Developer Insists Dead Island Trailer Was Not Misleading

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Developer Insists Dead Island Trailer Was Not Misleading

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Deep Silver believes other Dead Island assets conveyed the game's true nature adequately.

Remember the Dead Island CGI trailer? The really emotional one that promised to tell a heartbreaking tale of impossible survival during the zombie apocalypse? Well, needless to say, the game didn't quite turn out like that. Although Dead Island received a fairly warm critical reception and turned in enough sales for a spinoff title, Riptide, its tone was much more "pulp adventure" than "dramatic survival." Deep Silver, however, maintains that calling this trailer misleading is "ridiculous," stating that there were more than enough other materials to get an idea of how the game would really play out.

"We did many gameplay trailers with in-game footage before the release, so labelling the CGI misleading would be ridiculous. We never pretended to be something different," explains Guido Eickmeyer, Deep Silver's creative director. Eickmeyer argues that, in addition to providing prospective players with a variety of pre-release material, Dead Island still provided an emotional experience. Playing cooperatively against zombie hordes with strangers or friends produced feelings of intensity and horror instead of sorrow.

Finally, Eickmeyer believes that the videogame industry should not feel so tethered to traditional narratives anyway. "Games live by user stories, not pre-defined narratives," he says. "For watching a scripted experience, I still prefer a good movie." An interesting viewpoint, although one has to wonder where a "cinematic trailer" falls on this continuum.

Source: VideoGamer.com

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"Yeah that TOTALY happend in the game, we just didn't show it." ~_~

You keep telling yourself that,Guido,you just keep telling yourslef that.

So essentially, this trailer wasn't misleading cause there was lots of other stuff showing how bad the actual game was in comparison? Not exactly a great defense.

I remember my time in dead island, realizing I hates all the playable characters by the time I got to the slums. Then stopping the game entirely while grinding through the jungle when I read up how the whole thing ends. Apparently riptide follows the same people too.... yeah really skipping that. I'd like to think you can make dead island as a coop focused loot game while still having an emotionally satisfying bit of narrative like the trailer had.

There ere a ton of articles saying it was just an art piece not representational of the game at the time. Then again, a lot gamers are not like us escapists and only watch the videos, not bothering to read the articles.

I have to agree with them. Any idiot that believes a CGI trailer represents actual gameplay is just that: an idiot. Honestly, I don't see anyone going up in arms against Blizzard, the masters of CGI trickery, who always has a CGI that shows off things that are impossible in their actual games.

Why don't we all just try and sue Blizzard because their Mists of Panderia CGI showed The Horde and The Alliance working together to fight a Panda; and that in PvP a Panda can take on other people else 1vs2; and that they can use environmental weapons; and that they can do acrobatic somersaults while kicking people in the face? After all...that's the "emotional tone" that was set in their trailer. It's only right to expect that everything in the trailer -not the gameplay videos- represents what's actually in the game.

Yeah, it WAS misleading. From heartbreaking family breakdown to "Who do you Voodoo, Bitch!" is quite the tonal shift. And, guess what, the TONE of something IS important and it WAS misleading.

That said, they aren't exactly alone. Remember Gary Jules' "Madworld" for Gears of War?

I agree with him. I saw E3 footage before I ever came across that trailer and was amazed that most of the reason people were criticising the game was because they built their expectations off the cinematic trailer. I mean come on just from the E3 footage you could tell this game had the emotional depth of a cat and was a simple zombie-ocalypse run and gun hack and slash.

Trishbot:
Yeah, it WAS misleading. From heartbreaking family breakdown to "Who do you Voodoo, Bitch!" is quite the tonal shift. And, guess what, the TONE of something IS important and it WAS misleading.

That said, they aren't exactly alone. Remember Gary Jules' "Madworld" for Gears of War?

If only Gears of War had taken that kind of atmosphere into the game... I still like the series, but damn it had so much more potential than being another cheesy-dialogue ridden shooter without any emotion. The books did a better job of it, but people shouldn't need to read them to get the same feeling.

in other news: they're full of shit!

if the game had even 10% of the drama this trailer had


it would be great.

but no, we have to play as 4 unlikable douches, which one is a drunk hit and run driver.

also the gamplay trailer mostly shows just that, gameplay, not much the tone of the story.

so people thought, yeah i will be slaying me some zombies but its going to have a depressing and perhaps thought provoking messages in the story..

and thats something dead island didnt deliver. the only sad moment was when you met the guy in the pool...

also they are just trying to do that same thing again with their new trailer

Deathfish15:
I have to agree with them. Any idiot that believes a CGI trailer represents actual gameplay is just that: an idiot. Honestly, I don't see anyone going up in arms against Blizzard, the masters of CGI trickery, who always has a CGI that shows off things that are impossible in their actual games.

Why don't we all just try and sue Blizzard because their Mists of Panderia CGI showed The Horde and The Alliance working together to fight a Panda; and that in PvP a Panda can take on other people else 1vs2; and that they can use environmental weapons; and that they can do acrobatic somersaults while kicking people in the face? After all...that's the "emotional tone" that was set in their trailer. It's only right to expect that everything in the trailer -not the gameplay videos- represents what's actually in the game.

There's a difference between not being actual gameplay and not trying to evoke the same themes/emotions as the game.

It seems like there are increasingly more bizarre comments and ideas coming out of Deep Silver every day.

*reposted from facebook post*
I agree that user experience in a game is different than what you would see in a movie, though don't you think that as a media video games should try to follow what movies and books do? It's the only way too actually diversify yourself from the same old thing, and while new mechanics and "gimmicks" with the Wii is the way most developers think the future is, it's not really what most gamers want. Think if The Walking Dead (a good example of how to make a Zombie game) was motion control all the way, without the amazing story and diverse storytelling? It would be crap! That's why you should also focus on a good narrative; not just the user experience.

I thought it was a terrible trailer just for not revealing any information that everyone didn't already know, ie. there are zombies on a resort island, and for showing less gameplay than a Final Fantasy trailer.

I hadn't even considered how it didn't present the tone of the player's perspective.

This is still an issue? This long afterwards?

It's funny because actually playing the game both solo and in groups the only "feeling" I got was that I shouldn't use weapons since they'll break after four hits and that jump kicking zombies to death was the only viable option. Then once I had an abundance of stuff to make bullets with I just shot the bastards. So the tense feelings I got was, jump, find a work bench and "shit this broke again", much like that trailer. mmmhmmmmm. If the ripoff.. errr spinoff is more of the same I'll just go ahead and pass.

Did Deep Silver just get access to the internet or something? Throughout Dead Island's hype, release and criticism there was not a peep from them. Now they can't shut up.

Also. Yeah. The trailer was very misleading. The trailer implies a survival game with a sorrowful tone. What I played was the Sam B Sledgehammer Quartet.

A lot of trailers are misleading, just look at Dragon Age: Origins. Trailer was amazing, game was bland and boring as hell. The trailer made it look like there was actually going to be combat in the game.

DVS BSTrD:
"Yeah that TOTALY happend in the game, we just didn't show it." ~_~

Teeechnically, the dead bodies of that couple are in the hotel

doesn't really change anything though

i seem to be the only person on the planet that enjoyed the trailer and the game despite the main characters having the worst accents and personalities in gaming

The teaser trailer for Dead Island would have been more suited (actually, virtually perfect) as a teaser for TTG's Walking Dead. I just finished it last night, and I shed a few tears.

Skeleon:
This is still an issue? This long afterwards?

They tried the same crap again with Riptide. I am guessing they are trying to do some damage control since we won't be falling for the same thing twice.

Harker067:

Deathfish15:
I have to agree with them. Any idiot that believes a CGI trailer represents actual gameplay is just that: an idiot. Honestly, I don't see anyone going up in arms against Blizzard, the masters of CGI trickery, who always has a CGI that shows off things that are impossible in their actual games.

Why don't we all just try and sue Blizzard because their Mists of Panderia CGI showed The Horde and The Alliance working together to fight a Panda; and that in PvP a Panda can take on other people else 1vs2; and that they can use environmental weapons; and that they can do acrobatic somersaults while kicking people in the face? After all...that's the "emotional tone" that was set in their trailer. It's only right to expect that everything in the trailer -not the gameplay videos- represents what's actually in the game.

There's a difference between not being actual gameplay and not trying to evoke the same themes/emotions as the game.

And yet there's no difference between the Mists of Pandaria trailer to it's game and the Dead Island trailer and it's game. Same theme/emotion screw up. See, if you'd have seen the trailer knowing nothing of the game, you'd think that first this human and this green orc are at battles, but then set aside their differences to fight against a Panda. Only after that the Panda shows them this peaceful land and everything is surreal. This isn't the case at all, and there's more separation in MoP than there was for WotLK, in which both factions at least shared the same city.

I'm sorry if some of you didn't catch some emotional themes in Dead Island, but that's your fault/lose, not the developers. The game had some very deeply emotional areas like when the mechanic shop girl had to kill her own father who turned zombie. There was also a part about a woman's husband who was in a bathroom dying and was bitten. You could save her as well as kill him. Just because the game had lots of action within it, doesn't mean it was in any way "gimped" in emotional story.

In general I'm getting sick of this. The bottom line is that the gaming industry needs to understand that gamers are getting tired of being lied to. The justifications don't matter, everyone on both sides knows exactly what's up. You show a trailer that is nothing at all like the game being made, and people are going to get upset with you. Other information being potentially availible is irrelevent.

It's sort of like when a game makes promises on a pre-order box or whatever, that happen to be untrue, a point made on a website or buried in a forum mentioned by a developer, that doesn't cover you for not lying, it just makes you an even bigger scumbag because you should have known better.

To me the excuses about marketing and game developers not talking to each other, and so on, don't matter. All that matters is the results. It's the job of the industry to keep this stuff in line, noone else's. The guys making the game and taking the money are responsible for the information circulated about it, period.

For years the industry has gotten away with taking turds, glossing them up with slick marketing and movies, and people are catching on the industry is taking flak for it. The industry doesn't need to cry, or try and justify themselves, it needs to change otherwise people are just going to get angrier.

One thing I will say for "Dead Island" though is that it WAS a decent game, if not the game a lot of people thought it was going to be. As a result Deep Silver has gotten some crap, but not as much as they would have if the game was genuinely awful, it would not have succeeded well enough to get a sequel.

Also I'll be honest, if your complaining about reaction to your marketing as opposed to what you delivered, be glad your not EA/Bioware. They went through a LOT of effort to lie to people about the ending of Mass Effect 3 and what it was going to entail. They not only failed to deliver on their promises, but released a "behind the scenes app" in which they more or less say that they never had any intention of keeping those promises. Pretty much going "hahaha, we punked you...". The reaction was titanic, and the rage is still ongoing.... In short, shut up and change, and be glad you aren't these guys. Any other company would have been destroyed, and truthfully, I have a feeling the real reckoning over this might still be to arrive, a lot is going to revolve around what happens when EA/Bioware releases their next big franchise game and how much damage they repair to the "Dragon Age" and "Mass Effect" names. From what I've seen so far, and the attitudes projected... it's probably going to be pretty epic. Given that they didn't change the endings and seem to be following their recent design paradigm, your probably going to see a once lionized company die, in comparison to "Deep Silver" which comparitively speaking got a slap on the wrist.

Deep Silver, and other companies, need to learn when to zip it, and realize that trying to "explain themselves" when everyone knows the score, just makes things worse. Sell "Riptide", let actions redeem you, don't try and claim you didn't pull a scummy move with the first game, we all saw it, and you can't rewrite history.

Since when is this an issue? Any trailer and cutscene without gameplay could be considered misleading by the same metrics... Have you seen any Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft, The Old Republic or Elder Scrolls trailers? Or any other MMO trailer for that matter... The TV commercial of Black Ops 2 had Robert Downey Jr driving a jet... a Jet! I am half expecting the uproar of people calling the FTC on any of those.

The trailer was not misleading. It had zombies, it had weapons, it had a tropical setting... all you need to know is there.

While it was misleading, yeah, they did a pretty poor job of pretending the game would be like that. So...is it a defence if you fail at whatever false advertising you were going for?

I agree. There was plenty of gameplay footage released after that trailer that clearly showed the game would be nothing like that. It was disappointing, yes, but nobody was mislead into paying for that game through that one early trailer, and if they were, they were foolish to ignore all contrary information available.

The passion of people to still care about this so long after should demonstrate how well a game like the trailer would do.

Sure it was. All cinimatic trailers for games are naturally misleading to some degree.
...some more than others...
But it's a bit odd to be calling attention to that now. The game's been out of over a year.

Deep Silver, however, maintains that calling this trailer misleading is "ridiculous," stating that there were more than enough other materials to get an idea of how the game would really play out.

"...Three out of four of the canisters on the counter do not contain sulpheric acid, therefore suggesting that one of the canisters is "acidic" is ridiculous."

And I'm sure they bent over backwards to insist that the game was nothing like the trailer when they were negotiating the movie rights... http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/107877-UPDATE-Dead-Island-Trailer-Buzz-Ensures-Movie-Deal

Look, guys. The game, by most rights, was okay. And you pretty much got away with the bait-and-switch. But you don't get to rewrite history and say that bait-and-switch never happened; it did, and people remember that, and they should.

Deathfish15:
I have to agree with them. Any idiot that believes a CGI trailer represents actual gameplay is just that: an idiot. Honestly, I don't see anyone going up in arms against Blizzard, the masters of CGI trickery, who always has a CGI that shows off things that are impossible in their actual games.

Why don't we all just try and sue Blizzard because their Mists of Panderia CGI showed The Horde and The Alliance working together to fight a Panda; and that in PvP a Panda can take on other people else 1vs2; and that they can use environmental weapons; and that they can do acrobatic somersaults while kicking people in the face? After all...that's the "emotional tone" that was set in their trailer. It's only right to expect that everything in the trailer -not the gameplay videos- represents what's actually in the game.

For me I never look at a CGI trailer and say "oh alright this is what the game play will look like." Because you're right that that is silly. But let's look at World of Warcraft cinamatics and the feel they go for for each cinamatic is recognizable in the game/expansion they connect to. First WoW CGI for example said there will be adventure PVP PVE and big sprawling vistas, it wasn't aiming for a overarching plot and in the vanilla version of WOW that's exactly what it was. Now take my personal favorite of the five cinamatics Wrath of the Lich King and it's CLEARLY focused on a plot, on the weight regret, the power that the Lich King wields, and how it's all coming alive again... and that's pretty much where the focus of the entire expansion was. Infact in every cinamatic Blizzard puts out the CGI is easy to see how it connects to the expansion, and that's where the Dead Island trailer failed.

It was a good CGI, that had no bearing on the themes of the game, so it was absolutely misleading. Should Deep Silver be shoved off a cliff with fire and pitch forks? No obviously not but they shouldn't defend their choice either when people point out accurately that the cinamatic makes no sense in connection to the game, they should say "sorry we'll be more careful next time". I think Deep Silver is just kind of going for controversy lately, like I have no idea how they would think that little statue they putout wouldn't cause a shit storm after 2012 the mother of all gaming shit storm years.

You want misleading? How about advertising local co-op on the box and then not having it in the game. Fuck you guys, that's the only reason I bought the damn game. It went back that same day.

Deathfish15:

Harker067:

Deathfish15:
I have to agree with them. Any idiot that believes a CGI trailer represents actual gameplay is just that: an idiot. Honestly, I don't see anyone going up in arms against Blizzard, the masters of CGI trickery, who always has a CGI that shows off things that are impossible in their actual games.

Why don't we all just try and sue Blizzard because their Mists of Panderia CGI showed The Horde and The Alliance working together to fight a Panda; and that in PvP a Panda can take on other people else 1vs2; and that they can use environmental weapons; and that they can do acrobatic somersaults while kicking people in the face? After all...that's the "emotional tone" that was set in their trailer. It's only right to expect that everything in the trailer -not the gameplay videos- represents what's actually in the game.

There's a difference between not being actual gameplay and not trying to evoke the same themes/emotions as the game.

And yet there's no difference between the Mists of Pandaria trailer to it's game and the Dead Island trailer and it's game. Same theme/emotion screw up. See, if you'd have seen the trailer knowing nothing of the game, you'd think that first this human and this green orc are at battles, but then set aside their differences to fight against a Panda. Only after that the Panda shows them this peaceful land and everything is surreal. This isn't the case at all, and there's more separation in MoP than there was for WotLK, in which both factions at least shared the same city.

I'm sorry if some of you didn't catch some emotional themes in Dead Island, but that's your fault/lose, not the developers. The game had some very deeply emotional areas like when the mechanic shop girl had to kill her own father who turned zombie. There was also a part about a woman's husband who was in a bathroom dying and was bitten. You could save her as well as kill him. Just because the game had lots of action within it, doesn't mean it was in any way "gimped" in emotional story.

No oddly enough it's not my fault their game didn't make me like it. I went in wanting to like the game I actually enjoy some of the mechanical aspects of it. However Jin was the only one I cared about in the entire game, all the main characters were horrible people. I didn't want to spell it out but learning what happened to her the the end (compared to the main characters cough) is why I gave up on the game. If the rest of the main characters had half the character growth and humanity of Jin I wouldn't have a problem with dead island or its trailer. Unfortunately they're a bunch of self centered jack asses. If it wasn't for those eight deadly words I'd have actually enjoyed the game and have no problem with it. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EightDeadlyWords

As for pandaria, an action scene between orcs, humans and pandas seems to be the exact kind of high fantasy adventure that at least part of WoW is trying to appeal to. Other then that see Scorpid.

Scorpid:

Deathfish15:
I have to agree with them. Any idiot that believes a CGI trailer represents actual gameplay is just that: an idiot. Honestly, I don't see anyone going up in arms against Blizzard, the masters of CGI trickery, who always has a CGI that shows off things that are impossible in their actual games.

Why don't we all just try and sue Blizzard because their Mists of Panderia CGI showed The Horde and The Alliance working together to fight a Panda; and that in PvP a Panda can take on other people else 1vs2; and that they can use environmental weapons; and that they can do acrobatic somersaults while kicking people in the face? After all...that's the "emotional tone" that was set in their trailer. It's only right to expect that everything in the trailer -not the gameplay videos- represents what's actually in the game.

For me I never look at a CGI trailer and say "oh alright this is what the game play will look like." Because you're right that that is silly. But let's look at World of Warcraft cinamatics and the feel they go for for each cinamatic is recognizable in the game/expansion they connect to. First WoW CGI for example said there will be adventure PVP PVE and big sprawling vistas, it wasn't aiming for a overarching plot and in the vanilla version of WOW that's exactly what it was. Now take my personal favorite of the five cinamatics Wrath of the Lich King and it's CLEARLY focused on a plot, on the weight regret, the power that the Lich King wields, and how it's all coming alive again... and that's pretty much where the focus of the entire expansion was. Infact in every cinamatic Blizzard puts out the CGI is easy to see how it connects to the expansion, and that's where the Dead Island trailer failed.

It was a good CGI, that had no bearing on the themes of the game, so it was absolutely misleading. Should Deep Silver be shoved off a cliff with fire and pitch forks? No obviously not but they shouldn't defend their choice either when people point out accurately that the cinamatic makes no sense in connection to the game, they should say "sorry we'll be more careful next time". I think Deep Silver is just kind of going for controversy lately, like I have no idea how they would think that little statue they putout wouldn't cause a shit storm after 2012 the mother of all gaming shit storm years.

Well, I look at it in comparison to the recent situation with American Mcgee and the claims he was making about "Alice Madness Returns" and the marketing department. He called them liars flat out in how they presented the game, but then backpedaled (probably for legal reasons) and kind of danced around the topic by saying "Well, marketing isn't nessicarly lying" but his meaning was clear. I don't agree with everything American Mcgee said there in relation to his game (I wrote a few typically lengthy posts in response to The Escapist's article on the subject) but his accusations are kind of relevent here.

At it's core Deep Silver understands that horror fans want a deep, emotional, and disturbing experience at the core of their games, in addition to the gore. Deep Silver had a trailer created for marketing purposes that presented the game in this light, rather than as a first person action RPG loot fest. It knew exactly what buttons it was going to push, and what the product was they were actually delivering. Saying they didn't lie but "marketed" becomes a technicality in a case like this, since it's still a deliberate deception intended to create hype and sales... or simply put a lie. They know what they did, refusing to own up to it just makes things worse.

To be honest I think Deep Silver is being pretty dumb, because really this has only become an issue again because they mentioned it. I'd almost suspect someone told them these clumsy apoligies were a good idea because any publicity is good publicity... and this IS getting people talking about Deep Silver again recently. That said I don't think that getting people talking is nessicarly going to help them sell their game, when it's largely reminding people of the reasons why they should be angry at Deep Silver, rather than the positive aspects of what they did with Dead Island which was a decent game overall (to me at least).

When it comes to their bloody torso, I think people need to grow up and get some perspective. This little item is no differant from similar things you'll see in specialty halloween shops around the holidays, to be honest I've seen far worse versions of the same basic piece over the years. A horror novelty in a horror game is actually a pretty good idea, and I think it's fairly cool.

Ask yourself seriously why people have decided to complain about the Dead Island torso, when they don't go ballistic every year when they sell similar things around Halloween when it's the season for horror? The answer is because it's a trolling attempt to generate contreversy and attention by people who know that aspects of the gaming community will rally behind accusations of sexism and generate tons of chaos and attacks that they can laugh at when there is no real issue. There is an audience here that can be manipulated, where if someone was to go railing about severed female body parts and such being sold as halloween props they would be ridiculed as opposed to generating armies of supporters to start a misguided crusade for their amusement.

2012 mostly stands out as being the year when people started standing up to this kind of trolling, which detracts from the real issues. Going after things like this, The Hitman Absolution trailer, or the Cyperpunk 2020 teaser, detracts from real issues when actual sexism and issues might be involved, and just generally spreads chaos, dissent, and does damage which is what trolls ultimatly want.

When I look at what this item actually is, and put it in context, it's no big deal. I don't think Deep Silver was trying to generate contreversy so much as give horror fans the kind of knick knack that they collect, tons of macabre stuff like that gets sold every year, and some of the more collectible items can resell for big bucks to the right people. I could see someome plopping the Riptide torso down on the table with all the snacks for a Halloween party, or doing something similar near the chips and munchies if they invite friends over for a horror movie night.

The issue some people have (not me) wasn't that it misrepresented gameplay. It was that it didn't even come close in tone. The game's tone was pretty bland rather than heartwrenching.

My issue with the game was that first person melee swing the weapon widely type fighting gets super old. I played as the guy who throws stuff, which was fun. Except when people online stole my weapons or when the zombie i killed sank in to the earth taking my weapon with it forever.

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