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Default Dark Souls II - What they can do to make it better @ Kotaku

December 29th, 2012, 15:54
I largely agree Kefka, but some people really do seem to favor text in many cases. As much as I might find that puzzling - there it is

Let's get back on topic now!
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December 29th, 2012, 21:44
Originally Posted by Kefka View Post
I don't see how you can compare the two, one is only delivered with written text, if books where so amazing and everyone thought that was the best way to experience something, there would be no point in movies or tv shows. Games are both visual and auditory and interactive. The majority of people prefer voiced dialog because it natural, you see a person and you talk to them and they talk to you, it just makes senses. Written dialog was a limitation of the times, just like black and white film or silent film, we have moved beyond that and I am very happy. I hope to further improved tec to make game experience like TES even more immersive, more like the holodeck. Perhaps one day we can have voice work and unlimited dialog, that would be awesome, but its one step at a time.
You should just speak for yourself. Pretending to know what the majority prefers isn't going to strengthen your argument. If voice acting ever evolves to the point where every character has a unique voice that's well done, then you can try to claim it's objectively better. Right now it's a mixed bag any way you look at it.

I think we've went in enough circles for now though.
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December 29th, 2012, 22:11
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
You should just speak for yourself. Pretending to know what the majority prefers isn't going to strengthen your argument. If voice acting ever evolves to the point where every character has a unique voice that's well done, then you can try to claim it's objectively better. Right now it's a mixed bag any way you look at it.
I like how you talk about objectivity and then you set demands for what would be required for something to be claimed as such - whether just an attempt or not

There's no way to establish what's objectively better - ever - and unique voices for every character certainly isn't any closer to that either. That's just something you - subjectively - think is highly important.

I do believe the majority prefers voice acting - but obviously it needs to be done reasonably well. Same goes for any text-based implementation.

I won't bother trying to prove it, though. If you really think there's a chance the majority prefers text-based games - then I won't get in the way.

But what the majority prefers has nothing to do with what's objectively better - so it's all very pointless.
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December 30th, 2012, 00:58
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
unique voices for every character certainly isn't any closer to that either. That's just something you - subjectively - think is highly important..
Really? So if it were possible for every NPC to have their own voice it wouldn't be better than having to hear the same voices being recycled?

That's about as subjective as the sky being blue, but you're free to believe whatever you like.


Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I won't bother trying to prove it, though. If you really think there's a chance the majority prefers text-based games - then I won't get in the way.
Of course you won't, because you know that's not possible. But then you're always the first to remind us that everything is subjective anyways.

I really couldn't care less what people "prefer" though. My original point was that voice acting hasn't necessarily made gaming better. It was Kefka who decided to introduce the "well the majority prefers" debate as if that somehow means it's better.
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December 30th, 2012, 01:06
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Really? So if it were possible for every NPC to have their own voice it wouldn't be better than having to hear the same voices being recycled?

That's about as subjective as the sky being blue, but you're free to believe whatever you like.
Of course good unique voices would be better, but we're talking about what would be required to be better than text-based dialogue delivery. I don't think all voices have to be unique for that - not at all.

You, however, seem to have it as a demand - and I'm just pointing out that that's subjective.

Of course you won't, because you know that's not possible. But then you're always the first to remind us that everything is subjective anyways.

I really couldn't care less what people "prefer" though. My original point was that voice acting hasn't necessarily made gaming better. It was Kefka who decided to introduce the "well the majority prefers" debate as if that somehow means it's better.
Objectively better? That can't be proven. But I agree with Kefka that spoken dialogue is a natural and positive evolution in gaming.

In fact, I think it's a bit silly to argue otherwise - but I don't expect that would stop someone like you
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December 30th, 2012, 01:50
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Objectively better? That can't be proven. But I agree with Kefka that spoken dialogue is a natural and positive evolution in gaming.

In fact, I think it's a bit silly to argue otherwise - but I don't expect that would stop someone like you
When did I say that spoken dialogue isn't a positive evolution? Again, I'm talking about the pros and cons as it is "right now".

I think it's funny that your opinion means so much to you that you would attempt to place words in my mouth while managing to include a childish insult at the same time.
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December 30th, 2012, 01:59
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
When did I say that spoken dialogue isn't a positive evolution? Again, I'm talking about the pros and cons as it is "right now".

I think it's funny that your opinion means so much to you that you would attempt to place words in my mouth while managing to include a childish insult at the same time.
Actually, what spoken dialogue is "right now" in games - represents the current stage of evolution, and that's what I think is a clear improvement over the text-based dialogues of the past.

I'm not sure how you correlate how I value my opinion with the "insult" you think I included, but I can't say it's of much concern to me. If you think it's an insult that I think you're being silly - then you should probably feel insulted quite a lot

You clearly seem to be arguing that it's a stretch to claim the majority prefers voice acting as it is "right now" - and that's what I think is silly. Nothing more, nothing less.

I guess you feel obligated to drag this out? So, by all means - let's have it.
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December 30th, 2012, 02:11
Hypocrisy is something I've come to expect from you, so it doesn't surprise me that you would mention something about dragging this out when you're doing exactly that. Especially since you decided to reply to something that was obviously intended for someone else.

I'll say it once more though, I don't think voice acting right now is a clear improvement over the text-based games over the past. I've already stated some of the reasons why, and I'm not interested in continuing the circle with you.

I'm amused that you keep going back to "the majority prefers" thing though, rather than discussing the actual pros and cons of the subject.
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December 30th, 2012, 02:21
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Hypocrisy is something I've come to expect from you, so it doesn't surprise me that you would mention something about dragging this out when you're doing exactly that. Especially since you decided to reply to something that was obviously intended for someone else.
Oh, yeah - it's not like you've been dragging this out at all - now is it In fact, you never do, right?

I don't think I could match your level of dishonesty and hypocrisy even if I tried. But I think I can deal with the accusation

I'm amused that you keep going back to "the majority prefers" thing though, rather than discussing the actual pros and cons of the subject.
I'm just pointing out how you're being silly - because you don't seem to understand what I'm actually saying. Again, you're saying Kefka is pretending to know something by saying the majority prefers voice acting. Here:

You should just speak for yourself. Pretending to know what the majority prefers isn't going to strengthen your argument.

Clear? While certain knowledge is obviously impossible, it doesn't take much connection to reality to understand that most people actually DO prefer voice acting today. Not to say that means it's a better thing - but that's not what you were being silly about.

As for the pros and cons, I believe I've made myself very clear about verbosity versus immersion to anyone actually reading my posts.
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December 30th, 2012, 02:47
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Oh, yeah - it's not like you've been dragging this out at all - now is it In fact, you never do, right?

I don't think I could match your level of dishonesty and hypocrisy even if I tried. But I think I can deal with the accusation
Nah.. I think it's a little more obvious this time. You clearly stated above that it was time to "get back on topic", but then you decided to reply to a post that had nothing to do with you.

I also doubt there are many here who are involved in these types of circle jerks as much as you seem to be on a weekly basis. I'd even say many of us have come to expect it.


Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm just pointing out how you're being silly - because you don't seem to understand what I'm actually saying. Again, you're saying Kefka is pretending to know something by saying the majority prefers voice acting.

Clear? While certain knowledge is obviously impossible, it doesn't take much connection to reality to understand that most people actually DO prefer voice acting today. Not to say that means it's a better thing - but that's not what you were being silly about.
I'm amazed on how fixated you are with that one statement. You've managed to turn it into your main point even though it actually has very little to do with the original topic. My intent was only to point out how using the "majority prefers" angle is usually just an effort to obtain the upper hand in a debate. We'll just go ahead and say I'm silly for saying it though.

Oh, and I actually agree with your statement about verbosity versus immersion. The problem is that voice acting right now too often fails to achieve that for me.
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December 30th, 2012, 02:58
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Nah.. I think it's a little more obvious this time. You clearly stated above that it was time to "get back on topic", but then you decided to reply to a post that had nothing to do with you.
I don't reply based on personal relevance - but based on topic relevance. The topic was spoken versus text-based dialogue, and I considered it a done deal until you came back.

So yeah, after several people asked to get back on topic, you dropped back in and you had to have the last word as always. That's one bit of hypocrisy.

Then you went ahead and told Kefka what was required before he could try to claim what was objectively true. That's another bit of hypocrisy.

So, you're kinda extra hypocritical.

I also doubt there are many here who are involved in these types of circle jerks as much as you seem to be on a weekly basis. I'd even say many of us have come to expect it.
I'm not sure I'm much of a match for you, but if it helps you to have the majority back you up - I won't get in the way of you speaking for them. I know how you like to take advantage of how the wind blows

I'm amazed on how fixated you are with that one statement. You've managed to turn it into your main point even though it actually has very little to do with the original topic. My intent was only to point out how using the "majority prefers" angle is usually just an effort to obtain the upper hand in a debate. We'll just go ahead and say I'm silly for saying it though.
You really do amaze easily, don't you

If you didn't actually mean what you said - then there's nothing to talk about.

I'll go ahead and let you have the last word.
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December 30th, 2012, 03:16
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I don't reply based on personal relevance - but based on topic relevance. The topic was spoken versus text-based dialogue, and I considered it a done deal until you came back.

So yeah, after several people asked to get back on topic, you dropped back in and you had to have the last word as always. That's one bit of hypocrisy..
You never get tired of putting the spin on things, do you? I never left the discussion to begin with, so I'm not sure how I "dropped back in". I was simply replying to Kefka's last post to me.


Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'll go ahead and let you have the last word.
Yeah, I saw that coming. That's become your trademark around here lately.

It's an obvious attempt to pretend you're being the better person, when in reality you're only trying to get the parting shot while you close the door.

At least we can "get back on topic now".
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December 30th, 2012, 03:25
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
You should just speak for yourself. Pretending to know what the majority prefers isn't going to strengthen your argument. If voice acting ever evolves to the point where every character has a unique voice that's well done, then you can try to claim it's objectively better. Right now it's a mixed bag any way you look at it.

I think we've went in enough circles for now though.
I never said that because the majority prefer it it means it better. Early in this thread I talk about how subjective these things where and for me personally I use the indicator of lots of people(say sales) and critical acclaim to determine if something is good or not separate from my personal opinion when it comes to thing that are not clear facts(like say evolution or gravity). In that case I was arguing about Skyrim being a great game, while at the same time saying Batman AC was also a great game, even though I personally don't like it. But both got great sales and great critical acclaim.

There is a reason company's spend so much money on voice acting, so much money on graphics because the majority want it that way. There is a group of gamers that voice there opinion that graphics don't matter, voiced dialog does not matter,etc I don't have any data but I think its clear to me that voiced dialog(and better graphics) are an evolution of gaming and for most people a good thing.

I do see flaws of course,while I don't think I have played a "mainstream" game with voice acting so bad I would prefer text, I do understand how annoying it can be for some. Though I also see these problem with text,take Morrowind, you hear the person greet you say an Orc or Khajit, then you when you start reading the generic dialog its all in perfect English, that was not very immersive to me. That kind of stuff should have just gone into more books imo.

And even when we can have good unique voices for all character in games, I would guess there will still be people that want text(because they want to use there imagination or whatever). All this talk makes me wonder if there a group of people that thought sound with films was not so great, that color film was bad(I know many directors took there sweet time getting interested in it) or any other "innovation" when it comes to creative media.

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Last edited by Kefka; December 30th, 2012 at 05:25.
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December 30th, 2012, 09:02
Originally Posted by Kefka View Post
All this talk makes me wonder if there a group of people that thought sound with films was not so great, that color film was bad(I know many directors took there sweet time getting interested in it) or any other "innovation" when it comes to creative media.
I'm going to pretend you didn't just compare voice acting in video games to the advent of cinema sound and color television.
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December 30th, 2012, 18:20
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
You should just speak for yourself. Pretending to know what the majority prefers isn't going to strengthen your argument. If voice acting ever evolves to the point where every character has a unique voice that's well done, then you can try to claim it's objectively better. Right now it's a mixed bag any way you look at it.

I think we've went in enough circles for now though.
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I'm going to pretend you didn't just compare voice acting in video games to the advent of cinema sound and color television.
Sure fully voiced dialog, also 3d graphics, I think those are major steps forward in gaming, similar to films have sound or being in color.

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December 30th, 2012, 18:59
Originally Posted by Kefka View Post
Sure fully voiced dialog, also 3d graphics, I think those are major steps forward in gaming, similar to films have sound or being in color.
I agree

I clearly remember when voice acting started to appear as more than a novelty in games like Wing Commander and System Shock - and it was like night and day.

It has been a tremendous step forward - and today I have a hard time enjoying games that are text-based, no matter how good the writing is.

Text-based dialogue in games today is almost exclusively about budget constraints - and not an artistic choice.

I find it surprising that anyone would argue otherwise, actually.
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December 30th, 2012, 20:06
Honestly, I think the whole "video games are like movies" metaphor is entirely broken. Sure, introducing voices to movies made a big difference. However, would the same hold true for.. books? Board games? Why should we expect it to hold true for video games, which borrow liberally from virtually every form of media and gaming out there?

"Text-based dialogue in games today is almost exclusively about budget constraints - and not an artistic choice.

I find it surprising that anyone would argue otherwise, actually. "
Ask Nintendo about this. You know. Nintendo. The biggest and most successful video game developer in the world. They have been highly resistant to using voice acting for anything except character-originated sound effects. Almost none of their games use voice acting for dialogue, and it has nothing to do with budget, as some of these games are among the highest selling games of all time. They argue that voice acting creates a barrier between the player and the character, even in more RPG-ish leaning games such as the Zelda series.

Of course, you could respond, "Well, that's Mario and such. Of course those games don't need dialogue to be immersive." However, that's exactly my point. If you have a game that is openly emulating movies, with a linear storyline, a strong emphasis on narrative and the like, then voice acting might be appropriate. However, that doesn't mean it's always necessary or even positive. Simply put: games aren't movies, so not all games will be improved by the same things that improve movies.

You could argue that, at the least, RPGs might gain more from voice acting than other genres, but, again, it depends on the type of RPG. A Bioware-esque RPG might gain from it, but a game that focuses on being dynamic or claustrophobic or incredibly large and varied may not. Sometimes, the introduction of voice acting might be preferable, but, as you implicitly note, it might take too much budget for the good it does. However, since voice acting necessarily imposes more of a structure on a game than text, voice acting may actually be a -bad- thing for RPGs hoping to emphasis dynamic or procedurally generated content. It all depends on what you're looking for and what your vision is.

For what it's worth, I enjoy plenty of games with voice acting and plenty without it. Avernum 1's newest remake was my most played RPG of 2012 despite having no voice acting and little in the way of graphics. (Let me note here that this was my first Spiderweb game, and I don't exactly have a deep history with indie or hardcore PC RPGs. This was a very pleasant surprise!) However, recent games like Dragon Age Origins, Skyrim, and Fallout New Vegas are also personal favorites.

As in the previous discussion about Dark Souls, I think designers should focus on the essence of a game rather than checking boxes off on the cover. Use voice acting when it makes sense, but don't waste the resources or limit a game's dynamism when it doesn't.
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December 30th, 2012, 20:26
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I agree

I clearly remember when voice acting started to appear as more than a novelty in games like Wing Commander and System Shock - and it was like night and day.

It has been a tremendous step forward - and today I have a hard time enjoying games that are text-based, no matter how good the writing is.

Text-based dialogue in games today is almost exclusively about budget constraints - and not an artistic choice.

I find it surprising that anyone would argue otherwise, actually.
I tend to agree. The poster below you mentioned certain kinds of games where voices acting is not dominant. And while I don't tend to play games like that(mostly rpg's for me) I can see how voice acting would not a have a big impact in those games. But I was speaking strictly of games like GTA, Most rpg's or any other narrative heavy game with a lot of personal interaction.

As for Dark Soul's, I think an easy mode would be a nice addition. Many artistic mediums these days are subject to a wide ranges of uses very different from the original vision. Photoshopping, modding, music sampling like used in a lot of rap music or just people do there own versions of songs, etc, there are group that dramatically edit movies for certain kind of Christan audience.

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Last edited by Kefka; December 30th, 2012 at 20:40.
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December 30th, 2012, 20:40
Originally Posted by killias2 View Post
Ask Nintendo about this. You know. Nintendo. The biggest and most successful video game developer in the world. They have been highly resistant to using voice acting for anything except character-originated sound effects. Almost none of their games use voice acting for dialogue, and it has nothing to do with budget, as some of these games are among the highest selling games of all time. They argue that voice acting creates a barrier between the player and the character, even in more RPG-ish leaning games such as the Zelda series.
I never said there weren't exceptions - but they're rare. As for why Nintendo has opted out of voice acting - I wouldn't know. Do you have a source for your claims?

Since the Zelda character is a gigantic barrier between me and immersion - I don't think voice acting would change anything for the worse.

I doubt most people would prefer no voice acting for these reasons - but I'm sure a minority might.

Of course, you could respond, "Well, that's Mario and such. Of course those games don't need dialogue to be immersive." However, that's exactly my point. If you have a game that is openly emulating movies, with a linear storyline, a strong emphasis on narrative and the like, then voice acting might be appropriate. However, that doesn't mean it's always necessary or even positive. Simply put: games aren't movies, so not all games will be improved by the same things that improve movies.
I've been talking about dialogue delivery all along. For dialogue delivery - I think voice acting is the majority preference in all but the most rare of cases. Of course, all voice acting is about dialogue delivery - but in a platform game, there doesn't tend to be much dialogue at all and that's why voice acting is of minimal importance. It might still enhance the experience a little bit - but it wouldn't be very important.

You could argue that, at the least, RPGs might gain more from voice acting than other genres, but, again, it depends on the type of RPG. A Bioware-esque RPG might gain from it, but a game that focuses on being dynamic or claustrophobic or incredibly large and varied may not. Sometimes, the introduction of voice acting might be preferable, but, as you implicitly note, it might take too much budget for the good it does. However, since voice acting necessarily imposes more of a structure on a game than text, voice acting may actually be a -bad- thing for RPGs hoping to emphasis dynamic or procedurally generated content. It all depends on what you're looking for and what your vision is.
Again, I'm talking about dialogue delivery - not design impact. If the developers have a hard time planning for voice acting when they're designing the dialogue and consequence structure - then they should stay away from it, potentially. But it doesn't change that the actual delivery would be far superior with voice acting.

However, I do appreciate that sometimes it's better if the player character isn't voiced - because it can interfere with roleplaying. But everyone else should be voiced, I think.

For what it's worth, I enjoy plenty of games with voice acting and plenty without it. Avernum 1's newest remake was my most played RPG of 2012 despite having no voice acting and little in the way of graphics. (Let me note here that this was my first Spiderweb game, and I don't exactly have a deep history with indie or hardcore PC RPGs. This was a very pleasant surprise!) However, recent games like Dragon Age Origins, Skyrim, and Fallout New Vegas are also personal favorites.
No one has clamed that voice acting is required for enjoyment. It's just that it's superior for dialogue delivery. Bad voice acting can ruin the experience, sure, but so can poor writing. Quality of any feature should always be as good as it can be.

As in the previous discussion about Dark Souls, I think designers should focus on the essence of a game rather than checking boxes off on the cover. Use voice acting when it makes sense, but don't waste the resources or limit a game's dynamism when it doesn't.
I agree - but I also think Dark Souls works better with voice acting than it would have done without it.
Last edited by DArtagnan; December 30th, 2012 at 20:50.
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December 30th, 2012, 20:48
Originally Posted by Kefka View Post
I tend to agree. The poster below you mentioned certain kinds of games where voices acting is not dominant. And while I don't tend to play games like that(mostly rpg's for me) I can see how voice acting would not a have a big impact in those games. But I was speaking strictly of games like GTA, Most rpg's or any other narrative heavy game with a lot of personal interaction.
Yeah, a lot of games wouldn't suffer much from having no voice acting - but they would almost never actually be better without it - if there's dialogue delivery. Except, perhaps, for a certain kind of roleplaying game and the player character. I'm rarely bothered by having my character voiced - but I can appreciate that some people are.

As for Dark Soul's, I think an easy mode would be a nice addition. Many artistic mediums these days are subject to a wide ranges of uses very different from the original vision. Photoshopping, modding, music sampling like used in a lot of rap music or just people do there own versions of songs, etc, there are group that dramatically edit movies for certain kind of Christan audience.
Well, I'm personally not a fan of difficulty levels - because it takes the design and balance out of the hands of the developers and into the hands of the players - to an extent. This assumes that the player can make a fully qualified choice without having actually played the game before - and that's largely impossible. So, you never end up with a pure experience, and you'll inevitably start to doubt whether it's too hard or too easy. I hate that - and I just want the game as it was envisioned, and I don't want any doubts that I'm not experiencing the game to its full potential.

So, I'm a great fan of how Dark Souls is handling it - and I think it's a brave design choice - because it WILL reduce the potential audience.

Then again, I think it's fantastic when designers go for the art, rather than the commerce. It's a risk - but I do think it can pay off big time. Sometimes, it can even turn casual/mainstream gamers into enthusiast gamers - because they might like the game enough to put forth the extra effort.

In my opinion, the developers of Dark Souls should focus on the kind of experience they want the players to have - and they should not be too concerned by people who're not able to enjoy it. I don't think all games should be for everyone - and I actually think games are much better when being developed as something the designers would play, rather than what they think the players might want.
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