Author Topic: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?  (Read 52448 times)

Offline kindofdoon

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #100 on: July 27, 2010, 02:23:40 PM »
The King's Quest wiki is pretty much written by him.

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Offline Damar

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #101 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.

Offline Lambonius

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #102 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.

Offline kindofdoon

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #103 on: July 27, 2010, 10:45:59 PM »
I agree 100%. Well put.

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Offline Baggins

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #104 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"
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 01:59:27 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline kindofdoon

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #105 on: July 28, 2010, 08:10:43 AM »
Yes, I would have liked KQVI-style narrations as well. I liked how you rephrased them.

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Offline Damar

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #106 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.

Offline kindofdoon

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #107 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.

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Offline sahara

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #108 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.        
« Last Edit: July 28, 2010, 06:50:13 PM by sahara »

Offline Damar

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #109 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!

Offline kindofdoon

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #110 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.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2010, 09:55:35 PM by kindofdoon »

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Offline wilco64256

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #111 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.
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Offline kindofdoon

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #112 on: July 28, 2010, 09:59:39 PM »
Thanks for the quick clarification. I completely understand why you cannot re-record.

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Offline Baggins

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #113 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...
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline daventry

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #114 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. ;)

Offline sahara

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #115 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.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 06:23:01 AM by sahara »

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #116 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.  ::)

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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #117 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.)  :)

Offline sahara

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #118 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."
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 07:09:46 AM by sahara »

Offline B'rrr

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Re: Is TSL Narrator the new Cedric?
« Reply #119 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  ;)
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