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Getting straight to the game as quickly as possible: How important is it?

08-07-2012, 03:14 AM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 25
A cuter version of Warioware is probably a good description of what I am aiming for.

For the intro, I was thinking 3 or 4 static screens with partial animation (probably around 10 - 15 seconds in total). For the cutscenes, maybe 1 or 2 screens, 6 seconds at most. Does that sound too onerous for players? To the point it might (consciously or unconsciously) affect ratings?

I thought it would help to provide some context for the game, and maybe get players a bit more attached to the characters as the gameplay itself is fairly simple and dexterity based.

Thanks for the feedback so far.

Last edited by codeb0t; 08-07-2012 at 03:17 AM.
08-07-2012, 06:06 AM
Of course, ideally you would be able to try different cutscene lengths and playtest each. Then you have real data to back up your final decision.

As for the cutscenes themselves, if they are entertaining enough they can probably stretch longer. No one wants long, boring cutscenes. Except Kojima.

Takeout Arcade developer

08-07-2012, 08:04 AM
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Montreal
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by Blackharon View Post
Really depends on the game. Final Fantasy or The Hacker wouldn't be the same without the full story.
That's interesting too because when I think of what to my mind are the more successful games in the series, some of the Final fantasy titles (like VI and VII) dropped you right into the action at the start of the game with minimal cut scenes, and you had to actually play the game to start to figure out what was going on. I also like the approach I first saw in Half Life 2 where the 'cutscenes' didn't interrupt the game, you actually walked through and interacted with them. Kept the game going.

I think cutscenes should be appropriate to the game. If a game is designed to be a diversion and played for small chunks, it makes no sense to take the player away with lengthy cut scenes. AKA the ever-coming classic arcade retro remakes of pong, breakout, etc.. Some of them come with pointless epic back stories that quite frankly aren't interesting and add nothing to the game. S&SEP or Machinarium on the other hand, the story is totally part of the gameplay, and is quirky and interesting. Go back a few years again with Katamari, another quirky game with minimal cut scenes yet still tells a bizarre story..

Anyway I've nothing in particular against most cutscenes as long as they are skippable. Especially when you pick up a game to play it a second or third time and just want to jump in. Another great design decision--opening cut scene plays before you start the game, on loop.
08-07-2012, 08:21 AM
Originally Posted by Shane Turner View Post
Anyway I've nothing in particular against most cutscenes as long as they are skippable.
This is huge. No one wants to see the same cutscenes on the 3rd of 4th playthrough; and you want your game to be lasting enough for that 3rd or 4th playthrough... right?

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08-08-2012, 06:25 AM
The man speaks the truth. Pay attention, Square Enix. Don't pull another Crisis Core/Kingdom Hearts.

1. Include New Game+ feature
2. Don't allow skipping cutscenes
3. ???
4. Profit!

Takeout Arcade developer
08-08-2012, 08:14 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 195
Cutscenes are important to progress the story (or game) between different maps or levels, definitely not essential.

But enough information needs to be provided from the outset to put players in the right frame of mind, otherwise they would lose interest in the game very very quickly.

Originally Posted by HitStop View Post
2. Don't allow skipping cutscenes
I think you mean "2. DO allow skipping cutscenes"?

IMO they should be thinking less about Profits and more about Content (point "3. ???").
FF13 was great and all but they shouldn't be milking it so much, typical SE.
I miss Squaresoft
08-09-2012, 11:45 PM
1. Include New Game+ feature
2. Don't allow skipping cutscenes
3. ???
4. Profit!
What I meant was, that was what Square Enix did with Crisis Core. They didn't allow skipping cutscenes, but put in a New Game+ feature, which was absolutely baffling.

I miss Squaresoft too. Maybe the only way to see what Squaresoft would do with this generation of consoles is to play The Last Story, which both Hironobu Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu had a hand in.

Re: topic, pausing and resuming cutscenes Kingdom Hearts II style is really nice as well. It may not make sense if the cutscenes are extremely short, though.

Takeout Arcade developer

Last edited by HitStop; 08-09-2012 at 11:48 PM.