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 Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system

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Abazor

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PostSubject: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:59 pm

http://www.gamespot.com/videos/todd-howard-talks-modding-at-bethesda-e3-2016/2300-6432858/

At the 6:00 minute mark in this interview, the interviewer notes that people didn't care much for F4's dialogue system and people's remarks on how it felt more of a shooter than an RPG.

Transcript:
"I think our fans are used to it over time, that we do like to try new things. And we'll have some successes, you know I think the shooting in Fallout 4 is really good, I think it plays really well. Obviously, the way we did some dialogue stuff, that didn't work as well. But it was I think I know the reasons we tried that, to make a nice interactive conversation, but it was less successful than other things in the game. For us, we take that feedback, and I think long term.

Or other things we did in the game, like the choices you have in the end. When we have an opportunity with something like Far Harbor, like "Okay, how many ways can it end?" Let's give them more choice with something like that. And so it's not just a one-off, meaning Fallout 4 comes out and then we forget about it.

I think it's an ongoing thing, and I think that kind of feedback we get is really, really helpful. And you're right that everybody does have an opinion, and I think that's good."

Any thoughts? I kind of have higher hopes on the next Bethesda game after watching the interview. Hopefully they're done with their creation engine.
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PostSubject: Re: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:18 am

I pray they return to the silent approach to video gaming. Trying to have a voiced protagonist really limits the ways in which a quest/story arc can play out. Fallout 4 have (ironically) 4 options only: Angry, Sarcastic, Kind and Question. That is not Fallout. I dont like this approach to dialogue in video gaming especially in games like Mass Effect or Dragon Age.

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PostSubject: Re: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:37 am

I like how he's able to address the problems in his games. Most developers ignore it or silently change it the next time around, but he's able to directly talk about stuff that didn't work. Say what you want about Todd Howard, but he's a really down to earth and cool guy. I too have higher hopes for their next game, and the next fallout game, whether it's by bethesda or not. I actually am a pretty big fan of bethesda as far as them being better at balancing the fact that they're a company with the fact that fans want something in particular, rather than ubisoft or EA

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PostSubject: Re: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:44 am

To me, the whole dialogue system from the protagonist was great. It definitely made me feel immersed myself with the games character and was an improvement in fallout. Still like the silent dialogues of the previous fallout games but when you have played games like; the witcher 1-3, mass effect, and dragon age. You definitely feel immersed the with the character so I like it and hope it stays in future fallout games. If they bring back the somewhat silent boring dialogue, then that's no problem for me too. I am used to it either way and I wont complain much about it or at all. I just want some good gameplay with lots of guns and armors and maybe if there was less building that would be better for me seeing is how I spend all my time building rather than doing the story missions blah lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:49 am

He -barely- touched on it. Instead he immediately said the shooting was great.

While I don't 100% agree with the mechanics, I definitely appreciate a voiced protagonist. I hated that my PC seemed like I was telepathically communicating with them in FO3/FNV.

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PostSubject: Re: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Thu Jun 16, 2016 2:04 am

@dazzerfong wrote:
He -barely- touched on it. Instead he immediately said the shooting was great.

While I don't 100% agree with the mechanics, I definitely appreciate a voiced protagonist. I hated that my PC seemed like I was telepathically communicating with them in FO3/FNV.

Yeah, I wish he gave a more in depth answer, but I think his reply on feedback is going to be beneficial for their future games. Personally I loved the shooting, it's not as good as DOOM or CS but I think it's really good for an open world game.
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PostSubject: Re: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Thu Jun 16, 2016 2:06 am

Going from silent protagonist to voiced protagonist is a huge leap in any video game and, historically, video game franchises that make the switch tend to stick with it. For some games I think this works. For games like Final Fantasy, Fallout and Skyrim, not so much. The differences between Fallout/Skyrim and the likes of Witcher and Mass Effect is that the latter focus on one role and one role alone, be it the story of Geralt or the story of Shepard. With Fallout and Skyrim the user creates the character and generates the role and characteristics. I don't feel like Fallout 4 has much replay value like previous titles because the voice acting is limited to a certain kind of character. There are only 4 paths, some of them being illusory paths that all lead to the same outcome and I haven't yet seen an option to play as a truly evil or psychotic character. The types of characters that suit the voice are few, in my opinion. The voices dialogue has meant that the overall script has suffered itself. No longer are there over 4 choices in dialogue and what you're left with are very similar, one dimensional responses to a lot of things. This will no doubt reduce the quality of quest mods as mod authors are having to recycle vanilla dialogue, but only in a way that'll produce a monosyllabic response from the player. I really hope that Bethesda doesn't follow this trend or future titles aren't going to be as interesting long-term for me. I won't be as into them as New Vegas or Skyrim if they continue down this route. I hope Bethesda take a hard look at this and admit that it didn't work. Most of their PC market who've been modding their games for years, I reckon, do it because they like a good role play. Now that that aspect isn't quite as important from Bethesda's point of view, people are disappointed.

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PostSubject: Re: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:02 am

Hopefully they learn from their mistakes and never do this again.
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PostSubject: Re: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:10 am

I think bethesda doesn't have a huge choice. While a slight majority may be indifferent, a large minority is upset. They won't outright not buy bethesda games, but if you're bethesda and want your GOTY titles back, you won't hesitate to comply with their minor request. Truth be told, their larger issues stem from a lack of good writing. Most people think the voiced protagonist led to the lazy writing, I believe it was the other way around. But again, by far my biggest issue was the writing, even though I used a silent protagonist mod, it felt just as boring and bland. I also think the FO4 writing team was very unoriginal uninspired. If a game has a dedicated writing team, like Fallout does, then the writing should be quality.

It's also hard to play as yourself when your character is american.

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PostSubject: Re: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:19 pm

From the start, I HATED the voiced character in a Fallout game. It completely ruins the role-playing aspect. Despite having the most best character customization in terms of facial attributes, you can only sound like some generic white guy in his 30's regardless if you created a character that looks nothing like that, in New Vegas, I role-played with different characters that had wildly different personalities. Like a psycho, old man, cowboy, ninja, linebacker, or simply someone with a funny way of talking and I just projected the way this person spoke through the dialogue. You simply cannot do that in Fallout 4, despite being allowed to customize the face and name of the character, you're essentially playing a fixed character with the same personality each time. Fallout 4 has the amount of Role-Playing as Mass Effect. The new leveling system also killed role-playing in favor of a more casual Skyrim-Esque character.

Despite all of this and the travesty that Fallout 4 was to the Fallout franchise, there's not a chance in hell that we'll see a return to the old ways. For every grumpy fart like me, there's probably more than a thousand players new to the franchise who don't give a shit about Role-Playing and just want a fun experience and will go through a few playthoughs at the most. The new dialogue system as well as drastic changes to Fallout's mechanics make it way easier for newer players to get in the franchise at the expense of desecrating the franchise. The next Fallout, or Rad Effect as I like to call it is still going to have voiced characters and even less RPG elements, and will break records in sales for the franchise, and people with opinions like myself aren't going to make a difference, pessimistic, but realistic.

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PostSubject: Re: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:28 pm

They have to just start trying to make a game instead of trying to make cash or there done for in my book
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PostSubject: !!   Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:02 pm

lukaboot wrote:
They have to just start trying to make a game instead of trying to make cash or there done for in my book

I agree, they could have saved a lot of money even if they skipped out on voiced protagonists. I think what happened was
"Man we have no idea what we're doing with the story, it's pretty shallow and lacks depth or cleverness."
"Whats something a lot of games with good stories nowadays have?"
"Good writing?"
"No! DRAMA!"
"Good idea! But how do we let the players know that they should feel emotional at a certain point?"
"We'll have their character talk and sound really emotional when we want the player to sympathize!"
"Great idea emil pagliarulo!"
"Thanks emil pagliarulo!"

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PostSubject: Re: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Fri Jun 17, 2016 3:03 am

@Doggo wrote:
lukaboot wrote:
They have to just start trying to make a game instead of trying to make cash or there done for in my book

I agree, they could have saved a lot of money even if they skipped out on voiced protagonists. I think what happened was
"Man we have no idea what we're doing with the story, it's pretty shallow and lacks depth or cleverness."
"Whats something a lot of games with good stories nowadays have?"
"Good writing?"
"No! DRAMA!"
"Good idea! But how do we let the players know that they should feel emotional at a certain point?"
"We'll have their character talk and sound really emotional when we want the player to sympathize!"
"Great idea emil pagliarulo!"
"Thanks emil pagliarulo!"

It's pretty amazing to think that the same guy who wrote the Dark Brotherhood questline in Oblivion also wrote F4's dialogue, a pretty huge drop in quality imo.
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PostSubject: Re: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:05 am

Personally I liked the fact that there was a voiced protagonist in Fallout 4.  I'm tired of the silent hero stuff.  I know some of you aren't, but I am.  I mean I've been playing games and rpgs in particular for a long time.  Most of the ones I played in my earlier years had nothing but purely silent protagonists.  Hell, most of the dialogue in the games were silent with only a few points where there was some voiced dialogue.  So I'm all for the change, I've got no aversion to it.  However, I was not fond of the way the dialogue system was implemented, but I'm not going to blame it on the protagonist being voiced, because I don't think that's true.  I think they slacked off in that aspect of the game, focused too much on gameplay and exploration and not enough on the writing.

I think in the future what they need to do on the next game is offer more dialogue choices where some not all, but atleast some will lead to a rather different outcome of a situation, like how it used to be.  From what I've seen its not so much the protagonist being voiced that people had a problem with when it came to the dialogue system, but rather how limited the choices were.  So definitely need to improve on that, I also think multiple choices for a voice would be great aswell.  Take Saints Row 2-4 for example.  You can pick between different voices for your character, each one sounds different and has their own personality (which you only really notice while walking around on foot, not so much in cutscenes).  So I think that would be great and I think a lot of people would probably go for it and have an easier time embracing the idea of a voiced protagonist as long as they had a few choices and basically a say in what they sounded like.

Anyway, just my thoughts and opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:38 am

I agree with D7Rock88, the whole silent protagonist is your own voice was good way back when and granted it's still good to this day but I find it so much better to have voices. God Howard may think he made a slight mistake but really he opened up a whole new world. Imagine all the new (and old) voice actors and actresses out there voicing your character in game.

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PostSubject: Re: Todd Howard (briefly) addresses F4's Dialogue system   Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:19 am

What I am hoping for that I forgot tot mention earlier is that, I really hope that the next fallout and elder scrolls game is on a new engine and not this old beat up ancient elder scrolls oblivion engine. There are so many issues in terms of massive frame dropping on areas where it shouldn't. Especially if you have top of the line CPU's and GPU's or even on a somewhat decent gaming pc. the games engine just makes it incompatible with the newer pc stuff that's coming out.
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