A View From the Road: Cut/Scene

A View From the Road: Cut/Scene

If cutscenes are obsolete, then why are they so well-received in modern MMOGs?

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personally I like cutscenes if they don't get too long.

as for why,I don't know,maybe hypocracy has a play in this,not sure.hope the other escapists have better replys

well games like half-life 2 and mass effect are bridging the gaps between gameplay and cutscenes... albeit from different sides of the gap...

mass effect is making cutscenes more interactive.

and half-life 2 is making gameplay more cinematic.

i don't think they are obsolete i think they are just blending in with the game. altering the game while being altered themselves. games are no longer black and white gameplay/cutscene.

Half Life 2 has cutscenes, they are just viewed from a (somewhat interactive) first person perspective. In fact, because the cutscenes in Half Life 2 (and other similar titles) are viewed from a first person perspective it really limits the scope and direction you can take them. I like when action games have some short sweet exciting cutscenes, a good example would be Devil May Cry 3.

I got Aeris' final Limit Break too.

On an aside, until the more freeform and choice driven single players game can actually deliver a story worth remembering, I doubt the cutscene is goin anywhere. Besides, there's enough room in the market for both kinds of games anyway.

The premise is faulty that cut scenes are obsolete.

Movies and TV are one big cut scene, and they both show little sign of obsolescence. Cut scenes are like a gift--content that you don't have to play during, so you get a respite to sit back and enjoy some story. Everyone likes someone to explain the bigger picture of the fantasy world within which they now find his or herself.

But they have to be good and can't drag on forever. They should be short and sweet and frame the ongoing story.

Mass Effect did cut scenes right. And no they are far from obsolete but they do need some innovation such as Mass Effect

The premise is faulty that cut scenes are obsolete.

Movies and TV are one big cut scene, and they both show little sign of obsolescence. Cut scenes are like a gift--content that you don't have to play during, so you get a respite to sit back and enjoy some story. Everyone likes someone to explain the bigger picture of the fantasy world within which they now find his or herself.

But they have to be good and can't drag on forever. They should be short and sweet and frame the ongoing story.

The point is, cutscenes are a movie. Frequently, a bad movie - with the writing and acting nowhere near what we'd expect from an actual feature film. I'm not Mr. Deam, but I suppose his point would be that games should try to find a method of storytelling that is unique to games, and not try to poorly emulate TV and movies.

The problem isn't with cutscenes, it's with bad cutscenes, which according to Sturgeon's Law, will be most of them. Mass Effect is hardly an exception to this; the game may allow you to choose dialogue options while people are talking, but that doesn't change the fact that most of the game's cutscenes are long and incredible dull shots of people standing in one spot and yammering at each other. That is not a good example of cinematic gameplay.

Cutscenes are best used as a little reward for the gameplay, not the focus of the game. Use them to break up the action and remind the player why he is playing the game. Don't make them so long and boring the player tunes out or tries to skip them. Good cutscene usage is a skill and an art that takes time and practice to master, just like all aspects of game design.

As for MMOs, I would say that cutscenes are more welcome there because they tend to be so rare. MMOs are not remotely story-based in any way, so for the player to suddenly get this cinematic reward for their gameplay comes across as a little treat.

Who said cutscenes are obselete ?

If seal clubbing is obselete what will all the seal clubbers do for a job ?

See the problem....

Cutscenes still have a role to play, if slightly reduced.

There was a point when cutscenes became generally overused, and we got past that.

There are some great mood-enhancing cutscenes out there, that work perfectly.

For me, the likes of the Diablo 2 cutscenes, one at each stage of the journey, were a good example. Also, Command & Conquer wouldn't be the series it is without cutscenes.

There are many other examples.

K i'm not sure if anyone would agree with me on the point i'm going to make.. see the fact is that when people talk about a "persistent" world, which is ultimately static - they're talking about a very wide view, i.e. the one that GMs and the creators of the game have..

In reality an MMO world is just as progressive from an individual player's view as any linear single player game. Once i've finished slaughtering koltar in the barrens, and stolen their measily scrap of flag from the leader's body - i go back to the cross roads and hurrah! everyone's happy :) then i move on from the chat infested "barrens" to the next area - confident that i completed a quest, and made an impact like in any other game, during my progression through it. The fact is that it doesn't matter how many people then complete that quest after i do.. their overall experience is separate from mine.

This also extends from solo to group and raid content.. the feeling of huge yet static world is dispelled by the fact that you're only ever experiencing it with a limited number of people, from a limited perspective. Yes, Orgrimmar is filled with players who have raided every dungeon in the game (probably), but the experience for an individual player and his equally equipped guild mates is still one which is progressing through a fairly narrow and linear storyline.

Just a thought.

On another note, so long as a cut scene is well done, i really don't mind them being there.. especially in games which have a more "removed" player perspective anyway - like in strategy games for instance...

I would've commented earlier, but I had to pull myself out of TV Tropes to do it.

Those MMOs that use cutscenes for the same reason that many MMOs still have entire worlds to explore (instead of merely a collection of active zones to travel back and forth to). This being immersion, at least in the sense of story and lore, if not actual world immersion.

Though when done poorly it's probably worse than if there's no cut scene at all.

Perhaps its also a pride thing? Since single-player games have cutscenes and generally good production values, MMOs want to show that they can do the same thing, too. That they're not just an internet social affair but also a full entertainment experience in the way AAA SP games are. That this completely misses the point of gaming, online or otherwise, wouldn't matter much.

I personally prefer Mass Effect's approach to cutscenes than Half Life 2's, but that may be because I had to endure watching my younger brother spend nearly every cutscene smash every object in the room with the crowbar while the plot was going on without him...

As far as MMO's go, I'm not sure if adding cutscenes to the games really would benefit it. I played WoW until a few months ago, so I got to enjoy the Wrathgate movie in all it's glory, and though I did enjoy it, I'm not sure it really added anything that the game could not achive on it's own using their older format. Also, in finishing that particular questline, I was disappointed with the ending, mainly because I felt that it deserved a cutscene of it's own to capture the significance of the moment, especially considering the end result had (in my opinion) a more significant impact on the world than the Wrathgate scene did. If MMO's want to utilize the cutscene, then they should either make it a constant part of the game's world a la Mass Effect, or save it for the end of major story questlines/raids.

In an aside, you almost tempted me with that TvTropes link. The last time you guys did that I was trapped on the site for hours. You can't trick me twice :P

Well Im not sure that you can really say cutscenes are an issue. I mean lets look at this from the perspective of the transition from movies to games.

Gamers argue that games trump movies because movies are not interactive. So if you accept that interactivity is what makes static footage inferior. Where do you go after a game ?

Interactive cutscenes ?.... um thats called a mini game.

Minigames instead of cutscenes ? Not for me thanks.

I really enjoy cutscenes and I would be extremely unhappy to see them even reduced. They often provide vital elements of the story and generally enhance the gameplay when done properly.

Overall... Id rather have bad cutscenes than no cutscenes

would Eve be considered the ideal in this case?
The universe in that game is always changing due to the actions of the all the players. There are no cutscenes because of the changing nature of the MMO. The game does have it's faults but in regard to this article, Eve Online is the future.

I think cutscenes are a very viable part of gaming, when I beat a really hard boss I don't want it to just go "Kerboom" in 5 seconds and if I blinked tough shit. When the bosses health reaches 0 I want my screen to cut to a directed view of his evil ass going "Kerboom" so I can take in my victory.

Now granted you can go overboard with cutscenes to the point where you're like "dammit all let me play >< " I see them as a breather, for that small break where you can release your death-grip on the controller and let your sweaty hands air out (to bad the a/c gamecube controller never caught on, that was awesome) let the blood rage dissapate and focus on the task ahead, or give you the time to say "ok its time for bed".

I don't mind a cut scene or two when it moves the story forward, gives you some very important information or gives you a nice little rewards or something. For example the one in Wrath of the Lich King is decent, the ones in Ratchet&Clank are borderline. They are humorous and push the plot forward, but a few too many.

Often though there are too many or they just go on and on and on. Keep them brief, to the point, and interesting. If you have to stop for 10 minutes to explain to me what the hell is going on then your game itself isn't doing a good job. Besides 90% of the time the game gives you the cut scene then you go right on running around killing stuff exactly like you did before. Make them mean something.

Thats my advice for cut sceners.


I think developers still think of cut-scenes as a reward, in some ways.

"Oh, you passed a level. Here's a cool cut-scene for your efforts."

That was cool when games hardware was fairly weak and couldn't offer the kind of cinematic impact of a pre-rendered cut-scene, but now that consoles and the PC are more than powerful enough to render awesome scenes in real-time, players should be able to take part in what would have been a cut-scene a few years ago.

I think Call of Duty 4 did a good job of this - the assassination of Zakhaev was needed to move the story forward. Instead of just presenting a cut-scene, the player was allowed to be Zakhaev for a moment, making the event much more impactful than a passive cut-scene while keeping the player's hands on the controller.

Crowning Moment of Awesome

Meeting Dr Aeon in City of Heroes
Godfather's introductory Screen

It doesn't have to be an MMO, it just needs to be built up to.

Even Dark Corners of The Earth's bedroom scene, despite being ridiculously annoying, is still awesome.

Half Life starts with a 5 minute cut scene. (yeah, you can move, but not actually do anything)

Cutscenes have the potential to be iconic, but also to be simply chronic.

after witnessing the MGS4 things on unskippable, some games would been hella better with playable ctscenes, and of course Mass Effect is the way to go. It's waste of effort to do stuff in sutscenes that doesn't work ingame, most evident examples are cloth physics that happen in cutscenes, it's almost everywhere(MSG, Dark SEctor? GTA IV). Few examples from GTA IV: physics of roman's bed, Dimitri's tie, the purple curtains in appartment of your first girlfriend(and the blanket in the naked man scene from TLaD DLC), but there are examples of worse waisted effort: mission exclusive features, like the trashcar hatch or wearable bags(OK, there are hacks, but we shouldn't do it). If I was ever to make games, my cutscenes would have seekbar and you could replay them afterwards because the character would "remember" them(I would like to have such concept for the gameplay: instead if instant replay some instant rewind). There were also tries of having slight camera interactivity, last time I remember it was Dark Sector, but it came out useless.
EDIT: I have to confirm that if the conversations in ME didn't have interesting topics everyone would hate them, because the camera is just boring, but luckily ME2 is gonna vastly upgrade them.

Damn you for linking to tv tropes!

got a friend who leveled his whole team up to 99 on the first disc(ffVII)....yeah.....i thought it was kinda sad too


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