Jimquisition: Emotions, Polygons, and Ellen Page

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I don't know, all I kept thinking was "Shartker! Zis is Kaos. Ve don't emotions emotions emotions here".

Well someone had to say it. I glad it was you Jim!

Not sure what you is getting work upset about Jim, but remove and wear David Cage face not give you his peopel emotion power, maybe!

Scorpid:
I don't understand all the hate for his games. I thought heavy rain was great, and the niche he fills isn't one being filled by any other triple AAA developer. Would you guys prefer if Quantic Dream just made another spunkgargleweewee games? Of course he's passionate about the games he makes and the style he makes them in so by what right do we have to be so cynical as to say that it's wrong. I don't want every game being like Heavy Rain but neither do I want every game being like my personal favorite genre, a RTS.

yay.... someone else who likes it. I loved both Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit) except for the end of the latter.

Jim more-or-less pissed away a weeks episode here. What's his problem with David Cage anyway?

I'm sorry, but I must tell you, David Cage, you make me utterly sick to my stomach.

My emotionless husk is weeping from the inside out... I mean... Waht?

Good God Jim! You've made a room full of people stare at me with weird expressions because of how loud I was laughing.

I hope you're happy.

Heavy Rain was great.

Though, The Walking Dead is oddly similar, game-play wise. Maybe, in it's goal as well. Yet, it's also leagues better, and stands as literal proof that Cage is wrong. Graphics don't mean bananas, when your writing is solid. Hell, think of Chrono Trigger, too. That game does it all, character arcs, characterization, emotion, great writing, and they're, like, sprites from the Super Nintendo days (Not to sound offensive, I'm just trying to highlight the whole hardware gap he's touching on, I actually find the game's art style to be rather charming).

He needs better writing to illicit what he...allegedly wants from all of us, not technology. Please, Mr. Cage, bad writing makes my skin crawl, and it's pretty common.

Tetris has more emotion then Heavy Rain.

Ralen-Sharr:

Legion:
Hmm, I liked the subject matter, and it was a good parody, but I think it'd have worked better if perhaps the David Cage mockery was done for maybe the first minute or so, then the rest as normal.

It was good, I just felt the joke was wearing a little thin by the end.

pretty much this exactly

I was about done with this episode halfway through. Yeah, it was ok at first, but once the point is conveyed, dragging it out really got old fast.

That's part of the joke.
Sometime you have to drag things out for certain jokes.
Like David Cages obsession with polygons.
I think this is the last mention we will see of him in any episodes.

If ever their was a human being literally crammed too far up their own ass, it's David Cage. I watched a lets play of Heavy Rain a few months back and I gotta say, wow, like I knew it was bad but eeeesh. I've seen god knows how many crappy movies that weren't as crap as that "game".

I don't have enough polygons to reply with a meaningful emotional answer... :/

That was rather disturbing.

And rather not insightful. Waiting for a better next week.

That was hilariously brutal..... While I'm all in favour of making fun of David Cage you might of gotten more mileage out breaking character after 3 minutes and pointing out how all the polygons in the world mean fucking nothing if your plot and characters inhabit the nonsense planet.

Then again you could just link your Destructoid review of Heavy Rain.

Jim: "...Well defined characters...."
::Shows cover for Queen of the damned::

That was a real knee-slapper.

What's that accent supposed to me? Italian?

Jim: "General apathy, not being very bothered by anything, add slight confusion, tempered with a general lack of motivation to do much about it."

Why, that's the perfect description of every ID photo I've taken since grade school.

cynicalsaint1:
Some examples from Heavy Rain, spoilerish obviously:

The thing is - its not all bad, individual scenes can be well written and executed, but for the few great moments, to me at least, it felt like most of the time he was just trying too hard to make a scene exciting or emotional. And when you try to put the whole story together into a cohesive narrative it just falls apart. The more you think about things the less sense things make - and that's rarely a good sign when you're talking about a murder mystery story.

More than the cockamanie writing, it was the flat-out bad acting that got me. Casting french actors who obviously can't perform in english; JAYson... JaySON.

Casual Shinji:

cynicalsaint1:
Some examples from Heavy Rain, spoilerish obviously:

The thing is - its not all bad, individual scenes can be well written and executed, but for the few great moments, to me at least, it felt like most of the time he was just trying too hard to make a scene exciting or emotional. And when you try to put the whole story together into a cohesive narrative it just falls apart. The more you think about things the less sense things make - and that's rarely a good sign when you're talking about a murder mystery story.

More than the cockamanie writing, it was the flat-out bad acting that got me. Casting french actors who obviously can't perform in english; JAYson... JaySON.

SHAWN SHAWN SHAWNNNNNNNN SHANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN AHAN SHANNNNNNNN


SHAWNNNNNNNNNNNNN SHAWNNNN

And that is heavy rain everyone now you don't have to watch it or play it.

So where was Jim this week?

Sorry Jim but that joke went on far too long.

We essentially watched you bring a horse in, shoot it, beat it with a bat for awhile - which at the time we were still laughing but it was steadily decreasing. At around about the 4 minute mark people would have been shifting uncomfortably in their seats as you continues to pummel the dead animal. At 5 minutes people would have stood up and left. 6 minutes the theatre was empty. 7 minutes your bat breaks.

This didn't need a 7 minute episode, Jim.

It's dead, Jim.

Ralen-Sharr:

Legion:
Hmm, I liked the subject matter, and it was a good parody, but I think it'd have worked better if perhaps the David Cage mockery was done for maybe the first minute or so, then the rest as normal.

It was good, I just felt the joke was wearing a little thin by the end.

pretty much this exactly

I was about done with this episode halfway through. Yeah, it was ok at first, but once the point is conveyed, dragging it out really got old fast.

I'll agree with you on this. I started to lose interest in the four minute mark.

As a constructive criticism, I thought the episode was too padded out and the joke just went on for too long. Salient points could have easily been made regarding emotional moments in gaming without the use of high definition graphics - but they were wasted on the overly long ad hominem attack on Mr Cage.

You forgot to mention Willem Defoe. It's not just Ellen Page. It's Willem Defoe as well.

Emotions... 'n stuff...

Gabanuka:

Kuro Serpentina:
snip

Kinda confused: you make out like that's a dig at Jim's onion when you just completely agreed with him...

I do agree with what he's saying, its just I'm not a fan of how he's saying it
He's laying it on a tad too thick

This was amazing. That part at the end... truly the height of Jimquisition:-P

David Cage really came off like a piece of shit in the PS4 conference. TWD had awful graphics/"polygons" and it was more emotional than anything he's ever come up with.

MrBoBo:

nathan-dts:
Implying that visuals don't help convey emotion. One look at LA Noire shows what new technology can do.

Extremely offputting uncannyvally? It reminded me of young Jeff Bridges weird rubber mouth as Clu.

If you can identify whether or not someone is lying or telling the truth, solely by their face, then you Team Bondi succeeded with their game.

Hah, the entire video without breaking character. Nice commitment.

Abomination:
This didn't need a 7 minute episode, Jim.

The line of thinking that graphics allow more freedom to express emotion is silly and is something that has plagued game design since developers started considering good graphics a substitute for actual substance. This needs entire seminars and lectures, let alone a 7 minute mockery of it.

Ultimately, more polygons allows developers to express emotion more easily. It does not allow them to express "more" emotion. Graphics are already to the point where a full range of emotion can be expressed so this polygon pursuit is just to get more firmly on the other side of the uncanny valley. Either way, Cage is wrong. It's just lazy developing to think you need more polygons to achieve the kind of emotion you're going for and he needs to be called on it. Kudos to Jim for doing it.

The future of graphics is bright. Independant studios are already getting to the point where they can design realistic games with passable (albeit less polished) graphics. With the next generations of game engines making it even easier to develop quality objects easily, I look forward to a time where good graphics are mundane and the storyline is the only thing that makes a game successful. Regardless, artistic games are already there. Their graphics are the same they'd be ten years from now and they're every bit as successful at expressing emotion.I believe Jim has already pointed out the phenomena though. Eventually realistic graphics will be just as valid years in the future, perhaps we're nearly there. But that has nothing to do with "more" emotion.

Beryl77:
Yeah, good writing is necessary but I'd also like good facial expressions in games. I don't see why not and while Cage's stories could be better, I never got the feeling that he things writing is just secondary. I don't see why we can't have both. Quite a few games would have been better if in certain emotional situations, characters faces wouldn't look like they've used too much botox. Even if that emotional situation was created very well, I just can't take it fully serious if the face looks so stupid.

The issue is that Cage has been going on massively about how much better/emotional/etc the next gen will be due to graphics (probably because Sony beat him up until he agreed to do it, but we can't be sure). Of course, better graphics can be a useful tool for better audience sympathy with on screen characters, but its not necessary for a emotional, dramatic story or tale, as I'm sure your aware.

For people who think graphics == better emotions, I disagree; one of the best games I've played in terms of characters (emotions/development/etc) and story was Anachronox, an old game now that looked like crap even when it came out.

Edit:

FFP2:
This was amazing. That part at the end... truly the height of Jimquisition:-P

David Cage really came off like a piece of shit in the PS4 conference. TWD had awful graphics/"polygons" and it was more emotional than anything he's ever come up with.

TWD == The Walking Dead?

If so, I disagree about "awful" graphics - it didn't have good graphics, but it was a choice style that meshed well with its source material

Fallacy #1: Conveying emotions in videogames requires photo-realistic facial animation.
Fallacy #2: "Emotion" in videogames = lots of crying and drama

Emotion has more to do with character build-up, believability, the ability to relate to said characters, and tough moral dilemmas and decisions.

One of the most meaningful, i.e. "emotional", videogame scenes in recent memory was from the Valley of Defilement in Demon's Souls. [minor spoiler warning] After your character fights his/her way through the Valley of Defilement, a disgusting, wretched place filled with greif and vile monstrosities, you finally encounter a fallen priestess who was unwillingly turned into a demon, to the point that she loathes her own existence. Even despite her own self-loathing, her loyal guardian, a brave knight, remains determined to protect her from you, a character set on vanquishing all demons. The sheer desperation of these characters given their circumstances, and your own duty to kill characters you can sympathize with, is far more "emotional" than any dramatic, movie-like cutscene I've seen in a videogame, and it manages to accomplish this with minimal dialog and while keeping control in the player's hands throughout (i.e. no cutscenes whatsoever).

Good storytelling and game design with an emphasis on gameplay and writing, NOT cinematics, will trump all other attempts at conveying an "emotional" experience in this particular form of media, IMHO.

We must ask the question
image

Well, I liked Indigo prophecy.

It did cause a strong emotional reaction in me, mostly uncontrollable laughter.

Both Heavy Rain and Indigo prophecy had the problem that he could set up an interesting mystery, but had no idea how to explain it, so you get a very strong beginning and a mystery that falls apart once you get to the answers.

So it's pretty much like LOST.

Anyone know why cage isn't developing games for pc when he cares that much about graphics?

qeinar:
Anyone know why cage isn't developing games for pc when he cares that much about graphics?

I guess he hasn't mentioned that he cares about money a little bit more...

LazyAza:
If ever their was a human being literally crammed too far up their own ass, it's David Cage. I watched a lets play of Heavy Rain a few months back and I gotta say, wow, like I knew it was bad but eeeesh. I've seen god knows how many crappy movies that weren't as crap as that "game".

Well, the thing is that "Heavy Rain" got a lot of praise, especially when it was new, for moving the genere along in terms of art and so on. Objectively it was kind of crap. A return to the era of "interactive movies" of the sort that choked game shelves when CD Roms were new for PCs and portables, and the industry went through a phase of being obssessed with digitizing real actors to play the role of characters in various games. This lead to things like "Ripper", or "Daedaelus Encounter" (starring Tia Carerra), and numerous others. The ill-fated 3DO was really into this and wound up featuring some of the most godawful games ever featuring terrible actors dressed in even worse costumes. The period DID have a few cult classics though like "The Horde" which starred Kirk Cameron (from Growing Pains) where the digitization didn't have much to do with the gameplay.

A lot of people like me pointed out that this was pretty much the same kind of garbage, just replacing the digitized actors with high quality "uncanny valley" animations to create a semi-interactive cartoon with a "serious" plotline, and got kind of battered badly even if we saw where it was going (that happens with me now).

Today guys like David Cage, high on the hype and praise they received before the gamers and the industry regained their sanity, suffer from cases of unwarrented self importance, and come accross as being both out of touch with reality and utterly pretentious.

That said, Heavy Rain *does* deserve praise for pulling of a few high quality, and sometimes fairly gruelling, scenes. But that's more a standout for a game that came accross as a movie, and had fairly good direction for a movie. It also admittedly touched some chords with some people in the interactions (like father and son) but again, you really can't do a lot to really "play" the game or signifigantly alter the outcome. At the end of the day it's a movie that let's you do exciting things like take control of brushing your character's teeth, and other exercises in sometimes absurd monotiny, on the way to it's handfull of genuinely clever moments.

Such are my thoughts. People praised some of the things the best moments of Heavy Rain made them feel, which has actually caused David Cage to forget pretty much everything everyone said about it, especially once the hype died down, and indeed occasionally sound like a self-help guru setting out to form his own cult of virtual polygon emotions.

Lieju:
Well, I liked Indigo prophecy.

It did cause a strong emotional reaction in me, mostly uncontrollable laughter.

Both Heavy Rain and Indigo prophecy had the problem that he could set up an interesting mystery, but had no idea how to explain it, so you get a very strong beginning and a mystery that falls apart once you get to the answers.

So it's pretty much like LOST.

A genere change can be tricky to pull off, especially if not intended to begin with, OR set up to catch the viewer by surprise. The problem with things like "Indigo Prophecy" is that it leads you to believe it's one thing, but doesn't really pull off the transition from the build up to the climax well. You need to build your wierdness up before dropping it all in a pile. "Heavy Rain" was just mediocre to begin with, it had all the same problems pretty much every seriel-killer mystery does when you really stop to think about it. Pacing tends to be very important, especially with video games.

With LOST, I put it in a differant catagory, largely because there was no excuse for what happened with it. They had more than enough time to pace that show well, but instead they just threw out wierdness after wierdness, and didn't even bother to think about tying it all up until the ratings started to slide, and then went grabbing for any dumb rationales they could use, letting a lot of the established mysteries from early on never really be solved or adequetly explained.

As an example of a show that I think did it fairly well (and continued to survive) I'd point to "Supernatural". It began as a pretty typical "monster of the week" show where a couple of basic action-dudes go to wierd places looking for wierd stuff, and wind up taking it out. It later turned into biblical fantasy with angels, demons, and super monsters greater than either running major corperations. They pulled it off by building into that gradually through the first couple of seasons, which is why it didn't go from being relatively low key to "OMG, Super Saiyans fighting in the middle of the street" the way Indigo Prophecy did. With about 20 or so more hours of game/gamplay working into the finale more gradually Indigo Prophecy could have been good. It made sense, it's just the pacing was terri-bad, way too sudden. :)

In short, I agree with you. Just throwing some of my thoughts out there. :)

Anyone who's played the iOS "Walking Dead" game (the dramatic series, not the Facebook crapfest) can attest that it has extremely primitive 2-d graphics, but HOLY CRAP does it ever carry an emotional punch.

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