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Cutscenes

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  10:56:50  29 May 2014
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Genocider
Caretaker of the infamous Pseudo duck
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 03/20/2010
Messages: 629
Cutscenes

So while waiting for the new patch, I thought I'd bring something up I've found as a problem in Lost Alpha. While I understand that the game isn't finished and is still a work in progress, the cutscenes in the game aren't something I'm fond of.

Vanilla Shadow of Chernobyl had a few cutscenes in the game that were usually flyovers of huge firefights going on, these were few and far between and while slightly immersion breaking were mostly there to help players see what was going on, make for a cool action scene, or simply to direct players towards their objective.

I haven't gotten too far into Lost Alpha, however I did get up to the first X Lab in dark valley ( Spoilers from this point on ). In this X lab, cutscenes were everywhere; conversations between characters providing exposition, an introduction to the bloodsucker providing backstory and information, even some strange teleporter had to be introduced through cutscenes. Some of these were interesting however I think they could've been done differently. In one room in particular, rather than take control away from you, you simply walk into a room and two ghosts talking appear. You can walk around them, through them, or simply ignore them completely and go elsewhere which keeps you immersed in the game. In the bloodsucker cutscene, you're stuck sitting there watching what's happening as you're introduced to this enemy. I feel this could have been done better.

In Shadow of Chernobyl, the bloodsucker never has a specific cutscene and you never get anything on it before encountering it aside from a few mentions of a bloodsucking thing by Stalkers you talk to. However you're never assured they exist and there's no introduction to them (Unless you have their entry in your PDA already). Players first encounter these in the Agroprom Underground, and while there is a scripted sequence involving one, it simply feels to the player like they walked into a room and something else is in there with them. They don't know what, they don't see the creature until it's right in front of them, and it makes the zone feel much more mysterious when strange things simply appear rather than have a specific introduction to them through a cutscene.

Now don't think you can't introduce things, the bloodsucker was supposed to be in that underground and was supposed to attack when it did, however it was the way the introductions were done that is the key difference. In Lost Alpha, you're shown the bloodsucker and can see what it's capable of before you even fight it, and when you do, it's simply standing right in front of the barrel of your gun. In SoC, you hear it's roar and then hear it skulking around with no idea what it could be if you hadn't been talking to people. If you had, you have an idea but only know that it's extremely dangerous and should be avoided however in you're not in a position to really do that forcing you to confront the fear. SoC plans the encounter and the execution leaves you fighting something you barely know about, and introduces it by simply having the player walk into it's lair and deal with it in whatever way possible. Lost Alpha shows you your enemy before you fight it, showing you what it can do and that it's dangerous, however Lost Alpha takes control away from the player and the introduction to this enemy doesn't feel natural the way it did in SoC. That's not just because I'm a veteran of the series, but because when playing a game trying to immerse you into it only to be interrupted by a cutscene, you end up losing whatever immersion you may have originally accomplished.

I did like the overall theme of the lab, seeing the ghost as you walk in, the new anomalies, the teleporter that kills you like the cutscene showed, the skeleton and the light sequence with the mutants, all this made the zone seem strange again and aided the atmosphere of the level. There were some really impressive things in that lab with quite the attention to detail that really made it an enjoyable experience. The main issue I have with it is the cutscenes (Along with the documents being potentially hard to find but the other games have done that so I won't be too hard on LA for it). I understand that most of the cutscenes are necessary to give the player information about the story, but I think they should be redone in such a way as to emulate walking into a room only to have two ghosts having a conversation appear. This sequence lets the player choose whether they listen or not and provides information to the player if they do choose to listen. Besides, imagine the bloodsucker kills the player after the cutscene, with no way to skip them, the player must watch it again and again until they finally get past the bloodsucker.

The lab has some two examples of how introductions, backstory, and other things could be done that were instead done through these cutscenes. The computer with information on it could provide information on the bloodsuckers, experiments, military presence, etc. PDA's could be found that provide information on yours, perhaps even videos found on computers the player could watch that could contain the same thing the cutscenes did, however could be skipped or at least an option for the player. The two ghost scene is another way some of the cutscenes could have been done, such as the teleportation scene. I'm sure some of these can't be removed at this point in the development, however I hope I'll be proved wrong and that the LA devs are open to suggestions and ideas. Hope to see what you guys think.

The main reason I bring this issue up is because I've seen other cutscenes while in the Bar during the Sin attack, and from the tidbits of info I've allowed myself to see have heard about other cutscenes in other areas of the game. I hope these will be tuned down and done differently as time goes on as the devs have time to focus on things like this.
  13:27:53  29 May 2014
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Roadkilll
Merc
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 05/27/2011
Messages: 1307
I agree with your post ,most of it, but they had to do introducing because of new players i think

Also while I really like those cutscenes in CoP, where player stands and does typical NPC moves and animations, i can't say same for LA. They could either improve them as some look silly( not trying to make fun of it im sure it's very hard to make those) or remove and make a cartoon one like in beggining, i found that one pretty interesting
  16:17:27  29 May 2014
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Spyder Jerusalem
(Novice)
 
On forum: 05/02/2014
Messages: 3

---QUOTATION---
I agree with your post ,most of it, but they had to do introducing because of new players i think


---END QUOTATION---



We were all new players once and didn't need any introducing.

The Op has some valid points.
  17:41:03  29 May 2014
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Roadkilll
Merc
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 05/27/2011
Messages: 1307

---QUOTATION---


We were all new players once and didn't need any introducing.

The Op has some valid points.
---END QUOTATION---



Got me there , but GSC wanted them to implement more introducing to the game for new players more than they did when they developed and released STALKER games
  17:44:14  29 May 2014
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Tunder666
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 05/13/2014
 

Message edited by:
Tunder666
05/30/2014 4:49:02
Messages: 252
Cutscenes

I, personally, did not mind the cutscenes.. but found the fact that they are un-skippable to be somewhat annoying. Seeing that people are being experimented on, and such, really gave the game a perverse edge over the 'natural' mutations that I assume are not human testing, and just the Zone doing it's Zone thing ;D

The well-hidden documents, on the other hand, made me feel more immersed, if anything. I never enjoyed point a-b-c (everything mapped out and MORE than obvious) as much; that's more immersion breaking for me. Kinda like having all my stuff and everything else, laced with RFID's that I can track with my phone.. lolz.

Anyhow, I enjoyed reading your post!

T666
  02:01:59  30 May 2014
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Genocider
Caretaker of the infamous Pseudo duck
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 03/20/2010
Messages: 629
Appreciate the responses. The point about the documents is fair, and it definitely is satisfying finally finding everything. The point about the cutscenes introducing players to the game isn't right though, you don't need cutscenes to introduce players to game mechanics or other things. Like I said, PDA entries, documents or logs on computers, anything could be done to introduce the player to new things. Like the Flesh that runs into an anomaly in both LA and Vanilla which introduces players to the dangers of anomalies (Or at least that was the intention). Oh, and my apologies for the lengthy OP, looking at it again is making me regret including so much detail.
  04:16:16  30 May 2014
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Tunder666
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 05/13/2014
 

Message edited by:
Tunder666
05/30/2014 4:44:01
Messages: 252

---QUOTATION---
Appreciate the responses. The point about the documents is fair, and it definitely is satisfying finally finding everything. The point about the cutscenes introducing players to the game isn't right though, you don't need cutscenes to introduce players to game mechanics or other things. Like I said, PDA entries, documents or logs on computers, anything could be done to introduce the player to new things. Like the Flesh that runs into an anomaly in both LA and Vanilla which introduces players to the dangers of anomalies (Or at least that was the intention). Oh, and my apologies for the lengthy OP, looking at it again is making me regret including so much detail.
---END QUOTATION---



Having the player learn about game mechanics, etc., through a more natural progression is a tough route (E.g.: Witcher 2).. and can make even more 'parts' un-skippable. I appreciate the choice between the "run me through the basics" and the "I know how to hold a gun.." approach =D Certainly agreed about a tutorial section in the PDA (and, in LA, the computer usage) etc., as opposed to in-your-face derpAderp.

Directly related to cutscenes, the Dez0wave website did have a poll regarding said topic. I chose in engine cutscenes, as opposed to non.. so I guess I'm one (of MANY) to blame ;D

Either way, constructive post, so, as for MHO, do not feel bad about it.

T666
  06:34:54  30 May 2014
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Audioave10
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 07/19/2008
Messages: 2461
Some of us are old and spoiled as we don't want the game to take control from us. With older games, this rarely happened. I do understand some need for this if its purely story related. I thought SHOC was OK about it.
  11:43:47  30 May 2014
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Zheep
(Novice)
 
On forum: 12/12/2012
Messages: 15
I've only seen one cutscene so far. It upset me. I was sneaking up on the bandit factory in Cordon, trying to find a side entrance, and suddenly I'm zooming in on two dudes talking in the courtyard... it was a bit startling, actually.

I still don't know what they were talking about, because at the end one of them goes "WHAT THE--?!" and after a few awkward seconds of the camera lingering over them, I'm placed back in my body... Standing like an idiot in front of the main entrance. Yards away from where I was before the cutscene. I was so mad about being moved I completely forgot what I was even doing there, haha...

I'd much rather have found a PDA with their conversation on it, or have it be something you can sneak up on, like the two guys talking in Half Life ("So, uh, who is this Freeman guy, anyway?" "All I know is he's been killin' my buddies!"--something like that, I think.) Being given the chance to eavesdrop or drop them dead, that would be nice. A reward for being stealthy, not a punishment for trying to be...

So, I'm really not looking forward to having a bloodsucker placed right in front of me before I can prepare for it. I wouldn't even let it get that close if I was kept in control!
  11:55:25  30 May 2014
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pRopaaNS
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 05/06/2014
Messages: 255
Well, with that said, imo Doom 3 did it right with those cutscenes introducing mosters, because seeing something new for the first time is supposed to leave you in off-guard state anyway as person process in his brains what it is what he's seeing. I think that would be the right way to use cutscenes in videogames.
I don't mind cutscenes although, but they can be pretty annoying depending on circumstances.
As for LA I had few cutscenes whose left me stuck and in middle of zombie attacks after passing (x10- had to replay several times, sacrophagus - had to replay several times as well and that custcene was ages long). Leaving me in front of blooodsucker wasn't that bad although, because that dude didn't attack me just after spawning that time.
 
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