POLL: Do you want future gameplay videos narrated or not?


Raphael van Lierop

Do you want new gameplay videos to be Narrated or Non-Narrated?  

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Hey all,

Quick question! I'd like to run a quick poll to gauge the community's preference for future gameplay videos to be either narrated, or non-narrated.

To clarify, narrated means someone (most likely me) talking over the gameplay, explaining what is going on. This means the playthrough is less "natural" becuase it's more about stopping to explain mechanics as we go. This means more spoilers as well. (As a point of reference the original gameplay footage for The Long Dark was narrated.)

Non-narrated means a straight video capture from the game, raw audio without any developer commentary/explanation. This makes it easier to hear everything in the game, but you don't get any explanation to go with it. There are fewer spoilers this way and you get a more natural playthrough, but it may open more questions than it answers!

There's no right or wrong here. We may still narrate (or not narrate) the new gameplay vids (when we make them) regardless of the results of this poll, but it's an interesting datapoint nonetheless!

Thanks in advance.

- Raph

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To be clear -- by "spoilers" I mean, the narration would probably break mechanics down into detail. Since this is a simulation, a lot of this detail would normally be discovered by the player as they experience the world. So hearing the systems described through narration is a kind of "spoiler" for the gameplay experience.

I suppose we could still narrate them without going into tons of detail, but that feels like it kind of misses the point.

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To be clear -- by "spoilers" I mean, the narration would probably break mechanics down into detail. Since this is a simulation, a lot of this detail would normally be discovered by the player as they experience the world. So hearing the systems described through narration is a kind of "spoiler" for the gameplay experience. I suppose we could still narrate them without going into tons of detail, but that feels like it kind of misses the point.

Depending on what you're trying to cover in the video, it doesn't necessarily need to be "How To" type narration, but might be "Here's Why" teasers.

For instance Fire Making [which I'm assuming will be one of the most important skills we'll have to figure out very early on if we're to have any survival chance] -- you don't need to say "You'll need item 1, 2, 3, and 4" but instead might comment on needing to be attentive to wind direction or weather conditions when building a fire (perhaps even tossing in a few red herrings). You could also show it being built, but using a different material (gas) which can't be accessed until much later.

You could always use cutaways or edits to only show part of steps [e.g. gathering supplies, starting fire for heat and to scare away predators [as in early video] -- showing an effect of completing a step rather than showing the actual how to for the steps.

Oh yeah -- would also love to see a short vignette (not narrated) just as a teaser of some sights we might see...

If it's a question of time management [adding the narrative does take longer], you could always just do one short video narrated, and one not [or even the same main clip segment(s) in both variations]

ADDENDUM: Rather than "Narrative", what about just doing it as "Player Commentary" -- not so much about the specific mechanics, but rather commentary as from your in-game perspective while playing it.

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I think it really depends on what the video is going to showcase. I do not like spoilers in any sense and understand what you mean by giving away some stuff we are supposed to find on our own. If any of you have ever played Don't Starve, one of the most fun aspects of that game was the unknown and the pain it caused when you learned a hard lesson. If someone would have showed off all of these possible game ending issue it would have removed a huge element of fun from the game. However, TLD is more realistic so finding out about a monster that kills you if your fire goes out is not really applicable. Having someone explain the main mechanics of the game I think would be useful or new elements that the average user would not notice or not understand.

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The comments are useful. The votes even more so, so keep them coming. :)

I see the choice for us here is, as I said, either showing a playthrough sans narration, or narrating a playthrough with the intention of showing how things work. The latter will inevitably introduce spoilers for how things work and reveal things that you'd normally first experience in the game.

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Another vote in the "non-spolier-y narration" column from me. Gameplay videos with the constant play-by-play narration ("Now I'm walking. Now I'm picking up this item.") are annoying, but the ones that simply remark on a plan of action and what's visible on the screen I think give a good feel for the game.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
I would say narrated, if it spoils too much, I will mute the video.

I know I'm a bit late on this but its been a hectic month, love the idea of narration, one of the reasons I backed was to get the inside stuff on how the game was made. I know that is not why everyone has but Kennedy made an excellent point.

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

no voting to me, because I want to see [glow=red]whatever finally[/glow]... Can't imagine the game in motion. Show us please walking around the house or crafting fire or ? ... how I said whatever is welcomed

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 years later...

Both. You should do some playthroughs completely without narration that showcase the in game narrative, the sounds of the game, the features of the game such as animal behaviours but without explanation so that there is potential for the observant people to catch things or get ideas. I would limit this to one hour and I would recommend that you hire or enlist a certain expert gamer to do this, GELtaz. If he feels up to tackling The Hunted, that is probably one of the intensest challenges. Maybe throw in a wrinkle with heading in an odd direction and spending the first night in the snow shelter. Compress or edit parts of it; your expert knows his stuff.

Secondly, Raph, you should know what you want to say in your narrative up front and then choose a scenario or two for background. I'd kind of like to see you do the game too! At this point, you would be extolling the new features of the game and discussing its capabilities in general without giving out map spoilers and with maybe only a few basic survival techniques such as making a fire, setting a snare, fishing etc.

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