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The Royal Archives => Fan Feedback => Topic started by: StingingVelvet on July 10, 2010, 10:37:01 PM

Title: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: StingingVelvet on July 10, 2010, 10:37:01 PM
I've played a good bit of it now and I really do like it, but I feel the narrator comments are too long.  They were always short and pithy in the old games, and there's reason for that.

Anyone agree?
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: wilco64256 on July 10, 2010, 10:38:53 PM
I can still read them pretty quickly, so it doesn't make a whole lot of difference to me.  Some of them were pretty short in past games, but I remember some of them being fairly lengthy in KQ6 and the later Space Quest games.  There are a few narrator comments that are particularly long in this game that still work out to be totally hilarious - try opening the chest in front of the Pawn Shop.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: Snowmation on July 10, 2010, 11:09:17 PM
They were pretty long, but since they had a good Narrator the length of the comments didn't really bother me.  I also think the game developers wanted to give the user the impression the characters had been living their lives before the day the game starts on by giving more detailed comments from the narrator.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: hobbitsubculture on July 10, 2010, 11:22:58 PM
Agreed.  I don't enjoy when narrator comments are so long that I feel like I have to turn on the text so I can read and get through them faster.  I was impatient to play, and the narrator just kept going.

But for the most part, the long comments had to do with Graham's memories, feelings, and opinions.  I'm always a fan of character development, and those comments fleshed out Graham's relationship with his family while immersing me in his emotional state at the same time.  Though I did catch a long bit about a rock, and one about a tree.

So I guess have mixed feelings about the comments.  Nice additions to the story, nice voice work, but still too long.  
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: tessspoon on July 10, 2010, 11:24:44 PM
I didn't mind them at all, I like that the offer a way to get extra details or funny stories.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: Davidtry on July 10, 2010, 11:32:55 PM
First off I love the game, great job! I've been waiting a long time.  I too thought they were a little long at some parts I remembered them from older games being a little quicker.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: B'rrr on July 11, 2010, 02:09:29 AM
Some might be long, but they can only be too long when they are annoying (which I didn't experienced them as, so far). Personally I like to hear the comments about everything at least once, you can always skip through them if you get the same comment about something for the second time.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: Kimmie on July 11, 2010, 03:18:46 AM
Some might be long, but they can only be too long when they are annoying (which I didn't experienced them as, so far). Personally I like to hear the comments about everything at least once, you can always skip through them if you get the same comment about something for the second time.

I agree! You have to hear them first time around to get the whole feel of the game! If you've heard it before, just click and the problem goes away!

You can't say that there aren't some hilarious narrator comments that pop up quite frequently, I for one wouldnt want to miss any of that comedy gold just so I can get through the game faster!
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: StingingVelvet on July 11, 2010, 03:48:17 AM
I just know when I click on a flower and I get three paragraphs, it feels a little overdone.  It's nothing against the game, and the info is well done, but I just think for future episodes it could be condensed to get across the same point with less voice.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: GwydionAE on July 11, 2010, 03:49:04 AM
I found a few a bit on the long side, but mostly they seemed to do a pretty good job of immersing you in the lives of the characters previous to that day.  I liked the ones where they would talk about how people felt about certain things or why something was the way it was or when Graham was fondly remembering a place, but every once in a while it did seem a bit much.  I mean, that's a LOT of vases Cassima's grandfather must have brought with him as a gift! XD

But overall, I thought the lengthy narration was a nice touch to really bring you into their world.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: B'rrr on July 11, 2010, 04:33:12 AM
I mean, that's a LOT of vases Cassima's grandfather must have brought with him as a gift! XD

why break up a set?  ;)
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: kindofdoon on July 11, 2010, 07:50:35 AM
I agree. The narrator felt rambly and irrelevant.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: Ebenezer on July 11, 2010, 12:17:14 PM
Absolutely have to agree.  I thought the voice and tone were fine, but the comments went on and on and on.  And then frequently I would click to skip through the comment, only to click one extra time and have another slew of comments start up.

I shudder at how if there were text you could quickly read old school style and no voice acting how much shorter it would have been.  It's short as it is, and a good portion of that I spent standing still just listening to the narrations.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: redflagkid on July 11, 2010, 06:32:10 PM
I think the thing that annoyed me the most was that I had to stand there motionless and listen to it.  Maybe if i could have continued walking while the narrator went on and on about an empty chest, I would have been ok with it.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: Shmargin on July 11, 2010, 06:51:45 PM
Nah, you guys either didn't really play that many old Sierra games, or just forgot. I remember narrator rants where the grey box with the text took up a 4th of the screen, none in this game were that long.

As for being irrelevant, thats kinda what happens when you look at every object in a room, you can either get information that you should have known wouldn't be necessary. It wouldn't be much better if you say "look at flower" and the narrator just said "It's a flower".

The point is to give you more information other than what your eyeballs already tell you. Just my opinion I suppose, but I actually liked the narration and thought it reminded me a lot of Sierras writing style back in the day.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: wilco64256 on July 11, 2010, 06:58:43 PM
I actually think that would be funny if they did that - had a room somewhere in this game where everything you looked at you just got the most obvious explanation.  "Graham sees a bed."  "Graham sees a door."  etc.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: Flubly on July 12, 2010, 09:23:55 AM
The profound amount of psychological insight was very unlike King's Quest to me.  I think the drama factor is steering the game away from the original implicative atmosphere of the games and tending towards over explanation.  There is a common methodology to the first six games that is consistently retained in world immersion when it relates to writing.  Don't be afraid to draw out the characters more through ambiguous means, everything doesn't have to be straight related to the tension at hand and you can reveal stuff about the character by more natural means I think.  

Sorry if I'm off the mark here but I don't think that my perception in a clear basic difference from this game and the other original six that I've played many times is merely an illusion that I conjured out of nothingness.

Reading through the explanation given for why the episode was so short, may also apply to this aspect too.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: nathanb on July 12, 2010, 11:37:15 AM
I too wouldn't mind the long comments if only I could just keep moving while they are being narrated...
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: Curiousriz on July 12, 2010, 11:57:49 AM
I actually enjoy her commentary but I would also like if there was text to read too. I don't really like staring into space while she's giving a long winded speech. ;D lol

So is there a way to turn on the text in this game or is there just voice overs and nothing more?
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: nathanb on July 12, 2010, 11:59:08 AM
I actually enjoy her commentary but I would also like if there was text to read too. I don't really like staring into space while she's giving a long winded speech. ;D lol

So is there a way to turn on the text in this game or is there just voice overs and nothing more?
You can turn on subtitles in the Audio options I believe.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: Curiousriz on July 12, 2010, 12:01:54 PM
I actually enjoy her commentary but I would also like if there was text to read too. I don't really like staring into space while she's giving a long winded speech. ;D lol

So is there a way to turn on the text in this game or is there just voice overs and nothing more?
You can turn on subtitles in the Audio options I believe.

Why thank you!  ;)
I'll try that out later.  ;D
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: C_Guy on July 13, 2010, 01:23:33 PM
Overall I agree but it really depends on the context.

For example, when you look at the guard statue in the castle hallway the narrator gives some interesting information and history.  It's not a chore to sit through, it's actually interesting to hear.

Now, contrast that to using the LOOK icon on Edgar's bedroom door and the narrator goes on and on about how Graham feels and how Edgar must feel... This really isn't necessary - the designers have done a wonderful job of conveying this to the player already, it does not have to be outright told to them again ("over explanation" as Flubly observed in this thread)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, just offering feedback. 
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: GrifMoNeY on July 13, 2010, 07:17:44 PM
The comments are a double-edged sword.  I would hate it if narrations in later episodes were more brief simply because today's generation of gaming lacks the patience that King's Quest kids grew up with; they are a fine way to immerse the gamer in the atmosphere and give life to an otherwise meaningless background item.  But on the other hand, nearly half of all the comments were related to the tragedy, Graham's feelings, his childrens' suffering, etc.  There are only so many ways to say "Graham cannot help but think of the dark event that happened earlier today when he beholds this thing" before it loses its edge.  I noticed that there were no such gloomy descriptions on the Isle of the Sacred -- I am hoping they will be limited only to the castle and the Isle of the Crown (since the place does look gloomy in its current state) but since there were only about 5 things to look at after the ferry event, I don't consider this a reliable trend.

In short, the narrator can wax eloquent all she likes.  I like her voice, though I think she enunciates too precisely and gets too emotional.  But I feel it would be better if her lines were more relevant and less redundant.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: Flubly on July 13, 2010, 08:45:25 PM
I hope a lot of the traditional limited knowledge and mystery of King's Quest narration is used more.  I'm not extremely fond of the filling in of historical data.  The narrator was always kind of a third person text that was told from the main character's POV.  I liked it when you'd look at something and it would just have the limited observation of the character.  It made things really implied and made you wonder and wonder about the story behind stuff and a lot of times you wouldn't get one.  That's okay though because it makes your involvement more rich and doesn't keep you at a distance as an audience receiving information.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: naokiyukimura on July 14, 2010, 07:06:52 AM
One of my main complaints would be that the narration lacked the witty humor of its predecessors, and veering into the "third person" territory put me off completely. Putting aside the fact that the narrators voice annoyed me to begin with, what I didn't appreciate was how she inserted personal (non-game) commentary. For instance, when Gram examines the chest drawers, she says something like "notice, dear reader/player, that I did not say that myself" or "this is my shameless self-promotion, ha! -insert website here-". THAT self-promotion thing, even though I know the game is supposed to have humor, I did not find this in the least, funny. It was also at this point that I turned off the voice, choosing to play with just the subtitles.

As Flubly mentioned before me, having objects being described from the main character's (Gram, in this case) Point of View connects better with players to immerse them into the game. The bordered the line for me on this one, as most of the comments  that they wanted to convey were based around what Gram was thinking/feeling - in the end, it felt over-done and left me with the feeling that it could have been done much better.

Plus, I kind of thought that the narration in past KQ games seemed to relate more to the game itself or the "current situation", meaning that everything you read (or ones that went into detail) always seemed to deal with a future puzzle to solve. Sometimes the commentary would help to paint a small picture of the history or atmosphere. In this case, it seemed to focused on the past, didn't really tell you about the "current state of things" atmosphere wise (as we already knew that the isles were in a tragic state, this didn't so much "move the story forward" as it did "annoy me off by telling us how Gram was upset OVER and OVER again").

I think that if the creators tried to model the next few "episodes", in terms of narration after past KQ games, they might get a better response. More humor, less "useless stories" - or make it shorter- and, well, I would like a male narrator. I liked the one in KQV and VI the best.

Anyways, all this is just my opinion, so, don't get mad at me. >.<''
 
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: B'rrr on July 14, 2010, 09:44:08 AM
Oww, would actually be a fun idea to select what type of narrator (witty/funny/boring("there is nothing special about this tree")  ;)) you want and it plays accordingly, though I can image that is a lot of work  ;)
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: crayauchtin on July 14, 2010, 11:03:06 AM
Naoki.... it's "Graham" first of all. A Gram is something VERRRRRRY different. ;P

Also, in previous games there was a lot of shameless plugs for things not related to KQ as easter eggs (hole in the rock in KQ2?) Since POS doesn't have any other games to plug, Amy's website seemed like the perfect way to continue that tradition to me.

And lots of the narration in previous KQs has nothing to do with puzzles or hints, a lot of it is just descriptive of the world. I mean, if you're clicking on everything and looking for descriptions. If you're only clicking on things that seem important, of course, that's not the case. I don't know that all of the descriptions were as long as some of these were, but fortunately it's pretty easy to just click through them if you don't want to hear it.

Now, the preference for a male voice is understandable -- most of the time male voices are preferred in voiceover. That being said, auditions were held and Amy apparently did a better job than any of the others who auditioned. Also, how weird would it be to have the narrator switch mid-game? In my opinion, that would knock me right out of the game. I think you'll get used to the voice.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: Cez on July 14, 2010, 01:08:03 PM
I posted something about this in a different thread

http://www.postudios.com/blog/forum/index.php?topic=8874.msg284705#msg284705
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: Flubly on July 14, 2010, 03:02:13 PM
And lots of the narration in previous KQs has nothing to do with puzzles or hints, a lot of it is just descriptive of the world. I mean, if you're clicking on everything and looking for descriptions. If you're only clicking on things that seem important, of course, that's not the case. I don't know that all of the descriptions were as long as some of these were, but fortunately it's pretty easy to just click through them if you don't want to hear it.

But those parts were implicative and brief.  Using minimum language to express maximum imagery.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: naokiyukimura on July 15, 2010, 02:08:47 AM
But those parts were implicative and brief.  Using minimum language to express maximum imagery.

Yeah, it was really hard to explain what I was thinking, but Flubly, I think you have it. I mean, I liked all those random things they spit out at you, just... I don't know, I get the feeling that this was just, too long. And to say, it definitely wasn't as amusing for me this time around. Kind of like "the story that wouldn't end" when they were talking.

And, oops,I spelled Graham wrong. xD My excuse is, um, I had all the right letters were I to give him a nickname? Hahaha.

About the plugs and easter eggs, I liked those. Don't get me wrong, KQ does do that sort of thing - but another of my points was, this just wasn't funny OR amusing to me. The way they did it, didn't seem to have that "KQ feel", if you know what I mean. Plus I just didn't like this narrator, so that self-plug just pushed me over the edge for ever having to listen to that stupid voice again. Then again, this is also my own opinion as well. I'm sure if you liked her voice, the plug would no doubt, be much more amusing.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: dark-daventry on July 15, 2010, 09:48:44 PM
But those parts were implicative and brief.  Using minimum language to express maximum imagery.

Yeah, it was really hard to explain what I was thinking, but Flubly, I think you have it. I mean, I liked all those random things they spit out at you, just... I don't know, I get the feeling that this was just, too long. And to say, it definitely wasn't as amusing for me this time around. Kind of like "the story that wouldn't end" when they were talking.

And, oops,I spelled Graham wrong. xD My excuse is, um, I had all the right letters were I to give him a nickname? Hahaha.

About the plugs and easter eggs, I liked those. Don't get me wrong, KQ does do that sort of thing - but another of my points was, this just wasn't funny OR amusing to me. The way they did it, didn't seem to have that "KQ feel", if you know what I mean. Plus I just didn't like this narrator, so that self-plug just pushed me over the edge for ever having to listen to that stupid voice again. Then again, this is also my own opinion as well. I'm sure if you liked her voice, the plug would no doubt, be much more amusing.

Well, this is the first time a KQ game has had a female narrator, so it may take some getting used to. In all honesty, the narrator from KQ6 is my all time favorite, but Amy is a close second for me. In my opinion, she did an amazing job, but again, that's just my opinion.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: balderdasher on July 16, 2010, 02:17:27 AM
I actually think that would be funny if they did that - had a room somewhere in this game where everything you looked at you just got the most obvious explanation.  "Graham sees a bed."  "Graham sees a door."  etc.

I like the Monkey Island versions of that -- with Guybrush narrating. He says "I don't see anything special about it" when you click on something. Or for example, in the first chapter of the recent "Tales of Monkey Island," you click on the door to the captain's quarters and he says, "I'll sleep when I'm dead ... or later tonight." Short and sweet.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: Cez on July 16, 2010, 03:43:32 AM
Need feedback on a solution to those that don't like the long narrations

Please read!

http://www.postudios.com/blog/forum/index.php?topic=8907.0
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: Sajomir on July 16, 2010, 07:26:20 AM
But those parts were implicative and brief.  Using minimum language to express maximum imagery.

^this

I don't mind the occasional long-winded one. Say, if Graham were to look at his royal crown, and reminisce a little bit about the former king and his long life as king himself.

If you "looked" from his balcony in his room, it described the ocean view that wasn't rendered - that was a nice touch because I had no clue what was out his window.
I also LOVED the shot if you used Look on his mirror. The use of visuals to accompany the audio was well done.
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: Baggins on July 16, 2010, 08:28:05 AM
I was looking at the original KQ manual for the KQIBM version, and his name, was "Sir Grahame", I kid you not, LOL.

(http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100715213052/kingsquest/images/e/ee/GrahamKQ1IBM.jpg)
Title: Re: Narrator Comments Too Long?
Post by: sahara on July 19, 2010, 03:44:29 AM
The narration's purpose is a noble one, but it could have been accomplished with A LOT more brevity.  This is one of those times when less is more.  Sometimes a few words are all that is necessary.  An experienced fiction editor needs to be brought in to clean things up, strengthen the impact of the passages by condensing the bloated descriptions and trimming the unnecessary verbiage.  

Think of LucasArts games and how brief thoughts outloud by the main character help to flesh out characters or provide bits of background here and there.  Also, as has been described earlier, the fact that the narrator comments pause the action is a serious problem.  Why was this pausing of the action necessary?  If the narrator descriptions had been shorter, and if the player had been allowed to continue playing while the narrator spoke, then I think you would have had a lot less complaints.

Also, it would be great if the narrator spoke more quickly as one would in normal conversation, and less like the reader of an audio book.  I also would like a narrator with a voice and way of speaking that seems authentic.  Some of TSL narrator's lines sound like she is "putting on" a more formal way of speaking.  It sounds artificial, in the way a teacher might read a story to her class, with all kinds of inflections added to her voice.  Suggestions for the future:  find a trained actor, particularly one who sounds a bit older than TSL's narrator, and who has an authentic-sounding way of speaking that better fits the game you're creating.