Everyone's Favorite Crutch

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Indigo_Dingo:

rekabdarb:

Indigo_Dingo:

rekabdarb:

meatloaf231:
Yep, you've certainly got this right. QTEs are a developer being too lazy to actually implement any non-standard gameplay mechanics.

Imagine the terrible time we would be living in if the developers of Shadow of the Colossus had decided to just go with QTEs.

they did... i think the people who did god of war did shadow of the colossus

No they didn't, they just work under the same company. That's like saying Thief and Hitman were developed by the same company.

coulda sworn David Jaffe did programming on both...

Why would David Jaffe work with a Japanese company? Not saying anything against either party, but it seems like they wouldn't have appreciated an American who had some rather unsophisticated work under his belt at the time coming in and telling them how to do their job.

well righto, i thought he did don't need to get angsty

I dunno, when they catch me off guard they are fun.

However, unlike most people when they catch me off guard I hit the right button and live. I can see why people with slow reaction times do not enjoy them though.

Uncharted, for example, caught me off guard with the QTE and it gave a nice quick surge of adrenaline as I was completely not expecting it. Middle of a cut scene in the middle of the game then SURPRISE PRESS Y. Some of you posted "Alternatives" but really it just looks like the same system only more complicated. Press a direction to Dodge? Okay? Same thing as the game telling you to press Y. Would you like the game to not tell you to press Y but you are suppose to do it? I'm fine with that but I would expect tears.

You guys understand the alternative is to NOT have a quicktime event and simply let the cutscene run without you pressing a button? Maybe just lower the difficulty settings if you really, really don't like them. I'm sure the developers will give you a solid 10 seconds of reaction on Super My Little Pony Easy Mode but for the rest of us who the first thing they do in Oblivion is max out the difficulty setting and then spend five minutes at the start of the game fighting and kite/healing the rats that other difficulty settings let you one shot but in this case now require 15 swings of your sword, I kinda like quick time events and when used properly can provide me with an excellent experience.

SirSchmoopy:
You guys understand the alternative is to NOT have a quicktime event and simply let the cutscene run without you pressing a button?

Maybe some people would rather just enjoy the cutscene? I know it's a fairly laughable concept in this day and age when in-game graphics rival that of cinematic, and many stories being so bad you'd rather just skip over it. Maybe I'm just old.

the first time i remember seeing QTEs was in the Die Hard Arcade Game (which was a great game and a huge quarter suck, if i remember correctly). I don't like them, and I'm only mildly indifferent to their use in the GoW, there weren't so many that it felt annoying, but using them during major fights is extremely lame. they were implemented well during the falling structure sequence in GoW 2.

Bongo Bill:
Shamus is doing proper articles, now? Seems like I picked the right time to resume reading.

Shamus has been doing 'proper' articles for a long, long time.

It's a great blog and you should read it. I do, and I love it.

ironfist86:
the first time i remember seeing QTEs was in the Die Hard Arcade Game (which was a great game and a huge quarter suck, if i remember correctly). I don't like them, and I'm only mildly indifferent to their use in the GoW, there weren't so many that it felt annoying, but using them during major fights is extremely lame. they were implemented well during the falling structure sequence in GoW 2.

You mean the one where he was smashing marble pillars with his forehead? Or the one where you had to grapple with the phoenix to get it to fly you to the temple of the Fates?

SirSchmoopy:
You guys understand the alternative is to NOT have a quicktime event and simply let the cutscene run without you pressing a button?

That sounds good to me. I have played a lot of games where that's exactly how cutscenes work. It has happened a lot of times during a villains speech that I wanted my character to attack instead of standing and listening to the yappering, but I can't recall any moment I ever desired for a button prompt that I need to follow else I have to start the cutscene over.

Come to think of it, letting you character interrupt boring monologues would be an awesome alternative to just let the cutscene run. Whenever an enemy talks, you can press X to have your controlled character open fire. I'm sure almost everyone wanted to do that against Salazar.

Crystalgate:

Come to think of it, letting you character interrupt boring monologues would be an awesome alternative to just let the cutscene run. Whenever an enemy talks, you can press X to have your controlled character open fire. I'm sure almost everyone wanted to do that against Salazar.

Fable 2 and it wasn't very awesome.

Death to quick time events!

Thank you so much for this commentary. I'm halfway through reading it but just had to say: I'm a long-time PC gamer and just recently bought a PS3, and have run into what you call these "quick time events" multiple times now. The worst offender was Prince of Persia which is otherwise a reasonably good game. The screen would tell me to press some button, sometimes really fast over and over, and I'm like "whatever dude, no, I don't want to push that button, I had something else in mind." I gave in and eventually figured how my 39 yo reflexes could beat the silly "tapping test" maybe half the time-- but I totally gave up on that "hit this button" reaction test. It wasn't so much I couldn't do it but felt like a complete idiot for even trying. If you go on like this long enough in Prince of Persia combat it eventually turns down the "skill" requirements with time or number of deaths or something so finally I would kill they guy and feel totally unsatisfied about it.

So, thank you for giving a name to one of the things that makes console games inferior to PC games. I really want to like console games, I mean sitting back on the couch in front of the TV has to be great, but I hope game designers will learn that quick time events are not satisfying gameplay or good game design.

Lots of people are bad at parallel parking, but no matter how awesome a parking job you do, people aren't going to line up on the sidewalk to give you high-fives afterward.

Not true: I drive a Chevy Silverado and live in San Francisco and, unlike quick time events, am ace at parallel parking, and though I've gotten no high-fives I've entertained many an audience and received plenty of complimentary nods. =p

SirSchmoopy:
Fable 2 and it wasn't very awesome.

I haven't really played that game, so I don't know how that feature is implemented there. Do you get dark side points or something?

In any case, it does sound like a fun idea to me. At least it would let me skip boring villain speeches. I can't see anything wrong in that.

Indigo_Dingo:

ironfist86:
the first time i remember seeing QTEs was in the Die Hard Arcade Game (which was a great game and a huge quarter suck, if i remember correctly). I don't like them, and I'm only mildly indifferent to their use in the GoW, there weren't so many that it felt annoying, but using them during major fights is extremely lame. they were implemented well during the falling structure sequence in GoW 2.

You mean the one where he was smashing marble pillars with his forehead? Or the one where you had to grapple with the phoenix to get it to fly you to the temple of the Fates?

i think it was the one with the phoenix. you had to swing from pillar to pillar as they were collapsing.

Shamus, I bow before thee!

[quote="Tryss" post="6.87003.1300503"]What makes Quick time events even MORE messed up is that I have both a ps3 and a 360. the X is not in the same place. So invariably I mess up a few more times than usual because they decided to be annoying. :P/quote]

Wouldn't be awesome if the Xbox didn't have an X button? that almost be blasphemous!

In the right situation they are okay. Like in God of War when trying not to get stabbed in the face.

Crystalgate:

SirSchmoopy:
Fable 2 and it wasn't very awesome.

I haven't really played that game, so I don't know how that feature is implemented there. Do you get dark side points or something?

In any case, it does sound like a fun idea to me. At least it would let me skip boring villain speeches. I can't see anything wrong in that.

Last boss of the game. Two words in I shot him then the credits rolled.

It sounds good on paper but it really.. really is not the same.

I don't mind Quick Time Events, but mostly because of their cinematic quality. My first experience with a QTE was Dragon's Lair in the Arcade, and that was one long QTE! Heck, I remember playing Wirehead http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wirehead_(video_game) on SegaCD for days upon days. It was one of the first games I ever bought with my own money. I like the idea of a playable movie, and QTE's are usually more action or rhythm packed - like in Sly Cooper's first game (for me, it's still one of the most unique and memorable boss battles I've ever experienced).

The charm of seeing "video" in games has long worn off as graphics have only grown more and more realistic. I may love them, but I can understand where it gets annoying though - games that use the mechanic to break up a different style of gameplay ruin the experience the player is having in the same way throwing a car into reverse while driving at 90 miles per hour ruins a transmission. Designers need to give players a chance to adjust to a change in style. For me the reason a QTE works in a game like Sly Cooper is because it is explained before I have to tackle it, and there's not too much penalty for failure. The reason a QTE doesn't work for me in God of War is because I have to make the change from jumping and dodging and hacking and slashing - to suddenly having to survive a button timed cut scene tougher than the end of Space Ace to pull off a Gorgon's head or have half (or more) of my health chomped out of my skull.

The worst implementation of QTEs has to be in that ill-fated Xbox360 RPG, Blue Dragon. RPG fans are oftentimes RPG fans because they are not very dexterous. Blue Dragon not only features several rail-shooter segments (complete with achievements requiring a 'perfect' run on each), but a whole lot of stupid QTE-in-cutscene action and, even more incredibly, some button-mashing challenges.

As in, smash the A button super-fast for several minutes or THE ROBOTS ARE COMING IN THE DOOR!!

The mechanic is just totally out of place in a game like this, where core gameplay consists of roaming around sedately and doing some turn-based 'FIGHT/MAGIC/FLEE' menu stuff.

SirSchmoopy:

Crystalgate:

SirSchmoopy:
Fable 2 and it wasn't very awesome.

I haven't really played that game, so I don't know how that feature is implemented there. Do you get dark side points or something?

In any case, it does sound like a fun idea to me. At least it would let me skip boring villain speeches. I can't see anything wrong in that.

Last boss of the game. Two words in I shot him then the credits rolled.

It sounds good on paper but it really.. really is not the same.

I finally found the scene and had the plot summarized. It seems to me that you can only make one poor ending slightly less poor by shooting him. There are at least two other people one would want to shoot as well, but the option never comes. Also, before that there has been a quintillion of cases where such an option was simple denied. What I was thinking about was more in line of that anytime you have a villain in range you can choose to attack him rather that letting him talk about his plans or whatever he feels like revealing.

Still, I guess you're right. It's only when the story is written by monkeys that I really feel the desire to shut the villain up right now. In those games the writing will be atrocious no matter what.

I don't mind them, when they make sense...I personally thought the ones in Jericho made sense, since the button you pressed corresponded to the body part that would be used. But any sequence were you just mash a button for some arbitrary reason needs to die.

Ok, how could you post an article on the Escapist about QTEs and *not* refer to them as "Press X to Not Die"?! It's like, the law or something.

Anyway, on the subject of Ninja Chefs: we have an ad on TV along those lines -- try Googling for "instant kiwi" ninja. (I'd post a direct link but I'm at work at the moment so can't get to any video sites.)

And yes, QTEs mostly suck. It was quite hard to follow many of the cutscenes in Fahrenheit, for example, because I had to focus on the floating Simon Says indicators instead. At least they were in the centre of the screen, not off in one corner where you can't see the fricken things.

Fahrenheit got it right. One reasons being that the player, like the character, was often reacting to unexpected events. Another reason is that often, messing up the QTE's didn't stop the game from advancing, just made it harder. It was used very imaginatively as well, including playing a song on the guitar to make the main character feel better (you had to keep your character sane in this game).

The only thing they did wrong was not implementing it into the totally pointless sex scene they shoe-horned in. I mean the scene was shoe-horned into the plot, not anything else.

vdgmprgrmr:

Bongo Bill:
Shamus is doing proper articles, now? Seems like I picked the right time to resume reading.

Shamus has been doing 'proper' articles for a long, long time.

It's a great blog and you should read it. I do, and I love it.

How do you think I discovered Stolen Pixels?

Anyway, on the topic, the God Of War series is innovating in Quick Time Events again, as it appears branching QTE's are in fact a reality of the game.

I would suggest placing the QTE combo in a visible place at the screen before the sequence begins. Thus, you could enter the combo and then see the result.
Just as a parenthesis, I noticed one sentence failing utterly, one word missing at a place, and a "the" instead of a "that". Really killed the flow as I was reading. That is all.

The Iron Ninja:
I enjoyed the mention of Ninja Chefs.
I propose getting the Cooking Mama people to team up with the Tenchu people.

As Sparta's Greatest Ninja, I challenge you to a chef-off! Cleavers at dawn?

Quicktime events can be appropriate on occasion. I understand their place in arcade games, for example. Anywhere else it seems like irritating lengthening, a bit like the cut-scenes in the FF turn-based combat. They're pretty the first time, after that not so much.

Personally, I thought it was a nice touch, and honestly there are some games that do it right and some that do it wrong. I more or less like them, its not really good or bad in my opinion it's just there. Like the Kojima mega-cutscene or the mushrooms in Mario. I have to say in taking a martial art, I'm able to sit back from the screen and take it all in and still hit the cues on time so maybe it's a little easier for me.

I have been hit with the "Oh, crap ineteracive cutscene" moments but usually you don't lose a lot of ground for failure and it doesn't take me many trys to get it right. I also don't have the best hand-eye coordination in the world. I suck so bad at DDR it's absurd and have probably received a cease-and-desist order or two. Honestly I don't think I failed one QTE in Resident Evil 5 when I played but got killed by the freaking truck twenty times because I wanted to kill the driver for an achievement (Another issue in modern gaming I've seen fuss generated over). It's obviously different for other people, but it's a far better convention in video games than run right, or break the crate, and we still have that crap.

Shamus Young:
Everyone's Favorite Crutch

Quick Time Events are an understandable shortcut for developers, but do they really have to suck quite so much?

Permalink

This was genius article, nice job :)

Don't give Peter Molyneux credit he doesn't deserve:

"Chant to possess your farts, chant again to detonate them"
--Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, 1998

I basically agree with you, one thing though. That thing about "the Triangle button is the inventory" thing doesn't just happen to new players. It also happens to players who allow themselves to become immersed in the game.

I have been playing Play Station since SP1, I believe the first Dual Shock came out only a year or so after the consoles launch and the controller basically hasn't changed since. However, even though I've been using the same controller for so long, when I'm playing I still can't tell you what the buttons are. When I'm immersed in a game the controller doesn't exist for me. When I want to jump, or use a hock-shot or whatever, I don't think X or Square I just do that action. QTEs destroy all the immersion for me and force me to think where the buttons are again. Not to mention that I miss out on what was actually going on in the cut-scene, as you stated in the articular.

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