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The Royal Archives => Fan Feedback => Topic started by: sahara on July 18, 2010, 08:31:15 PM

Title: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on July 18, 2010, 08:31:15 PM
Comparing TSL's sarcastic, mocking narrator to original KQ narrators might not be the most appropriate analogy.  Due to the TSL narrator's ability to get under the player's skin and provide a distracting and sometimes unnecessary presence, I think a comparison to Cedric "Poisonous Snake" Owl is more apt.  

See here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F64wDQJLWMQ

This is not meant as a personal criticism of anyone, but simply to comment on an aspect of TSL that I found problematic.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: theroachyjay on July 18, 2010, 08:54:01 PM
Comparing TSL's sarcastic, mocking narrator to original KQ narrators might not be the most appropriate analogy.  For the TSL narrator's ability to get under the player's skin and provide a distracting and unnecessary presence, I think a comparison to Cedric "Poisonous Snake" Owl is more apt.  

See here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F64wDQJLWMQ

This is not meant as a personal criticism of anyone, but simply to comment on an aspect of TSL that I found problematic.

I didn't mind her voice, or the content of her narration.  I actually found it pretty soothing.  That video is awesome, though.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: KatieHal on July 18, 2010, 08:55:51 PM
Unsurprisingly, I totally disagree about our narrator, but yes, that video is hilarious. :)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on July 18, 2010, 09:23:12 PM
Indeed. The narrator is annoying in many ways.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on July 18, 2010, 10:11:05 PM
Video is funny but personally I love Amy's narration.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: oberonqa on July 18, 2010, 11:20:25 PM
I'm with Katie and Wilco... I like the narrator (which probably shouldn't come as a surprise).
Title: The Perfect Narrator - Short and Straight to the Point
Post by: daventry on July 19, 2010, 05:56:04 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPLFol0Gh-E&feature=related

I like the Girl Narrator, but she is Whiny and will start to Annoy People in the rest of the Episodes.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Enchantermon on July 19, 2010, 05:58:34 AM
That last one was the best. ^_^
Title: Re: The Perfect Narrator - Short and Straight to the Point
Post by: Baggins on July 19, 2010, 05:58:39 AM
The KQ6 narrator was the best narrator in the entire KQ series :).

Heh heh, I like the bit that it shows how dangerous the waters (http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/Dangerous_Currents) around the islands are :) (ya I'm thinking of Graham and TSL here).
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 19, 2010, 06:08:22 AM
I like Cedric. Its highly unfair to compare TSL's narrator to him. She is far more annoying to me (but wouldn't necessarily be so if she was narrating Space Quest). I can't stand the fourth-wall breaking jokes, and her nattering about real world things and pop culture...

However, this is not the fault of the narrator, but the dialogue she was given...
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: B'rrr on July 19, 2010, 06:23:58 AM
I like Cedric.

I stopped reading there  ;)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 19, 2010, 06:44:45 AM
Cedric is one of those characters people either love or they hate, there is very little middle ground.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: GoneTooLong on July 19, 2010, 06:48:12 AM
I like Cedric.

I stopped reading there  ;)

ROFL!

Actually, I like Cedric too. Fried, barbecued, roasted...
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 19, 2010, 07:39:47 AM
Backstory wise he might actually be Archemedes the Owl, and I like Archemedes too :). Loves Sword in the Stone.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on July 19, 2010, 07:57:12 AM
My word of the day is now "nattering."  It replaces catty-wompus, at least for now.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 19, 2010, 07:58:28 AM
Hah hah,  ;D
Title: Re: The Perfect Narrator - Short and Straight to the Point
Post by: sahara on July 19, 2010, 09:31:28 AM
Yes, the KQ6 narrator is a gifted actor.  No doubt about it.  The descriptions are also well-written.  One way the KQ6 narration would have been better, though, is if it didn't pause the game.  It would have been nice if you could have continued walking around while the narration was speaking, but maybe there were design limitations involved.

Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on July 19, 2010, 09:32:43 AM
You know what the TSL narrator reminds me of?  A nagging wife, particularly when she scolds or mocks the player for simply trying to explore the game.  I hope no one takes that as a sexist remark, because that's not how it's meant.  But it's true... it's like the game comes with a built-in nagging wife to constantly tell you how stupid you are!!  ack!      :o
Title: Re: The Perfect Narrator - Short and Straight to the Point
Post by: oberonqa on July 19, 2010, 09:36:44 AM
I'm merging this topic into the thread over in Fan Feedback....
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on July 19, 2010, 09:38:55 AM
I wouldn't say she's meant to be mocking or scolding the player, more like she's poking fun at the adventure game genre period.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on July 19, 2010, 03:33:20 PM
You know what the TSL narrator reminds me of?  A nagging wife, particularly when she scolds or mocks the player for simply trying to explore the game.  I hope no one takes that as a sexist remark, because that's not how it's meant.  But it's true... it's like the game comes with a built-in nagging wife to constantly tell you how stupid you are!!  ack!      :o

I totally agree on this. The narrator should be a neutral storyteller.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: crayauchtin on July 19, 2010, 06:59:27 PM
I like Amy as a narrator but even those who don't have to agree she's less annoying than Cedric because we don't have to wait for her to leave a screen after we do. GEEZ for someone who can fly Cedric is ungodly slow. :P
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on July 19, 2010, 07:03:09 PM
Haha, good point there.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on July 19, 2010, 07:43:33 PM
That is an excellent point.  I'd guess that around 10% of my total playtime in KQ5 is spent just waiting for Cedric.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 19, 2010, 08:17:50 PM
A race, to see how long it takes for Amy to finish her longwinded narration, and Cedric to leave the screen.

My guess Cedric beats Amy.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Enchantermon on July 19, 2010, 08:37:05 PM
My problem with Cedric wasn't that he was annoying, but that he was pretty much useless. If you didn't engage him in conversation at all, then 95% of his lines consist of him saying some form of the phrase "I'll wait for you here," which isn't terribly helpful. The right way to do a companion in an adventure game is like Max in Sam and Max: use him as a part of puzzle solutions. Quippy comments (when invoked, not just randomly talking) are fun, but optional. In the new Sam and Max episodes, Max can also give you hints on how to solve a particular problem if you get stuck, which is occasionally helpful.
Another good example of an adventure game companion is Boogle from Torin's Passage (if you've never played it, I highly recommend it). He never spoke words, and the little communication he did provide were emotive grunts and whimpers. And when he wasn't needed, he jumped into Torin's bottomless backpack and disappeared. Best of all, he was necessary for the solutions to several puzzles, which made him more than just an extra animation cluttering up the screen.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on July 19, 2010, 08:39:32 PM
Boogle was an excellent example of what an adventure game sidekick should be like.  And I really loved that game, I still have it around here somewhere...
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 19, 2010, 09:26:59 PM
Oh, I suggest trying to beat the game without Cedric it leads to one of the dead end, death scenes.

He does have a few uses.

1. He offers a few random though generally useless clues if you talk to him.
2. He act as a kind of narration where you'll normally only get big red Xs by trying to look at the screen yourself.
3. He initates the Weeping Willow's song, if you talk to him while on the weeping willow's screen.
4. He's part of several important puzzles generally involving saving his sorry butt (captured in the Ice Palace, attacked by Harpies).
5. He saves your life in the end game.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: KatieHal on July 19, 2010, 09:35:41 PM
I have to admit I'm not all that convinced he saves your life. I mean, yes, the game makes it look that way, but all he really does is fly in to...warn you Mordack's there? We knew that! Then he gets zapped and the wizard's battle ensues. He doesn't even get zapped jumping in front of a hit meant for Graham!

I really wanted him to do something like save your life or something at the end of that game. But he just...didn't. He was there, and annoying, and never went anywhere dangerous except for when he was captured and had no choice.

I haven't played it this way, so what happens if you just leave him injured with the Harpies and don't get him healed? Do you die as a result at some point?
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on July 19, 2010, 09:38:45 PM
I'm working on a replay of KQ5 at the moment and haven't gotten that far yet, but I think you do die later if you don't save him.  Been years since I played this one though so I can't say that for certain quite yet.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 19, 2010, 09:43:26 PM
Katie, he took the blunt of hte last vestiges of magic from the wand, and weakened the wand even further. You already weakened it in the mysterious contraption. If you don't save Cedric, that blast is enough to kill Graham, and leads to one of the game's death sequences, and one of those "oops" I forgot something moments.

The game is pretty clear on that detail.

So ya the game punishes anyone who tries to kill Cedric.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: KatieHal on July 19, 2010, 09:48:50 PM
I don't know that I'd say the game is clear about it--unless you actually do get killed by that, I'm guessing?--since I had no idea the cheese-run contraption weakening it wasn't enough.

It still didn't quite make for enough payoff for Cedric being around and not being helpful the whole time, really. But I now find his comments more amusing since watching a Let's Play of KQ5. "A POIsonous snake!" heehee
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 19, 2010, 09:57:52 PM
Yes, this is the third time I'll explain it. If you don't save Cedric, the wand kills you even though you weakened it. The blast is enough incinerate you. It then tells you forgot to save Cedric, to warn you he was needed to take the majority of that blast.

I'm sure there is a youtube video that will show you the death :p...

There is also a narrator line or two that mentions that Cedric took a powerful blast instead of you, and saved your life :p...

Its also hinted in KQ5 that he might be dead, with Crispin reviving him. In the KQ5 NES and Companion its said he's turned to stone, with Crispin reversing the spell.

Here is the nese death montage, see the final death for the no save cedric path;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KWSKYICmDg

Here is a quick montage from the PC version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgF_Y437cVE

Quote
Cedric because we don't have to wait for her to leave a screen after we do. GEEZ for someone who can fly Cedric is ungodly slow.

I went and checked again, but you don't have to wait for Cedric to fly off the screen. Actually there is a half second delay while he leaves his perch, before it loads the next screen, and a half second delay for him to land in the next screen. So its much less than waiting "10%" of the game for him to fly. Its more like waiting .0001% of the game for him to take off, and land (you don't have to worry about the actual flying)... I barely notice it.

Actually what's more intriguing is he may take off after you leave the screen, but he lands before you enter the next screen. So that actually means he quite a fast flyer.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: KatieHal on July 20, 2010, 07:37:15 AM
Baggins if I counted every time I explained the same thing over and over again one here, I would be completely out of fingers and toes by now :P
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 20, 2010, 07:56:34 AM
You could have said, if you had a "nickel" for every time you explained things, but Activision would probably issue a cease and desist. :suffer: :suffer: :suffer:
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Delling on July 20, 2010, 08:34:55 AM
lol... wow, Baggins, that's just bad XD but then I'm still laughing... XD
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on July 20, 2010, 09:53:51 AM
I really wanted him to do something like save your life or something at the end of that game. But he just...didn't. He was there, and annoying, and never went anywhere dangerous except for when he was captured and had no choice.

Yeah, that's really funny.  :-)  Everything you said is so true.  You're right that not having him in on the action at the end, at least, was a missed opportunity.  In Star Wars they had R2D2 in some action scenes where he used clever tricks to beat some fighter droids, winning the little character more respect from the audience.

The more I think about it... I feel a little bad for Cedric.  Nearly everyone dislikes him.  :(  Now I kind of hope he makes an appearance in TSL.  What are the chances?  Maybe TSL will give him a scene to redeem himself?  

I also wonder if Cedric was inspired by that metal owl in the original Clash of the Titans movie:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hoy8MEL9N3M  

I also always thought Zazu (sp?), the hornbill bird from The Lion King, reminded me of Cedric.  Anyone else ever think that?
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 20, 2010, 10:33:41 AM
Hmm, I think KQC stated his inspiration was based on a little Archemedes, a little bit of the Athenian Owls, a bit of Dr. Watson, as well as the clockwork owl. But then again that might have just been Peter Spear's speculation.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Enchantermon on July 20, 2010, 12:36:39 PM
I also always thought Zazu (sp?), the hornbill bird from The Lion King, reminded me of Cedric.  Anyone else ever think that?
Zazu has Rowan Atkinson behind him though, so he wins regardless. ;)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: shadyparadox on July 20, 2010, 01:20:16 PM
Put me down as someone that appreciates the "Narrator Voice Off" option. (Though she comes back during the death sequence?)

She's not horrible, but she talks too slow and the messages are too long for me to wait on her. I also don't believe in narration that breaks the fourth wall, whether it's explicitly acknowledging this is a computer game, or talking with the characters, or anything else.

I prefer the more subtle references like the ones in the pawn shop in KQ6.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: crayauchtin on July 20, 2010, 01:58:49 PM
Baggins, I am unconvinced.

Okay, Cedric saves you from a wand blast that would otherwise have killed you, but let's be honest: they put that in there because it was the end of the game and they were like "ohhhhhhhhhhhh... we're about to end the game and he hasn't done ONE useful thing!"

But, take Cedric out of the picture....
So, the Weeping Willow could just have easily sung afteryou talked to her.
So, if the wolves hadn't captured him you would still have had to enter into Queen Icebella's palace to pass through the mountains. You would still have been captured and had to play the harp, defeat the yeti, and go on your way.
The Harpies would still have captured you, you would have escaped by playing the harp, picked up the conch shell and then if you went back to the Ancient Mariner you could still have given him the shell to tell him what your quest was.

Cedric didn't help solve puzzles, everything he did was automatic unless you were picking him up to carry him.
Cedric's narration didn't help, you still had red "x"s on 90% of the screens. It did help flesh out the world, yes, but the narrator could have done that to some extent.

The only time Cedric was at all, even a teeny bit, useful was that he allowed you to skip some exposition with Queen Icebella. Ooooh! That makes up for an entire game of being the most annoying character in the entire series! No, I'd rather have heard Graham say "I'm trying to save my family from the evil wizard Mordack" one more time, thanks.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: shadyparadox on July 20, 2010, 02:03:34 PM
Baggins, I am unconvinced.

Okay, Cedric saves you from a wand blast that would otherwise have killed you, but let's be honest: they put that in there because it was the end of the game and they were like "ohhhhhhhhhhhh... we're about to end the game and he hasn't done ONE useful thing!"

But, take Cedric out of the picture....
So, the Weeping Willow could just have easily sung afteryou talked to her.
So, if the wolves hadn't captured him you would still have had to enter into Queen Icebella's palace to pass through the mountains. You would still have been captured and had to play the harp, defeat the yeti, and go on your way.
The Harpies would still have captured you, you would have escaped by playing the harp, picked up the conch shell and then if you went back to the Ancient Mariner you could still have given him the shell to tell him what your quest was.

Cedric didn't help solve puzzles, everything he did was automatic unless you were picking him up to carry him.
Cedric's narration didn't help, you still had red "x"s on 90% of the screens. It did help flesh out the world, yes, but the narrator could have done that to some extent.

The only time Cedric was at all, even a teeny bit, useful was that he allowed you to skip some exposition with Queen Icebella. Ooooh! That makes up for an entire game of being the most annoying character in the entire series! No, I'd rather have heard Graham say "I'm trying to save my family from the evil wizard Mordack" one more time, thanks.

Didn't you talk to him on different screens on Serenia? He was tremendous help in finding the town and bakehouse. ;)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 20, 2010, 05:09:48 PM
He also warns you about going into the forest, and hints that you'll need to be prepared before you go in there (and how you'll get lost if you aren't careful). But generally speaking he's kinda of the narrator to give exposition in screens where the narrator doesn't give anything and all you get is the X.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: KatieHal on July 20, 2010, 05:10:29 PM
Yes....but the big sign warning you not to go into the forest also did that :)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: crayauchtin on July 20, 2010, 05:31:50 PM
He also warns you about going into the forest, and hints that you'll need to be prepared before you go in there (and how you'll get lost if you aren't careful). But generally speaking he's kinda of the narrator to give exposition in screens where the narrator doesn't give anything and all you get is the X.
So what you're saying is, if they'd been less lazy about what you could interact with -- as they did in every prior KQ and in KQ6 -- Cedric is absolutely useless.

The prosecution rests. :P
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 20, 2010, 05:32:48 PM
Well he also told Graham what was going on, and took him to Serenia... I suppose if Cedric had been spotted by Mordack and vaporized then and there, the adventure would have been pretty short. Graham would have been scratching his head on that hilltop forever.

BTW, narrator interaction was probably more limited in the original KQ1 and even KQ2 and KQ3 than it was in KQV, :p...

Check in KQ5 there are generally at least 2-3 things to see on each screen (in KQ5 you kinda have to hunt for them though, instead of the game automatically giving you a generic screen description). Go back and play KQ1,2,3, there are essentially 1-2 things to see on each screen, that includes the generic screen description  :p... there were some generic descriptions that could be brought up on every single screen... like "its a rock", "its the sky"... ya, mostly pointless, not particularly interesting.

4 might even been limited to 2-3 things on each screen, so was KQ1SCI (not counting the generic descriptions that appear in every screen).

It was KQ6 that really went out of the bounds of the previous games, having 4-6 things on each screen you could look at.

KQ7 and 8 were the worst of course :p... You were lucky if you found 1 thing that the characters would comment about.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: crayauchtin on July 20, 2010, 05:50:00 PM
Or, Cedric could have brought you to Serenia and stayed with Crispin!!

Talking to Cedric is about the same as a generic description, isn't it? The fact is, those early games immersed you because everything gave you a description even if it was just the generic one. KQ5 was an epic fail in this regard because no such interactions existed and they gave you a useless and annoying sidekick in a poor attempt to make up for it.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 20, 2010, 05:57:30 PM
Cedric is more the global screen description. Like the one where you type "look room" for each screen and it give you a description for the entire screen, plus describing additional things you might want to look at (the more specific type narrative items).

They limited the specific type narration to individual things on the screen (previous games had specific type narration as well, for example '"look at the store/house/cave entrance", "look at bell, look at flowerbox, look at mailbox, look at well, look at pump"). Those still exist in KQ5, 2-3 on every screen. But you gotta hunt for them know what your looking at to begin with.  Global screen descriptions in previous games might point you in the direction of looking at some of the more specific details in the screen.

Actually it was that with the parsers to an extent as well. Because the parser was limited to looking at things as long as you knew how to describe them to begin with. So in a way you had to hunt for the right word combinations.

The generics descriptions are the ones that say the same thing for every darn rock, tree, sky, etc on every screen. Like "this drab grey rock looks like every other rock, its boring"... kind of messages in KQ2 for example. So you seen it once you seem them all kind of descriptions. So they don't really count.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: KatieHal on July 20, 2010, 06:20:35 PM
It's looking like we'll have to agree to disagree. I'm afraid I'm on Graham's side (ha!) in this case. While yes, Cedric did those things, I just don't see why he was needed to do those things. Apart from being a narrator substitute, he didn't really add anything to the game, IMO.

Well, a timeless quote or two and a focal point for fans, I suppose. ;)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Enchantermon on July 20, 2010, 08:05:49 PM
Or, Cedric could have brought you to Serenia and stayed with Crispin!!
This is pretty much what I was thinking, although it would have felt a bit odd to introduce a new character and then leave him and never bring him up again. That's why, as I said earlier, I would rather he had just been given a more important role than waiting and getting beaten up.

Bahaha, I just got the idea in my head of Graham running through a Super Mario Bros. castle and being told at the end, "Thanks, but Cedric is in another castle!" :P
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 21, 2010, 03:23:18 AM
Don't you all realize, what's funny is your criticizing the design of KQ5 more than you're actually criticizing Cedric (your just using him as a focal point). You're rather pointing out the known fact that each game has been controversial in some way (with Roberta trying something new out, and having the fans criticize it). In that way its no different than Mask of Eternity.

I enjoy KQ5 as it is so I would probably wouldn't enjoy it as much if someone made a "special edition", and changed the plot so that Cedric was removed, and the game was Graham only, and all of Cedric's comments incorporated into the background screen descriptions. It just wouldn't be the same... Imo, it would lose some of its charm, quite a bit of the great art work seen in the game (the cuts in the Ice Palace to Cedric in the cage are some of my favorite bits in the game).

Cedric is part of a long line of "useless" sidekicks in other stories, where the hero is always having to go out of his way to save them, because they are to wimpy to save themselves. There is actually kind of genre or meme if you will related to the idea of "useless sidekicks".
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: B'rrr on July 21, 2010, 04:02:52 AM
Don't you all realize, what's funny is your criticizing the design of KQ5 more than you're actually criticizing Cedric (your just using him as a focal point). You're rather pointing out the known fact that each game has been controversial in some way (with Roberta trying something new out, and having the fans criticize it). In that way its no different than Mask of Eternity.

And this is any different then you critisising the narrator?  ;)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 21, 2010, 04:19:08 AM
People criticize every game really... Yes, I choose to criticize the narrator (or rather the 4th wall breaking parts of the narrator).  I find TSL narrator more annoying than Cedric. At least Cedric didn't break the 4th wall, infact I would argue that Cedric was an attempt to allow the player the ability to interacdt with a "narrator" without breaking the 4th wall, by putting a narrator into the game as a real physical character. Also TSL's narrator really has little to do with the game play in the game. I think the game's interface system, and classic menu design is fun return to nostalgia of older era, in that sense they have copied the essence of previous games, even though the first episode has not captured the essence of adventure game puzzle solving. I can't wait for the second episode to see how they implement the real puzzles.

Also I just played the scene where Graham talks to the Ancient Mariner with and without Cedric. The scene is rather boring without Cedric's "What's in those pouuultices, my employer would be verrrry interested", and the Mariner's retort, "Gifts from the see my lad, gifts from the sea, ain't nothing special, you just need to know how ot use them, nothing your master would find particulary interesting". The whole scene is much shourter and more drab without that discourse going on to add flavor and more of a background to that character of the mariner.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: GoneTooLong on July 21, 2010, 05:41:40 AM
The more I think about it... I feel a little bad for Cedric.  Nearly everyone dislikes him.  :(  Now I kind of hope he makes an appearance in TSL.  What are the chances?

Amy could play the part, that way the answer to the title of this thread would be "Yes"
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 21, 2010, 06:50:16 PM
Ok here is a listing of total narrator comments (I won't count cedric comments, he has usually 1-3 per screen, plus the random ones he says, if you stand around doing nothing). Some comments are automatic when you enter or leave a screen, and some activated by attempting to talk to him. I'm mostly going to list the "look icon" comments per screen.

So basically I've noticed going through KQ5, is that in screens where Cedric doesn't show up, there are less Xs on screen. You tend to get a global description for the screen (generally can look at most areas on the screen to pull it up). For example many of the desert, the brushland or dark forest areas. Some of the desert screens you get a single generic global description (granted that's because the screen doesn't really have much to see but miles of sand dunes), but grows to two or three if you are in an Oasis, skeleton or near the northern cliffs screens. You do get some Xs on the temple oasis screen (mostly around the sand and sky), but there are are four things to look at around the screen (so it evens out). Infact you get a brief mention of the "desert floor" when you look at the cliffs, and since you could look at the desert floor in every other cliff screen, its not really missing. In the temple screen itself, you can look at three things (this includes a global description with no Xs) Inside the temple, lots of xs around the floor, but four things you can look at (plus a door closing warning, you have very little time to actually look at anything). But that's actually a fairly decent number of narrative details all things considered.

The elves cave has six things to see (including global description, and no Xs), pretty decent total.

There are some x in areas of the bandit camp (in the sandy portions). You can however still look at a total of four-eight things on screen (depending on when you visit the camp), so it rather balances out (actually the sand doesn't really count since you can look at sand everywhere else :p). Inside the tent there is a global description, and couple of things to look at.

Inside the town there are 6 or 7 things to look at going around the town (including a global description, and no Xs) That's actually pretty decent. Each of the shops themselves have at global description and 4-7 things to look at as well, also pretty good.

The Dark Forest, well the starting screen has 2-3 things to look at (one is a global description, no Xs on screen). Each screen the main forest screens has 3-5 things to see (all have global descriptions, no Xs). The witches house screen has a total of 6-9 things to look at (including a global description no Xs). Inside the house has 5-6 things to look at (including global description no Xs.) The tree screen has 3-4 things to see, but quite a few Xs around the edges. The forest exit screen has, 2 things to see on screen (including the global description no Xs). Each screen more or less has the same average amount of things to see, with only the heart tree having Xs.

If Cedric is on the screen, you tend to get more Xs in various places on the screen. Generally there are maybe are least 3-4  things you can see on screen. But this is not always the case, he's pretty talkative on the Inn screen, but you can literally look at 8-9 things in the screen. There are a few spaces of Xs around the grass and the sky (but the total number of things to look at evens it out a bit). Some of the totals are "ranges", as in it might be more or less depending on what's going on in the screen. Sometimes more things appear on screen than other times. I will be pointing out Xs regions as well (most appear in rather pointless areas like grass or the sky, or ground or floor in some places). INside the inn front room there are 5 things to look at (including a global description no Xs), the celler has 2-3 things to look at (including hte global description), the kitchen has 5-6 things to look at (including the global description).

Other screens counting the various Serenia woods screens (antill, honey tree, gypsy caravan, etc), have 3-4 things to look at (sometimes more). The gypsy screen has like 5 things to look at (initially, 2-3 things to look at after it leaves including a global description), the ant hill screen has 3-4, the bee tree has about 5-6. The willow screen has 4 or so. dark forest sign screen has 5-6 things to look at. The area with Herbert has 3-4 things to look at (including a global description for the entire screen no Xs), the snake screen has 2-3 things (including a global description for the entire screen no Xs). The gnome home screen has 6-8 things to look at, but lots of Xs, the total number of things on screen kinda of evens it out however.

On the Bakehouse screen there are 7-8 things to look at (so all in all pretty decent number of narration points). Again a few spaces of X's around grass and sky (but most things are interactive). Inside you there are about five things to look at (including a global description, not Xs)

On the outside of town screen, there are about 7 things to look at. There are some Xs around the sky and grass, but all in all it has a pretty decent number of interactive spots.

Ocassionally Cedric will speak up, if you try to interact with something on screen. The Universe Interpreter for example

Sometimes he will only speak up if something important is going on in the screen, I.E. another NPC pops up, the Bear, the Dog, etc.

Anyways I'll continue with counting the moutains, sea and islands later. However on average seems to vary between having as many narrative bits as KQ6 has for each of its screens, or in some cases having twice as many narrative points in the screens. The Xs so far more or less are located in pointless areas without much to actually see (sky, ground or grass, occasinally the top of a tree)... Its surprising why they didn't just bother to just use a "global-like descriptions" just cover those spaces. There are already messages in each of those screens that would have worked well as a global description.

Infact if you count cedric's narrations there are actually generally more things described than are descdribed in KQ6 or earlier KQ games on average in those screens, best I can tell. You basically jump each screens total by 2-3 extra descriptions. So between 5-12 descriptions or so (which is actually pretty descent if you compare to both earlier games and KQ6).
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: crayauchtin on July 21, 2010, 07:00:33 PM
I'm sorry, but all of that considered, Cedric does *not* count as being the narrator and talking to him is NOT equivalent to interacting with the scene.

Cedric is a character involved in the game. This precludes him from being the narrator.
Since the "talk" icon is only one of the interactions (although I suppose you can always click the hand or eye on him and see what happens....) and it only functions on that particular part of the screen it is an inadequate substitute for player immersion and actively detracts from the gaming experience.

So, all you've done here by pointing out that there is more interactivity on screens where Cedric is *not* is prove me aboslutely correct. Cedric serves no purpose other than to ruin the game. Thank you. :P
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 21, 2010, 07:02:04 PM
Yes even if you ignore Cedric's comments, and only count the narrator (the numbers above are narrative only, I kept cedrics comments out of the counts), there are still nearly as many narrative bits as there are KQ6 screens, and in some cases twice as many. The Xs so far in the game are stuck in spaces of areas that are pointless to look at for the most part. There is generally at least a global description if your looking at a physical landmark.

What it doesn't explain is why they didn't bother to use one of those many narrative bits as a "global description of the screen" there was no reason to have "Xs".

Go through KQ6 again, you'll find plenty of screens that only have 3 total descriptions (including global description), and some that go upwards 6 or 7 on average. So basically both have similar totals :p...

Now KQ6 has its Pawne Shoppe, that has lots of easter eggs and descriptions and goes way beyond the game's average for narrative descriptions for most screens. But that essentially is a fluke.
Quote
So, all you've done here by pointing out that there is more interactivity on screens where Cedric is *not* is prove me abos***ely correct. Cedric serves no purpose other than to ruin the game. Thank you.
This actually doesn't seem to be the case, there is just as many interactive bits on the screens with or without Cedric on the screen. What goes up is the amount of empty space when Cedric is around, with grass and sky becoming Xs. The pointless space between the many things you can actually look at...

Again as I said before, there was actually no reason to have those Xs, because there is usually one of the things you can look at would actually work quite well as a global description. This doesn't seem to have anything to do with Cedric of course, just whoever was behind linking the narratives to the background did a piss poor job of it.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: crayauchtin on July 21, 2010, 07:16:26 PM
I really don't mind a global description that pops up with any interaction over most of the screen. I do mind an ugly red x.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 21, 2010, 07:20:01 PM
Quote
So, all you've done here by pointing out that there is more interactivity on screens where Cedric is *not* is prove me abos***ely correct. Cedric serves no purpose other than to ruin the game. Thank you.

Like I said, this actually doesn't seem to be the case, there is just as many interactive bits on the screens with or without Cedric on the screen. What goes up is the amount of empty space when Cedric is around, with grass and sky becoming Xs. The pointless space between the many things you can actually look at...

Again as I said before, there was actually no reason to have those Xs, because there is usually one of the things you can look at would actually work quite well as a global description. This doesn't seem to have anything to do with Cedric of course, just whoever was behind linking the narratives to the background did a piss poor job of it.

Its obvious it doesn't have anything to do with Cedric, since it happens in a few screens in areas Cedric doesn't follow (temple entrance, temple, bandit's camp, heart tree, etc).

That being said, i think the game would be quite a bit more boring if you stripped cedric out of the game completely :p... He makes the game feel not as lonely. As I said I like the art they did for him in the Ice Palace, he's also used to give the Ancient Mariner something to do, besides just send you to Mordack, and you get a bit more of backstory to the mariner about his knowledge of the sea (that you don't get if you attempt to leave Cedric behind), basically Cedric makes the Mariner more interesting. Occasionally Cedric mentions something about a character or places history or culture that you don't get out of the narrator, which makes the world seem a bit more alive. This is my opinion, and opinions vary. I don't expect you to agree. I'm just saying I really wouldn't enjoy your version of the game as much, if it was made...
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Jafar on July 21, 2010, 07:31:57 PM
 All the Cedric hate going around saddens me. I find him undeserving of anything more than mock-rage.

Just my 2 cents... ::)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 21, 2010, 07:41:33 PM
I'll gladly admit that Cedric is on my top 10 favorite characters in the series.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: shadyparadox on July 21, 2010, 07:59:57 PM
Yeah, Cedric was unnecessary but so was the talk icon.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on July 21, 2010, 08:11:55 PM
but so was the talk icon.

How would you envision the game working without any talking at all?
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 21, 2010, 08:22:23 PM
He's got a point, most characters either automatically talk to you, or you can just give them the items, in which case they automatically talk to you.

All the talk icon is used for is just to add a little extra fluff from each characters you encounter, including Cedric, and usually they only answer you once, to say some random inane thing that just only adds to the story or the atmosphere, but serves no purpose. In many cases the narrator tells you they don't want to answer you...

Whereas in KQ6 there were actually puzzles that required you to use the talk icon to go through two or three series of converstations to learn something before it would allow you to talk to someone else. For example you need to learn about the boatman from Ali before the Ferryman lets you on his boat. You need to talk to the Ferryman before the Pawne Shoppe
owner will sell his map.

If you have the disk version of KQ5 there was also a rather useless extra walk icon. It was cut from the cd-rom version.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: shadyparadox on July 21, 2010, 08:47:02 PM
Not only is it possible to beat the game without ever using the talk icon, but I can't even think of a single example of it providing a marginally useful hint.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on July 21, 2010, 09:02:04 PM
Talking to Cedric gets you directions around town.

To get the silver coin you must talk to the man trying to fix the wagon on the outskirts of town, then leave the screen and return.

In the forest you have to talk to the elf you catch to get the shoes from him.

I think (I could be wrong on this one) you have to talk to Prince Herbert while he's sitting on the log in order to complete the whole saving the tree quest.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Enchantermon on July 21, 2010, 09:24:07 PM
In the forest you have to talk to the elf you catch to get the shoes from him.
That's done automatically, though.
If you have the disk version of KQ5 there was also a rather useless extra walk icon. It was cut from the cd-rom version.
So in the disk version there was a total of two walk icons? What was the extra one supposed to do?
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Rosella on July 21, 2010, 09:26:59 PM
I feel like one walk icon was supposed to be "Walk here" and one was supposed to be "pathfind to here avoiding obstacles." That's just if I recall correctly though. :)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Enchantermon on July 21, 2010, 09:31:56 PM
Hmm. That is pretty useless...I wonder why they would do that, if that is what it was.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on July 21, 2010, 09:53:33 PM
Ah ok I couldn't remember if talking to the elf happened automatically or not, it seemed to me like if you didn't do it manually he got away and ran off or something.  Been a while.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Jafar on July 21, 2010, 10:09:37 PM

To get the silver coin you must talk to the man trying to fix the wagon on the outskirts of town, then leave the screen and return.


I think (I could be wrong on this one) you have to talk to Prince Herbert while he's sitting on the log in order to complete the whole saving the tree quest.

I just checked, and you actually don't have to talk to the man to get the silver coin. You just need to leave the screen and come back.

You also don't have to talk to Herbert, I never talk to him these days. :P

Hmm. That is pretty useless...I wonder why they would do that, if that is what it was.
I figured it was just that since KQ5 was their first game to use the SCI1 engine, they got a little experimental.

(http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b180/RetroJafar/lotsofoptions.png)

Not as streamlined, is it? :P
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: crayauchtin on July 22, 2010, 12:05:13 AM
Not only is it possible to beat the game without ever using the talk icon, but I can't even think of a single example of it providing a marginally useful hint.
I'm fine with having "fluff" in the game, conversationally speaking. I'm NOT fine with that fluff replacing narration. I'm also not fine with making someone a companion that is in nearly every screen and does absolutely NOTHING. And I'm CERTAINLY not fine with a big ol' red "x" coming up on the screen! It's not just that he's useless, it's that he's *important* and useless!
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 22, 2010, 03:50:50 AM
You don't actually have to use the "eye" icon either in the games. So one could say its useless... In the game the only three that are really useful, are walk, hand, and your inventory box.

It offers more explanation why they did away with most icons in KQ7, and went the single cursor method (since those could all be folded into two, the hand/walk and the inventory box).

Which unfortunately did away with the fluff, and in a way created a giant red X everywhere, (or in the case of that game, the non-glowing cursor) but the things you could interact with. (glowing cursor)

Note of trivia, apparently early demo build of KQ7 actually has graphics for a full icon set (walk, look, talk, pickup, etc), like previous games, hidden in the game files. So its possibly they originally were going to make it like the previous games, but removed it from the finished product, to use the context-sensitive single cursor instead.
Quote
I'm also not fine with making someone a companion that is in nearly every screen and does absolutely NOTHING. And I'm CERTAINLY not fine with a big ol' red "x" coming up on the screen! It's not just that he's useless, it's that he's *important* and useless!
Cedric's and the X are two separate issues. Just because X's seem to appear more when he is on screen is a coincidence... :p... And as best as I can tell, no fluff actually replaced any narration (there is more on screen "fluff" narration than there was in any previous game in most screens). Cedric's brand of fluff is more or less the same kind of fluff represented by talking to any character on screen you are in, and getting a tiny bit of background to what and why they are in that particular screen.

I don't know why there are X's maybe its because they didn't quite know how to use the engine yet... It was a new engine, and it looked like they were experimenting with it, and quite figured out what to do with it.

Seriously though, without Cedric, the game wouldn't be as fun... People would probably have forgotten about it and there wouldn't be anything to talk about... You'd lose all the interaction between him and other characters, such as the Mariner, that adds to those characters backgrounds... Hell they might have just did away with the Ancient Mariner and just allowed you to talk to Pearl directly... Cause mariner is kinda useless in a way (without the Cedric scene his diaologue is completely bland, and he's uninteresting)... Oh even Crispin is kinda of useless (gives you a couple of items, expects you to take on a wizard on your own, and doesn't show up until the very end)... Yep they probably could have streamlined and simplified the game and gotten rid of a few characters, and unneeded puzzles and characters. No need for Amanda and her son (they did get rid of them in the NES version), no real need for man working on the wagon, no real need for the second baker brother in the back of the shop, no real need for the two people in the Shoe shoppe, no need for toymaker's grand daughter and son, no need for the tailer's assistant and the customer, no need for gnome's son (they could have folded that interaction into a single gnome), no need to have three thugs in the inn, you could have easily been knocked out with 1 or just two of them. Probably could have did away with most of the bandits. You can't even go into one of the tents, so really only needed to be one tent. Hmm, Herbert doesn't really do anything important, so he could be cut. You'd could still be able to save Alicia however. Yes, I wonder how much useless stuff could be cut from the game... It simply wouldn't be the same game...

Its starting to sound like you hate KQV about as much as most people hate MOE, LOL.

Also, does anyone know if early SCI1 allowed for more complex companions interaction? Maybe there were limitations with what they could actually do with that type of character, in the engine? Again, it was the first time they used the engine as well... They hadn't learned how they could "push" it yet.

Actually many of these complaints about the game may actually be complaints about technical limitations of the early version of that engine, and their lack of knowledge of how to use the engine, and experimental use of it.

King's Quest VI was built on the SCI1.1.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Enchantermon on July 22, 2010, 06:22:38 AM
I figured it was just that since KQ5 was their first game to use the SCI1 engine, they got a little experimental.
(http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b180/RetroJafar/lotsofoptions.png)
A Stop button? What was that for? Quitting?
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Jafar on July 22, 2010, 08:04:06 AM
Yeah. The Stop button gives you the option to Restart or Quit, the Floppy Disk button is for saving and restoring, and the Slider button has the Speed\Volume\Detail settings.

Actually, as far as I know, the disk version of KQ5 was the only game to have the over-complicated menu. :P

As for Cedric, I remember reading some "Making of" thing that said something about how Cedric is supposed to be a guide in the first part of the game (Giving new players hints on where to go), and later on, he's more of a friend and companion.
Sure, other adventures may have made better use of companion characters, but can you blame Cedric for just trying to keep you company? :P


It also puts an interesting perspective on the part of the game where he's injured. (Or maybe it's just me who thinks that.)
He may be obnoxious, cowardly, and unhelpful, but he's really the only friend you have. You can't just leave him there, can you? :P

(Funny how I'm defending Cedric when that's my video in the first post mocking him... XD)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: tessspoon on July 22, 2010, 10:18:29 AM
Not at all! It's my third least favorite in the series (first being MoE, second being KQ2
At first read that as "my third favorite in the series (first being MoE, second being KQ2" - needless to say was a bit confused. :P
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: crayauchtin on July 22, 2010, 10:25:04 AM
Not at all! It's my third least favorite in the series (first being MoE, second being KQ2
At first read that as "my third favorite in the series (first being MoE, second being KQ2" - needless to say was a bit confused. :P
"Why does Graham always complain about his favorite games????" :P
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: tessspoon on July 22, 2010, 10:34:05 AM
XD Along with, "Why would anyone have MoE as their favorite game and KQ2 as their second?"
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 22, 2010, 10:56:14 AM
I know its hard for you whippersnappers to believe this but when KQ2 came out it was top of the line, cutting edge technology for digital computer story telling. There really wasn't much better out there., and the technology to improve on it hadn't been worked quite yet... It was literally impressive to most reviewers at the time. If you compare it to most games at the time by most companies it was far ahead of what they had. ...and the story is actually in the game, but you have to make sure you use many different verb noun combinations to discover it. It doesn't spell it out for you, and but has you discover it on your own. That is perhaps the biggest limitation in the early AGI games (albeit it was way ahead of most other companies adventures at the time, and quite impressive at the time)...

Anyone who has played KQ1 original vs. KQ2 would actually see how much it improved on the previous game... If you thought KQ2 had little story, KQ1 original was even less... and that game was cutting edge when it came out. There were less things to look at on screen, and most verb noun combinations in KQ1 AGI end up giving you "I don't know what you are trying to do warnings". There is roughly three times the amount of text in KQ2 over KQ1, as best as I could tell when I went through them. You can can pretty much look at almost everything, and every screen had a unique description of some sort, not some "you are in a forest, there are trees around you" type message of KQ1 original (with the occasional its a beautiful lake, its a long lang, it's a pond, its a meadow to mix things up).

You honestly have to look at this games as a product of their times, and not try to look at them through eyes of someone who expects the quality afforded by today's modern technology.... they simply didn't have that to work with. They told the stories that they could, within the limits of the technology they had.

Your reviews now is like going back and trying to rate the original Super Mario Bros. game by todays standards as if it came out today... or criticizing Casablanca because its in black and white... or steam boat willie sucks because it doesn't look like the modern Mickey Mouse...

I'm may have to start putting together a development/review pages, just so people have an idea how these games were treated back in the day... Its a bit harsh to try to treat them by todays standards, when what you expect today didn't even exist at that time...

Back in my day shonnny, we didn't need no stinking 64 bit processesors, 32 kadzillion colors, or Sound Blaster Aural Reality 360, or your fancy polygons and ThreeeDEEEE, eh ehh... We had our pc speaker with its scratchy bleeps and bloops  (some had there Apple IIGS sound chips...), and 3-d meant something different to us (3-d Animated Adventure Game), and we loved it... You darn kids have it too good. You are like spoiled brats,  :suffer: :suffer: :suffer:

Ok, i'm not that old, but you get the picture...
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: crayauchtin on July 22, 2010, 11:06:59 AM
That may be, Baggins, but compare it to the first King's Quest -- which is older. You didn't have to look for the story, because the story was central to what was going on. It was present, a constant. AND you even took care of the villain (Dahlia, the witch).
In KQ2, you can actually beat the entire game with full points and never lay your eyes on Hagatha at all. I know, I have done it more than once. Yes, you have to take out Dracula for a full score.... but what does Dracula have to do with the main story? Absolutely nothing! He's just put in the game and you have to kill him.

Yes, it was top of the line technology for telling a story. At the time, the graphics were impressive. The scope of the game was impressive. The storytelling was an utter failure, even for that time period.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 22, 2010, 11:28:57 AM
The central story to KQ1, was "find the three treasures" and "become king"... (there wasn't really much of an ending, king falls over, and you get "The End")

The central story to KQ2 and you learn it form the introduction cutscene, is "find the three keys", discover the enchanted land, find a way to the Crystal Tower, and "find a queen" (you get a slightly better ending, showing an actual wedding, and then return to the castle for their Honeymoon)...

Good gord... they are just as limited in there simplicity... Don't count KQ1 SCI (it actually added a stronger narrative, and like 2-3 extra characters), the original didn't have that luxury...

BTW, you don't have to kill Dahlia to beat the game as I recall, that's actually completly optional... (much like Dracula). The fact that hte witch is Dahlia isn't actually mentioned within the game... You can actually avoid her. There are quite a few alternative ways to solve most puzzles in KQ1 which involve using lesser treasures and/or weapons lieing around the world... You can pretty much avoid most encounters with the exception of the Dragon, the Giant, and the Leprichauns.

As its been said both KQ1 and KQ2 rather what they called "treasure hunts" back in the day (more or less similar to what Zork games, or Collassal Cave were, but with graphics).

Also I recommend reading this, this was the original release manual for KQ1, I think;

http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/The_King%27s_Appeal

Quite a bit different than the later release... Even more simple... Originally the witch had no importance other than to be yet another encounter for Graham...

Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: crayauchtin on July 22, 2010, 12:03:33 PM
*sigh*
Okay, I know that not everyone's mother is an author (mine is), so not everyone understands the differences between plot and story or the differences between goal/objective and task.

The plot is the order in which the major events occur (everything else is what's called sideplot). The story is what happens during the plot points, in between the plot points, and why.

The goal/objective is what a character hopes to achieve. Every character has one. (This is also a basic in acting -- you must always know the goal and objective of your character, even if you are one for three seconds and have no lines.) The task is what you must do to achieve your objective.
What you described as the story, Baggins, are the objectives.

So, let's use these basics building blocks and apply them to King's Quest 1 and then King's Quest 2.

King's Quest 1
Plot:
-King Edward loses the three treasures (technically, if you read the manual, this is three separate plot points but if you are just going through the game, it is only one plot point.)
-Graham is sent to retrieve the treasures.
-Graham retrieves the Mirror
-Graham defeats Dahlia
-Graham retrieves the Chest
-Graham retrieves the Shield
-Graham returns to the Castle
-Edward dies
-Graham is crowned (which I believe is just assumed in the original, because that was Edward's last words :P)

The storytelling of this is pretty good -- although certainly not the strongest in the series. Though, through the manual, you know how each treasure is stolen you don't ever get an explanation for how it ended up exactly where it ended up. Some you can assume -- the Mirror and the Chest, but the Shield is kind of like... "Uhm?"
Also, without the manual, it is not *entirely* clear that Dahlia is the villain who betrayed Edward and stole the chest. It is hinted at, certainly, and it makes it make sense that the note that gives you a clue to get to the chest is in her house. That's another weak spot -- but if you read the manual, this is how the game has you deal with the villain. (It might be better if you also dealt with the sorcerer and the dwarf, to be fair.)
So, all in all, it's pretty clear on what's going on.

Then we have....
King's Quest 2
Plot:
-Valanice is captured by Hagatha and locked away
-see Valanice in the mirror, depart for Kolyma
-find the door
-find the first key, unlock door
-find the second key, unlock door
-kill Dracula
-find the third key, unlock door
-catch and release fish, ride fish to island
-rescue Valanice
-marry Valanice

Now, the thing is... the first two things are only in the manual. There's no introduction *at all*. That's the first problem with the story. The second is, there's really zero explanation as to the door, the keys, or why the keys are where they are. Beside that, how does Dracula figure in to all of this, and why do you have to kill him instead of dealing with Hagatha? What about the enchanter? The dwarf? There's NO explanations, they just have you go through the tasks. You have to look for any explanation there might be, it doesn't come along with actually fulfilling any of the plot points. That's not just a failure in storytelling -- that's not storytelling.

Yes, they are simple stories. That's part of why it's outrageous that the second one was barely told!
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 22, 2010, 12:13:23 PM
Look you looking at KQ1's story in hindsight (based on all the expanded material, from the second version of the manual, the Companion, but not the game itself), did you even bother to read the original KQ1 manual plot (I posted above)?

Dahlia wasn't even part of the original story... According to the original manual the witch in the game was a nobody... who moved into Daventry sometime after the fact.... (well its not even that specific, she's more just treated as a generic fairy tale obstacle)

Quote
In the kingdom of Daventry, King Edward is dying. Although his kingdom had been wealthy in the past, recent disasters and have brought hardship to his loyal subjects. To make matters worse, the king has no wife, children, or relatives to inherit the throne. Unless the king's quest is fulfilled, the country will be doomed.

King Edward calls his bravest knight, Sir Grahame, to he throne. The noble knight bows before the king and asks, "Your Royal Highness, what may I do for you?"

File:Edwardthrone.jpg The weakened king answers, "Sir Grahame, Daventry is now a poor country desperately in need of help to overcome its misfortunes. Recently, I have heard tales of three magical objects that would end Daventry's troubles. I am an old man, Sir Grahame, and my death is near. I am depending on you to search the countryside and find three objects. If you do, the throne will be yours."

Sir Grahame eagerly questions the king, "Please, Your Magesty, what are these objects?"

King Edward wearily looks at the knight and says "You need to find a jewel-inlaid treasure chest that refills with gold coins every time it is emptied. Also, an enchanted mirror exists revealing the future to the beholder. Finally, there is a magic shield that fends off all enemies. With these objects, Daventry will never be poor again!"

The knight declares, "Nothing would give me more pleasure, my King, than to capture these items. Where do I start?"

"That, Sir Grahame, is what you must find out. I only know they are in the kingdom of Daventry and are guarded by dangerous characters. It's an extremely risky task that could be fatal. Go now, Sir Grahame but be careful. Please do not fail me or your kingdom."

Quietly, Sir Grahame leaves the room and hurries down the hallway of the Royal Palace. "A jewel-inlaid treasure chest, an enchanted mirror, and a magic shield," he murmurs, "but where to find them?"

Sir Grahame promises himself that he will not return to the king until has found the magical objects.

With deterimination, he leaves the castle and begins the quest.

File:RoyalPalace.jpg [edit] Helpful and Dangerous CreaturesDangerous creatures roam the mystical land of Daventry, trying to end your quest. Fortunately, a few kindly characters try to help you. You can avoid the dangerous characters in several ways by finding out their weaknesses.

The Dangerous Characters

You must think and act quickly when you meet the dangerous characters of Daventry. The dangerous characters include a sorcerer, dwarfs, ogres, a hungry wolf, and an airborne wicked witch.

Helpful characters

Helpful characters in the kingdom want to aid you in your quest. You must take advantage of their help to successfully complete your quest. Some of these characters include an elf, a fairy godmother, and a large condor.

Retrieved from "http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/The_King%27s_Appeal"

Infact most of the story is in the manual , later edition manual, not the original one (is not actually mentiond in the game)... :p... Infact there is nothing in the original KQ1 that states that the treasures were stolen from Daventry, Edward just tells you to find them, and that he knows of said treasures...

(http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100722183651/kingsquest/images/3/33/KQ1edward.jpg)

Infact most of the information about Dahlia and the witch in KQ1 being the same being actually originates out of the King's Quest Companion as far as I know (albeit the cover for KQ1 for Sega implies it as well).

Quote
There's no introduction *at all*

You are wrong about the KQ2, there is an introduction dude... It shows graham on his throne, wishing he had a queen, and it mentions that he hasn't been able to find any anywhere in the kingdom. He decides to look in the mirror, sees Valanice, is told about the crystal tower, and the enchanted land, and is told that he can find an entrance to the land through a magical doorway in Kolyma. He decides to find head to kolyma, to find the doors, and save Valanice... By the way the description text in KQ2 is seven paragraphs long and fully animated... With several major actions shown on screen at once. The mirror shows 2-3 images, Graham switches from wearing his crown to his adventurer'ss hat, etc. Infacdt, the original KQ1 really didn't have an introducdtion... Unless you count that message above... It wasn't even animated...

(http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100722185712/kingsquest/images/e/ec/KQ2introcutscene.jpg)

You probably hit escape before it shows up, its just past the credit screen....

the other thing you missed, is that each door has a riddle, that explains where the three keys are hidden, that' is where the key's backstories are mentioned vaguely... That's actually more than the original KQ1 had... You just kinda had to randomly discover were the three treasures were kept... in the original version of KQ1...

Also its probably little known trivia, but from what I've been able to discover the early manuals weren't apparently even written by Roberta, or rather she had little input into them. Especially with KQ2 and KQ3, they were written by Anette Childs... Roberta wrote the text in game, so the stories don't always match up... There is actually little about Hagatha in game, because it doesn't seem as if Roberta considered that important. Much like the generic witch in KQ1 (original version of the story, not the remake or the updated manual, or the KQ Companion), Hagatha 'is' just another random witch. I'm not entirely sure if there are lines in KQ2 which connect her to Valanice and the tower. Look at Dahlia or anything related to her in original KQ1, there is no indication that she's in anyway connected to the treasures... (much like Edward's message above). Infact I would argue KQ1 had no introduction, it puts you right into the game, from the get go... and every action is interactive including the whole "bow to king", and "talk to king".

KQ2 was the first game to bring about the newfangled, "intro cutscene", and that cutscene is about seven paragraphs long....

http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/Dahlia#Behind_the_scenes

Actually as far as I know its the King's Quest Companion that linked the "wicked witch" to Dahlia of the second manual version. Its certainly not in the game.

Here are most of the KQ1AGI quotes (there are a few more talking about some of her nasty habits, but nothing about the treasures), notice how she is just described as a generic witch...;
Quote
Narrator (KQ1AGI): "It's a witch swooping through the sky... She's trying to catch you! Look out!", "The wicked witch is not interested in chitchat.", "This is not your friendly-type witch.", "The witch swoops down, grabs you by the neck, and carries you off to a fate worse than death". "As the wicked witch flew over her house, she dropped you... in her cage! If you can't get out, you may become the secret ingredient in this witches' brew!", "There is no way to kill a flying witch.", "The witch mutters, "I am going to get my oven ready to cook someone for dinner (yum).", "The old witch is one of the most hideous sights you have ever seen. I would never trust her.", "Courageously, you manage to push the witch into the oven where she flashes and melts into a harmless blob. Congratulations! This little house is surprisingly considerably neat considering that a wicked witch lives here.", "Rats! She has cast some spell to keep you from escaping!. The witch remarks "Oh, how nice of you to come for dinner (cackle, cackle)"

Whereas a riddle in KQ2 door, actually pokes a nod towards Dracula. Plus a few details form the Grandma's house also nods towards Dracula's background. That's more than can be said for most characters in KQ1 original

Oh, and another bit of trivia going back to the narrator, there was no "global descriptions" for any screen in the original KQ1... So the screens are rather bland. You instead get a "you need to be more specific" warning (its not actually in red, but I thought I'd just bolden it). KQ2 was the first to add the global room descriptions. If you thought Xs were bad...

So ya, in comparison KQ2's story is much more well defined... KQ1AGI was the one that was "barely" told (in comparison)...
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on July 23, 2010, 05:20:18 PM
Maybe this has already been covered... but does anyone know if Cedric will be making an appearance in TSL?  His last appearance, that I know of, was in AGDI's KQ2+, as he was getting chased off the screen by a sword-wielding King Graham.  hehehe  ;D
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on July 23, 2010, 06:00:01 PM
Crispin had to turn Cedric into a half tiger / half goat to save his life after he got blasted at the end of KQV - he was going to make an appearance in this game but the tiger half ate the goat half and he died.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on July 23, 2010, 07:10:43 PM
poor cedric!!  Daventry should put him on a coin to commemorate his life and service to King Graham during KQ5!  RIP Cedric.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 23, 2010, 07:17:51 PM
Does the heads eat the tails?
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on July 23, 2010, 07:53:51 PM
There was a limited run of those coins made, but only in silver so Graham has no use for them.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on July 24, 2010, 04:55:57 AM
At least Cedric got some recognition then, even if they were only silver coins.  Without him, what would Graham have done?  Alexander may never have met Cassima.  Rosella may never have married Edgar.  Cedric was in the right place at the right time, and didn't hesitate to offer his help  I just wish they would have given him more of an interesting personality in KQ5... it would have been cool if he had been this intellectual little owl dude who could come up with really philosophical or witty quotes but who also had a kickbutt side to him too when Graham would be under attack or something... for example, he should swoop down and kill that snake or poke out the bear's eyes with his beak.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Damar on July 26, 2010, 06:41:07 PM
Personally I liked the narrator.  Certainly more so than Cedric (who I never really hated, but still I kind of wish he'd maybe stayed with Crispin instead of following me around and telling me all the places he didn't want to go.)  I understand that the narrator seems a little more sarcastic and self-aware than past Kings Quest narrators, but honestly I think she has more in common with Kings Quest narrators than Space Quest narrators.  I mean, calling Graham dense and telling him that thievery runs rampant in his family aren't in the same ball park as Gary Owens talking about that "well armored orb atop your shoulders," having mushroom aliens point up at your incinerating shuttle and talk about how there's no intelligent life in the universe, or having the Two Guys show up and do a play by play and color commentary of your best death scenes.  I think the Silver Lining narrator has more in common with the punny death remarks make by the Kings Quest VI narrator which could sometimes be joking around at your expense ("just want to be loved by you" when you get strangled by the borderline clinging vines springs to mind).  And those, though maybe not quite as sarcastic, are closer to this narrator.  The Kings Quest IV narrating text would every so often call you crazy (usually if you were trying to kiss zombies and such.)  And of course the narrating text in Kings Quest II flat out yelled at you if you tried to kill Valanice (ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR GOURD!!!)  And the narrator actually steps in and kills you if you try to kill the monk.

And past Kings Quest narrators were self-aware at times as well.  You got a whole response on the stuffed bear in Kings Quest VI.  You got a special scene with the developers and a really badly written rap in Kings Quest IV (the original version, not the ones that nearly everyone has now, though you can still find the videos on youtube.)  You're told that the mountain spring in Kings Quest III tastes like Sierra water.  And of course you got the blatant plug for Space Quest I on the mountain top in Kings Quest II.  And a sign for Kings Quest III in the forest.  And a plug for Kings Quest IV in Kings Quest III.  So yeah, while I get that the Silver Lining narrator was a little different in how she was written, I really do think she's still very much a Kings Quest narrator.

Plus I find her voice very soothing.  I could listen to her all day.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: KatieHal on July 26, 2010, 07:10:30 PM
Thanks Damar. :) And welcome to the forums, as well!

Oh Gary Owens. Classic! If the Space Quest franchise is ever restored, I would really hope he could come back as the narrator!

Haha, I also never knew the KQ2 narrator killed you if you tried to kill the monk.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Damar on July 26, 2010, 08:26:51 PM
Yeah, when you type "kill monk" the game says something like, "Anyone who would kill a man of the cloth doesn't deserve to play this game.  Therefore we will end it."  Then Graham falls over dead.

And yeah, Gary Owens is quite literally the perfect narrator for Space Quest.  No one else could or should even attempt to pull it off.  It's a thing of beauty to see such perfect casting.

And hey, thanks for the welcome.  I figured since I had to make a login ID to download the game, I might as well put it to use every so often.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on July 26, 2010, 09:17:04 PM
Not only is it possible to beat the game without ever using the talk icon, but I can't even think of a single example of it providing a marginally useful hint.
I'm fine with having "fluff" in the game, conversationally speaking. I'm NOT fine with that fluff replacing narration. I'm also not fine with making someone a companion that is in nearly every screen and does absolutely NOTHING. And I'm CERTAINLY not fine with a big ol' red "x" coming up on the screen! It's not just that he's useless, it's that he's *important* and useless!

I actually like the red "X" better than the narrator long-windedly saying "that's not useful". It's more efficient.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 26, 2010, 10:05:46 PM
First you have to define what breaking the fourth wall is actually. Its when the narrator and the player character are able to acknowledge each other, and chat it up essentially. Or the player acknowledges you as the player, as if you personally exist to the character.

In early KQ, the narrator was more or less described the  "character's own thoughts". Although it occasionally morphed into being "we at Sierra thank you for playing, and please relaod cause you died" type sayings during a death scene. But you never had the character directly acknowledge the narrator itself.

KQ2 has the one point where the narrator directly kills you, most cases Graham is painfully unwhare that the narrator exists (I.E. its not a real being from in-universe perspective).

In KQ6 there is only one example where the Alexander actually talks to the narrator and/or the player, the Cliffs of Logic if you fall down three times, and Alexander tells the player to "Hey, stop doing that!!!" You have to go out of your way to find it.

Quote
And past Kings Quest narrators were self-aware at times as well.  You got a whole response on the stuffed bear in Kings Quest VI.
 
This one is actually played straight. yes its a plug, but its not a "self awarenes". It basically treats "California" as a real place that the bear was "stolen" from. Alexander doesn't respond to to the narrator or the player (unlike the fall from the cliffs of logic three times easter egg).

Quote
Narrator (KQ6): The world-famous talking bear has been sulking ever since his abduction from a small mountain community in California. He refuses to discuss real estate.

Quote
ou're told that the mountain spring in Kings Quest III tastes like Sierra water.  And of course you got the blatant plug for Space Quest I on the mountain top in Kings Quest II.  And a sign for Kings Quest III in the forest. And a plug for Kings Quest IV in Kings Quest III.


These are played straight as well, not the Graham or Alexander talking to the narrator, but literally seeing things that confuse him, a sign on a tree, a mysterious vision in a hole. You are given graham or alexander's thoughts of what they are seeing. These fall more under anachronisms if anything, rather than a true fourth wall being broken. These are things the character is lead to believe actually exist in within the world (he literally sees them, they are written on a note, on the back of a tapestry, etc), even if they are strange. Rather than being disembodied narrator itself.

Quote
Narrator (KQ2): "Briefly befuddled by this bizarre event, you brace yourself and continue with the Quest before you."
Narrator (KQ2): "You are in a grove of giant trees. A sign appears attached to the back of one of the trees.", "King Graham scratches his head in puzzlement at this confusing message. It doesn't appear to be a part of his quest."

(http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100720145115/kingsquest/images/9/9c/SignKQ2.jpg)

Quote
Narrator (KQ3): You lift the bottom of tapestry and peer behind it. The wall is filled with cracks. You can see why Manannan would hang a tapestry here. (There are also dozens of charcoal-scribbled drawings, diagrams, maps, and notes to programmers, with the legend "King's Quest IV," but you're uninterested in this, since you presently have your hands full with "King's Quest III".) You lower the tapestry and smooth out the wrinkles."
It's not the narrator, its a literal sign Graham finds on a tree, or charcoal drawings written on a wall. It that confuses them or they find it uninteresting. Basically an anachronism. Another anachronism would be in KQ1 SCI, in the game graham thinks that maybe he had joined the Adventure's Correspondence School he could have been able to pick locks, but he didn't so he can't. This is Graham's thoughts, not Graham talking to the narrator, or the narrator talking to graham.


In KQ2, yes there is the example where you can attempt to kill the monk, and get punished by the Narrator for it. Graham isn't able to have self awareness to it, since he's already dead. Death scenes have always been the general limits to narrator directly rediculing the player (but there is no indication that PC itself is awhare of the narrator). But it is the one example in the game where the Narrator switchs into more of the role of Graham's thoughts into something else, and directly interferes. Again, its one of the only true examples in the game where this actually happens (other than few secret easter eggs, like one where you can ask "who designed this game?" or some such thing, and it gives you a list of developers).

In most cases these true fourth walls being broken and/or anachronisms were cleverly hidden, you had to actually discover them (like the "kill Valanice" comment). BTW, the series that's really known for its "Sierraverse" style anachronisms is actually Quest for Glory. Things relating to King's Quest, Police Quest, Ecoquest, or other games appear routinely within the worlds. Delphineus appears in a lake in QFG1, Submarine from Codename:Iceman in the original. A Rosella doll in QFG2, the comments that Erana looks like a fairy you once knew, Genesta, etc etc. You can answer Cedric in QFG4, to make Leshy shudder, etc. These are all played with a straight face, as something the character actually sees, or knew. Not the player acknowledging the mystical floating narrator.

If anything the problem isn't that the occasional fourth wall is broken, but the fact that this narrator in TSL (its not Amy, its the ingame text), that breaks it more often than any previous ingame narrator before. She is reaching Space Quest levels of fourth wall breaking, above and beyond the number of fourth walls broken in earlier king's quest games. You were lucky to find 1 or two true fourth walls broken, in the earlier games. In this one they are every other line... Most are in plain sight, easy to do actions, not hidden, out in the open. Some are kind of just thrown at you.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on July 26, 2010, 10:57:53 PM
I agree. The more jokes/4th wall breaking, the less funny/interesting each becomes.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on July 27, 2010, 02:11:03 AM
Also agree.  :)  BTW, what a post, Baggins!  Very informative and well put together.   :)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 27, 2010, 03:35:50 AM
Thank you.

Anyways ya KQ2 does have a narrator that acknowledges the "player" "you" a bit more than other games in the series. Though usually to to describe "graham's thoughts and point of view" But its usually played straight, and without insulting you. Graham on the other hand is blissfully unawhere that you are playing god and "controlling his actions".

But the reason why the narrator occasionally acknowledges the player is actually written into the manual, and also played seriously (in such a way that it rarely feels as if its breaking the forth wall.) Actually narrators exist outside of wall to begin with its part of being a narrator, there job is to interact with the audience;

Quote
Only you, my bold adventurer have the power to finish this tale. Accompany King Graham on his quest to find the magic keys. Encounter characters of legend, folklore and fantasy. Explore underground caverns, eerie towers, and ocean wonderlands. Help him rescue the enchanted maiden, so he can lay his kingdom and his heart at her feet.

You will be faced with challenges that would intimidate those of lesser timbre. Summon all your strength and courage. Leave no stone unturned, no avenue unexplored, and your perseverance will be richly rewarded.

It may be possible to find each key through more than one avenue. The more imaginative your solutions, the greater you reward.

Study all the ancient lores for clues. Along the way collect as many treasures as you can - treasures fit for a queen.

You and King Graham will not be able to fulfill the prophecy without mapping your progress. Draw a map showing what different directions lead where, objects found, dangerous areas -- any and every landmark you see along the way. And don't think that because you've been through an area once, that it will always be the same. The population of Kolyma is anything but stationary!

Basically both the manual and the game treats the player as the secret "companion" to Graham one he doesn't know is there. As I said before you are kinda playing a "god" or guardian angel.  The narrator in this case is intermediary in only a few cases (the monk, trying to kill Valanice, if you ask one of those easter egg questions, "What is Graham name?"). But as far as Graham is concerned you don't exist. In most cases where the narrator does talk to the player, its neither to insult the player but just to inform in a serious manner, or the occasional "thank you for playing the game" messages if you die. Generally respectful.

In anycase, its generally the job of narrators, such as in plays that are ones that supposed to "talk directly to the audience, or interact with the audience" but generally never to the characters within the play itself. They are like that 3rd person omniscient POV in novels, that gives you details that the characters in the story wouldn't know, or won't discover, but might be interesting to you as the reader. They aren't a character within the story itself, when they break that barrier and start talking to the characters in the play, and the characters in the play start acknowledging the narrator or the audience, that's when you start "breaking that fourth wall".

There is a difference between a serious narrator, that offers explanation, and one that ridicules the audience, and cracks jokes at the audience expense. While the latter can be nice occasionally, it probably should be limited. As someone above said, the more you do, the less funny it becomes. But its made worse if the truly breaks the fourth wall and leads into an interaction between the story's character with the narrator, or the story's character acknowledging the player/audience :p...
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: noonchild on July 27, 2010, 04:14:51 AM
(http://www.hibeesbounce.com/forum/images/smilies/SM003.gif)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on July 27, 2010, 08:48:00 AM
Also agree.  :)  BTW, what a post, Baggins!  Very informative and well put together.   :)

Yeah, really! Baggins has a ridiculous amount of knowledge about King's Quest.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: noonchild on July 27, 2010, 02:23:08 PM
Yes indeed, and my smiley was all in good jest, I always enjoy reading Baggins posts, I love learning new things about KQ and the knowledge in impressive.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on July 27, 2010, 02:23:40 PM
The King's Quest wiki is pretty much written by him.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Damar on July 27, 2010, 05:43:31 PM
The narrator's job is to communicate with the player, but at the same time, the narrator usually treats the player like the character.  Basically, while these games have a third person design, they're more of a first person game.  When I play a game, I don't think "Graham needs to do this, or Graham just died," it's more of, "I need to do this or I just died."  So whether the narrator says "Dying for a drink, Graham," speaking directly to the character or "Riddle fiddle what to do?  Something sticky, there's a clue" aimed directly at the player and giving a hint it feels the same to me because its an immersive game and I am both the player and the character.  So even when the character doesn't "get" a reference and I do, I still feel like a wall is being broken because the narrator is exiting the world of the immersive game and separating me from the playable character to make a private joke to me.  Ultimately though, that's all personal perceptions one way or the other and hair splitting and gets away from the actual question which is whether the narrator is too sarcastic to the point that her genre ceases to be a Kings Quest.  Well that and whether she compares to a owl that wouldn't go anywhere fun.

And when it comes down to it, even though I agree the narrator in TSL was more sarcastic than past Kings Quests, I don't think it was by much, and I certainly think she's far closer to Kings Quest territory than Space Quest territory.  Space Quest was merciless in it's mockery of both the player/Roger (though parenthetically I think it's a good illustration of the fact that regularly breaking the fourth wall and being sarcastic is funny.  The issue is whether it works with the genre of game.  It does with Space Quest.  It would get old with Kings Quest if done anything more than rarely.  And it drove me crazy with Quest for Glory.  Stupid puns!)  Also, even without the mocking, Space Quest VI had Roger directly speaking to the narrator.  And you didn't have to go out of your way to find it.  It happened in regular cut scenes.  The TSL narrator is much closer to the punny jokes and occasional reality blurring of the Kings Quest narrators than to Gary Owens, or any previous Space Quest narrative text.  Much closer.  And as for the narrator and Graham directly interacting with each other, unless I'm forgetting something obvious (it happens) it doesn't really happen much at all.  The only one jumping right to mind is when Graham burns himself, the narrator laughs, and Graham reacts.  And you have to go out of your way to do that.  It's got to be the one torch in your room and you've got to think that touching fire is a good idea.  Personally I think it comes close to an easter egg.  So like I said, I'll grant that TSL narrator is a bit more of a spitfire than past narrators, but she's still very much in the genre of a Kings Quest narrator.  I don't think she's anywhere near a Space Quest narrator.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on July 27, 2010, 10:34:03 PM
I'd agree that she's not nearly as sarcastic or jibing towards the player as the SQ narrators, but there's no arguing that this is a new height of sarcasm and fourth wall breaking for a KQ game.  Whether you think it's a good thing or in the spirit of the series is a matter of personal opinion/preference.  Personally, I don't think it works as well here.  But it's not enough to totally ruin my enjoyment of the game, even if I do think the narrator's sarcastic tone is too heavy-handed.  I would be more inclined to enjoy it if the jokes were a little more witty though.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on July 27, 2010, 10:45:59 PM
I agree 100%. Well put.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 28, 2010, 01:38:29 AM
In the later games, yes, most of the "sarcasm" and puns was in the death scenes. That is a bit different than having it in regular dialogue.

Actually the first game to add the punny death comments was KQ3, IIRC. KQ1 and KQ2, it was more of the "You have died, thank you for playing this game, and we hope you come back" type comments.

I'm absolutely fine with having those kind of comments in the death scenes. I always loved the little close up images in KQ5, with monster/creature who killed Graham, wearing his adventurer's hat.

Its alot different than trying to pull out a tree, and hearing all these dweeby references to "ninja and samurai from Japan, where they make rpg games, anime and manga." type comments.

If you tried a similar thing in KQ6, you just get something along the lines, "Alexander hs no wish to disturb green plants.", "the large ferns would be of little use to alexander.","The bushes are probably not hiding anything useful. Besides, they are too prickly to examine closely." What if he tries to touch fire? "And burn a perfectly good hand?" Try to grab rocks? "Alexander has no need to carry around large rocks."

All said pretty straight, in a sensible way. Now the game does have some rather poetic comments if you try to random speak to many of the things in the game, but again most of these comments are played straight as well.

Like "the waves murmur, but do not reply"
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on July 28, 2010, 08:10:43 AM
Yes, I would have liked KQVI-style narrations as well. I liked how you rephrased them.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Damar on July 28, 2010, 10:35:24 AM
It is ultimately a matter of personal preference.  If the sarcasm, actual interactions with Graham, or self-aware asides occur within cut scenes or during things you actually have to do, then I'd feel it was more inappropriate.  But it's only showing up doing things that you wouldn't usually do like trying to pull up a tree or touching a specific fire.  So it's more like a special little inside joke to me.  The tree doesn't seem all that different than the talking bear comment in King's Quest VI.  Yeah, the narrator in that game is a straight man whereas the TSL narrator adds more emotion, as if she's feeling for the characters, but ultimately they both do some of the same things.  The Kings Quest VI narrator may speak like California's a real place that the bear escaped from, but we know it's an inside joke because we know what and where California really is.  So there's not that much difference between that straight reading and TSL narrator talking about Japan with an air of "Graham doesn't get it but I know you do."  And honestly, as straight as the Kings Quest VI narrator was, you could still hear a smirk on his voice at times when you did some more ridiculous things or if he was being witty.  It was slight, but it was there, even in the talking bear comment.  Ultimately the two narrators (and all other Kings Quest narrators and narrative text) have more in common with TSL narrator than differences and the sense of humor while more emotionally active in TSL, as opposed to playing it straight or sticking to puns and such, are still more alike.  I think TSL narrator is still very much entrenched in the genre of Kings Quest and the slight increases in personality expression don't serve to divide her from that heritage as much as it's made to seem.  But ultimately it is a matter of personal opinion and perception, I guess.

And as I said, I'm very partial to this narrator.  Kings Quest VI narrator is definitely the best, no question, but still, TSL narrator has a beautiful voice and I find her relaxing to listen to.  I think she did a fantastic job and definitely see her as a worthy successor to the Kings Quest VI narrator.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on July 28, 2010, 10:37:50 AM
It is ultimately a matter of personal preference.

I think this eloquent statement pretty much concludes this thread.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on July 28, 2010, 05:39:58 PM
Ultimately the two narrators (and all other Kings Quest narrators and narrative text) have more in common with TSL narrator than differences and the sense of humor while more emotionally active in TSL, as opposed to playing it straight or sticking to puns and such, are still more alike.  

With all due respect, is it really helpful to always defend the sarcastic TSL narrator by trying to point out all the ways her lines are similar to previous KQ narrators?  It's like saying, "but, but, but... the other narrators did some of the same things before, so there!"  That's a very weak defense.  I found the mocking, sarcastic tone of many of the TSL narrations to be totally out-of-place in a game that is supposedly trying to place a greater focus on creating a darker, more ominous atmosphere.  Besides being not particularly entertaining, the narrations were often too long and needed more of an implicative and minimalist writing style, as Flubly has written in other posts.  I don't know where someone gets the idea that all critics of the TSL narration are suggesting that the narration ought to be purely "straight" or dry.  That's not the case.  It's possible to have subtle, clever humor without having to resort to heavy-handed sarcasm that undercuts the game's atmosphere.  How about, instead of primarily judging a game by how closely it approximates a previous game, we place more focus on the type of writing and narration that would work best for the particular game at hand.  The biggest problems with TSL Episode 1 are the narration/character dialogue writing and the lack of puzzle gameplay; ironically, these are not areas which should be any more challenging for "fan" or indie development teams. In case no one has noticed, these are the areas which have been the bases for the criticism in many of the scathing reviews.  Overall, the writing in TSL that I've seen so far more or less gets the job done, but rarely rises above pedestrian.  Instead of defending the mediocre (or saying things akin to, "KQ 1-5 games' writing was never exactly Shakespeare"), why not enourage them to aim a lot higher and to raise their standards?  We can be more forgiving regarding some graphical and other technical aspects of these indie projects, but much less so when it comes to writing.  I see it as a sign of respect to take the time to point out a project's flaws and to hold the team to a very high standard.  We want to see them deliver the best games possible.  It does no one any good to gloss over problems in an effort to try to seem as inoffensive as possible.        
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Damar on July 28, 2010, 08:14:42 PM
Guess I never really figured I was being helpful or nonhelpful.  The discussion was whether the narrator fit into the genre of Kings Quest (and whether she compares to an owl who points out poisonous snakes and waits for you where it's safe) and I gave examples of how I felt she did fit in the genre.  That was my point, nothing more, nothing less.  As for whether people like the narrator or not, that's their opinion and their style.  Personally I think she fits well in the genre of Kings Quest and my reasons for thinking that are given, take 'em or leave 'em.  As for whether I should encourage and inspire the TSL staff to shoot for the stars by constructively criticizing their efforts, well I just choose not to.  They seem to be a pretty inspired group all on their own!  So I'm sticking with my own like of the narrator.  Can she go on a bit too long?  Certainly, but hey, the writers clearly love the franchise of Kings Quest so much that the length of the responses simply serves as an illustration of that love.  And that's totally forgivable, especially since the longer responses didn't really affect game play for me.  I mean, I don't have to look at those vases to beat the game, so I'm cool with there being a backstory if I do.  But like I said, those are my opinions, take 'em or leave 'em.  It's still an intriguing first chapter and I'm looking forward to the next one!
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on July 28, 2010, 09:50:57 PM
Quote
It does no one any good to gloss over problems in an effort to try to seem as inoffensive as possible.       

I agree on this point, and the content of your last post. However, from what I understand, most of the writing has already been locked and recorded. At this point, I believe, the team is beyond working on the writing. (Admins, feel free to correct on this.)

So it's fine to voice your opinion, but asking for change in these areas is futile at this point. I doubt that anything will be re-recorded for future episodes based on fan feedback, especially because every TSL team member supports the new narrator.

Quote
How about, instead of primarily judging a game by how closely it approximates a previous game, we place more focus on the type of writing and narration that would work best for the particular game at hand.

Keep in mind, TSL is the final chapter in the KQ saga. As such, it should ideally have a feeling of continuity with the rest of the series. In other words, it should have "the feel" of a KQ game - or "approximate a previous game", as you say.

Therefore, I think that these KQ comparisons are valid.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on July 28, 2010, 09:57:46 PM
It does no one any good to gloss over problems in an effort to try to seem as inoffensive as possible.        

I agree on this point, and the content of your last post. However, from what I understand, most of the writing has already been locked and recorded. At this point, I believe, the team is beyond working on the writing. (Admins, feel free to correct on this.)

So it's fine to voice your opinion, but asking for change in these areas is futile at this point. I doubt that anything will be re-recorded for future episodes based on fan feedback, especially because every TSL team member supports the new narrator.

Absolutely accurate.  Locked and recorded and programmed into the episodes in the necessary places for the most part.  The re-recording issue isn't just a matter of sitting down with our narrator for half an hour and doing new lines, we'd be talking about weeks and possibly even months (this is what happens when people are juts working on this in their spare time) of delay in releasing the next episode to do something like that, and we just can't do that at this point.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on July 28, 2010, 09:59:39 PM
Thanks for the quick clarification. I completely understand why you cannot re-record.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 29, 2010, 02:18:36 AM
Personaly, I don't see much in common with this bear was kidnapped from California, vs. "Graham, be careful, there may be ninjas and samurai hiding behind that tree, it came from Japan, you know the place with manga, anime and rpg games."

In the first one the narrator wasn't talking Alexander directly, and the references to real world things was minimal, or rather as a player we know its a reference to a real place, person, or thing, but the way its said acts as if it could be an actual place within the King's Quest world, in the same way there is "Swiss" cheese in KQ1 (implying Switzerland may be a real place), Persian rugs in KQ2, or King's Questions, says Graham has a "Dufflebag of Dusseldorf", or "William Shakespeare" reference, or Cheltnam Waters reference on a Gravestone in KQ4 (Cheltnam is a real place in England), or Connor's reference to the planet Jupiter.

In the second rather hits both Graham and the player over the head with the pop culture references, and obessive otaku lifestyle. Plus she sounds unhinged when she says it... and the writing takes it for 4 paragraphs of text...
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: daventry on July 29, 2010, 02:20:26 AM
They should've released a Narrator Version and a Talkie Version when the Demo came, then they could've changed what People dident like, Now its Too Late and People should Quit complaining and Except the New Cedric Narrator. ;)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on July 29, 2010, 06:08:23 AM
Well, there is so much to like about TSL, so I'm sure people will continue to enjoy the game and appreciate the hard work that went into it!  I have no doubt this team will do even more great things in the future... perhaps then they can try different kinds of narration or no narration at all... after they've had a chance to evaluate what worked and what didn't with TSL.  As a first-time effort for PO Studios, the accomplishment is quite impressive!  Whatever happens, I hope they take the criticism of TSL in stride but still have a chance to filter through it all to see what feedback from fans may be good to keep in mind when designing games in the future.

They should've released a Narrator Version and a Talkie Version when the Demo came, then they could've changed what People dident like, Now its Too Late and People should Quit complaining and Except the New Cedric Narrator. ;)

I have to come to terms with it and will try not to let the new Cedric hurt my TSL gaming experience.   8)  Who knows, I may end up warming a little bit to the narrator in the end.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: KatieHal on July 29, 2010, 06:25:44 AM
Amusingly, and ironically, one of the complaints when we released the demo was that there weren't enough narrations or enough details in them, which we endeavored to correct.  ::)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on July 29, 2010, 06:40:03 AM
Amusingly, and ironically, one of the complaints when we released the demo was that there weren't enough narrations or enough details in them, which we endeavored to correct.  ::)

Ah, perhaps a case of overcompensation then?  ;)  Though what's being talked about here is more an issue of narration style than amount and length of narrations (that one has its own thread.)  :)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on July 29, 2010, 07:02:39 AM
UPDATE:  oops, I just now saw the previous post, which says basically the same thing.  How ironic that it says the same thing as mine but with fewer words!!   :suffer:

I wouldn't think of the issue as "number" of narrations or even "amount of detail" in them, necessarily.  I think the writing style is the issue.  An experienced editor is needed to clean things up.  You could say the same things with fewer words.  

Let's take a look at a couple examples.  Here's what we get when the player clicks on a chest outside the pawn shop.

"Graham's intuition as an experienced adventurer tells him there's nothing useful in there.  Somewhere, somewhow, some hand of fate decided that this chest didn't need to be opened or contain any items, almost as though by some grand cosmic game design."

This takes the narrator 18 seconds to say.  The same message, even with a self-aware joke thrown in, could have been delivered with less words.

Here's what happens when the player clicks on the shack near the ferry:

<he knocks>  "There's no one in it.  It would be just inhumane to have someone there in this foul weather.  But then Graham sees Hassan standing under the rain and thinks it may just be possible to get a ferry ride today after all."

This takes nearly 20 seconds.  The gameplay is stopped during that time and the player can only sit and wait... unless they click through.

Some of the obvious observations the narrator makes are also a problem.  Here's one of those that is also too wordy:

"Graham would rather not be carrying anything touched by that evil stranger who cursed his children, but this thick, black cloak is his only clue.  Hopefully, it will help him discover the villain's identity."
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: B'rrr on July 29, 2010, 07:56:09 AM
UPDATE:  oops, I just now saw the previous post, which says basically the same thing.  How ironic that it says the same thing as mine but with fewer words!!   :suffer:

I wouldn't think of the issue as "number" of narrations or even "amount of detail" in them, necessarily.  I think the writing style is the issue.  An experienced editor is needed to clean things up.  You could say the same things with fewer words.  

Don't see the point for an experienced editor.

Let's take a look at a couple examples.  Here's what we get when the player clicks on a chest outside the pawn shop.

"Graham's intuition as an experienced adventurer tells him there's nothing useful in there.  Somewhere, somewhow, some hand of fate decided that this chest didn't need to be opened or contain any items, almost as though by some grand cosmic game design."

This takes the narrator 18 seconds to say.  The same message, even with a self-aware joke thrown in, could have been delivered with less words.

The chest is locked.

Here's what happens when the player clicks on the shack near the ferry:

<he knocks>  "There's no one in it.  It would be just inhumane to have someone there in this foul weather.  But then Graham sees Hassan standing under the rain and thinks it may just be possible to get a ferry ride today after all."

This takes nearly 20 seconds.  The gameplay is stopped during that time and the player can only sit and wait... unless they click through.

Noone answers.

Some of the obvious observations the narrator makes are also a problem.  Here's one of those that is also too wordy:

"Graham would rather not be carrying anything touched by that evil stranger who cursed his children, but this thick, black cloak is his only clue.  Hopefully, it will help him discover the villain's identity."


Graham: This better be helpfull.


This is what most are referring to if they want it more like other kings quest, to I found the ones from TSL refreshing to be honest  ;)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: shadyparadox on July 29, 2010, 06:24:45 PM
UPDATE:  oops, I just now saw the previous post, which says basically the same thing.  How ironic that it says the same thing as mine but with fewer words!!   :suffer:

I wouldn't think of the issue as "number" of narrations or even "amount of detail" in them, necessarily.  I think the writing style is the issue.  An experienced editor is needed to clean things up.  You could say the same things with fewer words.  

Don't see the point for an experienced editor.

Let's take a look at a couple examples.  Here's what we get when the player clicks on a chest outside the pawn shop.

"Graham's intuition as an experienced adventurer tells him there's nothing useful in there.  Somewhere, somewhow, some hand of fate decided that this chest didn't need to be opened or contain any items, almost as though by some grand cosmic game design."

This takes the narrator 18 seconds to say.  The same message, even with a self-aware joke thrown in, could have been delivered with less words.

The chest is locked.

Here's what happens when the player clicks on the shack near the ferry:

<he knocks>  "There's no one in it.  It would be just inhumane to have someone there in this foul weather.  But then Graham sees Hassan standing under the rain and thinks it may just be possible to get a ferry ride today after all."

This takes nearly 20 seconds.  The gameplay is stopped during that time and the player can only sit and wait... unless they click through.

Noone answers.

Some of the obvious observations the narrator makes are also a problem.  Here's one of those that is also too wordy:

"Graham would rather not be carrying anything touched by that evil stranger who cursed his children, but this thick, black cloak is his only clue.  Hopefully, it will help him discover the villain's identity."


Graham: This better be helpfull.


This is what most are referring to if they want it more like other kings quest, to I found the ones from TSL refreshing to be honest  ;)

Actually, your post makes a strong case that it does need an "experienced" editor. It needs someone that actually understands how concise yet descriptive narrations work, not someone sarcastically trimming it to the bone so that it says absolutely nothing interesting whatsoever.

For example,

"Graham would rather not be carrying anything touched by that evil stranger who cursed his children, but this thick, black cloak is his only clue.  Hopefully, it will help him discover the villain's identity."

could be changed to

"Graham would rather not carry anything that belonged to that evil stranger, but this cloak may be the only clue to his identity."

Still descriptive, but not unnecessarily wordy. We already know the stranger cursed Graham's children, the color and texture of the cloak can be described in the inventory window, and adding an extra sentence about "the villain's identity" is redundant because there's already the word "clue" in the previous one.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: KatieHal on July 29, 2010, 08:36:39 PM
Well, a lot depends on personal style too. All the examples you listed, to me? Look just fine. But then, I was the Editor in Chief, so... :) Nor are the ones you listed even amongst the longer narrations that we have.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on July 29, 2010, 10:10:42 PM
Well again, it's not necessarily a matter of length in and of itself, but rather style as you said.  Some of those examples above are awkwardly written from a stylistic standpoint (and by style, I don't mean personal taste, I mean the type of thing that if you wrote it in a college level English paper, your teacher would immediately circle it in red and tell you to reword it.)  It's worth noting that these are the type of things that are often very hard to pick out if you're the one that wrote it.  That's why you should never proofread your own work--your brain automatically fills in gaps and makes sense of things that don't necessarily work as well on their own merits.  An editor or proofreader should always always be an objective third party who had nothing to do with the actual writing itself.   :)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: shadyparadox on July 29, 2010, 10:49:24 PM
Well, a lot depends on personal style too. All the examples you listed, to me? Look just fine. But then, I was the Editor in Chief, so... :) Nor are the ones you listed even amongst the longer narrations that we have.

OK, let's try this one:

Quote
Graham takes a look at the tormented tree as its branches are mercilessly caught in a tug-of-war in the winds, to the point of looking like they might even be torn off.

The king can somehow relate: inside of him a wild storm has just begun to rage, harrowing his every nerve, at every inch of a man who has looked evil in the eye before and won, yet has never found a way to truly put it to an end for good.

For comparison, this is what was in the old demo:

Quote
A large oak tree spreads its shading branches out over the path.

I wouldn't say the second one is "better" by any means (and not merely because "shading" doesn't even make sense when the sun isn't out). Personally, I find the connection between the rainstorm and Graham's internal storm intriguing. However, the whole part about Graham never completely crushing evil has nothing to do with the tree. (That line could be used on another object, perhaps?) Furthermore, a shorter line that implies a subtle link would draw me in more than a full exposition on why the analogy makes sense. It would make me, the player, contemplate how it works instead of having it all spoon-fed to me.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: B'rrr on July 30, 2010, 01:56:54 AM

Actually, your post makes a strong case that it does need an "experienced" editor. It needs someone that actually understands how concise yet descriptive narrations work, not someone sarcastically trimming it to the bone so that it says absolutely nothing interesting whatsoever.

For example,

"Graham would rather not be carrying anything touched by that evil stranger who cursed his children, but this thick, black cloak is his only clue.  Hopefully, it will help him discover the villain's identity."

could be changed to

"Graham would rather not carry anything that belonged to that evil stranger, but this cloak may be the only clue to his identity."

Still descriptive, but not unnecessarily wordy. We already know the stranger cursed Graham's children, the color and texture of the cloak can be described in the inventory window, and adding an extra sentence about "the villain's identity" is redundant because there's already the word "clue" in the previous one.

You are missing my point  :P  They say TSL's narrations don't look like other KQ games (which is true) but they don't want it to look like others, they want it to look like their idealised version of KQ.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on July 30, 2010, 05:22:22 AM

Quote
Graham takes a look at the tormented tree as its branches are mercilessly caught in a tug-of-war in the winds, to the point of looking like they might even be torn off.

The king can somehow relate: inside of him a wild storm has just begun to rage, harrowing his every nerve, at every inch of a man who has looked evil in the eye before and won, yet has never found a way to truly put it to an end for good.

For comparison, this is what was in the old demo:

Quote
A large oak tree spreads its shading branches out over the path.

I wouldn't say the second one is "better" by any means (and not merely because "shading" doesn't even make sense when the sun isn't out)...

Wow, is that longer description in the game, or is it a parody?  I must have missed that one.  It's clearly overly dramatic, almost to the point of corniness.  I like the analogy idea, but think it could have been expressed more simply.  Also, the level of intensity that's expressed in that description is not always seen elsewhere in the narration or character dialogue.  (By the way, the original/demo description might have been a little pointless, other than to tell the player that it's an oak tree, since the player can plainly see that it's a tree next to a path... but I get Shadyparadox's point.  If a narrator MUST be used in these games, and I'm not convined of that, then I think the narration should offer something beyond stating the obvious.)

Unfortunately, a lot of the descriptions feel like filler or fluff inserted as an afterthought.  It's like the team went to each screen, looked around at the finished visuals and thought, "what 'deep' sounding comment can we tack on to this or that random object which otherwise serves no purpose other than as scenery?"  The fact that the narrations seem like tacked-on filler at times makes the virtual world seem fake and hard to believe.  It also gives the impression that the writing was low on the list of priorities.

I agree with Lambonius and Shadyparadox about the need for a separate editor.  As I'm sure you all know, movie scripts, books, print journalism, etc. all go through this process.  I have no idea what the process for TSL was like, but some of the lines in TSL just scream out for an editor... and I'm not any writing expert.  Something was lacking at the editing stage.  If I were trying to publish something and wanted to be taken seriously on a professional level, you better believe I would have the thing thoroughly edited by a few experienced editors.  I would recognize that I needed their help.  With a game like TSL, it would be great to find an editor with professional-level fiction editing experience, as well as an understanding of interactive fiction.  Laughable, unintended corniness might have been passable in an action game, but in a mostly serious adventure game it's a killer.  A good editor could be the difference between effective story-telling and schlock.

Think of what makes games like Monkey Island, Sam & Max, Grim Fandango, etc. so popular and respected... the writing!  Think of what (among other things) arguably made the new Star Wars movies so disappointing at times... the writing!  I apologize for stating obvious things that you all know already... but I am simply trying to stress the importance of the writing in these kinds of games.  It doesn't have to be a literary masterpiece, but at least make sure it is at professional level if you want to be taken seriously in that way.  Now, I think there are many bright spots so far in TSL's writing, but a lot of the narration needs to be cleaned up style-wise and the character dialogue livened up.  If nothing else, hopefully some of the feedback expressed by people here will be of some use to the PO Studios team in the future.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Damar on July 30, 2010, 06:28:26 AM
The length of some of the responses doesn't demonstrate to me that the writers wanted to make things look deep, but rather that they love the kings quest universe and wanted to make this game as immersive as possible.  And I can appreciate that goal.  I personally didn't feel that the longer narrations got in the way of game play, so they didn't bother me.  I don't think the main issue, if you really want to get into the long narrations, is that the writing was bad, but rather that there is a change mediums from the written word to the spoken word.  If there weren't all movies could be adapted directly from the book with a minimal screenwriting process.  But the fact is that something that is well written doesn't come across the same way when spoken.  I think that's what's sometimes run into here, the main example that sticks out to me being the back story about Cassima's childhood when you look at the vases.

That said, once again, I don't feel that any of it hinders gameplay to a degree that the game would require a rewrite and have the release deadlines pushed back.  This is the narration and this is the writing style.  And can we even draw definite conclusions?  The Isle of the Crown was the only major location we had in episode one.  Everything else was cut scenes for the most part.  So it could be that the future narrations will be less focused on the emotions of what just happened.  We really don't know.  And that's if you even felt the narrations were too long, which as I've stated before, I really don't think they were.  But that's just my opinion.  And it honestly is what I think, not me trying to gloss things over or be inoffensive.

Besides, if people complain too much, the game designers might throw up their hands and actually record Cedric as a new narrator!  And let me tell you, I don't think any of us want that!  "Oooh, Graham doesn't want to touch the horrid black cloak that eeeeevil, POIsonous man left behind after cursing his children, but there don't seem to be any other clues to that wizard's identity.  But as long as you're carrying that hateful, POIsonous thing, I'll wait here!"
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on July 30, 2010, 07:01:53 AM
Even if you are right that the writing needs no editing (which I think it does) and that the only real problem is the fact that it's being read aloud, shouldn't the fact that the words were going to be spoken have been taken into account during the writing stage?  You can't say a tv show script is bad only because its dialogue would have been better off being read silently instead of spoken... I mean, did the script writer of the show think he/she was writing for a silent movie with subtitles only?  

I personally have no problem with narrative metaphors, back story, emotional insights, etc.  These things can potentially add value to the story and gaming experience.  My problem is with the way it was done here.  I think with a bit more editing the game's script could have been a lot sharper.  I really like a lot of the clever bits of inspired narration, even if the script feels a bit rough.  It's very clear that a lot of love went into this project.  I hope no one takes any of this too personally, since I'm sure nearly all writers could benefit from using an editor who wasn't involved in writing the original copy.

Besides, if people complain too much, the game designers might throw up their hands and actually record Cedric as a new narrator!  And let me tell you, I don't think any of us want that!  "Oooh, Graham doesn't want to touch the horrid black cloak that eeeeevil, POIsonous man left behind after cursing his children, but there don't seem to be any other clues to that wizard's identity.  But as long as you're carrying that hateful, POIsonous thing, I'll wait here!"

OMG, that would be hilarious!   :D  Awwww, all this talk of Cedric is really starting to make me miss the little guy in a way.  I hope he makes a little cameo somewhere.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on July 30, 2010, 07:04:41 AM
I would bet he's already slated to make a cameo somewhere.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on July 30, 2010, 09:42:30 AM
You guys aren't hearing us.  Again--when we're talking about something being stylistically overwritten, we're not talking about JUST length.  We're talking about the cases in which added length = redundant wording.  I'm not even necessarily going to say it's purely a content issue either (since whether you like the amount of emotion and melodrama being expressed is really a matter of personal taste.)  Like sahara said, getting backstory and internal monologue in the narrations can be great--it's the way these lines were put together here, often in multiple redundant sentences that take much longer than necessary to express the same sentiments, that we're discussing.

Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: shadyparadox on July 30, 2010, 05:45:55 PM
You are missing my point  :P  They say TSL's narrations don't look like other KQ games (which is true) but they don't want it to look like others, they want it to look like their idealised version of KQ.

No, the descriptions aren't four words or less, or anything close. Maybe you should play KQ6 again.

Wow, is that longer description in the game, or is it a parody?

It's in the game. Click the eye on the oak tree at the crossroads.

You guys aren't hearing us.  Again--when we're talking about something being stylistically overwritten, we're not talking about JUST length.  We're talking about the cases in which added length = redundant wording.  I'm not even necessarily going to say it's purely a content issue either (since whether you like the amount of emotion and melodrama being expressed is really a matter of personal taste.)  Like sahara said, getting backstory and internal monologue in the narrations can be great--it's the way these lines were put together here, often in multiple redundant sentences that take much longer than necessary to express the same sentiments, that we're discussing.

Are my examples not relevant? If so, could you provide one so I have a better idea of what you're referring to? To me, it sounds like we're talking about the same thing.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: B'rrr on July 31, 2010, 12:10:51 AM
You are missing my point  :P  They say TSL's narrations don't look like other KQ games (which is true) but they don't want it to look like others, they want it to look like their idealised version of KQ.

No, the descriptions aren't four words or less, or anything close. Maybe you should play KQ6 again.

Ahh, but maybe you should play KQ1 again then, or KQ2 or KQ3 or... for every well written comment in KQ6 there is a short one that is much like mine (granted, better written, I was exaggerating 5-6 words usually though (that is close!)). hell, for every well written comment in KQ6 I can probably find an object in KQ5 that has no comment at all!

- this is a very beautiful tree
- this is your ordinairy rock
- the flowers are very beautiful
- this is a beautiful little lake

just start up KQ1 and walk one screen to the right and you can find the comments above.

So what is to say that your written lines are better, more kings quest like then for example the ones I wrote? why should your style be used over mine? is KQ6 more of a Kings Quest game then for example KQ1?  :o :o

If the team suddenly got the time and recources to change the current narrations, why should they change it the way you proposed? True, it would make those that are a fan of the descriptions in KQ6 perhaps more pleased about the game, but not those that like it the way KQ1 was. It might even make others more angry, even with only one episode out there are people that think that this is going to be a KQ6 remake, wouldn't changing the narrating to be more like KQ6 strengthen their case? They can not please everyone sadly.

You guys aren't hearing us.  Again--when we're talking about something being stylistically overwritten, we're not talking about JUST length.  We're talking about the cases in which added length = redundant wording.  I'm not even necessarily going to say it's purely a content issue either (since whether you like the amount of emotion and melodrama being expressed is really a matter of personal taste.)  Like sahara said, getting backstory and internal monologue in the narrations can be great--it's the way these lines were put together here, often in multiple redundant sentences that take much longer than necessary to express the same sentiments, that we're discussing.

Are my examples not relevant? If so, could you provide one so I have a better idea of what you're referring to? To me, it sounds like we're talking about the same thing.

Actually, you two seem more on one line then many other people that complain about the narrating, but you have to see that not everyone that is unhappy with the current narrating is unhappy about the same thing or unhappy for the same reason, let alone that they are on one line about what the best solution is to fix it.

I am quite easy though, would probably enjoy the game as much as I am now if a different narrating style is used. I like the current one, I am not in a hurry (unlike graham maybe) so there is no need for me to rush things, I have time to listen to lengthy comments even if most they are irrelevant, redundant and could be said in a sentence or two less. I am also a big fan of KQ6 narrating, I can even smile at the old KQ1 narrating gives a nostalgic feeling.

For those that aren't happy with the current narrating style, just want to say that not every KQ game is alike, so don't expect TSL to be, think of the narrating as something that sets it apart from others. And to those that want changes, don't think that the changes you want are something that everyone(everyone that wants changes that is) wants.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on July 31, 2010, 08:37:56 AM
Quote
this is a very beautiful tree

Point of note the tree comments are random. If you type "look at tree" you'll get one of 2-3 random messages, that appear in most screens with trees.

There is only a few trees the game actually specifically comments on. The large oak tree (and a nearby maple), the walnut tree, and the tree growing out of the lake.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on August 01, 2010, 10:06:59 PM
@shadyparadox:

No, no.  I agree with you.  My comment was meant for others who keep bringing up the same tired "I'd rather have long narrations than four word generic ones" rebuttal--since that's not what we're suggesting at all.  I was trying to clarify that it's not a matter of length per se, but rather being succinct in expressing the intended sentiment.  It's not necessarily that the sentiments being expressed are at fault (though in my personal opinion, some of the melodrama is a bit overdone here--that tree/internal storm line is a great example), it's that the sentiments often seem to be written with the intention of being as flowery and verbose as possible.  There is never any reason to go on for several lines saying something that you could have expressed just as easily and far more eloquently in a single sentence.  It's like--attempts at poetry that fall flat are almost worse than not attempting at all.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but that seems to be what you're getting at as well.  :)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: loranna238 on August 02, 2010, 07:59:50 PM
Comparing TSL's sarcastic, mocking narrator to original KQ narrators might not be the most appropriate analogy.  Due to the TSL narrator's ability to get under the player's skin and provide a distracting and sometimes unnecessary presence, I think a comparison to Cedric "Poisonous Snake" Owl is more apt.  

See here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F64wDQJLWMQ

This is not meant as a personal criticism of anyone, but simply to comment on an aspect of TSL that I found problematic.

I loved the narrator!
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Ronkaperplexous on August 03, 2010, 03:33:10 PM
Overall I thought the narrator was fine, although there were a few bits that could be improved upon.

Mainly, I just came here to say that if there is a snake, any kind of snake, anywhere in the series, the narrator HAS to say, "Watch you, Graham! A pOIsonous snake!" If there are no snakes in the series, one should be added. Seriously, I'd settle for a picture of a snake or something, just to get that line in.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: tessspoon on August 03, 2010, 03:42:41 PM
 :snake: :snake: :snake: :watchout: :watchout: :watchout:
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Cez on August 03, 2010, 03:56:38 PM
We tried, but Graham wasn't too keen to the idea. (Image courtesy of Chris Uskho)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: KatieHal on August 03, 2010, 04:11:45 PM
LOL, I love that image so much.  ;D
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on August 03, 2010, 05:09:27 PM
We tried, but Graham wasn't to keen to the idea. (Image courtesy of Chris Uskho)

Apparently Graham is channeling both Samuel L Jackson and Captain Morgan in this photo.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: B'rrr on August 03, 2010, 05:36:33 PM
cute picture  ;)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 03, 2010, 06:46:58 PM
Overall I thought the narrator was fine, although there were a few bits that could be improved upon.

Mainly, I just came here to say that if there is a snake, any kind of snake, anywhere in the series, the narrator HAS to say, "Watch you, Graham! A pOIsonous snake!" If there are no snakes in the series, one should be added. Seriously, I'd settle for a picture of a snake or something, just to get that line in.

I am confident that the team has a POIsonous snake in the game somewhere. They've already referenced one KQ meme in the first Episode ("'Tis beyond his reach!").
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Enchantermon on August 04, 2010, 09:04:20 PM
We tried, but Graham wasn't too keen to the idea. (Image courtesy of Chris Uskho)
Words cannot describe the amount of awesome present in that picture. :)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 04, 2010, 09:18:23 PM
If only Graham could manhandle snakes like that in KQV, life would have been so much easier!
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Flubly on August 10, 2010, 12:04:26 AM
So what is to say that your written lines are better, more kings quest like then for example the ones I wrote? why should your style be used over mine? is KQ6 more of a Kings Quest game then for example KQ1?  :o :o

If the team suddenly got the time and recources to change the current narrations, why should they change it the way you proposed? True, it would make those that are a fan of the descriptions in KQ6 perhaps more pleased about the game, but not those that like it the way KQ1 was. It might even make others more angry, even with only one episode out there are people that think that this is going to be a KQ6 remake, wouldn't changing the narrating to be more like KQ6 strengthen their case? They can not please everyone sadly.

KQ6 is thematically very similar to the rest of the King's Quest games.  Its difference in style is one of voice, not really of subject exploration (though there is more character drawing, not development, than usual).  Also, there are plenty of short, "boring" descriptions in KQ6 that are just like the examples you gave from KQ1.  "Alexander pulls out his magic map."

Your argument of subjectivity doesn't really defend anything as much as it destroys everything.  It's an argument that defends any interpretation of King's Quest, no matter what.  If I made a pornographic game, it would please some but not others.  Can't please everybody!  

Even though I'm not a subjectivist, I'll get in one's shoes for the sake of the argument and also to not lead this into philosophy.  The art form ceases to have any social/group meaning because it's only concerned with preaching to the choir (a specific subgroup) rather than communicating to the larger audience.  I would rather have you make me understand the route that this game took, instead of just repeating which route was taken.  I know the road, I just don't know why you took it beyond a vague idea of interest in the psychological (which has not played out to be anything more than surface sentimentalism and shallow insight so far).
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on August 10, 2010, 12:12:18 AM
I love your posts, Flubly.  I really do.   ;D
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on August 22, 2010, 04:10:07 AM
Saw your recent newsletter where you talk about some changes coming with Ep. 2.  Sounds great!  Can't wait to play it.  I just want to reiterate that merely making the narrations shorter isn't exactly what's called for.  Yes, some narrations ought to be shorter, no doubt about that, but the big thing is that they just need significant editing from the outside.  Don't just have the original writers go through and shorten a bunch of narrations.  Now, no one is saying you guys are bad writers.  You are all very talented and passionate about your work.  Everyone needs this kind of help... just get an outside editor (someone not directly involved with writing the original copy) to tweak/sharpen a few things here and polish a few things there.  It will make the game MUCH better!  I'm not talking about complete re-writes everywhere or changing your guys' vision or anything.  There are some serious rough edges to much of the writing we've seen so far, but the "bones" are solid, if that makes any sense.  Maybe it's too late to do anything about the "longer" narration recordings, but you can still make sure the shorter narrations have all gone through several stages of editing!  
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on August 22, 2010, 08:48:01 AM
(http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100820153237/kingsquest/images/f/f9/Poisonoussnake.jpg)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 22, 2010, 09:06:39 AM
Saw your recent newsletter where you talk about some changes coming with Ep. 2.  Sounds great!  Can't wait to play it.  I just want to reiterate that merely making the narrations shorter isn't exactly what's called for.  Yes, some narrations ought to be shorter, no doubt about that, but the big thing is that they just need significant editing from the outside.  Don't just have the original writers go through and shorten a bunch of narrations.  Now, no one is saying you guys are bad writers.  You are all very talented and passionate about your work.  Everyone needs this kind of help... just get an outside editor (someone not directly involved with writing the original copy) to tweak/sharpen a few things here and polish a few things there.  It will make the game MUCH better!  I'm not talking about complete re-writes everywhere or changing your guys' vision or anything.  There are some serious rough edges to much of the writing we've seen so far, but the "bones" are solid, if that makes any sense.  Maybe it's too late to do anything about the "longer" narration recordings, but you can still make sure the shorter narrations have all gone through several stages of editing!  

The team has already listened to fan feedback and is giving us the option of shorter narrations. Obviously sharper editing would improve the game, but imho there are much more important things than script editing, especially considering the fact that the narrator has already recorded all her lines.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Damar on August 22, 2010, 01:27:42 PM
Agreed, there's definitely more important things for them to work on at this point in the process.  Like releasing the games!  And besides, cutting down the narrations would certainly count as editing, or at least the closest you're going to get with the game being as completed as it is.  And I really can't imagine them bringing in another team member this late in the process (as badly as I'm sure we'd all love to be that "outside editor").  I mean the game is all but done, it sounds like, except the housekeeping issues.

On second thought, I take that back.  Tell you what, Silver Lining team, I offer my services as outside editor.  Here's how it's going to go down: Now, odds are I'm just going to tell you that we can cut some stuff down, or it's good as written, but just to be sure, send me the games now.  I'll play through them all and then send you my notes, which will probably be what I said above.  What do you say?  Do we have a deal?

Seriously, at this point, with the switch between short and long narrations, any other issues are going to be a "you can't please everyone" thing.  The game is what it is, this is the writing style they wanted and upon listening to it, they felt it was good.  And they've taken complaints into account and shortened narrations.  If someone still doesn't like the narration, then that's just on them.  And that's not a judgment.  Heck, I couldn't (and still can't) stand Josh Mandel's voice as Graham in Kings Quest.  He just doesn't sound like Graham to me and I'm not a fan of his voice acting.  That's my opinion.  I can still play and enjoy KQV (or I could if Vista would let me.)  It's the same with the narrations.  If, even after the narration changes, people don't like it, then that's just their opinion.  What's important is that you can still play and enjoy the game.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on August 22, 2010, 02:37:41 PM
Realistically, the team can't do much about the writing in TSL if it wants to release the subsequent episodes in a timely fashion.  For future game design efforts, particularly those they expect people to pay for--yeah, it would be a pretty good idea to have a third party (non-fanboy--sorry Damar ;)) editor come in to edit and critique ALL the writing--character dialogue, object descriptions, everything.  As previously mentioned--you can't edit your own work objectively.  It just isn't possible.  TSL is already set in stone, as has been bluntly stated numerous times--but hopefully next time, they will take these critiques to heart and have an objective, skilled, third party editor go through the writing EARLY in the game design process (i.e. pre-voicework) so that future POS games end up as polished as possible.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 22, 2010, 10:42:28 PM
I personally found that the with only a few exceptions, the writing in TSL did not need further editing.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on August 23, 2010, 06:33:30 AM
The team has already listened to fan feedback and is giving us the option of shorter narrations. Obviously sharper editing would improve the game, but imho there are much more important things than script editing, especially considering the fact that the narrator has already recorded all her lines.

Assuming a team were starting from a clean slate, I would think the script should be priority #1, particularly for an adventure/interactive fiction game.  As has been said before, we can't expect Heavy Rain-level graphics in such a "fan" project (though TSL's visuals ARE excellent), given the obvious limitations, but it's not asking too much to hope for a tight, polished script.  I also think a lot of the criticism, whether people agree with it or not, should not simply be seen as complaints from "unhappy" and hard-to-please players who simply need concessions to be made happy, but instead should be seen as feedback from people who are rooting for the team and who want to see this relatively high profile "fan" game be the best it can be.  The fact that TSL has not presented itself as just any other "fan" game, and the fact that the team seems to have commercial aspirations, means that their work will be judged by a higher standard.  I think that is a good thing.  It's a sign of respect that people would expect a lot from a team rather than choose to make apologies for them.

That said, I didn't realize that even the new, shorter narration versions were set in stone.  I guess it's a done deal, then.   :P  I'm sure Episode 2 will be a lot of fun and worth the wait!  
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on August 23, 2010, 08:49:27 AM
I personally found that the with only a few exceptions, the writing in TSL did not need further editing.

See, there's the tough thing for us - we have had some people saying they don't like the writing, but plenty of others who have loved it.  I think that no matter how much editing is done, any writer will still have critics.  I've read several books that were "professionally" edited, but were just absolute crap as far as the plot development and story were concerned.  I've also read books that weren't particularly great as far as editing goes, but the story was still fantastic.  It really mainly boils down to personal preference.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: crayauchtin on August 23, 2010, 11:02:07 AM
That said, I didn't realize that even the new, shorter narration versions were set in stone.  I guess it's a done deal, then.   :P  I'm sure Episode 2 will be a lot of fun and worth the wait!  
I think it's not that they wouldn't have liked to find another solution, it's just that all of the recording has already been done. To edit the script and rerecord would push back release dates at least six months -- and although there have been complaints about the script, I don't think anyone wants to wait that much longer!
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Cat1 on August 23, 2010, 04:09:26 PM
I personally found that the with only a few exceptions, the writing in TSL did not need further editing.

See, there's the tough thing for us - we have had some people saying they don't like the writing, but plenty of others who have loved it.  I think that no matter how much editing is done, any writer will still have critics.  I've read several books that were "professionally" edited, but were just absolute crap as far as the plot development and story were concerned.  I've also read books that weren't particularly great as far as editing goes, but the story was still fantastic.  It really mainly boils down to personal preference.

In a way that's true, but I think that one of the main problems for me was that the writing seemed unnecessarily wordy, in a way that I have been taught is 'bad' writing.  For instance in the description of the vases, a whole sentence is taken to say, "These vases are fine antiquities indeed."  Maybe it's because I've spent practically the whole year trying to cut words out of a research report, but to me that sentence is crying out to be edited to: "These fine antique vases... (and then carry on with the description)".  In that way you get rid of the useless words "are" and "indeed".

As I said, I've been taught that this kind of thing is bad writing, so for me it seems like it's not even a subjective issue.  Maybe you would argue that I (and all the other people who have a problem with this) have just been taught wrongly  :P  But I think to say that a lot of people don't mind it doesn't necessarily make it good writing - they might just not be english freaks like some of us ;)

It's a free game, so I'm not complaining - I think you guys did an amazing job.  But if I had paid for it I might have been a bit annoyed, so if you're releasing commercial games in the future, it might be something to keep in mind :)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on August 23, 2010, 04:17:29 PM
Not to directly compare our writing to his, but Ernest Hemingway would disagree that wordy writing is automatically bad.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on August 23, 2010, 05:31:43 PM
Not to directly compare our writing to his, but Ernest Hemingway would disagree that wordy writing is automatically bad.

 ::)  This is actually exactly the opposite of the truth.  Hemingway started his career writing short stories--and constantly spoke of the beauty of brevity in good prose.  He often talked about how truly great writers could say the most with the least words.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Cat1 on August 23, 2010, 05:34:17 PM
I agree with Lambonius.  Hemingway considered this sad little piece to be his best work: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

Also I think we might be taking "wordy" to mean two different things.  I'm talking about the use of redundant words within sentences.  Hemingway's occasional "wordiness" that people talk about wasn't in his use of specific words/sentences, but in dwelling on a seemingly irrelevant topic in order to convey a hidden deeper meaning - e.g. see p. 55 of this book (available on google books):  Ernest Hemingway's The old man and the sea By Jim Auer, Ernest Hemingway.

Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on August 23, 2010, 05:36:42 PM
And yet the stuff he's the most well-known for is anything but concise or to the point.  He often rephrased the exact same concept in the same paragraph (or even the same sentence) several different ways and was loved for it.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on August 23, 2010, 06:01:12 PM
And yet the stuff he's the most well-known for is anything but concise or to the point.  He often rephrased the exact same concept in the same paragraph (or even the same sentence) several different ways and was loved for it.

I assume you're talking about stuff like A Farewell to Arms and the like?  Hemingway was attempting to convey emotions without actually describing emotions in the traditional sense.  Instead he hoped to get readers to feel the same emotions that his characters would, by vividly describing what his character was seeing through that character's own eyes--it was about using a juxtaposition of different phrases, all of which conjured specific imagery--and then through experiencing that imagery, the reader would feel the emotion themselves, rather than being told what the character was feeling.  It was a brilliant and experimental use of unconventional wording and nonstandard syntax.  It was absolutely NOT about redundant phrasing or wordiness, as you imply.  Hemingway was much better than that.   ;)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Flubly on August 23, 2010, 07:29:42 PM
It really mainly boils down to personal preference.

Well, that's your opinion.  Oops, infinite loop.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 23, 2010, 07:43:51 PM
After all, isn't that the source of all disagreement?
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on August 23, 2010, 07:47:51 PM
After all, isn't that the source of all disagreement?

Infinite loops?
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 23, 2010, 07:50:05 PM
No, I was just suggesting that "personal preference" is the source of all disagreement.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on August 23, 2010, 08:05:13 PM
Why does the childish taunt "I know you are, but what am I?" keep going through my head whenever I read the responses to this thread?   ::)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 23, 2010, 08:07:36 PM
Well, we are having a legitimate discussion, so I don't really know why...
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Fierce Deity on August 23, 2010, 10:29:44 PM
Why does the childish taunt "I know you are, but what am I?" keep going through my head whenever I read the responses to this thread?   ::)

Don't you just hate those immature voices in your head that won't go away?  :P

But seriously, whenever I start debating (even if it's a mature discussion), I tend to get a similar feeling. I fully understand the rationale behind another person's argument, but because I disagree with him, I have to continue ranting and raving my point. It get's to the point where I sense the "I know you are, but what am I?" and I personally have to let it go.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on August 23, 2010, 10:40:00 PM
Why does the childish taunt "I know you are, but what am I?" keep going through my head whenever I read the responses to this thread?   ::)

Don't you just hate those immature voices in your head that won't go away?  :P

But seriously, whenever I start debating (even if it's a mature discussion), I tend to get a similar feeling. I fully understand the rationale behind another person's argument, but because I disagree with him, I have to continue ranting and raving my point. It get's to the point where I sense the "I know you are, but what am I?" and I personally have to let it go.

Heh--yeah, my thoughts exactly.  :)  As much as I might favor one side of the debate over the other--it's going to be endless no matter what--nobody is going to bow down and admit defeat (or indeed, even fault  ::)) so what's the point?
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on August 23, 2010, 10:47:18 PM
The problem is when a debate becomes too heavily based on personal opinions.  When trying to debate whether a particular game or movie or book or song or writing style is good or not, it's too easy to just fall onto personal likes and dislikes and have it end up just turning into an argument.  Proper debates ought to be based on factual information, so when you start trying to debate personal preferences it's likely going to degrade into something far less civil.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 23, 2010, 10:47:59 PM
Quote
[What's] the point?

Post count!

But in all seriousness, such discussions are healthy for the creative process at Phoenix Online and give us, the fans, something to chatter about as we wait for Episode 2.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on August 23, 2010, 10:51:37 PM
Indeed.  To shift this back in a different direction--what's the likelihood of POS including a physical character model for the narrator in future episodes?  Personally, I think some kind of talking animal companion would be well-suited to this game and narration style.  Owls are SO 1990 though.  How about a squirrel or some kind of sloth-like creature?
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 23, 2010, 10:54:22 PM
As far as I know, there are no plans for that.

As an aside: what is the source of your avatar, Lambonius? Is it Indiana Jones? What game?
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on August 23, 2010, 11:02:02 PM
It is indeed Indiana Jones, and the sprite and animation are both my original creations.  :)  None of the Indy adventure games ever got the look of the character quite right (Fate of Atlantis was decent, but lacked all the accessories--whip, gun, satchel--though oddly, it did have the satchel strap visible across his chest.)  Anyway, I wanted to make a screen-accurate Indy sprite, just for fun, and that was the result.  He may or may not show up in a super secret easter egg in a certain Infamous Adventures-produced remake--but that's all I'm gonna say.  ;)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 23, 2010, 11:05:21 PM
Very cool! What program(s) did you use to make it?

Also, if you want to get rid of that white background and replace it with transparency, let me know. I'd be happy to do it for you.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on August 23, 2010, 11:07:39 PM
Photoshop for the initial drawing, then touched up the animation frames in Windows Paint with a custom palette.  I could take out the white if I felt like it, but eh--it doesn't bother me.  :)  Thanks for the offer though.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 23, 2010, 11:10:04 PM
That's Paint? Wow, it's so fluid and natural-looking. Nice work.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on August 23, 2010, 11:17:25 PM
That's Paint? Wow, it's so fluid and natural-looking. Nice work.

Heh, well, the thing was pretty much complete before it ever went into Paint.  I mainly used it so that I could zoom in with a grid and make the edges nice and sharp.  :)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 23, 2010, 11:20:50 PM
So the individual frames were created in Photoshop, I see. How did you animate the arm, exactly?
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Fierce Deity on August 23, 2010, 11:24:31 PM
Indeed.  To shift this back in a different direction--what's the likelihood of POS including a physical character model for the narrator in future episodes?  Personally, I think some kind of talking animal companion would be well-suited to this game and narration style.  Owls are SO 1990 though.  How about a squirrel or some kind of sloth-like creature?

While I agree with kindofdoon, that the team may not create an avatar for the narrator's character, I was always keen on the idea of King's Quest being a story that was told by a storyteller (preferably one who sits in a leather chair next to a fireplace). It's a typical and unoriginal setting for King's Quest, I know. I just figured, it's such a long-running series (everything from Graham becoming a King to his son becoming a King), even the narrator should have some sort of a bond to the story.  

Exclusively for The Silver Lining, it would have been an interesting concept if Ali the Bookstore Owner had told the story, but obviously, the narrator is not Ali.  :P
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on August 23, 2010, 11:26:20 PM
Indeed.  To shift this back in a different direction--what's the likelihood of POS including a physical character model for the narrator in future episodes?  Personally, I think some kind of talking animal companion would be well-suited to this game and narration style.  Owls are SO 1990 though.  How about a squirrel or some kind of sloth-like creature?

In future episodes of this game?  Shy of divine intervention, we're not planning to add another character model for a narrator-type follower.  Possibly in future games but I couldn't say for sure right now.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on August 23, 2010, 11:28:07 PM
So the individual frames were created in Photoshop, I see. How did you animate the arm, exactly?

Well, there are a few ways you can do it--Photoshop actually has a nifty animation program built into it that lets you layer, animate, and edit frames all at the same time, then you can save it as an animated gif.  But I didn't use that here (because I didn't know about it at the time.) ;)

I did it manually, just by flipping between layers in Photoshop.  What you need to do is make each frame on a separate layer and make sure they are positioned exactly on top of each other, then you can click back and forth between them and redraw the animated element as needed.  It's pretty much a digital version of a standard old fashioned cell animation process, where the animators would do their work on transparent paper and flip back and forth to see how the animation was progressing.  Then I used a separate gif creator program to create the animated image.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 23, 2010, 11:28:45 PM
Indeed.  To shift this back in a different direction--what's the likelihood of POS including a physical character model for the narrator in future episodes?  Personally, I think some kind of talking animal companion would be well-suited to this game and narration style.  Owls are SO 1990 though.  How about a squirrel or some kind of sloth-like creature?

While I agree with kindofdoon, that the team may not create an avatar for the narrator's character, I was always keen on the idea of King's Quest being a story that was told by a storyteller (preferably one who sits in a leather chair next to a fireplace). It's a typical and unoriginal setting for King's Quest, I know. I just figured, it's such a long-running series (everything from Graham becoming a King to his son becoming a King), even the narrator should have some sort of a bond to the story.  

Exclusively for The Silver Lining, it would have been an interesting concept if Ali the Bookstore Owner had told the story, but obviously, the narrator is not Ali.  :P

That's an interesting idea.

I can just picture it: at the end of Episode 5, Ali closes "The Silver Lining" and puts it back on the shelf. That's pretty cool actually, but personally I prefer the traditional style narrator. I also imagine that having Ali as the narrator might estrange new players.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on August 23, 2010, 11:28:57 PM
Indeed.  To shift this back in a different direction--what's the likelihood of POS including a physical character model for the narrator in future episodes?  Personally, I think some kind of talking animal companion would be well-suited to this game and narration style.  Owls are SO 1990 though.  How about a squirrel or some kind of sloth-like creature?

In future episodes of this game?  Shy of divine intervention, we're not planning to add another character model for a narrator-type follower.  Possibly in future games but I couldn't say for sure right now.

Heh--I was just being a smart-ass.  I would never actually expect that to happen.  ;)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Cat1 on August 23, 2010, 11:41:06 PM
Indeed.  To shift this back in a different direction--what's the likelihood of POS including a physical character model for the narrator in future episodes?  Personally, I think some kind of talking animal companion would be well-suited to this game and narration style.  Owls are SO 1990 though.  How about a squirrel or some kind of sloth-like creature?

Haha! Maybe they could have a few, with a "please choose your companion" start up screen... I would like a kiwi please  ;)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Jafar on August 23, 2010, 11:50:17 PM
Be careful what you wish for... :P

(http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b180/RetroJafar/Clippy.png)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on August 24, 2010, 05:52:48 AM
Be careful what you wish for... :P


That's great!!    ;D  It's the quintessential annoying helper guy that you can't click off the screen fast enough.  Love that.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 24, 2010, 06:34:10 AM
Be careful what you wish for... :P

(http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b180/RetroJafar/Clippy.png)

Too funny, Jafar! And a legitimate point as well.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on August 24, 2010, 11:38:22 AM
Knowing clippy it would be more like "Yes", "Yessssss", then he'd get in your way...
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: snabbott on August 24, 2010, 12:31:16 PM
I hate clippy! >:(

(Posted on: August 24, 2010, 01:18:44 PM)


Indeed.  To shift this back in a different direction--what's the likelihood of POS including a physical character model for the narrator in future episodes?  Personally, I think some kind of talking animal companion would be well-suited to this game and narration style.  Owls are SO 1990 though.  How about a squirrel or some kind of sloth-like creature?

Haha! Maybe they could have a few, with a "please choose your companion" start up screen... I would like a kiwi please  ;)
Would that be the fruit, the bird, or just someone from New Zealand? :P
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Baggins on August 24, 2010, 12:53:13 PM
Stepping on clippy is not a good idea, you might get tetanus...
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Cat1 on August 24, 2010, 02:28:57 PM
I hate clippy! >:(

(Posted on: August 24, 2010, 01:18:44 PM)


Indeed.  To shift this back in a different direction--what's the likelihood of POS including a physical character model for the narrator in future episodes?  Personally, I think some kind of talking animal companion would be well-suited to this game and narration style.  Owls are SO 1990 though.  How about a squirrel or some kind of sloth-like creature?

Haha! Maybe they could have a few, with a "please choose your companion" start up screen... I would like a kiwi please  ;)
Would that be the fruit, the bird, or just someone from New Zealand? :P

The bird of course, although the thought of a kiwifruit hopping(/rolling?!) around raises interesting mental pictures... or perhaps it could have little green wings and fly... or perhaps not  :D

Seriously though, I'm glad that POS are not including a companion/narrating friend for Graham, although just for fun I would like to see Cedric make a brief appearance somewhere!
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: tessspoon on August 24, 2010, 04:05:26 PM
The bird of course, although the thought of a kiwifruit hopping(/rolling?!) around raises interesting mental pictures... or perhaps it could have little green wings and fly... or perhaps not  :D

Similar to my mango? :D

(http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w231/tessspoon/Mango.jpg)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Cat1 on August 24, 2010, 05:02:18 PM
The bird of course, although the thought of a kiwifruit hopping(/rolling?!) around raises interesting mental pictures... or perhaps it could have little green wings and fly... or perhaps not  :D

Similar to my mango? :D

(http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w231/tessspoon/Mango.jpg)

You just made my day  8)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: tessspoon on August 24, 2010, 05:09:53 PM
You just made my day  8)
;D
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: snabbott on August 24, 2010, 07:45:14 PM
Stepping on clippy is not a good idea, you might get tetanus...
...or Monty Python might. It's not my foot!
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 24, 2010, 07:50:51 PM
Awesome. I can imagine the classic sound effect.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: snabbott on August 24, 2010, 07:51:23 PM
The bird of course, although the thought of a kiwifruit hopping(/rolling?!) around raises interesting mental pictures... or perhaps it could have little green wings and fly... or perhaps not  :D

Seriously though, I'm glad that POS are not including a companion/narrating friend for Graham, although just for fun I would like to see Cedric make a brief appearance somewhere!

So... I just noticed that you're from New Zealand. (very cool!) So I guess you wouldn't need a New Zealander as your guide. :P
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Cat1 on August 24, 2010, 09:08:37 PM
Yep - I could probably find my own NZ companion to play with since I live in a whole country full of them  ;)  Although finding one who likes KQ might be a bit tricky  :(
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: colin on August 24, 2010, 09:54:25 PM
Hi Cat1
Nice to know I'm not the only Kings Quest fan from New Zealand. I'm from Auckland. How long have
you been a Kinqs Quest fan? I played my first Kinqs Quest in the early 1990's.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Cat1 on August 24, 2010, 10:32:47 PM
Hi Colin, I'm from Christchurch.  Nice to know there are some more of us out there!  Which KQ games did you play first?  I remember playing KQIV and SQIII with my brother from around 1992 on my Dad's Atari.  He had an MT32 too, which meant we had awesome sound quality!  Then I bought the KQ collection in the late 90s.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: colin on August 25, 2010, 09:03:23 PM
Hi Cat1

My first Kinqs Quest was Kq5 31/2 disk version in 1990/91. And I remember I listened to it just with the PC
speaker. I don't recall multimedia being available at that time. Later I acquired KQ6. This was the first game
I ever played on CD and most definitely one of my favourite games of all time. KQ6 completely got me into the
Kinqs Quest games. I later played KQ7 and later still the collection. Finally I played Mask of Eternity which
turned out to be a bit disappointing. I am looking forward to when Episode 2 of The Silver Lining comes out.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Cat1 on August 25, 2010, 09:51:37 PM
Yes - I'm dying to get my teeth into some real KQ puzzles again.  Sounds like episode 2 is coming in September so not too long to wait now!  Good to hear from you anyway - it's nice to think that there's another KQ fan around even if you are at the other end of the country!
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: colin on August 26, 2010, 01:00:58 AM
Yep roll on September new puzzles and new locations to explore. I look forward to exploring chessboard
land and the winged ones city. You once had a mt-32 for Kinqs Quest 4 and Space Quest 3. I am jealous I have always heard these games in adlib.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Cat1 on August 27, 2010, 01:27:19 AM
You once had a mt-32 for Kinqs Quest 4 and Space Quest 3. I am jealous I have always heard these games in adlib.

Yes, it certainly enhances the game-playing experience hugely!  I think you can get them on ebay etc if you want one badly enough - there's a thread about it on the AGDI forum: http://www.agdiforums.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=14600
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: BrothersGrim on August 27, 2010, 05:25:38 PM
Hi, Im new here but I just played through the first episode and I definitely noticed a similarity in that both the TSL narrator and Cedric annoyed the heck out of me. :P

I do think however that breaking the fourth wall (I think thats what its called) where the narrator talks to you directly isnt a good idea, it kinda made it less believable for me, but aside from that I liked the game a lot, so good job you guys!
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: colin on August 27, 2010, 07:56:41 PM
Hi Cat1

Thank you for the link  the mt-32 samples are amazing. To think I have always put up with adlib. As
for e-bay I don't like using e-bay. Oh well i will have to accept contining to use adlib.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Cat1 on August 28, 2010, 04:49:09 PM
I'm not sure if I mind the 4th wall thing or not - I think it depends on how it's done.  It usually doesn't bother me if the narrator or character talk to me (e.g. Alexander when climbing the logic cliffs in KQVI), but I felt a bit excluded when they started talking to each other in TSL!  That's just me though  :)

And Colin I'm sure it's still great with adlib sound.  You could always watch the intro and ending on youtube with the mt32 sounds anyway!
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 28, 2010, 04:54:51 PM
I don't mind breaking the 4th wall, but when it occurs too frequently, it loses its value.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: colin on August 28, 2010, 09:39:36 PM
Thank you Cat1 That is a good idea of yours.

As for the narrator and the narration, in the game. I don't mind the narrators voice or the narration in the game.
And I do not mind the narrator and Graham talking to each other. As long as the good story continues and there
are lots of puzzles and plenty of new locations to explore - I am happy.  :)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 28, 2010, 09:43:01 PM
Oh, certainly. The only aspect of the game that disappointed was the narrator. However, Episode 2 will add an option to switch between shorter and longer narrations. So it's really not an issue with me anymore, because I assume that the shorter narrator dialogues will also cut a lot of the 4th wall breaking.

And yes, I am extremely happy with the game so far.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Fierce Deity on August 28, 2010, 11:50:54 PM
I don't mind breaking the 4th wall, but when it occurs too frequently, it loses its value.

I always considered "breaking the fourth wall" an addition to the comedic factor. People say that it takes away from the setting or the plot, but that's because it was never intentionally made for the setting or the plot. I agree, if it's used too much, it becomes annoying. Kind of like when a funny joke gets told so much, that it ceases to be funny anymore. But if done in moderation, breaking the fourth wall is a tasteful act of comedy, and nothing more.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on August 28, 2010, 11:55:47 PM
Yes, I agree. I enjoy finding subtle 4th wall references, but when they occur in just about every room, the effect is greatly diminished.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on September 05, 2010, 06:36:26 AM
I think the narrator sounds a bit like that MTV animated character, Daria ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI4YaLJKFw4 ).  When I play TSL I imagine this sarcastic young woman with glasses looking over my shoulder and making snarky comments about my gameplay choices.  It bothers me.   :o  I was pretty young when that Daria show was first on tv, and I always hated the character because she sounded mean and I didn't understand the humor.  

Also, I might be wrong, but is that an American midwestern accent I hear in the narrator's speech?  Something about the accent doesn't sound right for the game.  I think she's a talented narrator, but she sounds too young and modern.

(http://www.moresay.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/mtv-daria-2010-02.jpg)

Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: KatieHal on September 05, 2010, 06:55:21 AM
You can always just turn off the Narrator audio, sahara.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: GoneTooLong on September 05, 2010, 07:07:27 AM
When I play TSL I imagine this sarcastic young woman with glasses looking over my shoulder and making snarky comments about my gameplay choices.  It bothers me.  

 I think she's a talented narrator, but she sounds too young and modern.

There could be worse narrators that remind you of the 90s. Imagine something like...

"DUUUUUDE!!! That magic guy, like, totally put a spell on your children! That was radical, bro! You going down to the docks, man? That surf looks gnarly! Cowabunga!"

You know, all of a sudden I want that narrator in the game.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Fierce Deity on September 05, 2010, 07:14:51 AM
"DUUUUUDE!!! That magic guy, like, totally put a spell on your children! That was radical, bro! You going down to the docks, man? That surf looks gnarly! Cowabunga!"

Why do I all of the sudden have the image of Keanu Reeves going through my head?  :-\
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on September 05, 2010, 09:30:06 AM
Well we love Amy's voice and she's here to stay!  You can always turn off the audio for her and just see the narrator text by itself, and then you could imagine any voice you wanted.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Big C from Cauney island on September 05, 2010, 10:16:27 AM
"DUUUUUDE!!! That magic guy, like, totally put a spell on your children! That was radical, bro! You going down to the docks, man? That surf looks gnarly! Cowabunga!"

Why do I all of the sudden have the image of Keanu Reeves going through my head?  :-\

Its not Keanu Reeves. It's more like Michaelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  On a side note, as far as I know there are MT-32 emulators you can run with dosbox.  I'm not going to quote the "legality" of them. I heard originally a few years ago Roland was against it, but they couldn't exactly do anything due to something legal. There are projects out there, look it up. And from youtube demonstrations, still sounds really good. Again, I'm no lawyer, just letting you know I've seen stuff.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Fierce Deity on September 05, 2010, 12:49:48 PM
Its not Keanu Reeves. It's more like Michaelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_and_Ted%27s_Excellent_Adventure

It sounded like Bill and Ted to me. The only thing that sounded like Michelangelo was the "Cowabunga" part. 
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: GoneTooLong on September 06, 2010, 02:48:15 AM
In hindsight, I probably went a bit too far by putting in the "Cowabunga"  :P
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Fierce Deity on September 06, 2010, 02:57:29 AM
In hindsight, I probably went a bit too far by putting in the "Cowabunga"  :P

Eh, no worries. You got your point across.  ;D
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: snabbott on September 06, 2010, 09:51:10 AM
Also, I might be wrong, but is that an American midwestern accent I hear in the narrator's speech?
Yes - Wisconsin, in fact. :D
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on September 08, 2010, 04:03:31 AM
Also, I might be wrong, but is that an American midwestern accent I hear in the narrator's speech?
Yes - Wisconsin, in fact. :D

OMG, are you the narrator?  I feel like I'm in the presence of a celebrity!!   :o  Well, if you are the narrator, I want to tell you I think you did a great job.  All the criticism is coming from a place of wanting to see the best product possible... nothing is a personal insult... and we think it's clear you put a lot of care into the narration performance.

Wow, I can't believe I guessed midwest accurately.  I'm on the west coast, but my freshman roommate was from Ohio, and you sounded a little like him!
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: GoneTooLong on September 08, 2010, 04:22:57 AM
No, snabbott's not the narrator. For one thing, he's a guy  :P

Amy does occassionally post on the forums under the name auroraambria.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Fierce Deity on September 08, 2010, 04:53:39 AM
Yeah, snabbot isn't the narrator, he's just very knowledgeable.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: snabbott on September 08, 2010, 08:17:41 AM
No, snabbott's not the narrator. For one thing, he's a guy  :P

Amy does occassionally post on the forums under the name auroraambria.
XD
No, I'm not the narrator (and yes, I'm a guy). I do live in Wisconsin, though (but I'm originally from Ohio). I haven't actually met Amy, but I like her work a lot. I don't know if people realize it, but she's not just the narrator. She does the voices for some other characters, too - Titania, for example.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: sahara on September 18, 2010, 06:23:12 AM
No, snabbott's not the narrator. For one thing, he's a guy  :P

Amy does occassionally post on the forums under the name auroraambria.
XD
No, I'm not the narrator (and yes, I'm a guy). I do live in Wisconsin, though (but I'm originally from Ohio). I haven't actually met Amy, but I like her work a lot. I don't know if people realize it, but she's not just the narrator. She does the voices for some other characters, too - Titania, for example.

Does she also do the vocals in the song that plays in the launch trailer?  I thought it sounded a little like her, but I wasn't sure.  (  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzDN6d03O3U  )
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: KatieHal on September 18, 2010, 06:35:51 AM
Yup! "The Day You Were Gone" is indeed sung by Amy, she of the many talents. (Seriously--I love HER singing!)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: madhattter on September 19, 2010, 02:41:23 AM
I enjoy the humor in the game.  However, I have stepped aside from _playing_ the game to post regarding this topic.  Hopefully you will find it constructive feedback. 

I will simply say that a specific set of 'narrations' is actually hindering my enjoyment of the game, which makes me sad panda.  And I suggest a solution...

However well a game is designed and written, people are going to try to do the "wrong" thing, and often.  It is the responses to these innocent missteps that can be received as grating, particularly since the player is already disappointed that their action has failed.

I suggest adding a game option, similar to "Short narrations", that would replace all witty fail responses ("Guards! Guards! ...", "Have you gone CRAZY! ...", "Graham is not THAT generous! ...", etc), with simple fail responses ("uh-uh", or "no").  Such responses have proven effective in other adventure games.

For myself, this option will turn the tide, so that I can once again look forward to Amy's beautiful narration with anticipation, rather than disquiet.

Thank you for listening.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: rev79 on September 19, 2010, 03:56:17 AM
I'm actually just fine with the narrations...aside from one incident in ep. 2. I made the mistake of putting the hand icon on the sea. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Seriously, that was humorous for a minute, but for like 5 minutes? Totally unnecessary.

Btw, this game is an incredible achievement and I'm enjoying the heck out of it. I'm currently stuck on the nymphs.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: koko_99_2001 on September 19, 2010, 06:30:49 AM
Rev79
What do nymphs like? There's a descriptive word used...and you have at least two things in your possession that meet that requirement
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Michelle on September 19, 2010, 10:20:45 PM
However well a game is designed and written, people are going to try to do the "wrong" thing, and often.  It is the responses to these innocent missteps that can be received as grating, particularly since the player is already disappointed that their action has failed.

I actually have to second madhattter's sentiment here. I thought the narrations were quite good, but whenever I made a mistake (and I made a LOT, because I try out many options), I felt like the narrator was really mean.  :'(
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on September 19, 2010, 10:23:21 PM
I don't mean to reopen this can of worms, but I agree. Every one of her comments for a failed attempt at using an item on an object is sarcastic and/or jeering.

Quote
Who taught you that logic, Graham? Have you gone insane? That is NOT going to work. etc.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on September 19, 2010, 10:25:45 PM
I can see how it could come across that way yes, but personally I prefer this a great deal to the constant red "x" from KQ5.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on September 19, 2010, 10:28:52 PM
I can see how it could come across that way yes, but personally I prefer this a great deal to the constant red "x" from KQ5.

Why do you automatically bring up the other extreme?  Nobody's saying they want NO narration for failed attempts, just that they don't want to be belittled, which is totally valid.  A simple, "that didn't work," or "perhaps Graham should try something else" would more than suffice.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on September 19, 2010, 10:34:18 PM
I can see how it could come across that way yes, but personally I prefer this a great deal to the constant red "x" from KQ5.

When I played KQV for the first time after having played KQVI before, I was impressed by the clean efficiency of this system, actually.

What good does it serve to have the narrator say "no" in a long-winded way? It doesn't really add anything to the gameplay. I ended up learning his few responses and skipping them if I had to test several items on an object.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: daventry on September 20, 2010, 02:18:11 AM
When i started Ep2 and heard this Manly Narrator talking about the Ingredient List, i Completly Forgot its Graham, it was like Two Diffrent Voices by the Same Guy, now that was Awsome.  ::)

Why cant Graham be the Narrator or have a Guy be the Narrator like the Simple Short one from KQ6. ;)

Heres an Idea, let TSL have Two Narrators and then in the Option Box, we can Decide to Listen to the Girl or the Guy Narrator.  :suffer:
I suggest adding a game option, similar to "Short narrations", that would replace all witty fail responses ("Guards! Guards! ...", "Have you gone CRAZY! ...", "Graham is not THAT generous! ...", etc)

For myself, this option will turn the tide, so that I can once again look forward to Amy's beautiful narration with anticipation, rather than disquiet.
I Completly Agree with this.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on September 20, 2010, 08:49:00 AM
Keep in mind that having an option for a totally different narrator would require LOTS of line recording so that's not going to happen.

We might be able to tweak the way the narrator gets after you for trying things that don't work but I can't make any promises there.  I'll bring it up though.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on September 20, 2010, 09:03:37 AM
I appreciate that; thank you.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on September 20, 2010, 05:03:44 PM
I have to say, after having spent an hour playing episode 2, the narrator's belittling comments are excruciatingly annoying.  Like, they really REALLY ruin the experience.  The problem is, there's no balance at all.  It's all sarcasm, all belittling, all the time.  It'd be much more effective if she only said that kind of crap after you tried the same thing multiple times, kind of like in Sam & Max Hit the Road when you could "break Sam's spirit" by repeatedly trying to pick up a non-pick-up-able object.  I want to give episode 2 a fair shot, but this is making it VERY difficult to see the game's good points.   :(
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on September 20, 2010, 05:21:45 PM
I have to say, after having spent an hour playing episode 2, the narrator's belittling comments are excruciatingly annoying.  Like, they really REALLY ruin the experience.  The problem is, there's no balance at all.  It's all sarcasm, all belittling, all the time.  It'd be much more effective if she only said that kind of crap after you tried the same thing multiple times, kind of like in Sam & Max Hit the Road when you could "break Sam's spirit" by repeatedly trying to pick up a non-pick-up-able object.  I want to give episode 2 a fair shot, but this is making it VERY difficult to see the game's good points.   :(

We are going to look at evening this out a bit, but some of the same tone will still exist in future episodes.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: KatieHal on September 20, 2010, 05:22:34 PM
And you can turn the narrator voice off, as we've pointed out before.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on September 20, 2010, 06:38:59 PM
Sorry for the venting post.  It was written in a moment of frustration.  :) 

I don't think it's necessary to do away with the sarcasm entirely, but as I said, it seems like there's no middle ground here.  Nearly every response to failed actions is sarcastic.  Tales of Monkey Island handled failed action responses well--there were a lot of unique responses for using specific items on parts of the scenery, and if you were getting close (like using the right item, but at the wrong time,) it'd let you know that it was a good idea, but something else was missing to make it work. 
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on September 20, 2010, 07:02:15 PM
What's funny is it wasn't actually intended as sarcastic originally, but we are going to see what we can do to spread that out more.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Enchantermon on September 20, 2010, 07:22:00 PM
. . . and if you were getting close (like using the right item, but at the wrong time,) it'd let you know that it was a good idea, but something else was missing to make it work.
Amy did do this once during my playthrough, and I thought it was a nice touch. Can't remember where it was, though.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Lambonius on September 20, 2010, 07:24:44 PM
What's funny is it wasn't actually intended as sarcastic originally, but we are going to see what we can do to spread that out more.

If you had Amy record just a handful of new general failed interaction responses played more straight, you could then space out the sarcastic ones a bit more, and it wouldn't require a ton of extra recording and splicing.  :)  If you REALLY wanted to go all out, it'd be neat to have her get more and MORE sarcastic if you intentionally tried the same thing more than once.  "I thought we went over this, that won't work!"  That sort of thing.  :)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Cez on September 20, 2010, 07:32:32 PM
I guess I personally don't notice these things since I "know what to do" from the get go. I can probably understand someone being stuck and hearing these lines over and over again becoming sort of annoying. I think it may have more to do with them being long lines rather than sarcastic ones, but maybe the sarcasm does get to you as well.

We'll look into it for the next episode.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: kindofdoon on September 20, 2010, 07:38:01 PM
I agree with Lambonius. Anything you guys can do to tone down the sarcasm is appreciated.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: madhattter on September 21, 2010, 12:30:56 AM
Quote
I guess I personally don't notice these things since I "know what to do" from the get go. I can probably understand someone being stuck and hearing these lines over and over again becoming sort of annoying.

fwiw, my guess is that your average player hears these lines well more than a hundred times per episode.


Quote
We'll look into it for the next episode.
Thank you.

Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Raydio on September 21, 2010, 10:11:59 AM
i just hate the "tick, tock, tick, tock.. are you done trying stupid things?"

it's like HECK NO i'm not done trying stupid things!..

ever since i had to squeeze honey on the ground and lure out an elf with emeralds, i will NOT stop trying stupid things!  ;D
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: wilco64256 on September 21, 2010, 10:26:28 AM
i just hate the "tick, tock, tick, tock.. are you done trying stupid things?"

it's like HECK NO i'm not done trying stupid things!..

ever since i had to squeeze honey on the ground and lure out an elf with emeralds, i will NOT stop trying stupid things!  ;D

This just made my day, nicely done.
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Enchantermon on September 21, 2010, 01:55:44 PM
Raydio: Well played, sir!
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: Travis-AGA on September 21, 2010, 10:47:09 PM
Nicely, nicely done!

I think my problem with Amy... I mean, she is a good reader, and lines are delivered fine... is that I just imagine a "narrator" differently. I always, with story-book kind of stories, imagined a warm-voiced, older gentleman who's telling you a story out of a storybook by the fire late at night.

I was a little taken off when I suddenly heard something that was completely opposite than what I personally I had imagined to be a narrator, but I sincerely don't believe Amy is bad... Just not what I expected.

I have to admit though, my perspective of "good-narrator" comes from John Rhys-Davies in QFGIV. I wish that man narrated my life. He's just astounding.

Idea: Blow the entire Phoenix Online budget to hire John. Could only be a couple mil right? ;)
Title: Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
Post by: crayauchtin on September 21, 2010, 11:49:43 PM
i just hate the "tick, tock, tick, tock.. are you done trying stupid things?"

it's like HECK NO i'm not done trying stupid things!..

ever since i had to squeeze honey on the ground and lure out an elf with emeralds, i will NOT stop trying stupid things!  ;D
LMAO!

She actually said that when I tried to water the plants in the garden and I was like.... Ok, I've done some stupid and/or crazy things -- on this island even -- and that was NOT one of them! :P

Travis -- I have to agree with you. How much do you think it costs to have John Rhys-Davies narrating your life? I'm totally willing to shell it out. :P