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Disabling "X Will Remember This" Notifications


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#21 urzagc13

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 01:54

I think it's probably so that players know that there is value in replaying with different choices. And I suppose a little "pride" on the developers' side that a big part of their work doesn't go "unseen" by people who won't realize there's extra content hidden behind the big decisions.


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#22 BenBandu

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 02:48

My view on this thing is that it should be possible to disable the notifications. Telling me "X will remember this" takes the fun out of the mechanic in my opinion. If they really are important I would prefer to be shown rather than told. And every time it tells me it feels like the choice was super important. While some of the fun of it for me would be to see how small choices can have big consequences, and by making me feel like all choices are big ones it kind of ruins the idea.

If that's understandable at all  :lol:


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#23 HeinzHarald

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 03:16

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.

 

That's pretty much my stance as well. I mean why wouldn't they remember most of what you say?

 

With that said I do want to know if I'm about to make a major decision, so some notifications I have no problem with. That's just helping me play by being transparent with how the game is built. But telling me just after the choice is made gives me nothing of value, I prefer to pretend that everything matters. This is also the reason that I disabled the notifications in TWD (immersion wise it doesn't really matter to me).

 

I did like the summary/examples after finishing though. That was a good teaser.



#24 ct2651

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 03:26

I'm am sure that after patch, they have made it way in your face because people on critics and on the net in general were saying that the decision doesn't change the outcome...

 

Of course, I will want it not an obligation, but I am pretty sure that when book 2 will come out, RTG won't feel the need to explain everything explicit about their game...

 

(Todays player in general want too much in your face clarity, a problem in ANY medium...)

 

So yeah, RTG, remove these notification, that won't kill your clarity in your game.



#25 ShadowNate

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 06:23

 

So yeah, RTG, remove these notification, that won't kill your clarity in your game.

I think most gamers wouldn't mind if they were just made optional but not disabled by default. 

This way, the notifications hand-holding is there by default and those who experience it or know full well about it from other games but want the less "in your face" experience, will be able to disable it.

  • For the very important decisions, you already get the time slowdown and the two choices, and that a ) can't nor should be optional and b ) is quite a significant notification and does not need the *gong*-ish "The balance has shifted" thingie afterwards, that adds nothing of use to the player. 
  • For the seemingly random stuff you answer in a dialogue, (case of "X will remember this"), I also prefer to see myself later in the game how that dialogue affected something or not. And if I see how some things got affected by these, then I may or may not go back and try something else (meaning I will know what factored into what - I probably still won't go back though*; I'm expanding on this a bit later on in this post).

 

That said, and even if there is more dialogue or a slightly different path behind the small decisions, it's highly unlikely for me (personally) that I will go back to every available option in multiple playthroughs. Especially, if the final game ends up being quite a lengthy story. And knowing which of those answers matter and which did not offers again little to me, since I am going to see myself later in the game if they did matter or not.

 

By the way, another positive with making the notifications optional, is that the player won't get the issue I had with Telltale's TWD, where for example you may have been the best person ever to someone (including saving their lives) but noooo you answered "wrong" here and now they are mad at you forever, while the game highlighted every one of those steps as "X will remember this" (inconsistent results from a sequence of actions), or the more blatant bugs where a person remembers something else entirely from what you actually did/said (and was again highlighted as "X will remember this"). Of course, both of these are story telling bugs that should be fixed anyway (I don't think Telltale bothered to for the TWD, though), but at least without the notifications the result is less embarrassing I guess (?).

 

Furthermore, it's highly unlikely that personally, I will go back and try other choices in the heavy "balance shifting" decisions. Because, a ) there also seem to be quite a few of them and the possible combinations could get out of hand later on (story writing and management must be a nightmare basically, and if not yet, then probably will be by books 4 and 5) and b ) I do like the idea that another choice would/could modify the story, but it's more effective when it... remains as an idea in my mind.  This latter means that usually (again as experience suggests from other games with this mechanic) the actual variations end up being rather less important or impactful, than they were as I imagined them as possibilities.

 

And finally -I left the most important factor for the end- again personally, I prefer to take a path and stick to it to the end choosing/composing my own unique (sort of) story for the characters. This is actually something I know am not alone in (...). I have yet to go back to a Telltale game to try another complete path with a new sequence of decisions, and the most I did was to experiment with 2-3  segments at most to see how they played out in the short term - and still that was mostly in early chapters of their seasons just to kill the anticipation for the next chapter. 

 

I do get that from the game developer's perspective, there is a possible huge amount of dialogue and other content in the game -and even more huge amount of work gone in managing all the possible paths and decision combos, that could go unnoticed in a single playthrough. Hence, the developer may feel the need to communicate this explicitly to the gamer. But the adventure gamer's perspective is possibly quite different and maybe a bit stubborn-ish in this regard.

 

*. An exception being making a horrible decision and several people get killed or of course making a game over decision (if such is ever presented anyway).


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#26 urzagc13

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 10:09

I'll just add that RTG have mentioned many times about the concept of "inducing guilt" in the players for their decisions (which is something unique in video-games compared to all other media), so it's very possible that the notifications serve that role as well. I agree that it may seem heavy-handed for some people though and making it something one could turn off (while the default is still on) shouldn't hurt the creative team's vision.
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#27 Vainamoinen

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 11:21

I think it's probably so that players know that there is value in replaying with different choices. And I suppose a little "pride" on the developers' side that a big part of their work doesn't go "unseen" by people who won't realize there's extra content hidden behind the big decisions.

 

As I understand it, shaping your own story is supposed to be what choice & consequence is about, not replayability.

 

The notification overload is a clear result of walking far too much in Telltale's shoes. In many cases, the notification is the consequence. In The Walking Dead, characters often claim to "remember" something for later, yet of course "later" is when they are killed by a zombie and/or shot in the head. Notifications are an artificial inflation of consequence with the intent to suggest far more than there actually will be.

 

Telltale game players are used to be cheated out of consequence, so much in fact that they don't really expect there to be consequence of relevance.

 

And that is why Chapters ramps up the notifications instead of the choice and consequence. To continuously reassure the player of the relevance of what he/she is doing. It essentially is quite in the vein of the "achievement" paradigm with its immersion breaking features much intact.

 

Never tell the player when he/she is making a decision.

Never tell the player what is a decision.

And for god's sake don't tell them the consequences of a decision when they're making it.

Let people find out for themselves.

 

If they find out during the episode choice recap, well, OK then.

If they find out "at the watercooler" by talking to others, perfect.


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#28 Carla

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 13:34

V, I'm not quite sure that I'm understanding you, so if I'm off base, please forgive me.  

 

I really LIKE what RTG is doing with the notifications/choice and consequences...it's one of the reasons that I chose to play on Steam so that I get to see what others have chosen and know that it impacts the game in some way.  It also helps me to understand that I need to think a bit harder about the choice I make instead of having me assume that after I choose A, I will choose B and then C because the other options will be there for me to continue with the dialogue.  While I definitely wouldn't want them to tell me the consequence of the decision that I'm making when I'm making it, I don't quite get why you think knowing that the decision is significant is a bad thing?  

 

Also, because of your background with Telltale, you seem to be assuming that whatever was done in the past with that company, is in fact what is being done by RTG.  However, we've already seen that one of the choices DOES impact the game...so why would you assume that the other choices that they highlight will have no impact?  When we get done with the game, if the items that they highlight as being significant don't seem to have affected the game, then I will have to ask them what the significance was and see whether I think it was all hype or not.  But until they have had a chance to prove themselves, I guess I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt.


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#29 Happy Tree

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 13:39

Remember Shenmue 2? That had so many little branches, none of which were signalled. I did wonder how on earth anyone actually stumbled upon the complex set of circumstances to activate the Fangmei birthday scene, or the duck race. I used a walkthrough and it was complicated enough! So I think some signposting can be good to make your choices actually possible. Otherwise you could end up stumbling around in the dark not doing anything much, secretly activating all the most passive choice branches.

 

But then, the notifications in DFC don't bother me. There was one I found amusing, though, due to the pointlessness you mentioned. One character lying on the ground in the Kian storyline remembers something Kian decides, then, well... I did wonder about that. Maybe what appeared to happen to him didn't happen? We shall see.



#30 Vainamoinen

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 14:10

V, I'm not quite sure that I'm understanding you, so if I'm off base, please forgive me.  
 
I really LIKE what RTG is doing with the notifications/choice and consequences


The "CHOICE NOTIFICATIONS" are 100% Telltale stuff, copy and paste, taken to an extreme. Comparison is inevitable.

 

As of now, it absolutely looks like CONSEQUENCE is also rendered in a comparable way. So much in fact that when RTG feels they are going beyond what Telltale does, they want to implement an additional notification that explains the consequences of your actions. Which, particularly in this scene, is rather absurd:

 

  • Zoë chooses between going back to her old life and a new one. You'd think that is an important choice to make if ever there was one, no? But it isn't perceived by players as such, because they are used to choices not meaning a thing and because the game designer always wants to tell him that there are other choices that are equally important and could maybe possibly have equally far reaching consequences.
  • The consequences of that particular choice were purposefully left unclear, suggesting that they COULD be all encompassing. That is the usual choice and consequence stuff, a pondering of many possible outcomes of a decision; the actual diversity of outcomes is of less importance. It also is the right thing to do here, because it is a life choice the results of which are always 90+% chance.
  • As the player assumes that consequence consists of the usual sleight of hand, he chooses on a whim, leading him to perceive the game as a largely linear experience.
  • RTG wants to stress that it is not that linear, which is the same thing stressed by Telltale in their games with the same mechanics, so RTG feels the need to stress it even more. In a game that already takes the notifications to an annoying extreme. :mellow:

 

I am annoyed by that continuous meta level stuff, the constant pointing at non linearity, the constant pointing at choices, the heralding when a choice approaches and the congratulatory fanfares when a choice is made. An actually non linear game would not need to have that stuff pointed out.

 

Maybe an option could be implemented to at least minimize the choice achievement notification stuff. Huge letters and jingles add insult to injury.

 

The statistics are a mostly different topic; besides, they can be turned off as in "off", much to my liking. :D


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#31 Carla

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 14:25

RTG allowing you to turn off the notifications would be perfectly acceptable to me, but I would be really unhappy if they removed them from the game.  As stated above, I like what they're doing, I like knowing that I am making significant choices, I like puzzling about what those choices will mean in the future of the game.  It being non-linear will mean that I will play it more than I would have otherwise as I will want to try the different paths.  But I understand that everyone has different opinions and that others (you included) may not like it as much as I do.



#32 Vainamoinen

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 16:40

RTG allowing you to turn off the notifications would be perfectly acceptable to me, but I would be really unhappy if they removed them from the game.


No one demands that (I hope). :mellow:


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#33 aerothorn

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 18:05

Yeah, the only reason I care so much about this is precisely because I think the rest of the game is so fantastic, and appropriately subtle, even sublime - except for the part where it hammers in the "choice and consequences" bit at the beginning, which would seem to accomplish the same thing that the notifications are trying to accomplish.

What we've seen in this thread is that there are people who really like the notifications, and people who strongly dislike them, and both are otherwise united about the game's decisions around reactivity (at least as they are presented in book 1). Which seems like a pretty strong argument for making that particular bit optional.


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#34 agirlnamedbob

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 18:20

Yeah, personally they didn't bother me... ...Once I got used to them. It was a little dramatic at first. But for taking note of what points I may want to go back and tweak I didn't mind.

But I think on repeat playthroughs where I already know what the decision points are, I'd want to turn them off.

I'm all for giving people options when possible. I'm not sure how hard it is to make a stable notification toggle, but if it's something they could consider for later Books, I think a lot of people would appreciate it.

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#35 ct2651

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 20:19

Yeah, personally they didn't bother me... ...Once I got used to them. It was a little dramatic at first. But for taking note of what points I may want to go back and tweak I didn't mind.

But I think on repeat playthroughs where I already know what the decision points are, I'd want to turn them off.

I'm all for giving people options when possible. I'm not sure how hard it is to make a stable notification toggle, but if it's something they could consider for later Books, I think a lot of people would appreciate it.

 

Thechnically, they have just add it in patch 1.1, so I am pretty sure they know how to remove the little notification with a single bool...

well, that's my vision of it as a programmer.



#36 Crowboy

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 23:22

Personally, I like "the balance has shifted" messages.

X will remember this doesn't bother me.

In fact it will allow me in future playthroughs know when I can choose differently and see the difference in the results.

 

Then again, I don't have much hands on time with the game unfortunately, so maybe it will grow old quickly, once I can continue playing...



#37 tomimt

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 23:52

Personally I'd love if you could turn the notifications off or on, depending on your preferences. As they are now, they feel a bit distracting and having the notification to be something that could be swittched at will would be nice. The balance wheel turnig would suffice for me as a notification that something notable to the story has happened.


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#38 giom

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 00:01

I love the fact that some of the decision do have consequences but I agree with most here and would prefer a way to disable the notifications.

I feel that they break the immersion and prefer to just play without seeing them.



#39 Eveolene

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 10:06

I'd just like to bring a positive and praising note to this issue (although in a general sense, I agree that the option to disable it would be nice). I know I love to bang on about my transcript, but the creation of it is the primary way in which I'm playing Book One at present. Without those notifications, there is no way I could reliably link dialogue option x to consequence y. I've still had to replay large portions of the game to confirm that a character says the same thing, regardless of which options you pick, as my common sense and memory claim. If I had to do that for every suspected decision point, I doubt I'd be finished before Book 2 released. There have also been some small surprising changes that I didn't notice until I started working on this project, and having the notifications there is absolutely essential to my process. If the alert pops, I treat the choice differently, I take notes so I'll be able to link it to a consequence in future books. This is a huge, huge undertaking, because the nuances of some alternate dialogue options are so small, but ultimately show the depth to which RTG have gone in writing it. Something as small as Zoë saying "Yeah, okay" instead of just "Okay" can change the entire tone of a conversation, and I need to be able to look back at previous choices and see what choice that extra word came from.

 

But it isn't just about my transcript. Making this transcript has given me an entirely different perspective on the game as a whole. I can see the threads that lead from A to B more clearly now that I've explored all dialogue options and had to really pay attention to the differences between them. Some dialogue options result in a single sentence as a response while others give you a mass of information you may have missed the first time through. This whole process has opened up a new way for me to enjoy the game and really made me appreciate how much depth there is to even this small part of the whole game, the quality of the voice acting, writing and research that's gone into it.

 

So, for the record, the alerts aren't all bad.


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#40 Dmm

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 13:47

For some people having alert breaks the immersion in the game, but it doesn't in my case and I personally like them, but I also agree people should have the option of being able to toggle them on or off. I especially want to thank Eveolene for taking on the task of making a transcript of Book 1, it is clear that it a major undertaking. So KUDOS to you EVEOLENE. :cannon: :crow: :wonk:


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