fun. It's super visceral and awesome to be pitted into a situation where you know if you mess up, you might die! And having all that input coming at you, needing to stay focused.

It's literally the only game I've ever played where I was hanging off the edge of my seat jacked into the action. QTEs are a lot of fun! When I'm playing a game I'm not in darchy art-critic mode where I feel cheated by a four button system. I'm enjoying the story and gameplay. If the game sucks a fat one, I'll notice, but Heavy Rain didn't.

The fight scenes utilize QTEs really well because if you miss a punch it has a real effect. It's kind of like...

real


life

in the sense that if you mess up there are consequences for failure! But not failure as in Video Game YOU LOSE failure but actual relevant things that are situational.

As for the minutia, yeah the first levels are kind of slow. Walk around.. look at stuff.. shake some orange juice. But.. I wasn't ever upset. I was never thinking "man this FUCKING SUCKS" I was thinking more "ohhh this is tense I wonder when the bad stuff will happen"

tl;dr gaming is primarily about enjoying what you're doing. There's nothing inherently flawed with QTEs and I think they have been used perfectly well in previous games such as HR to have a real sense of consequence, action and tension.
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unsilentwill
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« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2012, 02:20:24 PM »

I don't see how anything you said has anything to do with QTEs. It's about branching narrative in response to simple actions, control timing, and consequences.

Imagine how much better the game would be if all of those actions were bound to buttons/directions in a character-familiar logical context instead of flashed on the screen like someone yelling "you're doing this now".

The serious inherent flaw in QTEs is that they give you fake freedom instead of real freedom, which is the whole point of a video game. Input based on the player.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 05:50:33 PM by unsilentwill » Logged
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« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2012, 02:29:47 PM »

heavy rain's greatest weakness is the terrible plot and how seriously it takes itself. for a game that purports to be about "storytelling," shouldn't telling a story that's, y'know, good be a requirement?
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« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2012, 02:30:44 PM »

When I said that the game forced you to do things, I meant it. The prologue is a great example. It's established that the guy is alone in his own home in the morning. We have to do his morning routine, pretty much in order. "I can't go downstairs before I put some clothes on." I have to shower before I get dressed." and so on.

Sure, sometimes you have the option to choose between two actions, but the player never really contributed to the proceedings, and that's where I think the game fell flat for me. The player is never really a driving force in the game. You make few, if any, important decisions. You don't move the story, the story drags you along. You could essentially just start up the game, and put the controller down and the game would just keep going.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that a persistent timeline with consequences is the bad thing here, it's just that the player doesn't seem all that important a part of the equation.
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« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2012, 02:32:41 PM »

The serious inherent flaw in QTEs is that they give you fake freedom instead of real freedom, which is the whole point of a video game. Input based on the player.
My sentiment exactly.
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« Reply #36 on: January 30, 2012, 02:45:15 PM »

Quote
However, you don't move the story, the story drags you along. You could essentially just start up the game, and put the controller down and the game would just keep going.
That's not just limited to Heavy Rain though. I feel the same way about a lot of other modern action games with more "complex" mechanics and less QTEs (Uncharted for instance). Handholding, excessive checkpoints and all other mechanics aimed at making failure either impossible or insignificant contribute to reducing the player's sense of agency. At least Heavy Rain is "honest" about it rather than trying to trick me into thinking I'm still playing a "real" game.
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« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2012, 02:48:18 PM »

Handholding, excessive checkpoints and all other mechanics aimed at making failure either impossible or insignificant contribute to reducing the player's sense of agency.
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« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2012, 02:50:14 PM »

exactly the sort of thing im talking about. that game was a snoozefest.
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« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2012, 03:39:30 PM »

heavy rain's greatest weakness is the terrible plot and how seriously it takes itself. for a game that purports to be about "storytelling," shouldn't telling a story that's, y'know, good be a requirement?

The plot gets good on the second half of the game when there's a lot of action sequences, but until then there's a bunch of useless interactive scenes that could be just be told through non-interactive movies and wouldn't be so tedious and ridiculous.


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

I'm playing L.A. Noire right now and indeed, the chases in that game are much better.
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« Reply #40 on: January 30, 2012, 03:57:12 PM »

I don't see how anything you said has anything to do with QTEs. It's about branching narrative in response to simple actions, control timing, and consequences.

Quick time events are simple actions with controlled timing that have direct consequences based on user input. I don't see how you could say I said nothing to do with QTEs. They are all quintessential parts of the QTE. Sure, a QTE isn't the only way of dealing with that, but they're still entirely relevant. Please try to be more open-minded in our further dialogues. I can tell you have a problem with QTEs, but being contrary without regards to what is actually being said won't help either of us understand game design more.

Imagine how much better the game would be if all of those actions were bound to buttons/directions in a character-familiar logical context context instead of flashed on the screen like someone yelling "you're doing this now".

The game would be the same game, only certain buttons would have permanent context instead of immediate context. You'd certainly have to memorize more, because there would be (if I'm understanding you correctly) a consistent control scheme, instead of always being on your toes, so to speak. Now, I can only speak for myself, but as I've said the MOST FUN thing about the game was that feeling of risk and the incredibly fast moving action sequences. When I was in that mindset of OH SHIT ONCOMING TRAFFIC SWERVE SWERVE I didn't really care that I was pressing circle then square instead of the designated RIGHT FOOT + TURN HANDS button combo. The means for which my actions were made were inconsequential. In fact, I believe if I was forced to recall those buttons on the fly instead of being given a visceral readout, I would have a higher chance to fail and be frustrated, as it would have taken me out of the immersion of OH SHIT WHATDOIDO and brought me into "which buttons do what again??? was it square square cirCLOHSHIT"

The real issue here is I'm failing to see why the game telling me what to do is bad. Your argument is REALLY unclear. What I'm extrapolating, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that you prefer a sense of order in a game. It needs to have a logical control scheme in order to be better. The fact that Heavy Rain uses QTEs that utilize players pressing buttons is bothersome to you because you feel slighted by someone telling you what to do in a game if it seems random.

To this (potentially strawman - help me out) argument, I say that it really didn't matter. It really doesn't matter. The game isn't about putting your left foot in, taking it out, and doing the hokey pokey. It's about fast-paced stimulus response to grip the player and give them a really visceral sense of tension and speed. The QTE structure lends itself well to this because of its quick method of delivering and resolving information. Think of it as Simon says if that helps. You can't say Simon says isn't a game because there's no consistent Simon scheme. If Simon says hop on one foot you better hop on one fucking foot or you're OUT. It'd be boring if Simon had a flowchart and you had to deduce what Simon wants you to do from memory of the Simon System tm or else you'd be out. Fast paced games don't need structured rules, they need thematic rules.

The serious inherent flaw in QTEs is that they give you fake freedom instead of real freedom, which is the whole point of a video game. Input based on the player.

This makes absolutely no sense to me. The last thing games are about is freedom. Freedom can be utilized BY a game as a method of having fun, but fun is always the end goal. Freedom is never the final objective, and if you make a game that isn't fun at all but gives you a lot of choices, then why even play it?

And what about QTEs take away from freedom? You have the freedom to respond or not to the call of the QTE. What if I don't WANT to cut my finger off. I can choose to not press the buttons. Choice. Player input. What about if I don't want to win a fist fight? I have that freedom. There's nothing fake about it. Performing a QTE isn't any less free than performing a jump to access a risky shortcut in a racing game.

So if you could respond the to these points, I think I might glean a little more understanding into what is currently a very murky argument against QTEs.
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« Reply #41 on: January 30, 2012, 04:07:09 PM »

Quote
The plot gets good on the second half of the game when there's a lot of action sequences, but until then there's a bunch of useless interactive scenes that could be just be told through non-interactive movies and wouldn't be so tedious and ridiculous.
I played through the entire thing. The plot is convoluted as fuck and has gigantic holes. It's also full of generic crime drama bullshit. This is supposed to be a "serious, mature" videogame? lol
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« Reply #42 on: January 30, 2012, 04:23:38 PM »

Quote
The plot gets good on the second half of the game when there's a lot of action sequences, but until then there's a bunch of useless interactive scenes that could be just be told through non-interactive movies and wouldn't be so tedious and ridiculous.
I played through the entire thing. The plot is convoluted as fuck and has gigantic holes. It's also full of generic crime drama bullshit. This is supposed to be a "serious, mature" videogame? lol

I've been watching videos of the gameplay (if it can be called that), and lordy the dialog is bad.  I will also agree that the plot is absurd.

I think the game was exceedingly well marketed.  I remember when it was in development there was a lot of teasing, lots of whispers about how it was the next generation of storytelling.  I remember the media crowing about how video games were finally getting a masterprice, a breath of fresh air from your Halos and Gears of War, an intelligent game with a serious plot starring normal people.

But it's just a bad M. Night Shyamalan movie.  It was certainly different from what most people had seen of video games, and if you're able to scream loud enough that something's "good" then you release something that's "different", people won't know what to believe and they'll trust you.
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« Reply #43 on: January 30, 2012, 04:30:37 PM »

Discussion of whether or not Heavy Rain is "A bad M. Night Shyamalan movie" has absolutely zero to due with Quick Time Events.

You can validate your self-indulgent opinions of literary tastes somewhere else. This is about game design, and specifically the use of Quick Time Events as a method of gameplay.
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« Reply #44 on: January 30, 2012, 04:47:58 PM »

Fair enough.

I've heard the philosophy before that "movies are movies, games are games.  Let movies be movies, let games be games, don't mix the two."

The reasoning behind this is that movies and games have an irreconcilably difference.

Movies are passive entertainment.  You sit there and watch.  Absorbing the story, and the experience of watching, is what you're supposed to do.  You're free to interpret, but you cannot change the film.  It is made and it is static.

Games are active entertainment.  The player is not just audience, they are a component in the active creation of the experience.  Without the player, there is no game, just software that doesn't do anything.

Some people have suggested that cutscenes of any ilk are bad, and that the player should always be in control of the character.  If you want to watch cutscenes, go watch a movie.  Games should be about interaction and agency, and weakening that is bad.

Personally, I'm not convinced that cutscenes are bad, or that games and movies should never mix, but I do think they're tricky to get right.  Cutscenes are good for providing context, and delivering a very specific experience to the player.  However, I don't think they should be used for wholesale narrative dumps, and that many stories can benefit from gameplay and cutscene being interwoven.  More like "gameplay with a side of exposition" than "sit tight and watch a 5 minute movie."

QTE's try to merge gameplay and movie together, but only end up botching the strong suits of both mediums.  They prevent the player from experiencing the movie as a movie by invading the crafted nature of film and demanding the player's attention.  No longer can the player be the passive audience and enjoy the experience.  The trade off is that you get some really shallow, arbitrary gameplay.  Waggle this thing, press that button, jiggle this joystick.  Demanding someone's attention, making them perform a task, does not mean you are engaging them.  If the task is thoughtless and arbitrary, there is no way for the player to make any meaningful choices, or experience any meaningful challenge, and thus the experience is largely wasted.

You're just left with a movie that can't be enjoyed, and a segment of gameplay that's boring.

Again, I'm not opposed to cinematic moments of gameplay, or having narrative occur during gameplay.  I'm not a gigantic fan of moving from cutscene->gameplay->cutscene->gameplay either.  If you're going to make an "interactive cutscene" though, make the gameplay just as good as the rest of the game.  If you do, you no longer have a QTE and have what a QTE wants to be, and arguably, something useful for the game's experience.
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