A Machine For Pigs: Daddy, Please Don't Kill Me

 Pages PREV 1 2
 

I might not appreciate the "subtleties" of the line of dialog in question, but I found this one of the wankiest EP Yahtzee has done so far.

It's funny that Yahtzee mentions GTA, the poster child for "using as many words as possible to say next to nothing" in game writing. I usually end up checking my phone during that game's cutscenes because they're so long and drawn-out and uninteresting.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Lessons in brevity from Mr Zero Punctuation?

Now I've seen everything...

Mind explaining this comment?

Pyrian:
It's pretty bad when "Daddy, please don't kill me" is cited for its subtlety.

He didn't cite it for subtlety, he said

"Subtlety ties into the same appreciation for elegance and doing a lot with very little. Both the Amnesia games show a great understanding of how a creepy atmosphere is created through small touches."

Essentially saying that whereas many modern games would have a drawn out, exposition rich dialogue sequence, aMfP conveys everything in a tiny 5 word sentence, making it pierce like a bullet. It's not subtlety per se, but it's part of the same idea that letting the mind fill in the blanks makes the message all the clearer and more effective.

Something I think Escapist moderators should take note of.

Thank you very much for this Yahtzee. As someone with a degree in English, a minor in Writing, and aspirations of becoming a novelist, I have a great appreciation for what you did with this article.

That and it brings validations to my views of the game itself. Seems like a LOT of people didn't like this game, saying that it was a boring walking simulator - and understandably so - and that it wasn't nearly as scary as the first game. I disagreed, saying that the horror was a lot more subtle, as you described. The horror comes from the writing itself, and not from running in terror as a shambling monstrosity is breathing down your neck. The game plays like an Edgar Allen Poe story. I know a lot of people who find Poe's writing to be boring, but there is true terror to be found in his words...and it all comes from the writing itself.

The horror of A Machine for Pigs isn't blatant and in-your-face the way it was in Dark Descent, what with the monsters and the insanity meter and the "run for your life!" gameplay. It comes rather from learning of the main character's pasts and the sins he committed there-in, all delivered through fantastic writing.

So thanks again, Yahtzee, for not only providing someone like me with a very interesting article to read, but also validation on my views of the game itself. :3

I agree with this, especially since I find story to be a very important part of video games.

bobleponge:
It's funny that Yahtzee mentions GTA, the poster child for "using as many words as possible to say next to nothing" in game writing.

I thought the poster child was Metal Gear?

romxxii:

bobleponge:
It's funny that Yahtzee mentions GTA, the poster child for "using as many words as possible to say next to nothing" in game writing.

I thought the poster child was Metal Gear?

Metal gear certainly raised the bar in time wasting conversations! I wouldnt have been that bothered if the characters actually had some chemistry and believable dialogue.
Plus, just because i want to save, it isnt code for 'can we talk more bollock plz?'.
I would like to see an option in future MGS where you can just turn off the communications device to not be harrassed like an untrusted child in a shopping centre

To offer a minor and probably irrelevant correction, it's actually six words that are spoken. Daddy is said twice in the beginning. Why twice? Maybe whoever is saying it can't really see this Daddy character, or that Daddy is so far removed from being the person this character once knew that when the moment the two meet for the first time, the use of the "Daddy" twice is an attempt to appeal to his caring, parental side. Sad part is,

Liked it, thanks as always!

OlasDAlmighty:

Pyrian:
It's pretty bad when "Daddy, please don't kill me" is cited for its subtlety.

He didn't cite it for subtlety, he said...

Dropping most of a paragraph to make it look different doesn't change the fact that he went on and on about subtlety and then cited this particular quote as a specific sub-example.

OlasDAlmighty:
Essentially saying that whereas many modern games would have a drawn out, exposition rich dialogue sequence, aMfP conveys everything in a tiny 5 word sentence, making it pierce like a bullet. It's not subtlety per se...

Doing a lot with a little isn't really subtlety at all. It's blatancy, and the quote given is a prime example of being blatant. I'm not saying it's a bad thing; blue is a perfectly good color, but not by dint of being red.

TheMadDoctorsCat:
"Being able to convey an idea with as few words as possible is what shows true mastery of the craft."

Yahtzee, I love your videos, even when we don't agree. And on the original "Amnesia" we don't agree. It stuns me that you would make this point in reference to the sequel of a game that broke the truism that one should "show, not tell" as much as the original "Amnesia" did. It felt like every few steps I took, I was being interrupted by some really badly-executed flashback (cue the blinding white light and slow-motion to infuriatingly take my control away!) that just ruined my immersion of the game. I've played text adventure games on the C64 where I've felt like I've spent less of my time reading stuff from the screen.

And even when it's accompanied by voice-acting (which is not always), the quality is really bad. The guy who plays Daniel especially stands out - and that's the main character! But I've played games with bad voice acting before and loved them (anybody remember Edward Diego from the original "System Shock"?) My biggest issue with "Amnesia" is that the method of delivering the story is just so clunky and forced, and the character of Daniel so unsympathetic, I just don't CARE about it.

I'd much rather they'd have simply made a survival horror game that's a 3D version of "Mummies" or "Pac-Man" or something, than what we actually got. That's not to say that I hated Amnesia - far from it, I played it to the end - but I think it's a drastically flawed game. I don't feel that there's really any "stake" to it, especially when you've died once or twice and realised that there's zero penalty for doing so; and as such there's not really any tension. There's a HELL of a lot of atmosphere - the two levels after you exit the elevator machine especially stand out in that regard - but even then the effect is often spoilt by the flashbacks (which aren't even consistent: I noticed at least two "flashbacks" of events that Daniel wasn't even present at: the deaths of the men in the wine cellar and the guy trapped in the morgue.)

I think the original "Amnesia" is a case of fantastic idea but poor execution. If they'd stuck to working to their strengths - the great visuals, soundtrack, and atmosphere of dread - and got rid of the intrusive "storyline" that is so badly integrated into the gameplay that it takes away from it, then I feel that it would have been so much better.

That's my thoughts on "Amnesia". Given what I like and don't like about it, would I like "Machine for Pigs"? I'd be interested to hear the thoughts of anyone who's played it.

I couldn't disagree with you more, the story was what kept me going with the game. If it wasn't for my investment in the storyline and a desire to figure out what exactly was going on I probably wouldn't have finished the game. Not because I didn't like it, just because it was damn stressful to be kept in that level of tension. Just by the very nature of a good horror game, you should not want to put yourself in the character's shoes. There needs to be something pulling you along through the game, something you want at the end. If it wasn't for the story in Amnesia or an investment in what was going on I would probably have stopped once I experienced the atmosphere for a little while.

That might just be me, but I don't feel like horror on it's own is enough to make a good game. Slender just had horror, and I played that for two rounds before getting bored.

Also, I wouldn't call the white flash dialogue an instance of forgetting the rule to show but not tell. "Show, don't tell" basically criticizes the act of the author or one of their characters describing a character or event in some way. Like saying "Brian was witty and charming" as opposed to giving the reader evidence to come to that conclusion themselves. Communicating the story through dialogue or monologue isn't automatically an example of that. I just looked up the dialogue from the game, and I see no examples of the author telling us what to think of things, it's all based around letting the player draw their own conclusions from what they hear

As a finishing note, am I the only one who actually liked Daniel's voice actor? He wasn't amazing but he fit the role he needed to pretty well.

OT: This makes me want to try A Machine for Pigs all the more. While the linearity, gameplay and lack of danger sound off-putting, the story sounds really interesting

Rather interesting Mr. Croshaw. I liked listening to your un-Yahtzee persona in this very different tone. It mixed very well with the ZP style plus you do analysis fine. I hope we'll get more commentary in this vein in the times to come.

d(-_-)b <----- Solemn aproval.

PS: I haven't played this Amnesia, I just started the previous one a couple of days ago, but I was thinking while reading the first part of your article, "You know what would be really creepy?, if the voice would be of a grown up". True story ;)

I was in 2 minds about this article. It's kind of like saying the dialogue in Man Of Steel is better than Pacific Rim. Using a relative comparison with pretty low standards. Then I played the new Flashback game and Conrad said "awesome-sauce" to express sarcastic appreciation, and suddenly this article is a ray of shining light.

Oh man, please let more people write analyses like this one.

It's been so long since I heard someone care about the way a sentence is put together.

llagrok:

Vale:
Fair enough. I disagreed with regards to AMFP's writing, not in that the prose itself is bad, but because it was unpleasantly anvilicious, without being genuinely vicious /see that pun? it burnssss/ or alternatively, introspective about its central and all-permeating metaphor (what the machine and what New Year's Eve symbolize together, which is explained in detail at the end of the game, but not in a particularly interesting way).

Anvilicious isn't a real word.

Ilagrok ain't one either.

The Almighty Aardvark:

TheMadDoctorsCat:
"Being able to convey an idea with as few words as possible is what shows true mastery of the craft."

Yahtzee, I love your videos, even when we don't agree. And on the original "Amnesia" we don't agree. It stuns me that you would make this point in reference to the sequel of a game that broke the truism that one should "show, not tell" as much as the original "Amnesia" did. It felt like every few steps I took, I was being interrupted by some really badly-executed flashback (cue the blinding white light and slow-motion to infuriatingly take my control away!) that just ruined my immersion of the game. I've played text adventure games on the C64 where I've felt like I've spent less of my time reading stuff from the screen.

And even when it's accompanied by voice-acting (which is not always), the quality is really bad. The guy who plays Daniel especially stands out - and that's the main character! But I've played games with bad voice acting before and loved them (anybody remember Edward Diego from the original "System Shock"?) My biggest issue with "Amnesia" is that the method of delivering the story is just so clunky and forced, and the character of Daniel so unsympathetic, I just don't CARE about it.

I'd much rather they'd have simply made a survival horror game that's a 3D version of "Mummies" or "Pac-Man" or something, than what we actually got. That's not to say that I hated Amnesia - far from it, I played it to the end - but I think it's a drastically flawed game. I don't feel that there's really any "stake" to it, especially when you've died once or twice and realised that there's zero penalty for doing so; and as such there's not really any tension. There's a HELL of a lot of atmosphere - the two levels after you exit the elevator machine especially stand out in that regard - but even then the effect is often spoilt by the flashbacks (which aren't even consistent: I noticed at least two "flashbacks" of events that Daniel wasn't even present at: the deaths of the men in the wine cellar and the guy trapped in the morgue.)

I think the original "Amnesia" is a case of fantastic idea but poor execution. If they'd stuck to working to their strengths - the great visuals, soundtrack, and atmosphere of dread - and got rid of the intrusive "storyline" that is so badly integrated into the gameplay that it takes away from it, then I feel that it would have been so much better.

That's my thoughts on "Amnesia". Given what I like and don't like about it, would I like "Machine for Pigs"? I'd be interested to hear the thoughts of anyone who's played it.

I couldn't disagree with you more, the story was what kept me going with the game. If it wasn't for my investment in the storyline and a desire to figure out what exactly was going on I probably wouldn't have finished the game. Not because I didn't like it, just because it was damn stressful to be kept in that level of tension. Just by the very nature of a good horror game, you should not want to put yourself in the character's shoes. There needs to be something pulling you along through the game, something you want at the end. If it wasn't for the story in Amnesia or an investment in what was going on I would probably have stopped once I experienced the atmosphere for a little while.

That might just be me, but I don't feel like horror on it's own is enough to make a good game. Slender just had horror, and I played that for two rounds before getting bored.

Also, I wouldn't call the white flash dialogue an instance of forgetting the rule to show but not tell. "Show, don't tell" basically criticizes the act of the author or one of their characters describing a character or event in some way. Like saying "Brian was witty and charming" as opposed to giving the reader evidence to come to that conclusion themselves. Communicating the story through dialogue or monologue isn't automatically an example of that. I just looked up the dialogue from the game, and I see no examples of the author telling us what to think of things, it's all based around letting the player draw their own conclusions from what they hear

As a finishing note, am I the only one who actually liked Daniel's voice actor? He wasn't amazing but he fit the role he needed to pretty well.

OT: This makes me want to try A Machine for Pigs all the more. While the linearity, gameplay and lack of danger sound off-putting, the story sounds really interesting

The second "Slender" game had much more of a storyline, although I wasn't a huge fan of how that was presented either. When you look up a wiki after finishing a game and find out that you're playing a completely different character to the one you thought you were playing, there's something seriously wrong. It wasn't the method by which it was told that bothered me in "Slender" though - I thought it did that really well - but rather the scarcity of detail. Some ambiguity is great, leaves you wondering what's going on but eager to find out more. Too much of it can be frustrating, and "Slender: The Arrival" definitely erred on that side of things for me.

That said... the thing I did really like about "Slender: The Arrival" is that you got to EXPERIENCE the story. I don't think I ever had that feeling in "Amnesia".

 Pages PREV 1 2

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here