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Disabling "X Will Remember This" Notifications


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#1 aerothorn

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 23:56

Hey all -

 

Loving the game so far - I see RTG has taken a page from Telltale and implemented the little "X Will Remember This" notifications for story choices. In short, while I see why some people really like them, I find them really immersion-breaking - they leap out of the story and remind me of the logistics of branching pathways, or that certain choices matter more than others.

In The Walking Dead, they were optional, so I had no qualm with them - but I can't seem to find an option to disable them here? Is there one I'm missing- and if not, would you consider that for a patch/future episodes?

 

Thanks so much!


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#2 Morten

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 00:02

There is currently no option for this I'm afraid.

However, it's a good suggestion and we'll definitely consider adding that in for future updates. :)


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#3 Em_TC

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 00:07

Oh hey, good post! Immersion is so important, too. I think I'd love to have this as an option as well. Y'know, whenever the devs recover from the crazy past few weeks and get some proper sleep in.  :lol:



#4 aerothorn

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 01:01

Yes, it's certainly not game-breaking and I hope they get some sleep first :)



#5 Juguard

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 06:58

I agree with this.



#6 DiskJunky

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 12:00

There is currently no option for this I'm afraid.

However, it's a good suggestion and we'll definitely consider adding that in for future updates. :)

Personally I quite like the text coming up - but I do agree that the option to turn it off will make a lot of people happy ;)


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#7 Nanoloque

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 12:07

Agreed with DiskJunky and aerothorn, since I play myself The Walking Dead series turning off those notifications. And also because the consequences in those games don't really change regardless of who remembers what you said. :P


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#8 ShadowNate

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 10:44

I second this suggestion too.
I find those really distracting and quite intimidating to be honest.
Eg. at some points I am having a hard time distinguishing the difference between Zoe's replies (even with her commentary; sometimes her response seems again slightly different from the "spirit" of the dialogue choice and I am further confused). To have a notification "HE WILL REMEMBER THAT" after such a response is kinda scary, when I am not sure exactly why this was so important or what the difference would be if I had taken one of the other choices.

#9 Aj17

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 10:45

There is currently no option for this I'm afraid.

However, it's a good suggestion and we'll definitely consider adding that in for future updates. :)

Please do, I also find it rather immersion breaking. I mean I can live with it but I'd prefer it if we had the option of removing it. :)


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#10 khh

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 11:31

I second this suggestion too.
I find those really distracting and quite intimidating to be honest.
Eg. at some points I am having a hard time distinguishing the difference between Zoe's replies (even with her commentary; sometimes her response seems again slightly different from the "spirit" of the dialogue choice and I am further confused). To have a notification "HE WILL REMEMBER THAT" after such a response is kinda scary, when I am not sure exactly why this was so important or what the difference would be if I had taken one of the other choices.

The only time that happened to me was with

Spoiler

April Ryan is my friend,
Every sorrow she can mend.
When I visit her dark realm,
Does it simply overwhelm.


#11 ShadowNate

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 11:50

It was earlier for me. (I haven't even reached the part you mention in the spoiler yet)
Spoiler


#12 ShadowNate

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 08:10

In the spirit of this topic, and now that I've been further into the game, I'd like to extend the initial request to two related things:
1) having the connectivity option disabled in order to not see percentages and stuff (from what I remember from the demos; I didn't like it there so I'm not activating it in my game), still produces a "Click on the balance symbol to see what others chose" or something along these lines, seemingly every time I need to make a choice. This is obviously inconsistent with my explicit choice (I didn't try clicking the balance symbol anyway), probably some bug but definitely immersion breaking. If these notifications are to be optional, they should probably all be grouped and switched off by the same switch.

2) That bass whooping sound with the balance symbol animation and the note "The balance has shifted" is also immersion breaking and should probably go with the rest of the optional "decision alert & social stuff".

It's probably clear that I don't very much like the way that this gameplay mechanic seems actually pushed to be the most important thing the player should notice about the game (and trying a bit hard to seem different that TellTale's similar system, may have not produced positive results; certainly not from my perspective).

I also can't help but think that even though there is much dialogue in the game (a good thing), I control very little of it, and that this choice and consequences (voting booths) mechanic actually restricts the freedom and dialogue options that a (more classic) tree based dialogue system* would have (I miss the Lucasarts dialogue system where you could exhaust every option or cut a conversation short at your leisure and at any time; or even the Planescape Torment system that had some form of choice and consequences system integrated in it too).

Anyway, the dialogue system is not going to change for this game, so I'll deal with it. But the optional stuff should really all be optional.


*. What am I saying... I miss The Longest Journey's system!... duh


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#13 khh

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 08:18

In the spirit of this topic, and now that I've been further into the game, I'd like to extend the initial request to two related things:
1) having the connectivity option disabled in order to not see percentages and stuff (from what I remember from the demos; I didn't like it there so I'm not activating it in my game), still produces a "Click on the balance symbol to see what others chose" or something along this lines, seemingly every time I need to make a choice. This is obviously inconsistent with my explicit choice (I didn't try clicking the balance symbol anyway), probably some bug but definately immersion breaking. If these notifications are to be optional, they should probably all be grouped and switched off by the same switch.

I'd consider this a bug - that message should be hidden when you enable offline mode. You might want to post it there: http://redthreadgame...ports-spoilers/

April Ryan is my friend,
Every sorrow she can mend.
When I visit her dark realm,
Does it simply overwhelm.


#14 Ragnar

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 09:47

Anyway, the dialogue system is not going to change for this game, so I'll deal with it. But the optional stuff should really all be optional.

 

To be fair, the dialogue choices and Decision Points are NOT optional. Of course it's possible to switch off all notifications, but that doesn't make it optional: your choices will shape your journey, sometimes in major ways, and we think it's important and fair to let people know when that happens.

 

The part that IS optional is the online component, and you're right, we could definitely switch off the 'click on the wheel to see the choices made by other players'. We'll see if that's easy or not.

 

But we are not going to pretend a major gameplay component and key story feature doesn't exist. We respect the fact that you prefer how it worked in TLJ, but that doesn't change how it works — and will continue to work — in Dreamfall Chapters. So no, we're unlikely to make any big changes there. Sorry!


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#15 ShadowNate

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 10:27

Just to clarify. I never wanted to imply that the decision and choice and consequence system is something optional. I understand that you designed the game around it. I also don't expect (regardless of my personal preferences) major (or any) changes on the dialogue system or the decision making stuff.

What is or should be optional is the notification stuff. The "X will remember this", "Click on the symbol to see what others voted", "Balance has shifted".

You don't mean to say that these can't be optional (I think that is not what you are saying in the above, anyway). Some people may want to know when those decisions happen, but surely there are many who don't and find it annoying (me being one).

edit: There's another similar thread here: http://redthreadgame...-about-choices/



#16 JB11sos

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 20:40

But we are not going to pretend a major gameplay component and key story feature doesn't exist. We respect the fact that you prefer how it worked in TLJ, but that doesn't change how it works — and will continue to work — in Dreamfall Chapters. So no, we're unlikely to make any big changes there. Sorry!

 

Just to clarify. I never wanted to imply that the decision and choice and consequence system is something optional. I understand that you designed the game around it. I also don't expect (regardless of my personal preferences) major (or any) changes on the dialogue system or the decision making stuff.

What is or should be optional is the notification stuff. The "X will remember this", "Click on the symbol to see what others voted", "Balance has shifted".

I agree, it seems like you may have understood, Ragnar. I, and I think others discussing this, LOVE that characters remember things, the Balance shifts, and your choices have consequences. I'm excited about the game's system and can't wait to see how it plays out over the next 4 episodes.

 

What I would love to see made optional are the explicit indicators of the game mechanics happening behind the scenes. I understand some people may want/need those indications of how they are impacting the game, but I personally want to see it play out in the narrative without constant outside-of-the-game-world reminders that "game mechanics are happening!" Same major gameplay component, same significance and impact on the experience, but a narrative-focused delivery instead. And, of course, if this were an option you could turn on or off (as the OP mentioned you could in The Walking Dead), then everyone could play the way they wanted.

 

Hopefully that explains it a little better. I want the consequences playing out in-story to be my reminder that "someone remembered something," rather than pop-up text. Certainly would never expect and don't want you to change a single thing about the system or game mechanics themselves!


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#17 aerothorn

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 01:09

To be fair, the dialogue choices and Decision Points are NOT optional. Of course it's possible to switch off all notifications, but that doesn't make it optional: your choices will shape your journey, sometimes in major ways, and we think it's important and fair to let people know when that happens.

 

The part that IS optional is the online component, and you're right, we could definitely switch off the 'click on the wheel to see the choices made by other players'. We'll see if that's easy or not.

 

But we are not going to pretend a major gameplay component and key story feature doesn't exist. We respect the fact that you prefer how it worked in TLJ, but that doesn't change how it works — and will continue to work — in Dreamfall Chapters. So no, we're unlikely to make any big changes there. Sorry!

 

Hey Ragnar - thanks for responding! I know you're super busy. Trust me when I say that I am really excited that you have this reactivity in Dreamfall Chapters, and I'm not speaking out of ignorance here - I studied video game narratives and the challenges of branching as my principal focus in school :)

I think we can break this down into three components:

a. The broader philosophy of branching and reactivity as applied to Dreamfall: Chapters

b. The specific way that reactivity is implemented in Dreamfall: Chapters (which, so far, seems to be split between the "floating dialog options" and the "Balance Shifting" components)

c. The way in which the results of these choices are communicated to the player.

I don't think anyone in this thread is challenging you on A or B, and if they did it doesn't matter because it's so core to the game's design that it's way past the point where you could change it even if there was demand for it (which, again, I don't think there is). We're only talking about the presentation here!

I am very sympathetic on wanting to be transparent about these choices. I think it's great that you're letting players see the inner workings of the game, and getting a sense of how things will play out for players.

But let me quote one of your characters: "Mystery is important." For many players, including myself, we don't *want* that information at the point when we make the decision. We want to see that manifest down the road, in the reactions of characters. And the great thing about The Walking Dead, which seems to be your inspiration here, is that ultimately the notifications were unnecessary. Characters referenced past actions in dialog, their behavior made clear when they were frustrated with me, or grateful, based on previous decisions. The notifications tell you *what will happen*, the characters tell you *what did happen*. The latter, to me, feels greatly naturalistic, and it also encourages me to live with my actions and not try to game the system. And I bet you guys are planning to do this as well, right?

On top of that, I'm into the role-playing aspect; I like to imagine that every choice I make matters in some way or not, even if it doesn't. One of the problems with this model is that if a "X remembered this" notification doesn't appear, it is reminding you that that choice has no reactivity, which is sort of dissapointing.

Finally, outside of those two components, there's an aesthetic aspect to this. Immersion is a very subjective thing, so I don't want to say the notifications are flat-out "not immersive," but for me they really break it, because it interrupts the flow of the dialog - it's like a commentary track that can't be switched off, the development team popping up and going "This is how this choice works!" With movies, the first time I view it, I want to see just the work itself; on subsequent viewings, I'd love to have the commentary and hear about the inner workings. I feel like with Chapters' current incarnation, we don't have that choice; we get commentary the first time around.

Now obviously I don't know your production schedule, your limits; but I imagine that it is at least theoretically possible to add an option to disable the UI elements of this, the visual notifications saying how this choice will play out. Again, The Walking Dead had this as an option, and everyone seemed happy with that compromise. Nobody is suggesting it be removed altogether or that you in any way change the actual model of reactivity.

Thanks for reading my lengthy post!


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#18 aerothorn

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 01:13

I think the tl;dr version of that lengthy post is "If the results of player's choices are ultimately communicated or otherwise apparent to them through means other than these notifications, then removing those notifications is not pretending a major gameplay component and key story feature doesn't exist, and isn't changing how it works."


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#19 Vainamoinen

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 01:28

 

…and a whole host of smaller fixes and tweaks, including a 'consequence notification' for the most important choice in the game: Zoë's career.

Many players are still unaware that the first Decision Point branches the game into two unique gameplay-and-story paths for Zoë in Europolis. We wanted to better highlight this fact.

 

 

So we have a choice notification, a remembrance notification, a balance has shifted notification (whatever that is) and now we're getting a consequence notification as well? It isn't enough to tell the player in the simplest possible words what he's about to do and what he just did, he will also need to be told what the consequences are beforehand? Well, don't forget another catchy drumroll jingle for that new notification. :mellow:

 

The ideal is to have a game that doesn't tell you where, why and how its story branches instead of one that slaps you in the face with it just to emphasize its production value.

 

The people unaware, they are the most immersed. Seriously.


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#20 aerothorn

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 01:36

So just to complicate this a little bit, and shore up my own argument: I actually see where they're coming from on that one.

Again, I don't know what's coming in future episodes any more than anyone else - but my entire argument is based on the idea that our choices will ultimately manifest in ways that, if not completely obviously, are at least understandable. But with that particular instance, most people (including myself!) aren't going to make the connection without replaying the game - it's not apparent that that choice leads to a change of career. I had no idea there was such a significant branch until I hit the forums.

 

Now - I actually liked that, personally, but it's a different design argument  (is total player ignorance ever desirable?) from the one I'm talking about in this thread (can we remove one source of information when we have another to fall back on?).

It does, however, beg the question as to what the goal is: if RTG letting people know about the significance so they can make sure to pick the "other option" on replays? Is it so they consider it more carefully?






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