Quick Time Redux

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I enjoyed them in Kingdom Hearts. They appeared during most of the boss fights but weren't necessary for success, but you got a cool cinematic when you pulled them off. They weren't strictly pass/fail either-- when you successfully completed a step in the sequence, it pushed the character a bit further, if aborted, you didn't lose anything through it.

Dhatz:

1.cutscene is differentiated from eventscene(music would be appropirately demistealthy)
2.stopped or slowed time
3.let it be multiple options,each represents an idea(one of em is the fastest route)
4.ideas clearly associated with buttons/logics the player already understands
5.options are visualised thoughts(= transparent parts of imagined reality)
6.there is some kind of shadow getting thinner as the idea is vanishing with time(happens only in slowtime scenes)
7.multiple logical ways to trigger specific action(action/direction based)
8.neglect=/=instant death

This is pretty much the way Alpha Protocol handles everything.

As for the article: Shamus, your number 1 idea was milked to death during the FMV era. And it sucked. Please let's not go back to that.

Only game I so far played with a significant number of QTEs is RE5 on PC, (I've played Gears 2, though it only really has one that pops up rarely), due to my odd keyboard layout, I've had to reassign my use key, so I can punch guys in the face more often. However, the live-saving ones I often don't have masses of trouble with, mashing move left/right is surprisingly easy, probably easier from the little experience I had of the console version's 'rotate the stick' version. Probably because it requires less rearrangement of your hand positions, as I've seen people switch to the palm of their hand to spin the stick fast.

However, I do agree that they aren't the best thing ever, though I've found a way to cope despite not playing games with them often. I do very much hate the grab of RE5's dogs, you will lose at least half your health no matter how superhuman your reflexes. At least the run-of-the-mill townsfolk have the common courtesy to only take a small slither off if you pull it off, and not masses if you fail horribly.

I also haven't got very far into RE5, so I probably haven't found many of the recurring insta-kill QTEs.

I`ve never really got the hate for QTE i can understand that if you`re not familiar with the pad in your hand it can be a fustrating experience but i`ve always enjoyed them (well more than the usual mega-uber overdrive bulshit that most bosses somehow pull when in their death throes) also RE4 has probably the hardest QTE`s ever i don`t think i`ve come across a game where i`ve died so many times cutscenes before or since , probably because they were fast and random

Are QTEs really that bad? The developers made a choice, it's how the game is played, end of story. Honestly, it doesn't ruin the immersion any MORE than a "talk" icon over a character's head or an "open" prompt at a door. Why don't I hear people complaining about those elements?

While I do agree that QTEs aren't the most elegant solution for triggering and continuing complex moves, I feel like the hate gets magnified because of forums like there. To be honest, if I had never visited gaming sites like these, read the forums, watched ZP, I would never have felt the same way. I accepted QTEs as a way of interacting with the game. I'm not suggesting that we stop critiquing games, no sir. But I wonder sometimes if we complain about things more because we can and people will listen, as opposed to having a really good reason to complain.

edit: although QTEs in a story cutscene are annoying, especially if they don't warn you. The only way to do that successfully would be to do it in most of the beginning cutscenes and give people time to get used to them. If you suddenly introduce them in a major story scene 1/4 of the way into the game, you're doing it wrong.

timmytom1:
I`ve never really got the hate for QTE i can understand that if you`re not familiar with the pad in your hand it can be a fustrating experience but i`ve always enjoyed them (well more than the usual mega-uber overdrive bulshit that most bosses somehow pull when in their death throes) also RE4 has probably the hardest QTE`s ever i don`t think i`ve come across a game where i`ve died so many times cutscenes before or since , probably because they were fast and random

I'm dyspraxic. QTEs mess with my head something awful. Even with a game designed for PC controls I have major trouble with them, as in the QTE is over before I've figured the first key to press. Controlling an FPS I can do, its something specific to QTEs that messes me up.

Also, they are rather anti the point of computer games. There is one single set solution for them - press all the right buttons at the right time. The game itself I can dodge left, dodge right, duck behind that wall over there or just plain shoot first.

Perhaps the only QTE that I actually didn't mind was in Saints Row 2 during the fight club side missions when you had someone's health down low enough and could finish them off. It was similar to what I am hearing about God of War (wouldn't know, only barely played the first one and tuned out of them after that), but the button prompt was left up on the screen for at least five to ten seconds before switching to something else. If you missed the button switch, it didn't totally screw it all up. The progress started to decline, allowing you a chance to make a change to the correct button(s). Even if you failed it miserably, you still had a chance to knock the guy to the ground and do it again with no penalty other than having to do it again.

QTE as a whole, especially in Resident Evil, is pretty annoying when they give you one shot at getting it right and the sequence changes on the fly. During a split-screen co-op game, it can be funny to screw it up and the other player suffers the consequences of your misstep. I can recall a few times running down that narrow corridor away from that boulder and jumping over gaps until you pressed the wrong button and your partner would fall and hear my brother swear loudly and then laugh. In some games where they feature it during a cut-scene, I wish they would just have a complete skip over the scene altogether instead of skipping the cut up to the QTE. Trying to get me more involved in the story by making it more interactive doesn't make for a more interesting story or force me to pay attention. If anything, it just pulls me out of the game since now I have to concentrate on some arbitrary sequence when I was trying to focus on the story.

There's a time and place for everything, and you can't sweeten every title with a QTE. If there is no sense in doing them, don't throw them in just for the gimmick effect. Maybe if your cut scene didn't take fifteen minutes and you have to throw in a QTE to keep your system from going into standby, we'd all be better off.

"QTEs suck less than ever"

Except of course for when they were in Shenmue and didn't suck at all. Anyone tempted to do QTEs should play Shenmue, and if they ever feel like they are doing something different they should stop it and play Shenmue.

Quantum of Solace actually did vary the amount of time you have to hit the right button for its QTEs. First time through I don't think I missed a single one. After I restarted on the hardest difficulty, the window for hitting them was much smaller, and I actually had to pay attention.

Even if they did use them in that game, it was only for their hand-to-hand cutscenes. They stayed out of the way for the most part, and on normal were fairly easy to finish.

Scrumpmonkey:
I don't feel QETs have a place in gaming at all. They are esssetially a "Well we are sory this cut-scene is so long here is a arbritarty immersion breaking sign that makes your reclining during this awesome cutscene redundant and only serves to cuase you irritation" or just that sense of "Haha you have to watch this all over gain, pay attention fucker!".

They are a rudementary way, proabaly the most rudementary way, of linking cutscene to gameplay that only exist to add the illusion of interactivity to passive veiwing. If they existed during a DVD they would just piss everyone off. Get we just get over this cute idea from 1999 and get on with our cut scene?

Oh god yes. It has no place in cutscenes. I'd argue it has no place at all, but for the love of god not in cutscenes. At least in Metal gear solid, all the Qtes were just for flashbacks or first person easter eggs: Completely inconsequential if you didn't bother with it. This is the only acceptable way really. That or using them to make a choice in a cutscene, but as reflex test just to make you watch it all again if you fail in completely idiotic.

Outright Villainy:

Scrumpmonkey:
I don't feel QETs have a place in gaming at all. They are esssetially a "Well we are sory this cut-scene is so long here is a arbritarty immersion breaking sign that makes your reclining during this awesome cutscene redundant and only serves to cuase you irritation" or just that sense of "Haha you have to watch this all over gain, pay attention fucker!".

They are a rudementary way, proabaly the most rudementary way, of linking cutscene to gameplay that only exist to add the illusion of interactivity to passive veiwing. If they existed during a DVD they would just piss everyone off. Get we just get over this cute idea from 1999 and get on with our cut scene?

Oh god yes. It has no place in cutscenes. I'd argue it has no place at all, but for the love of god not in cutscenes. At least in Metal gear solid, all the Qtes were just for flashbacks or first person easter eggs: Completely inconsequential if you didn't bother with it. This is the only acceptable way really. That or using them to make a choice in a cutscene, but as reflex test just to make you watch it all again if you fail in completely idiotic.

The only mildly excuseable use for them was "Heavy Rain" since it built in so many options and made them a heavy and persistant part of the gameplay. This is the only place i've seen them kind of work and that's arguably only becuase you get very used to their presenece.

You could really see their case becuase without them important ganeplay decisions could not be made in the conext of the type of game they had created.

Shamus:
4) Putting a QTE in the middle of a cutscene. Really, that is obnoxious. If you want to stop my gameplay for a movie then don't show me a movie with surprise gameplay that makes me have to re-watch the movie until it's no longer gameplay or a surprise. That is by far the worst of both worlds: a movie you can't enjoy and boring gameplay that is strictly pass / fail. (Again, this applies mostly to Capcom, although there might still be a few other developers who don't get this yet.)

Platinum. Frickin'. Games. I swear, the QTEs ruined Bayonetta for me. Ruined it. If Vanquish has even one Quick Time prompt, I will never buy another one of their games.

Scrumpmonkey:
The only mildly excuseable use for them was "Heavy Rain" since it built in so many options and made them a heavy and persistant part of the gameplay. This is the only place i've seen them kind of work and that's arguably only becuase you get very used to their presenece.

This.

But I also attribute it to the presentation of the prompts. The prompts are sized and placed perfectly throughout the game. They're small enough to not get in the way of the action, but not too small so as to be unreadable. As well, I think the moveable circles thing it does helps us see the action a little bit, too, as they tend to be placed in spots where it directs our attention to what the character is trying to do rather than elsewhere.

Shenmue, the first game I played with QTEs in, made it work. It also had places to practice your QTEs in the arcades - the QTE boxing game was cool.

paha...RE5's QTEs were pretty funny
mash shoulder buttons to runnn! tee hee

Herr Wozzeck:
But I also attribute it to the presentation of the prompts. The prompts are sized and placed perfectly throughout the game. They're small enough to not get in the way of the action, but not too small so as to be unreadable.

Well, that's a little debatable. On my tiny SD screen it was often quite hard to tell the difference between "press square" and "press circle", especially for the "topics circling around the head" prompts. (Still a fun game, though.)

I did mention in the response to Shamus' comic that Meachassault 2 did great QTE's because of the simon says kind of sequencing even though you did hit the corresponding colours when they lit up that still made them way more fun and challenging than just mashing the B button.

Another game with great QTE's is Brutal Legend's guitar riff/solo powers. They're great because you know when they're coming because you select to do them when you need to do them. Also it makes it fun because it not only challenges your speed but your timing as well. Plus they sound awesome!

A perfect example of Shamus' idea behind "cinematics with QTE's" would definitely be LOST PLANET 2. I hate them because I thought I was just watching a video as you do so I put down the controller. But then I realised I had to pick it back up or my character wouldn't make it.

Although in all fairness it wouldn't matter for anything because you can respawn in that game's campaign anyway. Meaning they aren't annoying in the sense that if you don't use them you'll still be ok. It's just your rating for that chapter at the end would suffer a bit.

I really hate the QTEs in Resident Evil 4 and 5. I was thinking about that as soon as I started reading the article...

It is fun to get the QTEs right, but everyone knows how much it sucks to die when they don't go as planned...

I think the disarming moves in Mirror's Edge worked well. People might argue that they were just a normal gameplay mechanic and not a QTE, but they seemed like a variety of QTE to me. You had to watch the blue's arm move and wait for it to flash red, then click the button during the brief time the flash lasted. Faith would then preform a short sequence of moves to grab the gun and hit (or knee) the blue in the head, dependent on context, just from that one button press. You got some measure of control over the event because they only kicked in when you got close to a blue.

JEBWrench:

Dhatz:

1.cutscene is differentiated from eventscene(music would be appropirately demistealthy)
2.stopped or slowed time
3.let it be multiple options,each represents an idea(one of em is the fastest route)
4.ideas clearly associated with buttons/logics the player already understands
5.options are visualised thoughts(= transparent parts of imagined reality)
6.there is some kind of shadow getting thinner as the idea is vanishing with time(happens only in slowtime scenes)
7.multiple logical ways to trigger specific action(action/direction based)
8.neglect=/=instant death

This is pretty much the way Alpha Protocol handles everything.

As for the article: Shamus, your number 1 idea was milked to death during the FMV era. And it sucked. Please let's not go back to that.

But never any game had all of the things I listed. Agreed that flash of color sucks.

Phishfood:
Also, they are rather anti the point of computer games. There is one single set solution for them - press all the right buttons at the right time. The game itself I can dodge left, dodge right, duck behind that wall over there or just plain shoot first.

haha,you cheater, would like to see that in HR(or any game that comes close to my list,the one you can see above)

One of the cheats in God of War III lets you skip the QTEs. This is actually pretty awesome, although since the action doesn't slow down while it waits for your input, Kratos moves with even more ludicrous speed.

The intorduction of the Paragon/Renegade "interrupts" in Mass Effect 2 was a good step forward and perhaps a good example of how QTEs can be done well. They were not intrusive, and nor were they vittal - you could ignore every one of them and still play the whole game. They just allowed you to mix things up if you wanted.

The icon also stayed well out of the way...

I actually like God of War's time dilation/adrenaline rush effect. The huge flashy buttons... not so much.

I would be very impressed if a developer gave us the rush effect and then allowed us to pick which of the four buttons we would use in order to interact with the event, each with a separate positive outcome assuming we hit the button during the rush. Yes it's more work, but it completely removes visual distractions, increases tension since you're waiting for the rush to happen (or maybe there are randomly occurring events that don't exactly hinder you, but provide "Holy shit did you see that?" moments), and adds some variety if you're having to repeat the same QTE due to previously failing it or being on another play through.

mikespoff:
The intorduction of the Paragon/Renegade "interrupts" in Mass Effect 2 was a good step forward and perhaps a good example of how QTEs can be done well. They were not intrusive, and nor were they vittal - you could ignore every one of them and still play the whole game. They just allowed you to mix things up if you wanted.

While I agree that a low profile is important for any part of the user interface, the main reasons that the Renegade/Paragon system worked so well was that there were comparatively few of them, and while they occurred in dramatic moments they didn't occur when the player had to do anything other than watch a cutscene. Aside from dramatics they had far more in common with dialogue options than controls or maneuvers.

Oh I love QTEs I do. Nothing pleases me more than finding out that upgrading my Blades of Doom, my Armour of Badassery and making sure to wear my Sandals of Ultimate Coolness means nothing compared to being able to hit a bunch of buttons in time to prompts.

You should hear the squeals of joy as I realise I have to replay this section for the third time because I stupidly mistook the Pinky/Purple Square for the Purpley/Red Circle.

I live for the next thrill of having to rapidly alternate between two shoulder buttons.

And what fun cut-scenes if you're not poised controller in hand just in case the game suddenly decides to check you're paying attention to the story by trying to chop your head off?

What fools some people are to suggest that having to focus on the two-inch square where the prompts appear somehow detracts from the enjoyment of the game.

Ah yes I love QTEs... almost as much as I love escort missions

The Sly series does the best QTEs ever. They're in their own minigame class, you do them all in one big chunk rather than popping up at random points. The game gives you time to memorize then repeat the button inputs rather than forcing you to respond correctly RIGHT AWAY, the stuff on the screen is funny (opera, tango dancing) and the music accompanying the sequence is usually excellent. Oh, and you can continue with the sequence even if you flub a button input.

I actually LIKE the QTEs in Sly 2 and Sly 3. Well, I'm only a little bit into Sly 3, so don't quote me on that one, but the tango dancing in Sly 2 was awesome.

I have found that most of the time they just suck and really take me out of an experience. I found this in both Force Unleashed and RE4. However, I find that quicktime events can be a way to immerse a player, if done right that is, such as the hallway sequence in MGS4, where the player's desperate pounding at the triangle button almost makes you feel Snake's suffering as he attempts to drag his almost lifeless body through the corridor. Then again, the ironic thing about that is that it only seemed to immerse you because you were feeling pain after frantically tapping that triangle button for well over a minute, so I guess that means QTEs are just painful any way you look at it.

@Samurai Goomba - and of the Sly QTEs the Voodoo one has to be the best. An actual in-game reason for it, face buttons only, prompts arranged as per the controller layout, looking at the action rather than the prompts, and audio differences. Damn near perfect.

The comic pretty much covers the biggest problem with QTEs. You have no idea what's actually happening on screen while you're focused on it.

This was the nice thing about GoW2's chainsaw duel though. It was the only QTE you had, and you only had to do one thing. Mash the fuck out of B and hope you mashed faster.

Making QTEs dynamic would really be nice, it would also work pretty well with TFU. Just get the enemy down on health, then X to initiate the QTE and then just press what you want. X would do another lightsaber movement, Y would do something with lightning, B with force push and A would do a cool aerial / evasion / jump thingy. You would have the opportunity to just queue 3 or 4 things up to your liking.

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