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Game Writers: The Non-Interactive Cut-Scene Has To Go

There was a time when long cut-scenes were the norm for most story-driven games, including many RPGs and the legendary Metal Gear Solid franchise.

Even in this generation, MGS4 featured some of the longest non-interactive cut-scenes ever. But as technology advances (and attention spans continue to dwindle), completely passive scenes in a game may be unnecessary and in fact, going forward, maybe they should disappear entirely. At least that's what some of the industry's top writers believe.

In speaking to Gamasutra, Valve's Chet Faliszek (Half-Life, Portal), Irrational Games' Ken Levine (Bioshock) and Frictional Games' Thomas Grip (Amnesia: The Dark Descent) all spoke about ways storytelling in video games will have to change in the future. And at the top of the list: "death to the non-interactive cut-scene." Faliszek said he thinks players today "have less and less patience for sitting through a cut-scene, waiting for the story to unfold." Levine agreed and elaborated:

"Modal switches are strange in a narrative. I think the closest thing is probably Broadway musicals. They switch from acting out a scene to singing a song, and that's a bit of a leap to make because it's so different. It's a form that you have to get accustomed to, whereas stage plays take less acclimation because they're consistent."

Grip added that games shouldn't strive to be like films, either. After all, this is an interactive hobby and that alone is a gigantic difference.

"There is a big difference in our relationship to a protagonist when you are a passive observer compared to playing as that character. I think the jump to a cutscene removes much of the empathy that you might have in a movie. Because of this, I believe games can never become as emotionally powerful as movies, even if the cutscenes are done exactly like film. This means that in order to improve the medium, other methods need to be used."

RPG fans came to love the beautiful cut-scene in the early days of PlayStation, simply because it showed what technology could do, beyond the realm of the sprites. FMV and CGI were huge; such advances vaulted video games into another stratosphere and opened the eyes of many. But we're already past that and now it's time to focus on better ways of telling an interactive story.

Tags: game stories, video game storytelling, game development

3/13/2012 9:41:18 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (68 posts)

Highlander
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:07:28 AM
Reply

No. Just no. You're Wrong Ben, as are the folks you're quoting in this article. the non-interactive cutscene has as much a place today as it ever has. If a non-interactive cutscene has no place in games then we might as well just turn off our TVs and close the movie theaters. Non-interactive cutscenes are wonderful instruments for conveying emotion and narrative that cannot be handled within gameplay. Not to mention they can be used for exposition at any stage in the game. I completely disagree with the notion that non-interactive cut-scenes should somehow be jettisoned as if they are no longer viable or are too old fashioned for the cool kids. That's just lazy.

As for games never being "as emotionally powerful as movies", all I can say is that Mr Grip et al, need to climb down from their ivory towers and play some games. If you played through Xenosaga episode 1 and were not emotional at the end of that game, you're a hardhearted ass. If you played All the Xenosaga games and were not crying by the end of Episode 3, you're simply not a human being. Both episode 1 and Episode 3 more than effectively create an emotional attachment to the characters through both game play and cutscene. The ending of Xenosaga was for me as emotional as the ending to almost any movie I've ever seen. So as far as I am concerned Messrs Grip, Levine and Faliszek can take their elitist attitudes and shove them where the sun doesn't shine.

One further comment. We saw this last week in the Kara video. that video conveyed a story and emotion and people gained an emotional connection with the character despite the lack of interaction in the scene. Are we really saying that games do not need that kind of scene to be played out? What rubbish.

Last edited by Highlander on 3/13/2012 10:10:15 AM

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gumbi
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:17:31 AM

What he said ^

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Temjin001
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:26:58 AM

Going to have to approve of Highlander's sentiments. Just because there's a perspective that suggests this form of entertainment ought to be only a certain way. I really enjoyed Xenosaga and MGS, and in part to their story scenes.

I like ice cream analogies. These guys seem to me suggest that ice cream must always be mixed, and never layered, like neopaliton. If this were true, I'd never have MGS as an all time fav of mine.

I understand the desire to make gaming more approachable because of attention span reasons, but let those efforts exist for simple pick up and play games and twitch-fests. AAA games are usually triple A because they attempt to create a medoly of many design conventions.

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br0d1n
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:31:38 AM

I have to agree. For me, growing up and gaming back before in-game graphics looked as good as CGI/FMV, cutscenes were like a reward. Some of my first favorite games, FF7 and Warcraft 2, exemplified this. Yes the gameplay was enjoyable, but it was always a treat to finish an act or beat a boss and get to sit back and relax and watch an awesome vid.

That's not to say that interactive type scenes can't be a great way to both explore plot and keep the gamer involved, but I don't think this is an either-or situation.

I think all this focus on better story-telling and pushing the medium of video gaming to the next level is great and all, but I hope industry leaders don't lose sight of the classic elements that made us all gamers in the first place. A truly great game needs to balance fun, challenging gameplay with compelling stories and innovation. Striving too hard towards any of these aspects may lead to something good, but more likely than not the end product will lack the atmosphere that really sucks people in from start to finish.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 11:04:44 AM

Oh no, that's not my opinion. I was only reflecting the opinion of the writers in that interview.

I've never had any problem with non-interactive cut-scenes and I agree with everything you said.

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Highlander
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 11:09:42 AM

Phew! that's a relief Ben, I was concerned that you had somehow gone native with this new generation of cool kids that are too cool for cut-scenese.

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frostface
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:06:36 PM

No. Just no. You're Wrong TheHighlander, I want to PLAY my video games, not sit through long cut-scenes that need to drip feed me the narrative. Why are you so against dev's finding better ways to convey these emotions through GAMEPLAY rather than a CGI filler?

I'm not saying that every game should just do away with cut-scenes but even the Uncharted series has way too many relative to the length of the game.

Now I'll usually just watch through the cut-scenes and I'm not passionate about doing away with them completely, I'm just making my case relative to the discussion.

Last edited by frostface on 3/13/2012 12:08:49 PM

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:28:25 PM

I have to agree with Highlander, some of my best WTF "WOW" moments were from emotional N-I cut-scenes.....
....."Sons of the Patriots, or Heavy Rain anyone"?????

Last edited by BikerSaint on 3/13/2012 12:29:07 PM

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frostface
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:32:39 PM

Don't get me wrong, some cut-scenes I do enjoy. But I'm all for new ways of getting the story across without them. I'd rather play the experience than have the game take me out of it.

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NiteKrawler
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:41:32 PM

I'm glad I don't have to write a huge long post. Highlander did it for me and did it better.

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Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 1:30:07 PM

Thats thehighlander i know.

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booze925
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 3:19:53 PM

You know, I was going t say something, but you said it all. Thank you.

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Axe99
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 4:25:52 PM

This is a silly thing to say - particularly by game writers! Without some degree of control over the player (ie, non-interactivity), you _can't_ tell a story (at least, not one you write). You need to be able to restrain their actions, or they'll go and wander off and miss the main event, or shoot someone who does something important, or what-have-you. Even Half-life (the poster-boy of interactive storytelling) had a number of parts where it effectively railroaded the player into listening to what was going on - because if it didn't, it couldn't tell a story. Sure, players could turn their head, but that's hardly interaction (ie, it has no impact on what's going on - so it's not 'inter'-active).

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chilker
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 7:14:18 PM

That has to be the most thumbs ups I have ever seen on a single post on this website. And you earned every single one of them. Well said!
I don't mind cutscenes at all. They help propel the story forward in ways that just wouldn't really be feasible with a fully-controllable character.

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Palpatations911
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 9:18:41 PM

Interactive cutscenes are great. However, let's leave it to great game series like Heavy Rain and God of War before they get played out.

I've seen several games rip off God of War's interactive cut scenes and it is already getting annoying. IM LOOKING AT YOU DARKSIDERS :)

Personally, my favorite cut scenes are the rendered ones where I can still move about and interact with the game environment a la Skyrim. I love seeing events unfold in front of me while I still have control of the game.





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Underdog15
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 @ 9:13:52 AM

I think he just set a thumbs up record. lol

As an additional note, it's already agreed by 100% of the theatre world that interactive performances have their perks. But you lack the ability to achieve the same depth of story as a performance that is controlled by the performers alone.

Interactivity has it's merits, but even in a non-digital realm, it's extremely limited.

Interactivity is cool, and all. And you can do some things you wouldn't be able to do with a controlled dialogue, but the depth, symbolism, and many other artistic strokes that make a narrative great are simply not possible with a complete interactive model.

Sometimes a non-interactive cut-scene is necessary. It will always be that way. It always has been since the 1500's.

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Highlander
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 @ 10:24:05 AM

Lol Underdog, how dare you use Shakespear as an argument for the non-interactive cutscene...why it's almost like you think a good monolog is needed in a play, or that prologues and epilogues have a place in theater. Why you....you....you traditionalist!

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Temjin001
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 @ 10:42:31 AM

Holy crappers Highlander, 55 and 2.
That's got to be a PSXe record ;)

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Crabba
Friday, March 16, 2012 @ 5:20:36 PM

Well said Highlander. You really only need one word to understand why this is COMPLETELY WRONG: Kara!! Enough said.

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gray_eagle
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:20:33 AM
Reply

cut scenes imo are a must have in games.
the cut scenes in mgs4, i think there was a little
where the player could interact while a conversation
was going on.

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JCARROLL
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:26:16 AM
Reply

The idea of the absence of non-interactive cut-scenes worries me. If I play through a 50 hour RPG and get to the end of the game, how would the game come to the end without an epic cut-scene? Would I just defeat the final boss and it would just end? No, that wouldn't be any good. Would I play through a quick time event? Not many people like those. I can't think of a decent way to replace cut-scenes.

Last edited by JCARROLL on 3/13/2012 10:26:58 AM

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cadpig
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:27:52 AM
Reply

TheHighlander for the win!!! That kara video drives the point home.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:39:21 AM

But that was not a game... That was a short movie. There's plenty movies to see out there, if that's the kind of experience you are after?

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Highlander
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:56:57 AM

Beamboom, you're missing the point. The Kara video could easily have been a non-interactive cutscene in a game. As such it nicely illustrates that non-interactive cut-scenes do indeed have a place.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 11:12:10 AM

highlander:
Yes of course - and there's also been a lot of *wonderful* cut-scenes in games I'd never want to be without!

All I simply believe, is that it doesn't *have* to be like that in order to deliver a beautiful/emotional scene any more. And that's how I understand this article too. He doesn't say "no story, no emotions, no scenes". He simply says he believe there's better ways of doing it today. And, well, I agree! I believe there may be so.
And I think his comparison with musicals versus stage plays was an excellent point.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/13/2012 11:25:01 AM

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shadowscorpio
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:59:13 PM

@ Beamboom

But I think that the reason that non-interactive cutscenes were even implemented are because developers found that it would be an effective way to portray emotion / intensity etc. in ways that couldn't be done before.

If they stripped gameplay completely and replaced it entirely with cutscenes then yes it would be a short film. But thats not the case. Usually the cutscene ratio in video games is signifigantly smaller.

Off topic: TALES OF GRACES F OUT NOW FOR PS3! SUPPORT JRPGS!!!!!!

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Beamboom
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 1:32:28 PM

Exactly Shadow. That was why it was implemented: They did it because all of a sudden they could! They did it because it opened up new possibilities.

Now we are at a stage where other opportunities arise, and with that, new possibilities. Just like back then. A different - and *I* believe - better way of portray emotion/intensity in ways that couldn't be done before.

So essentially this is just history repeating itself, right? Not sure that's what you meant but that's actually a very nice way to see it.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/13/2012 1:44:09 PM

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Palpatations911
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 9:24:40 PM

Don't lie, you know you all wanted to "interact" with Kara! haha!

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Highlander
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 @ 10:25:02 AM

There's always one, isn't there?

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Beamboom
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:45:43 AM
Reply

I fully agree.

There was a time where cut-scenes had a place in games: Back when scenes of this nature *had* to be pre-rendered.

It's not like that today. It's about time to explore the unique properties of this medium. Time to discover the *real* potential of gaming.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/13/2012 10:47:54 AM

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Highlander
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:57:34 AM

You're one of those that believes in change for the same of change aren't you?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 11:05:50 AM

No, he just doesn't like linearity and storytelling. If that's not your bag, you'll never really want anything but continual action and more immersion via freedom and choice.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 11:06:39 AM

@Highlander:
Hmmm... I don't know... Maybe?
At least I'm not against changes in_itself_, not when it changes to something better.

Sometimes you don't know if it is for the better unless you actually try. And in those cases I'm probably one of those who may be willing to try, yes.

And if that is what it is to believe in changes for the sake of change, well then I may be guilty. :)

@Ben:
I don't know why you say that, but the part about storytelling is not true. I simply believe that in games it can be told via other means than pre-rendered scenes.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/13/2012 11:08:45 AM

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Highlander
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 11:11:02 AM

Beamboom, interactive scenes have a place as well, but there are lots of scenes in games that could never be interactive and would lose their impact if they were.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 11:20:51 AM

Highlander,
I fully understand how you think, and I understand what you are afraid to lose. And none of us want to lose those magical moments. Yes, we are on the same side there, in that we both want the sensation of a good cut-scene.
There are scenes for example in Mass Effect that really could not have anything to earn from being interactive. They need to be like that, *today*.

The main difference between your view and mine is that I believe there is another way - a *better* way.
This is where I place my trust in the creativity, talent and technology of today and tomorrow. I think they may manage to further merge the game and the cutscene. And I think that is the right direction to go. To become more a stage play, less a musical.

We have already now seen a merge of gameplay and cutscenes in that cutscenes nowadays usually are done live, not pre-rendered. They could not do that before. That's one step.

What's the next step? We shall see! But please all, don't misinterpret me like I think Ben do here in that I want to get rid of fantastic stories, scenes and drama. I do not at all. I just think it may be a better way - a way unique for the game medium.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/13/2012 11:38:40 AM

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Highlander
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 11:33:20 AM

Well, I just rewatched some of the ending from Xenosaga 3, and it's lost none of it's impact. Funnily enough it's actually generated using the in-game engine, and not pre-rendered. For me, it simply re-enforces the reasons for having cutscenes as they are.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:00:09 PM

I swear Beam just dips his finger in to see what the community has to say than says the exact opposite just to get a reaction out of the rest of us.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:10:30 PM

Unless the pre-rendered stuff is truly spectacular (Onimusha 3, Final Fantasy etc) I tend to prefer in-game rendered cutscenes. I like how the it keeps it's visual continuity (no spell checker on my Windows machine =p)

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Nagi
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:17:59 PM

@Jawk

Because Beam usually has a difference of opinion? I just see it as his tastes substantially differs from the majority of the community. Most of his comments do stick out at times, but he always make sure to either respectfully agree, disagree, support, concede, compromise, and always conduct himself accordingly.

At the end of the day, how do you spark interesting discussions if you everybody chooses to agree with each other all the time?

Guy has a lot of class.

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Highlander
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:20:17 PM

I agree temjin, I like the in-game engine rendered cutscenes better myself. Although there are some really effective and epic scenes that are pre-rendered.

But I have noticed that increasingly games will use the in-game engine with an additional rendering pass to enhance quality when presenting cutscenes. Because the cutscenes is non-interactive the designers take advantage of the additional processor cycles and embellish the rendering. They do this in WKC2 where the same world data, scenes and character models are used for the cutscenes, but the rendering of faces and textures is a step up from what you see during game-play itself. It's a nice blend of the higher quality you might see with pre-rendered, and the use of in-game models and engine.

Last edited by Highlander on 3/13/2012 12:20:53 PM

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Temjin001
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:23:32 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkIhvprU7FI&feature=related

No matter how many times I watch this I'm always blown away.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:37:19 PM

yeah, Highlander, they look to have finally done that for Assassin's Creed. It always bugged me how poor the character facial detail was in story sequences, making it easy to know they didn't put extra effort (probably didn't have the time) to generate cut-scene models that sport extra detail because of freed up resources. AC Revelations looked to have remedied this as their facial detail looked to have more than doubled.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:40:34 PM

don't know about htat Nagi, I'm pretty sure BeamBoom said your were gay the other day =p

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Nagi
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 1:43:32 PM

@Temjin...There you go again spreading rumors XD.

Man, I love pre-rendered cutscenes, going to cherish the few games that still use them, because they won't be around for very long. For me games are not a seamless experience nor do I want them to be, so a brief change in art direction doesn't bother me a bit.

I really like the implementation of the technique in games such as the FF series, UT3, and I like the use of anime cutscenes in games such as Xenogears and Chrono Trigger.

It's a small way to switch things up, and keep a game fresh during a playthrough. The way I see it, if your going to sink some hours into a game, it doesn't hurt to implement a little visual variety here and there.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 6:51:34 PM

Temjin001,
I've got good news & then I've got not-as-good news....

The good news:
Capcom has just confirmed that they're putting out "Onimusha Soul"

The not-as-good news:
It's only for Browsers(June 28th, 2012), & smartphones(in Aug this year).

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Temjin001
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 @ 10:41:49 AM

Other than knowing what Capcom is doing with the franchise right now that's pretty much bad news all around =)
Since when do internet browsers steal away console franchises?

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FM23
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 11:09:42 AM
Reply

I need cutscenes in my games. That's why Skyrim will never be a masterpiece too me.

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jimmyhandsome
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 11:39:07 AM
Reply

I think at some point the lines will get blurry between interactive and non-interactive cutscenes. Heavy Rain and other games that implement QTE have begun this trend. I'm indifferent either way. I think it depends on the game I'm playing.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:22:59 PM

Ahhhh - OMG, of course! Heavy Rain! Dude, that's the *perfect* example! That game is essentially a string of interactive cut-scenes!

Guys: Think back to that scene where father and son sat at that playground small-talking, where the father tried to bond with his son.

Now, that scene *could* have been a tear dripping pre-scripted traditional cut-scene where you just sat back and watched. Sure, it could have been both emotional and memorable, like any good movie scene.

But who would have preferred that to actually participate in that conversation there and then, like you did in Heavy Rain? *That's* what we talk about here!!


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/13/2012 12:36:16 PM

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slugga_status
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 2:33:07 PM

Heavy Rain is one game that actually got it right. Yet, some games I don't see that style fitting. Some QTE's are just bothersome. In the long run I don't think everyone will be happy..Im open for a new way of story telling but if isn't done correctly some of us would be po'd..

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jimmyhandsome
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 2:55:20 PM

Agree with both of you guys. There needs to be a balance of both. MGS4 had ridiculously long cut scenes. To the point where you almost forget that youre playing a videogame. Some people like that, I personally am a little turned off by it. I much rather play a game like Heavy Rain, where you constantly have *some* control over the scenes.

I'm not in favor of completely doing away with non-interactive cutscenes though. I just think there needs to be more of a balance. I personally think you can tell a better story that way.

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slugga_status
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 @ 9:27:15 AM

I loved the cut scenes in MGS4 and didn't mind them as I'm a hardcore fan of MGS series and used to the long narratives. Yet, I do agree some scenes were ridiculously too long.

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cLoudou
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:34:24 PM
Reply

SMH...again people trying to dictate what people like and don't like through generalization. People prefer different things...*sigh

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 2:19:50 PM
Reply

no

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Jawknee
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 4:17:42 PM

I second this no.

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TheCanadianGuy
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 3:35:11 PM
Reply

load of crap. some of the most exciting and emotional gaming moments i've ever experienced were during cut scenes. most recently the ending of assassins creed revelations.

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karneli lll
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 4:23:50 PM
Reply

If David Cage said this i might've thought about it but from someone who did bioshock (laziest form of storytelling ever IMO)...whatever.

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Robochic
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 4:50:45 PM
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what highlander said :)

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Ichigo40
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 4:52:44 PM
Reply

Yeah I dont like that idea...I'm sorry but I dont want to become a mindless fast twitch ADD gamer. Cut scenes can draw out some emotions and tie you that much more to the games. Look at Mass Effect 3 for an example since its fresh on our minds...there were plenty of moments during cut scenes where my jaw dropped and I felt a major loss. I didnt have to sit there and perform a QTE which was great because I was focus on the story...and because of that it only made me feel more a part of the ME Universe.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 4:53:48 PM
Reply

I love enjoying cut scenes without worrying that a QTE is gonna pop up while I'm trying to enjoy my little reward for advancing the story. I also like when I need to sit back and go "Hey I need to figure something out here using my brain" instead of constant patience-less insanity. That is unless I'm in the mood for insanity, but I'm not always in that mood.

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Warrior Poet
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 7:10:36 PM
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No way. Cutting out a useful device like cutscenes just for the sake of constant interactivity is silly. It doesn't matter if a game is ALWAYS interactive. Often the cutscenes will create context and atmosphere that simply can't be done otherwise. There's nothing wrong with cutscenes as a tool as long as they're used properly. I do agree that some games have cutscene problems, but cutscenes themselves are not the problem.

Keep in mind the reasons that people play these games. In a game like Lunar, the cutscenes are essential to the storytelling. The gameplay would not be as enjoyable without them, either. In a game like Bioshock, they would be out of place and unnatural. Instead of saying "cutscenes are unnatural for games" we should be asking about each game specifically. The difference is in what the player expects from the game. They want different things out of it and the games should have different content because of that.

While I agree that games should not try to be like films, I think it's silly to say they can't have film elements. What about music? 2D animation? Art and architecture? Games have those but it's not what they are.

An afterthought: I really don't like QTEs from a design standpoint. I think it's silly and defeats the purpose of enjoying scenes while making the gameplay as dumb as it possibly can be.

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Amnesiac
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 7:30:57 PM
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Why not take non-interactive cut scenes that much further? The article points out that games aren't like movies so they don't need to adhere to the same principles then.
Make a fully rotational "panoramic" cut-scene.
Have the player also simulate being the director. Load the surrounding environment for different angles in mind for the scene. Let the story play out in more interesting ways.

eg: If the game is about a caper to solve, then buried within each cutscene would be additional clues or suspects dependent solely on what viewer is seeing.

Last edited by Amnesiac on 3/13/2012 7:34:30 PM

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Rogueagent01
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:58:06 PM
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Every tear I have ever shed for a videogame came during a cutscene, I can't imagine a future where games don't have cutscenes. QTEs are a decent step toward the future, but most of the time they take away from the game or story and become nothing more than a nuisance. Some games can benefit from having more interactive cutscenes and some can even benefit from having none at all, but most games truely need them.

Just imagine if you were able to be interactive with the scene in FFVII where Aeris meets her maker. Think how bad that would have hurt the story. "Oops I turned my head and didn't see what happened" or "I jumped in and stopped it" No, NO, NO they are needed.

Highlander you really need to sit at a brainstorming session with all these companies and put them in their place.

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Highlander
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 @ 10:29:20 AM

FFVII, and Aeris. Yes, that is an epic scene, and as most here know, I found (and still do find) it so jarring that I won't play the game past that scene. I agree 100% with you, had that been some interactive scene, then it would not have had the same impact. I also wonder how much more angry with the game I would have been had the developer given me the illusion of interaction with the scene, but no way to stop what happens to Aeris. I mean, I already felt completely powerless, but if they'd given me more interaction with the scene the inability to alter the course of the scene would have been even more galling.

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___________
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 @ 4:24:40 AM
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WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
F*CK NO!!!!!!!!!!
come on cut scenes are sometimes the best parts of games!
ME3 for example, my jaw still drops every time i switch to a cut scene and watch the normandy come out of hyperspace to join a massive battle of thousands of ships shooting at each other!
its like being back in the cinemas watching star wars again!
ive got infinite respect for these guys, pun intended.
but sorry this time there DEAD wrong!

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JackC8
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 @ 8:15:54 AM
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Jeez, how clueless can this guy get? Cutscenes are great when you've got an interesting story and characters that you care about. They're boring when you've got an uninteresting story and characters you don't care about. It's not exactly rocket science.

And when are these people going to realize that not EVERY game needs to cater to the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder crowd? Every survey shows that the average age of gamers is somewhere in their thirties, but from reading this you'd think we're all in the 9 - 12 year old age bracket.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 @ 9:21:47 AM
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For half a millennium, people have been saying with newer technology, interactive will be the way to go. (I'm dipping into theatre history now)

The -fact- is, interactive will always have a place in performance, theatre, and story-telling, as it can achieve some marvelous things. But you cannot remove the controlled aspects. (in the case of games, the non-interactive cutscene)

The depth, foresight of a director, symbolism, characters, etc. cannot be achieved to it's full potential when you throw in uncontrollable variables. It simply can't be done. Theatres have tried for centuries upon centuries, and it's universally accepted it cannot be done to the same potential degree.

It just can't. Even Heavy Rain, which is largely interactive, reaches a point ALL THE TIME when the story takes over with controlled story-telling. We can interact with actions, but they only point to a particular direction. We do not have the ability to change the possible outcomes beyond what is pre-determined already by the game-makers. The decisions we made in that game, take us in a direction, then the narrative takes over. It gives the -illusion- of inclusivity, but the cut-scenes are largely controlled.

Why?

Because it could not achieve the same depth without control over itself. Unmovable cutscenes are necessary in it. -ESPECIALLY- the endings.

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jonny_wonny
Thursday, March 15, 2012 @ 11:03:57 AM
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"Because of this, I believe games can never become as emotionally powerful as movies"

For me personally (and I bet for many other people as well) that is just flat out not true. The Metal Gear Solid games have moved me closer to tears (and beyond) more than pretty much any movie I have ever seen. And when did that happen? During the _cut scenes_.

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