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#1 Guest_Not In Sample_*

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 10:53 AM

'like a video game' is bad?

RPGs are not movies. They are not video games either. But they are probably closer to video games than movies. What with being real time interactive and all.

--

Is 'ludic' the equivalent word to 'cinematic'?



#2 GM Chris

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 11:09 AM

AluminiumWolf said:

'like a video game' is bad?

RPGs are not movies. They are not video games either. But they are probably closer to video games than movies. What with being real time interactive and all.

--

Is 'ludic' the equivalent word to 'cinematic'?

That's a very good question - and one personal to each player, and the experiences/memories that lead them to want to play in a specific RPG or setting.  You can't say "RPGs" in a lump group.  In my experience, people want different things from different ones.

For example, when I RP fantasy, I want an experience that tickles my mind the way it was when I first read Lord of the Rings as a kid.  :-). I want be Frodo or Aragorn in the books… So that's the feeling/flavor I want in a fantasy RPG.  I want to be a character in a novel.

For most SW gamers (including me), the primary frame of reference is the films.  There's a ton of EU in other forms of media… But it's those films that first wormed their way into my mind and made me fall in love with Star Wars.  When I RP Star Wars, I envision my character as if they're in a film.  Shouldnt be that surprising.  :-)

Accordingly, I want my SW RPGs to be "cinematic" and narrative in the style of cinema.

 

For D&D, I'm fine RPing "the journey from Helmhold to Parth Galen", in all it's 2 weeks of time. In fact… I expect it.  But with Star Wars… That would drive me insane.  Just give me the "Lucas Screen Wipe" - and take me there.  ;-)


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#3 BrashFink

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 12:32 PM

I am afraid I have to disagree with you Wolf. I attempt to make all my games like a movie. I have always gone with the idea of… "Your characters are the stuff of legends and do crazy stuff". I have never been into the more realistic type systems like GURPS.

I would say it really depends on what you are your players are into. If you really like simulation style gameplay then a cinematic system is not for you.



#4 GM Chris

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 12:36 PM

BrashFink said:

I am afraid I have to disagree. I attempt to make all my games like a movie. I have always gone with the idea of… "Your characters are the stuff of legends and do crazy stuff". I have never been into the more realistic type systems like GURPS.

I would say it really depends on what you are your players are into. If you really like simulation style gameplay then a cinematic system is not for you.

Exactly!!!

Thats my point.    Everyone has their own expectations and wants…!  It's personal to each player and each group.  There is no right or wrong… Just what you love.


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#5 BrashFink

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 12:51 PM

Sorry Chris… your post was not there when I said reply… haha. Timing.

Hey, postcast was great BTW. Really coalesced all the rules for me. Anyone wanting to get a real grip on the rules should checkout that podcast.



#6 Kallabecca

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:11 PM

'Cinematic' and 'like a video game' aren't really the same thing. 'Cinematic' means that lots can happen off-screen like healing or travel when they have no effect on the narrative (time just needs to pass). 'Like a video game' implies things like the finding of healing power ups or gear that gives weird boosts or 'special maneuvers' that one can use like building up weird combos. Seeing things like players wanting to find the cloaks that provide rapid healing… in STAR WARS… because something like that exists in one of the computer games… blech…



#7 I. J. Thompson

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:31 PM

 For me, it's about emotional involvement - watching my character grow in the way it reacts to adversity and relates to his/her comrades and enemies. There are video games that try to simulate this, but it never seems to quite happen. Speaking specifically about Star Wars here, you're either in a game like KotOR, where there's certainly a lot of emotional arc to the story… but it's been scripted by somebody else, or you're in something like Galaxies, where you can roleplay your heart out and the other guy is just like, "shut up and buff me".

So, a 'cinematic' style rpg, with like-minded players, gets the win for me. 



#8 BrashFink

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:56 AM

Kallabecca said:

'Cinematic' means that lots can happen off-screen like healing or travel when they have no effect on the narrative (time just needs to pass).

I disagree here with you. I feel the "Scene jumping" should be done in all games… why waste time on someone doing their laundry or something?

However, to me Cinematic means High Action and thrilling things happening, quick and fast. As opposed to a bunch of neckbeards sitting around and crunching numbers for 10 minutes after each attach to see what happens. If you enjoy this 'Simulation' gameplay, more power to you. Me, I want to tell an exciting story, not do a math problem.



#9 Guest_Not In Sample_*

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 12:15 PM

I. J. Thompson said:

Speaking specifically about Star Wars here, you're either in a game like KotOR, where there's certainly a lot of emotional arc to the story… but it's been scripted by somebody else, or you're in something like Galaxies, where you can roleplay your heart out and the other guy is just like, "shut up and buff me".

But with a movie all you do is sit there and watch it…

And, er, I don't think games like Call of Duty are exactly short on High Action and thrilling stuff happening.



#10 ItsUncertainWho

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 12:40 PM

BrashFink said:

However, to me Cinematic means High Action and thrilling things happening, quick and fast. As opposed to a bunch of neckbeards sitting around and crunching numbers for 10 minutes after each attach to see what happens. If you enjoy this 'Simulation' gameplay, more power to you. Me, I want to tell an exciting story, not do a math problem.

Some of us would rather jab screw drivers into our ears than listen to some smooth faced dandy prattle on for 10 minutes about how awesome he is as he runs across the room hurtling crates and flipping over pits to stab someone with his glow stick. I have an imagination that takes care of the visuals for me. Saying "I move and attack" is all some of us need and want.

AluminiumWolf said:


And, er, I don't think games like Call of Duty are exactly short on High Action and thrilling stuff happening.

I wouldn't call being on a rail while pre-scripted events happen around you, while the camera shakes, watching a cut scene and being forced to randomly push a button within a time limit to continue "High Action" or "Thrilling". It's watching a barely interactive movie where you are annoyed by stupid crap someone thought was "Thrilling". Yeah, I also think Uncharted is a crap game. Good story, crap game.



#11 BrashFink

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 12:45 PM

AluminiumWolf said:

 

But with a movie all you do is sit there and watch it…

Well.. cinematic does not mean the GM performs a one man performance art piece for everyone. lol

Cinematic universally means a "dynamic, dramatic or exciting look". For example, in comics a cinematic sequence might have very little words and a lot of action… or literally "Movle-like" look. Since most movies have a "hyper-real" sensibility, this usually translates to "larger than life" action… like a Star Wars film.

Think of your average shot you can imagine of Spiderman punching. It is in no way shape or form realistic, it is over-exended, crazy amount of wasted energy… but looks cool and looks action packed. That is cinematic in a nutshell.

 



#12 BrashFink

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 12:48 PM

ItsUncertainWho said:

Some of us would rather jab screw drivers into our ears than listen to some smooth faced dandy prattle on for 10 minutes about how awesome he is as he runs across the room hurtling crates and flipping over pits to stab someone with his glow stick. I have an imagination that takes care of the visuals for me. Saying "I move and attack" is all some of us need and want.

I think you have been playied with the wrong people.

Cinematic is fast gameplay. NOTHING should go on for 10 minutes… not number crunch, not flowery speeches.



#13 New Zombie

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:42 PM

AluminiumWolf said:


But with a movie all you do is sit there and watch it…

? with a video game all you do is click a mouse button and a few keys on a keyboard or wiggle your thumbs on a controller.

neither of those statements are true. if the movie and game are good enough you become immersed and invested in them. back to the topic… as others have said neither are bad or good. it is personal taste. the designers make a choice that appeals to them. this design is narrative, earlier versions have been closer to gamist. personally i'm wrapped, being a fan of WFRP3 and the SW movies i see this as the perfect product for me.



#14 Guest_Not In Sample_*

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 02:33 PM

BrashFink said:

Cinematic universally means a "dynamic, dramatic or exciting look". For example, in comics a cinematic sequence might have very little words and a lot of action… or literally "Movle-like" look. Since most movies have a "hyper-real" sensibility, this usually translates to "larger than life" action… like a Star Wars film.

 

Think of your average shot you can imagine of Spiderman punching. It is in no way shape or form realistic, it is over-exended, crazy amount of wasted energy… but looks cool and looks action packed. That is cinematic in a nutshell.

 

Oh aye, but what I am getting at is why do people tend to react positively to saying something is 'cinematic', but act like you have run over their dog if you suggest you are looking at video games for your inspiration.

Especially since a lot of what video games do is try to give a 'cinematic' sort of experience in a real time interactive format.

(In particular in particular, I think most people would agree that if you want a 'cinematic' experience you shouldn't pick a hardcore simulation video game.)

Now, I don't think there is much to be gained from copying stuff like the preprogrammed levels and plots, or to design systems that rely on a computer being able to perform millions of calculations per second, but as you say we don't want to copy the total non-interactivity of movies either.

But things like regenerating health, sticky cover, co-op mechanics, reduced downtime, lack of permadeath or rewinding or use of checkpoints and whatnot could all be powerful weapons in making a cool RPG.

Hell, even the Holy Trinity in MMOs has the advantage of ensuring that a team of players have to work together to succeed.

Also, er, what Robin Laws calls the Iconic Hero* may be dead in literature, but I think in video games he/she has been practically weaponised in to new heights of Iconic Awesomeness.

Maybe that is what I am getting at. The coolest Iconic Heroes these days are to be found in video games, and the format is well suited to them. On the grounds that as you play the game, you get better at changing the world by expressing you core self. Usually by driving really fast or shooting stuff until it dies. Then you do it all again in the sequel.

 
+++++The New Hero is an anthology of original fiction featuring new iconic heroes, edited by Robin D. Laws and published by Pelgrane Press.

It will consist of 14 stories, each 4500-7500 words long.

Each story features an iconic hero of the author’s creation, in any genre. The hero is presented with a problem, faces various entertaining complications as he or she engages with the problem, and solves the problem, bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion. The reader is thus left hungering for more stories starring your newly introduced iconic character.

What Makes a Hero Iconic

While a dramatic hero follows a character arc in which he is changed by his experience of the world (examples: Orpheus, King Lear, Ben Braddock), an iconic hero undertakes tasks (often serially) and changes the world, restoring order to it, by remaining true to his essential self.

Prevailing creative writing wisdom favors the changeable dramatic character over his serially unchanging iconic counterpart, but examples of the latter remain enduring tentpoles of popular culture. It’s the clear, simple, elemental iconic heroes who keep getting reinvented every generation. Each such classic character spoke to the era of its invention, while also evoking an eternal quality granting it a continuing resonance. We are going to create a new set of heroes who speak to the contemporary world while evoking the inescapable power of the iconic model.

An iconic hero re-imposes order on the world by reasserting his essential selfhood. The nature of his radical individuality can be summed up with a statement of his iconic ethos. It is the ethos that grants higher meaning to the hero’s actions, and a clue to his creator’s intentions. An iconic hero’s ethos motivates and empowers him.

  • Sherlock Holmes solves mysteries using rigorous deductive logic.

  • Miss Marple solves mysteries with a sharp mind, hidden behind a deceptively doddering demeanor.

  • Conan uses his barbaric superiority to overturn the false order of corrupt civilization.

  • Carnacki the Ghost Finder conquers fear with scientific methodology and technology.

  • Dr. Gregory House caustically tramples social decencies to solve medical mysteries, temporarily assuaging his self-loathing.

  • Batman brings justice to cowardly and superstitious wrongdoers, doing for others what he could not do for his murdered parents.

  • Storm overcomes the enemies of human- and mutantkind by wielding nature’s untamed power.

  • James Bond dispatches Britain's enemies with cold suavity and violence.

  • Tarzan upholds the noble values of the jungle against the predatory outsiders who would despoil it.

  • Philip Marlowe goes down mean streets, without himself becoming mean.

An iconic ethos implies both action and motivation. Each adventure featuring the hero is a satisfyingly ritualistic recapitulation of the character’s core action. By engaging in this recapitulation the hero restores the sense of order which was disrupted by the problem presented at the narrative’s outset.

This anthology provides your chance to create your Bond, your Batman, your Philip Marlowe.

Next: What we wanted to see in submitted stories—and what we didn’t.+++++

 



#15 cparadis

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 02:54 PM

 Interesting question Wolf.  I have to agree with other posters that a lot of this is personal preference. One other point is that when some people complain that something is video game-like they are complaining about a lack of options or choice, or that you are only allowed to make certain choices. Video games currently cannot offer the freedom of choice a pen and paper RPG can. In the end, some people think being like a video game is good and some people don't. No real mystery just personal preference. 



#16 Slaunyeh

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:53 PM

AluminiumWolf said:

 

'like a video game' is bad?

RPGs are not movies. They are not video games either. But they are probably closer to video games than movies. What with being real time interactive and all.

--

Is 'ludic' the equivalent word to 'cinematic'?

 

 

Because 'cinematic' doesn't mean 'like a movie', but 'like a video game' does mean 'like a video game'. And, let's be honest, if you want to your RPGs to be as much like video games as possible, you might as well just play the video game? I'll guarantee you that the video game will do what you want better.

But to answer the question, 'cinematic' is about how you present a story (which, incidentally, could include the story in a video game) whereas 'like a video game' doesn't really mean anything. Like a video game how? Hold down W to move forward? Explore caves full of conveniently placed medpacks? Scipted circular conversation with NPCs? There is no uniform way video games do things. If you say you want a RPG to be more 'like a video game', you haven't told us anything about what you actually want.

Also, I think why some people have a somewhat harsh reaction to a term like 'like a video game', is that there are certain mechanical conveniences that we've trained ourselves to ignore in video games because they make the game better, but you'd probably have to explain in a RPG session. That could be, say, Lara Croft exploring a tomb that has been undisturbed for two thousand years, yet somehow is littered with ammunition and health packs. Or being unable to climb over (or move) that stack of barrels over there, barring you from exploring the rest of the city. We accept these things as mechanical limitations of video games, but you really shouldn't think too hard about it. RPGs (in general) require a sense of credibility to the setting. Video games are not held to the same standard, because we accept the limitations of the medium as a storytelling device, and we're prepared to ignore some, if not all, of what that entails.

In the end, it's up to the individual player what they are really looking for in a game, but a RPG designed 'like a video game' would not be something I was personally interested in. I have video games for that. Now, ironically, I do enjoy video games that are 'like an RPG'.

 



#17 Slaunyeh

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:09 PM

AluminiumWolf said:

Hell, even the Holy Trinity in MMOs has the advantage of ensuring that a team of players have to work together to succeed.

To be fair, it'd be more accurate to refer to the "Holy Trinity" as 'like D&D' than 'like video games'. :P Also, the grief a lot of people have with the holy trinity is the opinion that this is/should be the only team composition that has a chance for success. In a RPG where "thinking outside the box" to overcome problems is much more likely than in a video game, the 'holy trinity' is like the antithesis to creative thinking and "good roleplay". But I digress, I dislike the notion of the 'holy trinity' (as a required mechanic) as much in video games as I do in RPGs.



#18 Guest_Not In Sample_*

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:18 PM

Slaunyeh said:

Because 'cinematic' doesn't mean 'like a movie'

Definition of cinematic

adjective

  • relating to the cinema:cinematic output
  • having qualities characteristic of films:the cinematic feel of their video

:0)



#19 Slaunyeh

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:44 PM

AluminiumWolf said:

Slaunyeh said:

Because 'cinematic' doesn't mean 'like a movie'

 

 

Definition of cinematic

adjective

  • relating to the cinema:cinematic output
  • having qualities characteristic of films:the cinematic feel of their video

 

:0)

 

Definition of CINEMATIC
1
: of, relating to, suggestive of, or suitable for motion pictures or the filming of motion pictures <cinematic principles and techniques>
2
: filmed and presented as a motion picture <cinematic fantasies>

 

I'm sure no one will stop you from video recording your RPG sessions (except maybe your players), but that's generally not what we are referring to when talking about a cinematic style. The 'cinematic style' refers to techniques regarding telling a story through a visual medium, and "cinematic RPGs" tries to invoke some of that feel. "Like a video game" is not a storytelling technique.

But I'm sure you already knew this, and are just copy-pasting half definitions to be an ass and not bother with the rest of the argument.

I'm done here.



#20 Guest_Not In Sample_*

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:53 PM

I find it difficult to see that 'cinematic' in this case is not using the 'suggestive of motion pictures' definition.

And there is no one way of doing movies, and movies have a lot of conventions we accept as part of the format etc.

I guess in the end though, I look at stuff like

and think that that is where it is at these days.

Even Star Wars is getting on for being more

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQyGu4EqZsU (1313)

for me.






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