Fluff text in games - Can there be too much ?

Uiaad

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So when you are playing games (especially RPGs) do you spend a lot of time trying to learn about the world your playing in or do you rather go though the game learning stuff about the world as you go along ?
Do you think that you can have too much fluff/flavor text in a game ? I'm talking about the stuff that's not necessary to to know but could potentially small gaps that could potentially make you more engaged with the world ?
 

FAST6191

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As a hacker/translator. Yes. Plenty of projects have been kicked to the back burner upon realisation of how much it would entail.
From having looked at officially translated games. Yes. Plenty of devs have had to chop lots out (not in Samurai Pizza Cats or abridged version approaches), see also voiced vs unvoiced lines (curious to see how voice generators will work here in years to come).

I have also seen devs presumably got too much in for fluff at the cost of main script quality (think blow your budget on CGI and sets and only be able to afford local theatre actors and students).

As a game player. No. I eagerly await some kind of dynamic text modification based upon time of day, relation with character, villager outsideness...
 

DANTENDO

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I don't read the ridiculous amount of txt in books you find in Skyrim beggars belief how someone can write all tht stuff wher I'd say over 90 percent don't read it but when it comes to games like bioshock the tape recordings you just want to listen to everyone you find so yeh most games don't do a Skyrim and anything with just a few sentences in a note etc is ideal for games
 

Uiaad

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I will lay my cards completely on the table - Right now, I cannot code - I don't have the mental capacity and foresight to even begin doing my project justice but the one thing i can do right now is write. I have just finished my second novel, just before my health declined again. There is a bit of editing and changes that need to be made but the vast majority is done on that but that's a future uiaad's problem.

Right now as it stands i have broad strokes of the story done for a game, i have the characters amd main story arcs but I don't want to get to the point where it feels like the world is an afterthought, like the world just came in to existed when you booted up the game. I want to have the player hungry for me and what has gone on before and what's to come after.

Once I am in better health, I know I'm not going to be able to do everything given the scope of the project, there is no way one person ever could which is why i'll ask questions like this to see what people like, what they want and take it on board but at the end of the day its my choice .
 

Taleweaver

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I'd say they are connected to the purpose of the game. Rpg is pretty broad of a genre as well. I mean... In diablo I just want to click and fight, so any cutscenes are skippable to me. On the other end, I find myself reading much more into the world of the combat is slower as well (especially turn based games... I'm already in the mood for a slow pace at that time).

A lot depends on the quality of the aestetics as well. Gone home, for instance, is basically a book. You do nothing but reading, but because you walk through an empty house, you've got your hook (where is everybody? What happened?) and the writer(s) were well aware of that fact because they throw you off guard a few times.
Compare that to your average 'random notes' you find in most games, and you'll see it's a huge step up (not that the latter are bad. It's just that they lack a hook to draw you in).

The 'I cannot code' shouldn't be that much of a problem if you know your team and what they are capable of. Can they bring your story to a game?
Similar to the world. I've never written for a game, but I would think creating the world is mostly done by the animators and level designers. Or perhaps worded better : they should bring your idea of the world to image, so make sure to fill in the details for them (within their capabilities).
 

Ryccardo

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I don't really care for the story, but most decent games I played (ie not Pokemon) give you some sort of option of blazing through it (usually via button mashing or a "skip dialogue" option), so I don't see it a deal as big as forced movies!
 

Uiaad

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@Taleweaver there is no team right now, for good reason, I'm my current state there is no possible way I could manage a project like this.

World building is done on many levels, its not just what you see and run in. It's building a history and rules and processes that make the world tick. I mean you cna just throw shit at the wall and see what sticks but more than often than not it fails to engage players to want to be know more about the world they are visiting.

I know as the game is being built the story is going to change theres no two ways about that as I want to avoid long cut scenes as most of the time they just bore the player. But at the same time it's not gonna be a random note here, random note there approch either. Everything written will have a purpose and will be in the place you'd expect to find it

-excuse formatting/spelling laying down on mobile at the moment
 

FAST6191

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I will lay my cards completely on the table - Right now, I cannot code - I don't have the mental capacity and foresight to even begin doing my project justice but the one thing i can do right now is write. I have just finished my second novel, just before my health declined again. There is a bit of editing and changes that need to be made but the vast majority is done on that but that's a future uiaad's problem.

Right now as it stands i have broad strokes of the story done for a game, i have the characters amd main story arcs but I don't want to get to the point where it feels like the world is an afterthought, like the world just came in to existed when you booted up the game. I want to have the player hungry for me and what has gone on before and what's to come after.

Once I am in better health, I know I'm not going to be able to do everything given the scope of the project, there is no way one person ever could which is why i'll ask questions like this to see what people like, what they want and take it on board but at the end of the day its my choice .

I am not entirely sure where you are heading and what I would want to point you at even if I did but do go looking around as there are plenty of engines for choose your own adventure, people twisting game creation tools to breaking (see something like earlier incarnations of Ao Oni), even plain old HTML links will get a job done for a lot of things (in the case of fluff then mouseover, captions, alt text, popup windows and more are available for this). You also don't need to get into hardcore programming and learn shaders, high performance code, networking, security and 3d -- not only will the higher level languages that are far easier to get to grips with be suitable to showcase your idea to people but probably get the whole thing done if you don't need to be the next skyrim. Remember stuff like Puzzle Quest was done in a high level language called Lua... on the DS. Any number of games have python at the beating heart of it. Natural language programming might still be a few years out but if you think more in terms of maths and logic used for games then it is far easier than it once was and you don't have to worry about types getting in the way or performance as much.

Or if you prefer. Ideas are worthless (I have a thousand, by the time I am finished with one there will be hundreds more) but prototypes... now there is the good stuff.
 

Chary

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I’ve been playing Fire Emblem Three Houses a lot and I’ve realized that there’s just so much text. I’m on NG+ x3 and there’s still some dialogue I haven’t seen yet, most of it just random flavor text for the world via nameless NPCs. But I appreciate the detail all the same
 

Mythical

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I feel like there can be. When I play a game I wanna experience everything (for instance talking to all the npcs) and if there's too much dialogue or text to read I'll become less interested.
fluff should probably be taken out unless it serves a purpose other than fluff
 

Uiaad

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@FAST6191 Sorry, I do believe there is a slight misunderstanding here, It's not that I can't code, a good 75% of my day to day job is coding. It's because at the moment I can't code because of a medical condition which causes a great deal of pain, and the painkillers I take daily relieve me of a lot of my focus and can be easily distracted by stray thoughts or just plain forget what I'm doing. I have about another 6 months or so before things can be fixed after that i'll have a good 6 months to a year of being weaned off the painkillers and physio where I can return to work
 

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