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View Full Version : Why Traditional "Character Building" Won't/Doesn't Work in R6



KungFu_CIA
04-25-2006, 06:32 PM
The Short Answer:

R6 is a first person shooter video game where time constraints are usually too short to build effective characterization(s) you find in movies, novels, TV and other forms of fiction.


The Long Explanation:

What is Effective Character Building?

Effective Character Building (characterization) of central and/or secondary characters consists of both past events (backstory) and on-going character arcs which can be demonstrated through various visual and dialogue cues which should organically come out of the situations the characters are put in as the story progresses.

Example of effective characterization:

A) Character Level:

In "Die Hard" (1988) when officers Al Powell (Reginald Val Johnson) and John McClane (Bruce Willis) have a heart-to-heart over the radio and Al tells him the reason he doesn't carry a gun on patrol anymore is because he shot a kid who pointed a toy gun at him. Al's guilt about the past has influenced and keeps influencing his actions/decisions right up until we and John meet him.

Add the fact Al is thrown into one of the most violent situations a first responder can be put in -- A hostage situation with confirmed casualties -- Is also organic to his struggle (arc) and furthers his apprehension to use a weapon unless absolutely necessary... Which he is finally forced to at the end to save John and Holly's (McClane's wife) lives at the very last moment.

B) Story Level:

In the future, Aeon Flux (Charleze Theron) is hired to kill malevolent ruler Trevor Goodchild (Marton Csokas) and free the people of Bregna... Only to find out she was Goodchild's wife in a former life and that Goodchild isn't the malevolent ruler he is portrayed as.

The effective characterization in this story stems from subtle cues -- Visions and fractured memories Aeon experiences -- Such as flashbacks to the present where it is gradually explained Aeon, Goodchild and the rest of the citizens of Bregna are in fact clones of the last surviving population of Earth, and have now found a way to live "naturally" without the aid of the current government which depends on its citizens not knowing they are clones and discovering they no longer need the goverment's "assistance" anymore.

The characterization at this level is the fact it explains why one of the best assassins the world has ever seen can't seem to kill the most malevolent ruler the world has ever known.

It encompasses both the character and story levels of character building and character arcs at the same time. Like the Die Hard example, everything up until the present has and keeps influencing Aeon's and the rest of the character's decisions up until we meet them and find out this truth along with Aeon and everyone else.


Now, what is the main thing both of these examples have that a video game does not?

The more effective use of time and SUBTLE storytelling and character building techniques which gradually form a complete picture of why the characters do what they do (and why) for the viewer at the end of that period of time.

Contrast this to most video games whose "time" is not set (fixed) since it may vary depending on how the player plays the game and is often not a factor with regard to the MP portion of the game at all.

....

The reason I felt compelled to even post this was because I have been playing real story-based and character-driven games lately, "Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and "Dreamfall: The Longest Journey II", and these games are the true essence of what effective and real "characterization" is and it just will not fit into a game like R6 in my opinion given the nature of R6 and what it is at its core: A first person shooter.

I say this as an R6 fan, a gamer and a former screenwriter as well because...

The press releases (1UP interview with Kimi; EMG article) surrounding R6:5 state things like the devs are trying to give "characterization" to the AI team mates by having one of them "dart his weapon from side to side when breaching" while another one is more of a "heavy-handed type of stance".

The above is NOT characterization. It is just visual differences between the team mates style and tells us absolutely nothing about WHY their styles are different.

The same kind of logic was applied to Lockdown.

Having Renee Raymond yell, "Chavez! Get your *** over here!" is not characterization just as having Louis Loiselle say, "Oui" before every sentence tells us nothing about who he is other than the very superficial (and obvious) trait that he is French.

Woosy
04-25-2006, 10:56 PM
I have been thinking about this and what you have said Kungfu, and I agree. I do have another idea though... What they did with Splinter Cell, I know I bring up Sam alot, but anyway.. they gave him a blog www.samfisherblog.com (http://www.samfisherblog.com) they employed someone to write it for ubisoft. I thought it was a great interaction, and gives the community an insight t who he is outside the field. To be honest, I hope they bring it back for SCDA, because not only is it fun to read but hes a laugh, it shows he has a human side.

Something like this for say the team leader Logan Keller of Rainbow Six would be cool, that way it doesn't interfer with the game at all. And those who don't want to read it don't have to read it unlike in-game where it would be forced.

KungFu_CIA
04-26-2006, 12:35 AM
Woosy

That is interesting what they are doing with Sam Fisher.

In fact, a lot of TV shows now employ this kind of "marketing" where they have fictional blogs and other media which is supposed to expand the "reality" of the show outside the TV each week.

To use a dated example, "Dawson's Creek" had Dawson's Desktop which was the character's own fictional desktop which fans could access and read his "e-mail", homework assignments and other things pertinent to his character to gain insight to the events on the show, both past and forthcoming.

Smallville (WB) is currently doing the same thing for Lex Luther and Luthor Corporation in thier hunt for Professor Fine (Brainiac).

.....

The bigger issue, however, is that UBI is doing what a lot of amatuer writers do in that they are substituting physical character traits for characterization and in the end this is going to lead nowhwere -- Because it essentially is nothing to begin with.

Let me repeat that:

UBI is doing what a lot of amatuer writers do in that they are substituting physical character traits for characterization, character arc and backstory.


I say this not to try and sound smarter than the devs or the writers who are doing the Vegas storyline, but the fact is that building effective characterization -- Real characterization that means something like we
are discussing -- Is not that easy and if the writers aren't trained in this area they WILL make mistakes like this that may go unoticeable by most gamers, but will stick out AFTER THE FACT when gamers start to think about their AI Team mates and what do they (gamers) really know about them in the end? This is where mistakes in executing a story rear their ugly heads -- After the story has been told and you (they) can't do anything about it unless it was brought to their attention ahead of time.

Brettzies
04-26-2006, 01:31 AM
Interesting. Like was said, different game genres fit better with characterization and story. I think the Splinter Cell series works because Sam Fisher is just a strong character with a good voice to boot. Plus the whole game is very up and personal. You have to become him to relate to what you are tyring to accomplish. Not only that, but you are alone out there.

I'm not exactly sure what Ubi is trying to do with the "story" elements of these past and future games. A game like HL2 lends itself to more story and character driven game because, again, it's one guy against the world almost. Those type of FPS's are so different from R6 games to begin with. The way they are played is more about going through a gorgeous level and enjoying the scenery along the way while blowing everything up. R6 is or was, about the mission and tactics.

I think you can bring character into the game, but not the way they've been doing it. I think the best way to bring the player more "into" the game is to make them part of it. Even if they want to give you a generic name which can sound either male/female ala that StarTrek FPS. Chavez can lead the other team, if you so choose.

This is what I'd like to see, though I'm not holding my breath. A very low-level form of role playing. When the game starts or if your character dies, you create a operative, male or female, customize their look a bit, assign some combat points, and off you go. As the game progresses, you can earn medals, badges, etc, increase in skill some basic traits like leadership, stealth, weapon proficiecy. This should apply to all your teammates as well. GR1 had a very simple yet effective use of combat points and skill sets. It actually made leadership important because it gave all other team memebers a bonus.

In terms of story and character, they'd either give you the generic male/female name or just refer to you by rank or callsign, like in SWAT. For you team member's chatter, they need to tone that BS way down. Every now and then maybe they have a line of dialog that's mission critical, but the insane giddyness of the GR2 games has got to go.

Really though, when I start to speculate on what they are doing, this game "Vegas." One locale, one big mission. It just starts to sound more and more like your standard everyday garden variety FEAR, Quake, Half-Life, Doom game. I get the idea they are doing a very GR:AW like game, where you don't go on missions per say, you just kind of go through one long day or event. I haven't played GR:AW, but that's the impression I get from it as cool as both versions look.

My gut tells me that they aren't making a game, they're making a formula and that's where all this storytelling / character comes in. Maybe it will work, but I think it's dissappointing this "we have to be like Hollywood" mentality. They are games not movies. The best roleplaying games know how to balance this story to game ratio, and some even go overboard.

I laughed out loud when I read this: Emphasizes fun and the Hollywood movie experience. This in reference to GR2:Summit Strike, which is actually pretty fun. Much better mission briefings then GR2, but still you see where the "mentality" is. It does work for some games, just not the game we want.

KungFu_CIA
04-26-2006, 08:40 AM
Originally posted by Brettzies:

My gut tells me that they aren't making a game, they're making a formula and that's where all this storytelling / character comes in. Maybe it will work, but I think it's dissappointing this "we have to be like Hollywood" mentality. They are games not movies. The best roleplaying games know how to balance this story to game ratio, and some even go overboard.

I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head.

It is no secret the games industry is more intent on making so-called interactive movies than games these days compared to the games of the late '90s and early millennia which had story elements, but were still games first and foremost such as Doom, Half-Life, Unreal, etc. The problem, however, is as you stated in they either go overboard in trying to cram a "cinematic" experience into a game where it doesn't work or isn't even needed... Or, they end up doing it horribly ala Lockdown where it comes off second-rate/hackneyed and ruins whatever gameplay there might be.

One thing I want to get out of the way is I want to qualify what I and others mean when we say, "Hollywood".

I don't think even R6 fans absolutely hate Hollywood per se. I (personally) don't have a problem watching something mindless like "Armageddon" or "Independence Day" because they are fun, big-budget movies whose sole purpose is to entertain. In addition, I love John Woo and Asian-Action movies which are even more over-the-top than most Western action films in terms of their action setpieces and gunplay. So, in my case, I don't hate Hollywood and don't pretend to, either.

What I think most people who say they "hate Hollywood" or the "Hollywood mentlaity" is they hate the B-Movie mentality and approach where things are over-the-top because there is no real plot, or characterization, aka no real story and these kinds of movies use explosions and car chases to hide that fact. I think THIS kind of movie and approach is what most gamers hate because there are so many more BAD movies like this than the good ones like "Independence Day" and "Mission Impossible"...

And it was this same, cliched over-the-top B-Movie approach which Lockdown used and was one reason it failed so miserably not just as an R6 game, but a game in general because even games like BF2 and Counter-Strike treat their subject material (war/combat) with more respect and realistic -- irony -- Portrayls.

I just wanted to clear this up because while I don't pretend to speak for everyone in the R6 community, I do think the "I hate Hollywood" mantra is often misused as a way to rally support for what we gamers want when it isn't so much Hollywood itself, but the BAD side of Hollywood (Steven Segal; Arnold Schwartzeneggar) that the games industry keeps drawing from, rather than the good (Black Hawk Down; Saving Private Rayn) in my opinion.

Getting back to the original topic...

Another reason I think they are so obssessed with making "interactive movies" is because of two main reasons:

1) Exposure.

Movies reach FAR more people than video games ever will. This is not a made up fact. This is statistical truth because a potential moviegoer does not have to be a potential gamer in order to be exposed (experience) a movie. A potential movie goer doesn't even have to go to the theater anymore and can use DVD, On-Demand PPV and other means to watch the product Hollywood is selling...

Unlike gamers who MUST buy the hardware (console or PC) and software to experience the games industry produces.

Reaching more people is the games industry's ultimtae goal because it (of course) translates into more profit.

Okay. Fine. I have no problem with this.

2) As mentioned in numerous threads before, if they perfect their "cinematic craft" -- if you can call it that -- They may be able to break into feature films using their proprietary game engines to make full CGI animated films like Pixar and Disney.

This is where this big push for games to be more like movies is really coming from even if you've never (or will ever) heard the CEO of UBI or EA Games come right out and say it. It all comes back to exposure and reaching as many people as possible because once again, movies are a much more accessible form of entertainment than games even though gaming is now a 100+ billion dollar industry across the board.

Someone even commented on another thread why doesn't the games industry come out and say this and/or just devote separate divisions to the film business instead of using games as guinea pigs to reach this goal?

Simple: Cost effectiveness.

Why create separate divisions who do just the game and then the movie based on the game (or vice versa) when they can do both at the same time? Their logic is if you spent five years developing a graphic and physics engine that can do cinema-quality presentations, why not use it for the CGI movie as well?

This is another factor as to why games are slowly being forced into becoming interactive movies more than games as technology progresses to the point where games and consumer hardware will eventually equal the quality of "The Incredibles" or "Ice Age".

The other part of the equation is most casual gamers who make up the majority of game sales (all platforms) relate to movies more as their primary source of entertainment. Especially, the younger generation who games are primarily aimed at. They relate to movies more than books and other forms of entertainment which is why they are trying to appeal to this segment by making games more like movies as well.

So, where does this leave us true gamers then?

I see a couple of solutions happening:

A) If the intent to make a game more of a cinematic experience is the overall goal from the start then game devs and publishers need to be up front about this WITH THEMSELVES and then hire the right people such as experienced, credited screenwriters and authors, Academy Award winning sound-mixers, professional well-known actors for voice work, etc.

In other words, don't try and make an A-List Hollywood production on a C-List independent movie budget which is what most games budgets amount to when comparing the two industries and products.

Games cost a lot, but the biggest chunk of money goes to R&D and then marketing which leaves very little for things such as writing, acting, sound design, etc. depending on the budget and the overall intent of the CEO and CFO.

B) Eventually, the games industry will finally hit a point where they CAN successfuly pull off a cinematic experience within games that don't necessarily warrant or need them.

This option isn't the preferred one, obviously, but it may be the only option true 'hardcore' gamers have other than to not play games by major publishers anymore, unfortunately.

Woosy
04-26-2006, 09:51 AM
Some games can pull it off flawlessly, for example Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy, they are very well done for characterization and movie sequences in CGI. The transitions in-game in some parts from game to CGI is amazing. For something like Rainbow Six you can't insert it into the gameplay, there are areas you can do it, but you will only get the feeling their human not seperate them into individuals. Which characterization would do, ultimatly it will fail all the time to do full blown characterization. I've never wanted that, just make them feel somewhat human.

I think in that area it's losing appeal, there are alternatives like the blog which I find more interactive then any game. It does come down to story and great writers to pull off great characterization, but most of all it needs the correct game. It is impossible doing it in the gameplay in R6 as we found but outside the theatre of action is possible, they have to weigh up and compromise.

Goliath.Ubi.Dev
04-26-2006, 11:02 AM
I have to completly disagree with you there KF, if FPS games were too short to create effcient character building we would have never had the icons that we have today like Duke Nukem, Master Chief, Sarge and countless others that anyone who has ever picked up a controller could tell you about.

Games last longer then Movies,we can even go further in developping characters.

KungFu_CIA
04-26-2006, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by Goliath.Ubi.Dev:
I have to completly disagree with you there KF, if FPS games were too short to create effcient character building we would have never had the icons that we have today like Duke Nukem, Master Chief, Sarge and countless others that anyone who has ever picked up a controller could tell you about.

Games last longer then Movies,we can even go further in developping characters.

But what do we really KNOW about Master Chief, Duke and others?

This is the distiniction I think UBI is trying to fool people into thinking they are getting (or, presenting to them).

Effective characterization is exactly what I said. What games do is put you in the role of the main character like Duke or MC... But we don't know anything about them PRIOR to this point.

This is the main thing I think all game developers and those who write games NEED to start really thinking about because what it essentially comes off as in most games... Especially, FPS... Is a cheap "parlor trick" where the illusion of getting to know a character is presented, but not actually knowing anything about the character is achieved.

This is why I brought up games like "Dreamfall" and "Oblivion". The key to those games is the main character (the player) not only has a backstory, but so do the OTHER characters who inhabit the game world as well. Basically, they are not there to serve your story (character needs), you are there to serve THEIRS. This is one of those very distinct and subtle writing techniques that is very hard to pull off/execute effectively... Even by seasoned professionals... And this is with more traditional mediums like novels and film, let alone video games.

Also, please understand I am not claiming the writers who are doing Vegas (or other games) are unprofessional or inexperienced. All I am saying is I think the medium they are trying to write for is maybe not designed FOR these kinds of effective storytelling techniques just because they are games and not movies or novels.

As far as time constratints go...

Length is not the key.

The key is how effectively you use that time to convey convincing characterization.

For example, I could make a 14 hour movie about a Special Forces Team who just go from hot spot to hot spot taking down terrorists... But at the end, if I don't employ effective, time-tested storytelling techniques, aka character building, not only has the audience learned absolutely nothing about these men, but they probably won't care about them and whether they live or die...

Which is THE most important aspect -- having the player/audience have EMPATHY (not sympathy) for the characters -- And the real goal of what I *think* UBI is trying to bring to the R6 series via the team mate "quirks" they are supposedly bringing to Vegas...

But again, in my humble opinion, you have to go BEYOND just the visual cues and not substitute physical character traits for characterization and well fleshed out backstories. Can this be done in such a visually based medium as video games?

Yes. But it also heavily depends on the kind of game and the overall goal and focus of the game as well. This is where I think a lot of fans, myself included, are at odds with what we and UBI want R6 to become.

If you can effectively employ good storytelling and character buildin techniques that aren't cliches or shallow characitures that also isn't as blatant or in-your-face, then I don't think R6 fans (and game fans in general) would be as upset, but nine times out of 10 this isn't the case and we get "B-Movie" cliches and dialogue most of the time as substitutes for real characterization and character empathy.

FI_FlimFlam
04-26-2006, 11:48 AM
Goliath, don't forget that is how those series started. With a stong character identity to begin with. One of the things I see wrong with the concept of this in the R6 games is that the games were how they were to begin with. The characters weren't as strong as your examples. Infact in R6 many people liked to identify to a small extent with certain team members and not Chavez. They had their favorites but it wasn't that they were heavily developed. What I see as the problem is that in changing the focus away from the traditional gameplay and mission setup you are changing the whole feel of the game rather than building on the foundation that was created by earlier titles. As I see it, the squad(s) is the "character" not individuals in this series.

Brettzies
04-26-2006, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by Goliath.Ubi.Dev:
I have to completly disagree with you there KF, if FPS games were too short to create effcient character building we would have never had the icons that we have today like Duke Nukem, Master Chief, Sarge and countless others
I think you are right, but those FPSs along with the Splinter Cell(3rd person) games, are very different then what R6 use to be. Those games, like the most recent Lockdown, you are pretty much just worried about one character and going from point A to point B. It's so story dependent in Lockdown that if anyone "dies" they magically appear in a later level in order for the mission breifing to make sense.

I don't have a problem with Hollywood at all. My problem is when games try to be like Hollywood for no good reason other then the tag line. In many ways, games are better then Hollywood. Knights of the Old Republic is one of my favorite story based games of all time. Doom3 the game experience is waaay better then Doom the movie. Games are a lot like animation, you aren't limited by certain physical constraints and therefore have a freedom which cost movies millions of dollars to create.

Those games, like I stated earlier in this thread, are different. Their presentation is different. The way HL-2 tells its story is different. All those games are about going through levels, that's their design. Rainbow 6 use to be about planning(or using the plan), equiping your squad, and exectuting a mission. Not just running through a level shooting things until there's nothing left.

That doesn't mean there cannot be a strong story or even characters, but it seems like the game design is being dictated a bit by the one character, one event story concept, and traditional fps run through the level killing everything formula. Those games are fun, I do like them, but I think R6 was much much more then that.

This guy said it best:

Originally posted by FI_FlimFlam:
What I see as the problem is that in changing the focus away from the traditional gameplay and mission setup you are changing the whole feel of the game rather than building on the foundation that was created by earlier titles. As I see it, the squad(s) is the "character" not individuals in this series.

Le Tigre
04-26-2006, 02:04 PM
This is a really great disscussion, hopefully it can be continued from both sides (dev and fan)

Woosy
04-26-2006, 02:16 PM
Max Payne is a good example, you get to know about his past to the present day and it's all explained very well in a very well writen story, like Sin City. Master Chief and Duke Nukem don't need a backstory as such as they show who they are and why they do what they do. They could show him before the aliens attacked, it would strenghern his character, but it's not essentialy needed. Same with Master Chief and Sam Fisher. But ubi are now exploring going in to his past which they did do with Splinter Cell essentials for the psp.

I think the great example would be Gordon freeman, you only know a little bit about him, there is no characterization, he never talks, you find out what you know from other people, the only thing you know about his past is he worked with all the people in the photos including his enemies, but the story in Hl2 was so extremely badly done that it made no real sence bits of info here bits of info there, they really wanted to alienate the gamer in that game.

It's all about making a great story where you can include characters and bring them out if not totaly but then some, the great things about Splinter Cell and Halo is that there will be sequels to bring out their characters some more, bring out more of who they are. And they have over the first 2 games, third for SCCT was amazing. Master Chief you have that relationship with the computer lady, she brings out his personality.

KungFu_CIA
04-26-2006, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by Brettzies:

Those games, like I stated earlier in this thread, are different. Their presentation is different. The way HL-2 tells its story is different. All those games are about going through levels, that's their design. Rainbow 6 use to be about planning(or using the plan), equiping your squad, and exectuting a mission. Not just running through a level shooting things until there's nothing left.

That doesn't mean there cannot be a strong story or even characters, but it seems like the game design is being dictated a bit by the one character, one event story concept, and traditional fps run through the level killing everything formula. Those games are fun, I do like them, but I think R6 was much much more then that.

Speaking strictly from a non-hostile, fan vs. developer perspective, I believe this is exactly the main gripe most R6 fans have with the direction the series is heading in if we strip away all the "artsy-farsty" stuff about storytelling techiques and effective characterizations and the like.

R6 pioneered open-ended gameplay. It pioneered what could essentially be thought of as "an offline (SP) experience which feels like an online (MP) experience" with random Tango generation in Terrorist Hunt. It pioneered adding bits of RTS (Real Time Strategy) elements with the multiple teams and planning phase.

All of these unique elements have been slowly taken away over the years in favor of a more "accessible and story-driven" game... Which ends up making the series just like every other story-driven FPS on the market. There is nothing "special" -- The fabled X-Factor which differentiates one game from another -- About R6 anymore. Hell, even the concept of R6 is being paired down to nothing more than a glorified SWAT team if Vegas is any indication of the latest incarnation.

And continuing on in discussing game design, UBI appears to keep making the mistake of removing all of the things which made the gameplay and series unique in favor of making it easier for the casual gamer... When they should be ADDING (or retaining) more unique features and finding ways to simplify the overall GAMING experience more than anything. I even started a thread on this very topic on this board a while back.

In other words, in my humble opinion, UBI should be defining the curve for what is considered cutting-edge and unique instead of always being behind it and trying to catch up by making the game just like every other successful game already on the market in an attempt to do just this (catch up to the curve of innovative FPShooters).

Also, I acknowledge the games industry is very competitive as is the crowded FPS genre and producing a game isn't as easy as just talking about it here. I realize if devs deviate too much, or are too innovative fans won't respond well either.

However, putting all of these mitigating factors aside it still appears from my limited perspective UBI doesn't even "care" anymore and would rather just "break even" than take a calculated risk and produce something that would once again be at the top of the curve again -- like RSE was in the late '90s and early 2000. I apologize if this sounds harsh, but this is just my limited impression as a fan and not someone who is privy to the inner-workings of UBI, or the games industry as a whole and I hope I am proven wrong with R6:5.


Now, getting back to characterization and the real "meat" of this topic...

The bigger problem along with what I've already discussed is one that I don't know can be solved just because of the nature of games as a form of interactive entertainment and that is this:

Whenever you read a novel, or watch a TV show,or Movie... You are a passive observer. You are what is called the "fourth wall" in actor/performer terms. Essentially, you are the silent, third-party obsrever.

This concept goes right out the window with first person shooter games because no matter how much the game tells you you are Ding Chavez, or Master Chief... In the end, the player is who he/she is and there is absolutely nothing that can be done about this. In essence, there is no fourth wall because then games would not be games by their very definition. They would be passive forms of entertainment.

However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing IF it is handled correctly.

This is where I think a lot of so-called story-driven, FPS games in particular, make a lot of mistakes because while the player may agree to suspend their disbelief and immerse themselves into the "role" of whatever character he/she is playing... The fact is the emphasis is still on the player (main character) and NOT the NPCs or other characters he/she meets in the gameworld because in most story-driven FPS, those characters serve very little purpose other than to be proverbial cannon fodder, or serve as mere plot devices which move the game along from point A to point B.

This is what is meant when you hear entertainment critics say the characters were "one dimensional", or "not fleshed out".

Clear examples are when you (the player) are tasked with rescuing this person (NPC) from a certain location, so they can give you the password to unlock the last door to the level which will move you onto the next level.

While there is nothing wrong with this kind of setup, 99% of the time you are doing this without any real concern for the person(s) you are supposed to be rescuing OTHER than the fact you need that key/password/item to move onto the next part of the level.

This is exactly where effective characterization and storytelling techniques should be used because it then gives the player more of an incentive to not only reach the NPC, but a genuine sense that if they don't they will actually feel -- key element -- Bad if they don't -- Because they let that NPC die -- And not just because they can't move on to the next part of the game. It is this sense of failure on a personal level which is exactly the kind of emotional response a lot of games aim for, but never quite reach because they aren't executing these storytelling elements correctly -- Or even at all in some games.

In fact, the example above is a common mistake a lot of amateur screenwriters/writers make and I can easily spot this because what happens most of the time is they have a really kick-*** story full of excitement, suspense, etc., but very weak characters... Or a very weak story filled with kick-*** characters who feel like real people who you can root for, but that aren't "doing" anything because the story is flat and goes nowhere.

Games need to find this balance if they really want to evoke the emotional response(s) they claim they do... Regardless of genre... And not just keep relying on appealing to the base emotions of hate, fear, anger, hesitation, etc. most games cater too simply because the producers may not be aware of how to achieve this balance because this isn't their area of expertise. This goes back to my post when I said if games truly want to be interactive-movies then they should treat them this way from the start during production and hire the right people for the job who have experience in not just games, but other forms of storytelling outside games for the reasons we are discussing here.

FI_FlimFlam
04-26-2006, 04:04 PM
To me R6 has always been story driven, not in the sense that other single character dependent FPS titles are. The story is about the squad as a whole and their missions which eventually lead to a climax and take down of a particular threat and terrorism sponsor. I've never thought it was about the individuals that make up the squad. Heck, when I played the first Rainbow Six, it wasn't like I said to myself, "I'm Ding Chavez". Rather, while playing I said to myself, "I'm FlimFlam, lead of an elite anti-terrorist unit and these guys are relying on me to keep them alive and pull this mission off" - with me leading them and giving go codes and having to execute MY plan that I devised. That tells you that there was NEVER a single character that the game relied upon for it's identity and success - it relied on the player. Unlike Splinter Cell you felt like "I'm Sam Fisher". There in lies the big difference for me. What they are attempting to do is take the "ME" out of the game and replace it with "Ding" or "Jacoby" or whoever. It's changed the very core dynamic of pulling me into the game and replaced it with something completely alien.

Woosy
04-26-2006, 05:39 PM
The thing I keep trying to tell peeps on this is now in 2006, people want some personality in games, even Scott Mitchell has personality. If it's just to focus on the team leader fine. There is lots of places within Rainbow Six it can be added without compromising the gameplay. remeber rainbow six is a tactical shooter not an adventure game don't mix the two stories are different character interaction will be differnt.

It's like this Imagine not having John Clark talking, or the intel lady Imagine there was no faces just text no cut scenes apart from the start and end, I think you would find that just a bit tad plain and boring, some it may appeal to but a minority... Now Imagine Rogue Spear and they add John Clark talking and the Intel lady, it feels more appealing, it's more interesting to hear a voice then see text wouldn't you agree? Some would find it as a nice welcome to the game, doesn't distract from the gameplay.... It adds to the game.

Now do that with other Characters of the game the same way or via cutscenes, you don't need to bring them out like a tv series or a movie, just a bit of a personality will do. There is hardly anything in GRAW for the 360 to know who Scott Mitchell is but enough to say yeah this boy can not only kick *** but has a personality too, I like Scott Mitchell.

Alot of people I talk to say they would prefer some personality not overboard i.e Scott Mitchell, he is a hero character, rough looking but sexy at the sametime, kinda like the guy from the transporter. *lol* And really cares for his team.

Adding movie in to game is a no, but it can be done as been seen by many games and has been pulled off very well, games like Metal gear Solid hmm? And C&C tiberian sun, though that was done with actors, and was awesome!! GDI vs NoD I don't know one person who didn't like the characterization, in that game, to be honest that game kicks butt just for that and I have a ton of memories from playing that agme just from those two clans I was the good guys GDI vs The satanic NoD *lol* It was fun. Notice it was not in the game but via a cutscene? It all depends how one writes a story and puts it in to the game, there are great ways and bad ways. Ultimatly not adding anything isn't the way to go either.

Minority of people won't want anything the majority want something even if it's just a small % of personality, but not to the point where you got Raymong shouting "Chavez, get your arse over here now."

KungFu_CIA
04-27-2006, 12:56 AM
Woosy

I think the reason you may hear more people say they want stories is because you tend to hang around more with the console players than the PC players.

I say this not to be an *** and it is not intended to be an insult of any kind since I also interact with both console and PC players myself...

But I will state I think there is a definite difference between console players and PC players in the sense PC gamers tend to be much older on average and their main goal when playing a game like R6 is not to "pretend" to be a CT operative, but to actually "be" a CT operative for the amount of time they play the game.

I think this is the big difference UBI hasn't acknowledged yet as far as the R6 PC playerbase goes and why Stuart White's (RSE) comments in the now infamous pre-release interview ring so hollow... Because forcing the player to be something they are not -- And probably never wanted to be -- is the WORST way to "immerse" a player in ANY role and it sure as Hell is not going to generate any empathy for their AI squad mates either. Especially, with the shallow characitures LD used.

Games are about wish and fantasy fullfillment.

Nothing kills the immersion or fantasy faster than having to pretend to be someone else, I.E. Ding Chavez, who has predefined characteristics and is NOT the player... Even though players know in the back of their minds they are playing a game and will never be a real CT Operator in the strictest since. It sounds counter-intuitive, but this is the best way I can describe what I feel is the bigger issue at work here and why a lot of the posters on this forum are against characterization being forced into a game that used to let the player actually "become" a CT Operative from the planning all the way down to the execution of the operation like FI_FlimFlam, said.

I think the best example of the kind of immersion UBI should be going for is the kind used in Full Spectrum Warrior.

In this game, you are a disembodied Squad Leader -- literally -- Who is both part of the team, yet not part of the team at the same time... But it works because you become more involved and actually care about your squad members because THEY have fleshed out backstories and characterizations instead of you.

Like I said earlier, this is a clear example of the player being their to serve THEIR needs/story and not the other way around and it works because the main reason you are not part of the squad is because the game designers wanted to "force" the player to take the actual role of a Light Infrantry Squad Leader by NOT allowing you to fire your (or other team members) weapon because whenever a team leader starts firing their own weapon they have essentially lost focus of their primary goal and that is leading their teams. Of course, during a battle everyone is going to fire their weapons, but the point the devs were trying to emphasize was they wanted the player to THINK, thus become more immersed in the role of the Squad Leader more than just give orders 10% of the time and fire their weapon the other 90% of the time like most squad-based shooters are designed around.

Brothers In Arms actually takes this model one step further and allows the main player to fire their weapon... But again, it immerses the player more through the fact their squad mates are fleshed out characters MORE THAN the player being forced to play the role of an inexperienced Sergeant straight out of boot on the eve of D-Day.

What I am trying to get across is there is room for characterization, but I feel that because games ARE so different from movies and other forms of fiction that game devs and writers need to start adjusting HOW they tell their stories and by shifting focus from the main character and who he/she is to who their AI squad members are THIS is a much more EFFECTIVE means of immersing the player more than trying to force them into a role they probably don't give two rats-asses about to begin with...

And if they use some of the character building techniques I've discussed in my previous posts then most of the 'hardcore' players probably would not have as much an issue with it because it would at least attempt to be done right and not half-assed like LD and most games do what they call characterization.

Woosy
04-27-2006, 09:32 AM
My friends are all "PC" gamers there is about 30-40 of us that are female, they have no consoles, I'm the youngest actually being 22 their ages are 25-34 how mature do we have to be? Like many people here we have played many consoles from the days of nintendo, sega and sony. I'm the only one who has an Xbox360 at the mo. Talking to people with a console or not should not matter only person in my Flat who is would be my nephew, hes only 8 but he isn't thick, he knows when the game makers have done a boo boo, and people will hate to admit it but he plays more games then probably anyone on here.

They want the samething, the only thing thats different pc and console is that console players have a control pad and 9/10 want to get in to the game as fast as humanly possible and shoot the place up. Where as Pc players arn't like that, but on the whole people do wish to have a solid storyline, that people can talk about.

The other thing they, have children, how is it they can relate to certain characters, with a personality to ones who don'tand the ones who don't never get talked about? For example, we played these games.....

Max payne
Mafia
Interstate 76
Splinter Cell
Homeworld
Rainbow Six
Escape from Monkey Island
Broken Sword
GTA
Ghost Recon 3
C&C Tiberian Sun

From that list only 2 games from there doesn't have any real personality, GTA3 and Rainbow Six the other games, they can talk about for hours. They are fans of tactical shooters and adventure games. But add senceless violence and stupid storylines and no one will like it, but who plays that game for story? Rainbow Six has a story but no personality, and it's *sigh* I'll complete it to see the end, and play Mp only. The hardcore fans the 10,000 or so of them are not exactly the bigger % out of the 12.5 million buyers, of the franchise, who which by the way mainly only play it for singleplayer.

Rainbow Six has been left behind now, and Ghost Recon is in the lead, with personality. The main arguement on here has been, I don't want to see any characterization, I want black helmets, just want to see their eyes, and know nothing else, thats awesome. But to the majority of players out there they want to be apart of the squad, thats getting to know them a little, I don't really see the complaint at all here either. The main complain was "don't want it in-game" so do it outside the game via cutscenes, they don't want that either, the hardcore fans need to stop being selfish to the majority of people who wish to have somethign little which if done outside the field of gameplay hurts no one. What can you talk about Rainbow Six? You can say the gameplay is awesome thats about it. Every other game tactical shooter or not has 1 person you can relate to. Even OFP has personality.

Games are different to movies yes, but you can introduce movie aspects in to a games which they have been doing over the past 10 years some have worked some haven't. I don't like some movie aspects. I think you need to play C&C Tiberian Sun to know what I mean by movie being in-game, or if you have then you will know why that game is film/game, and why everyone loved that game. It's happened with many games from the early 1996. It's nothing new, only now they are trying to put it into the gameplay which sucks bottom.

Remember your main complain is not "ME" being taken out the game thats never been there from the original. *lol* Nothing should change there it's actually getting a team, which maybe they should force of 6 operatives who are the most godly out the rest, still allowing mutiple teams. But giving those 5 personality with the team leader you control.

Kaggis
04-28-2006, 03:48 PM
First I must say, I agree with many of the posts here. Most of all I think Kungfu is on the right track. Now, Goliath seems to defend the whole characterisation thing. This is no big surprise as Im pretty certain that Ubi wishes to implement more characterisation in the upcoming titles.Though I fail to understand why. Goliath makes examples of "good" and "useful" characterisation in games like Duke Nukem. Its pretty funny though making an example of Duke Nukem when talking about a rainbow six game, however, thats not my point.Others talk about Max payne and Splinter cell. But as someone else mentioned earlier; Those games are about one person. And in there is the difference.Those games are in need of characterisation, Rainbow 6 does not need it.Becouse Rainbow six is about a team, and hopefully in the upcoming titles, a somewhat big team.Now, if Ubi could manage to pull of some characterisation without making the characterisation stupid and so on...And not letting the characterisation dictate what needs to happen in-game,and still manage to have a somewhat big team, so some can die and so on, then why not? But on the other hand, Im pretty sure this wont happen. And in there lies my negativity towards characterisation.
This is how characterisation will happen in the next Rainbow six game: You will have like 5 operatives in total. 1 sniper (the quite guy, mysterious, almost never speaks), 1 "bomb" guy (A funny fellow), 1 assult guy (hard and ruthless, always ready to kill) 1 support guy (dumb as a tree, scwarzenegger type) And finally 1 more assult guy (the hero, always knows what to do etc.Annoyingly correct, and yup, thats you!)Ok, maybe characterisation wont be like this, but chances are it will be close to this.
In the end I would like to say this: Why do we need the characterisation?Is it not more important to get a great game gameplay-wise?It is just an ilusion that every game needs characterisation.It seems everything in this world is melting together to finaly become the same thing. Even when it comes to video games. If I want battlefield, then I will play battlefield, If I want duke Nukem or splinter cell then I will play those games. And if I want a real game, then I play RVS. Wouldt it be best to do 1 thing amazingly good, then to do 100 things average or below?Rainbow six is about gameplay, gameplay and gameplay. No fancy schmansy corn-rows characterisation.
To UBI: Start listening to the community, most posts in these forums are very good, and if you look at them you will se that the big majority of people actually agree on the essence of how a rainbow six game should be. Its not that hard to make a great game which stands out from the rest, you have done it before, remember?

Woosy
04-28-2006, 10:20 PM
Maybe you haven't played Splinter Cell or Max Payne? There is more then one Character in those games. Duke Nukem, Master Chief, Sam Fisher are an "example" There is more then just Master Chief in Halo, and more then Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell he has a team behind him, you do know that right? Seriously? Lambert,Grim,Redding. I don't think alot of people take notice to what happens in videos games, if you don't notice them.

Ask any fanatic about Splinter Cell to name every Character Sam Fisher has on his team from the first to the present game, the game is more then just Sam fisher, there is a relationship with his team. The only part of the game where it's singular is when it comes to the gameplay, but you still hear the team via voice communication, there humor arguments and so on. And alot of the character interaction is done by guess.... Cutscenes, thats right, how do they interfer with the gameplay, I do not know.

In Halo There is Cortana, The Admiral, Dr. Catherine who created you in a lab, yeah you're an alien being type person, that story is deep, there is alot of characters you find along the way that develop and you see them in the second game too. I think it comes down to do you play the games like console players and rush through? Or do you listern to the story on those type of genres? Because I can see where the Ignorance spouts from in that case if you don't notice more then one character. Hell there is charcater development with Hitman 47 of all games, that has a huge backstory too.

Now you say this is a tactical shooter you can't do it, to a degree you can't you can't do what the above games do and put it in the GAMEPLAY! Thats the difference there are other places in the game where it can be put in, while explaining the story for example i.e cutscenes. It doesn't have to be one character it can be 5 or 6 to give them some human charcateristics or a small personality, they don't eat sleep shoot people and repeat, where is the breifing? where is the gearing up there is so many places in the game you can put some without interfering with the "GAMEPLAY" keeping the two seperate, its ridicoulas saying you can't.

No one wants a full blown movie script in a game no one want to totaly know the characters inside out thats going over the top, GRAW does this perfectly it's sutle and it works, and yes you know your team members too, who respect you as their captain. Ding Chavez who is he? read the bio people say, next time someone asks me to tell me about myself i'll chuck a Cv in thier face, they won't know much apart from hobbies and qualifications will they? The rest of the time I can remain a mute like Ding.

Maybe you should watch the cancelled tv series called "Over There" and watch Sgt Scream, he doesn't have a back story in the show, hes just a Sgt, his attitude towards his team and his shouting gets him called Sgt Scream, everyones loves his character its simple but well done, even though you know hardly anything about him. Hes pretty much Scott Mitchell without the shouting, and as good looking too.

subzero1900
04-29-2006, 10:24 PM
Woosy, what they mean about splinter cell and duke nukem (never played)

Splinter cell, you never see grim, you never see redding, you never see sarah(sams daughter)
The only time you do see them is in the 3dmax'ed videos where they focus on more than <span class="ev_code_yellow">One guy in game</span> <span class="ev_code_red">(this is where characterization and R6 dont meet on the scale UBI has dictated)</span> Goliath & UBI is to stuborn to admit that They are wrong or provide any Fresh ideas but copy those of other games.

this is the exact same thing that happend to LD and this will again happen in Vegas they will ignore us and thing "were right and they are wrong"...besides what do we know? were only the stupid consumers that didn't buy that crappy game of Lock Down <span class="ev_code_red">(wich redstorm actually tried to save you $$$$ on if you had given them the time to create a new game)</span>...look what happend there UBI...your ingnorant pompus idealism that "Were right, you wrong customer" isnt working, whats that I hear.....the Money stuffed crappy Corporation of EA coming to buy your corporation seeing as you didn't listen to the consumers want's and ended up with a bunch of unsold CD's

Listen to the hardcore gamers here...what are they telling you

1. 8 members of Team rainbow deployed in game
2. Intelligent AI both Terrorist and Rainbow operatives...NOT SCRIPTED IDIOTS RUNNING AROUND
3. Mulitple maps with Exotic Areas...(exotic as in...Dam,Mansion,747,Amazon,Ruined City,Nuclear Facility,ETC...)
4. Unlinear maps, Maps compatible from SP for not only COOP BUT Adversarial
5. Weapons with Their actual name...its not an SR-2 its a M-4 carbine
^. when you say that their is 40 new guns that is NEW GUNS, Not diffrent Verisions of the M-4, Micro-tar, ect...
6. Stand ALone Dedicated SERVER FILES ON DEMO RELEASE, Why? (wow, I cant tell if the game rules with all this lag because the server is off of the host's DSL connection and not a T1 connection with no host)
<span class="ev_code_red">7. A game That ACTUALLY DOES GO BACK TO THE ROOTS OF THE FREAKING GAMES THAT STARTED THIS SERIES PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC</span>, <span class="ev_code_yellow">FROM THE EGM MAGAZINE I KNEW INSTANTLY THAT THIS WASNT GOING TO HAPPEN</span>

subzero1900
04-29-2006, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by Goliath.Ubi.Dev:
I have to completly disagree with you there KF, if FPS games were too short to create effcient character building we would have never had the icons that we have today like Duke Nukem, Master Chief, Sarge and countless others that anyone who has ever picked up a controller could tell you about.

Games last longer then Movies,we can even go further in developping characters.

Ok goliath...Tell me From the game only (no books), Who is Master Chief, Where did he come from, How come you never see him withought a helmate, Does he have a family, Why is he the only one with that suit?

Who is Duke Nukem, Where did he grow up, Does he have a family if so what happend to them....

Same goes with any other character....you get the gist of whats happening and thats about it...

<span class="ev_code_red">The only game EVER to try and show you who,where,what the characters are Has been Tribes: Vengance...To bad the game never made any headway...its really a great SP story</span>

KungFu_CIA
04-30-2006, 09:11 AM
In keeping this discussion going in a civil manner, here is a concrete example of what I have been talking about that could work in a game like R6:

The following is a cutscene between missions:



Ding Chavez, Tim Hanley and Renee Raymond shoot at suspended paper targets on the firing range. They use MP5s, but they only shoot short burts, check their target, then fire another short burst, check their targets, etc. This goes on for about ten seconds so you can see they are not just "spraying and praying".

Finally, Tim slings his MP5 (or lets it fall across his body), pulls out a Beretta and fires off another short burst... And smirks.

Eddie Price yells "Time". The range goes quiet. All the team members reel in their targets.

Ding walks over to Tim's pulpit and says, "Nice". Renee also joins them and says, "Nice shot grouping".

Eddie Price walks over to them with a stern look on his face:

"Hanley. This is a failure drill. Fire, make sure the target is down, re-index and fire again if they are still moving. Why did you pull your side-arm?"

Tim simply replies, "Sir. Failure is not an option, sir. And have a nice day, Sarge". Tim walks off with a smirk. Eddie removes Tim's paper target and we finally see it:

The torso of the black silohuette consists of the usual grouping of tight, randomized holes. The head of the silohuette has two holes where eyes would be, one for a nose and a whole row of holes below the nose which curl up and look like a smiley face.

.....

Let's analyze what this scene tells us about not just Tim Hanley, but the rest of R6:

1) It explains what a Failure Drill is.

A Failure Drill is not when a weapon jams. It is a drill to make sure the targets being engaged are actually down and not a threat anymore as people CAN fight back even with a few rounds in their body (no body armor) as evidenced by real life reports from places like Iraq, Afghanistan and even local police when confronting armed suspects high on drugs.

This immerses the player into the world of SF and CQB Operators and is the kind of stuff an R6 fan -- casul AND hardcore -- Wants to be aware of because it makes them feel like they've learned something that is relevant to the fictional world/experience they are in and thereby, helps support the idea they really are a SF Operator and not just pretending to be one when they play this game.

2) It shows Tim Hanley has a sense of humor, but it also shows how good of a shot he is if he can make a "smiley face" at 200 meters with just a pistol.


This is the kind of characterization I am trying to get across that not only doesn't interfere with gameplay, but is also relevant to the game and its overall themes.

What about the player getting to know more about who Tim Hanley is from this scene?

Here is where it gets tricky because it depends on the game becoming more scripted -- in every sense of the word -- And this is something we R6 fans are trying to get across we don't want as it limits replayability and open-ended nature of the missions.

However, purely for the sake of argument and to prove my point about what real characerization is with this example...

There will be a point in the story where Tim puts down a hostile... He declares the room "Clear!"... But the hostile isn't dead and manages to seriously wound or kill another R6 team member such as Pak Su, or Yacoby for instance... Because Tim was over-confident in his abilities and made a crucial mistake.

This (above) is a true character arc because now Tim feels GUILTY for letting one of his team members be hurt/killed and he has to work through this guilt while at the same time trying to do his job where he is put into situations where it can happen again.

This is a very simple example of the kinds of character arcs you see in movies, novels and TV and how it could work in a game like R6 given the subject material...

But again, I must stress, if UBI decides to go this route -- While better than Lockdown's shallow characitures and annoying, pre-adolescent chatter -- This once again takes R6 into more of being a scripted game like Half-Life and Halo than an open-ended squad shooter like most of us are hoping the series returns to.

DayGlow
04-30-2006, 11:56 AM
200m with a pistol? Your front sight would be larger than the target! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Woosy
04-30-2006, 09:10 PM
You never seen John Clark, Intel lady either doesn't stop there being a relationship with them. By the way you do see Lambert in the first game and you do see Sarah in SCPT when she is kidknapped, you have to take notice of things that are going on. Later in SCPT Sam calls her on the satalite phone to make sure she is ok.

Kungfu that is exactly what i'm trying to get across in cutscenes and they can remain in cutscenes or the brifing screen and bring out some tiny personality, Hardcore or not it doesn't interfer witht he gameplay it doesn't make the game linear it can be open ended it just opens up the people a little.

RAZE_672
05-01-2006, 11:05 AM
Let's not forget rainbow's better half -- the tangos! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/mockface.gif If there is a group that needs some sort of character development it's them. I'd like to see them have a story and be differentiated by more than just the uniforms they wear. Illuminate they're unique skills, motives and meglomanical personlities (ect.). Great villains are the stuff for great games!

KungFu_CIA
05-01-2006, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by RAZE_672:
Let's not forget rainbow's better half -- the tangos! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/mockface.gif If there is a group that needs some sort of character development it's them. I'd like to see them have a story and be differentiated by more than just the uniforms they wear. Illuminate they're unique skills, motives and meglomanical personlities (ect.). Great villains are the stuff for great games!

Excellent point.

Well defined villians (or anti-heroes) often make the standard heroes better because of the added complexity they bring to the overall story.

There is one story I am particularly found of that I believe would take R6 to the "next level" in terms of complex character growth and development, but at the same time leave gameplay mechanics intact. I've mentioned this scenario a couple of times before on different threads about character building, so I won't do it here. Sufice to say, it would have to be in the next installment of R6 (R6:6) since Vegas no doubt already has its own storyline and is well into production already.

WhiteKnight77
05-23-2006, 05:59 PM
Something that many of you have forgotten is that the characters (or at least the main characters) have already been fleshed out.

How many people have read "Without Remorse?" This book fleshes out who John Clark is and how he got the name Clark (real name, John Kelly). He was recruited into the CIA by Admiral Greer after getting closed in on for the killing of drug dealers and such after the killing of his new ex-prostitute GF who had escaped the drug dealers. The cop who was investigating the killings? None other than Emmett Ryan, Jack Ryan's (was a kid at the time) father. Later helped get Gerasimov's family out of Russia as Jack got Gerasimov out at the same time. Was a SEAL with 3rd SOG.

Ding Chavez was a ********er from LA. Enlisted in the Army and earned his Ranger tab. Was recruited by the CIA for black ops in Columbia during Clear and Present Danger. Worked for Clark and was rescued by Ryan after he found out the teams were left out to dry by National Secruity Advisor Admiral James Cutter. Went on to join the CIA full time at the insistance of Clark. Was detrimental in putting all the pieces of the puzzle together for the biological warfare attack on the US during Executive Orders and eventually married Clark's daughter Patricia.

Loiselle and Johnston entered in Rogue Spear as did Eddie Price to add more characters from the book. IIRC only 3 from the book originally appeared in R6.

Characterizations will not work with the R6 series as they have already been fleshed out, either in the book or in the first 2 versions of the game (they had bio's in the game's planning stages where you picked your operators). The R6 series was a story and had a plot to it that ended in a decisive way. The features that the first two games had was something that no other game had and hopefully another game will have in the future, even if not made by RSE or Ubi.

Ubi really needs to get the R6 series back on track or they will be known in the field as just another shooter, oh wait, it has happened. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif

Woosy
05-23-2006, 06:34 PM
In a way I hope the team has been cleared out totaly. And you play as yourself like the original Ghost Recon, where by you enter any name. But at the same time knowing who your buddies who are risking their lives with you. No one should have to read books or watch films about certain Characters which the game should portray and explain.

Full Spectrum Warrior has the same setup as R6 as that is has a profile (http://www.fullspectrumwarrior.co.uk/tr_profiles.php?id=4) page. What I like about that game, is that their personality comes out in the game, not only in a bio. I know it's simular to Lockdown in a way as there is sterotypes, like the African American loud mouth but... You can hear the emotion in their voices when their fellow team mate gets hit with by a bullet, telling him to hang on in there. And how angry they are at that happening, or when they're under fire. When getting him to the medics, they have a sigh of relief that their fellow soldier is gonna be ok, that too me is personality. Ok the African American guy comes across loud but, they do tell him to shut up, which can be comical, that team has zest, it may not be the best example but it's the onyl one i can think of.

And for that reason. The soldiers are more then just a bot in that game, and thats what I want from Rainbow make them feel human. Whats done in FSW can be done in cut scenes and explain their actions and such. But leaving many in the dark who they are is just mneh.

But I understand after playing GRAW for PC why FlimFlam and others would prefer not a hero character but them to be the person who controls the team as in his own name. It's more immersive and a team who, you can rely on and know who they are and can rely on them in the field, like a real team of competent soldiers.

Woosy
05-24-2006, 02:31 AM
Originally posted by subzero1900:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Goliath.Ubi.Dev:
I have to completly disagree with you there KF, if FPS games were too short to create effcient character building we would have never had the icons that we have today like Duke Nukem, Master Chief, Sarge and countless others that anyone who has ever picked up a controller could tell you about.

Games last longer then Movies,we can even go further in developping characters.

Ok goliath...Tell me From the game only (no books), Who is Master Chief, Where did he come from, How come you never see him withought a helmate, Does he have a family, Why is he the only one with that suit?

Who is Duke Nukem, Where did he grow up, Does he have a family if so what happend to them....

Same goes with any other character....you get the gist of whats happening and thats about it...

<span class="ev_code_red">The only game EVER to try and show you who,where,what the characters are Has been Tribes: Vengance...To bad the game never made any headway...its really a great SP story</span> </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ooh I didn't see this, but i can answer some of it. Master Cheif is a normal human, well was... When he was young, Military personel scouted for subjects for the project dubbed Spartan II. He was suitable, he was a big built great for the project, so they kidknapped him and replaced him with a clone. So his family wouldn't know, problem was the clones died, which is sad.

He was put in to the project and was taught, what adults would learn escape capture etc etc. He made two friends there, I forget the names, once their training and was older they got put futher in to the project. They where givern booster shots to increase muscle tone and blood flow to the eyes so he could be stronger and see futher. He was givern more doses to make bones stronger, and heal faster. Half of this is explained in the first game by Dr Catherine before she erases herself, from the memory banks so not to let her info get in to bad guys hands. She adds some of her data to cortona i believe.

There was 75 Spartans originaly 12 went funky the others died. Master Chiefs real name is John last name unknown just a number. Dr Catherine named all the subjects instead of giving them numbers hence why you're John 117 to her in the game, some of the other characters in-game call you John too. There are other spartans I think, not many though 1 maybe 2 left, that catherine said where alive.

As for the reason he never takes off the suit, it's bullet proof, it acts as a space suit all in one, remembering he is stronger and bigger then normal humans, it's best to protect their assets especially when John is unique.

As for Duke Nukem there is no background for him really. Hard 1 not played the game since like 1996. I think he was in the marines, doesn't speak about family, or childhood. Hes just angry to put it nicely that aliens have come to earth destroying what he enjoyed women, cars, drugs, porn and hitech weaponry. And has an obsessive nature to keep saying "suck it down" everytime he kills a baddie *lol* I can't forget that or the shake it baby. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif That game isn't serious enough to have any character because the game isn't serious it's just a big joke, where by the audience is meant to laugh and the stupidly insane things and cutscenes.

Now, tell me something about Chavez Ding without reading from the book....

Relenquish
05-24-2006, 04:36 AM
I have been playing RVS for years and know nothing about any of the characters personallities. Nor do I really care to know. All I can say is nationallity, and maybe what they are good at. I do not play SP much so it really doesnt matter.

I can tell you a bit about the personallities of all the people you play with online on a regular basis. Now they are real characters. They make the game interesting.

Best Regards

WhiteKnight77
05-24-2006, 06:52 AM
http://www.whiteknight77.net/images/bio.jpg

:whistle:

This is why characterizations are not needed. The characters backgrounds have already been fleshed out. This is why dropping the planning stage was a bad idea. No one has a way to read about a team members background and how they ended up in Rainbow. Yes, I showed Ding's bio, but if you look at the team list, they all have bio's and if Ubi cares to look, there are more than just 4 team members to Rainbow and not one hero character!

Woosy
05-24-2006, 01:04 PM
There is just too many bio's 30+ people for one to remember. Team needs to be cut down and start fresh. An example ask a die hard game player who each character on FSW is, and their personality, you will get a giggle. Because the squad is a big family who have personalities. Ask someone who plays the R6 series who is a die hard but hasn't read the books but played the game, and ask them who a random character is, and they say "I dunno, but you can read a bio" http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

We tried this once when on a long train trip, 4 of my girlfriends and their boyfriends. They love R6 and we was talking about the SC, Lara and Dante personality. We asked them who they thought was good they say Ding, who is Ding?, dunno? Who is Price? Dunno all they could tell me is their nationality, no appealing personality. *yawn* I think it's why there hasn't been much complaint that Ding has been replaced with Logan keller. Game isn't out but you can bet anyone who watched E3 now knows and Ding is just a memory, Ding? Ding who?

Which is my point. For my Russian friend Kate who I envy so much!! You know how the Russians have localised voice actors for Ubi games? Well get this... They recycle them, for many games. She laughs because in her version, "Sam Fishers" voice is John Clark, "Coen" is the female voice for mp, and Grim is the intel lady. It doesn't stop getting funny there, you know how the bad guys are German? In her version they're Arabic.

She gets more enjoyment out the game, because the personality from those characters are carried over from SC series, they they shouldn't, it's hard not to. She never refers to them as R6 characters but SC ones. When I'm on Airport and I shoot a hostage in the leg, she will giggle that Sam Fisher just roasted me for taking a pot shot. She never says Clark says it, though it took me a while to understand that Sam Fishers voice for her localised version was used. The reason why it's so funny and you can relate, is because Sam Fishers sence of humor and personality is amazing.

Now if only Sam Fisher was John Clark and all the SC voices where taken over in English I wouldn't have a problem, 1 I know who they are and their backgrounds already from playing those games. 2 they all have great in-depth personalities. 3 it makes the gameplay immersive. It gives the gamer a reason to start over if a team mate dies as you know who they are on a subnconcious level so there is a reason to. Not just for the fact oh man down I'll restart. As R6 is, it's dull and characters are 2D in personality. One thing that really does make me laugh though is have you heard kevin sweenies accent? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif It's completely wrong, He sounds like a Brummie from Birmingham.

Splinter Cell has novells too, you can learn a ton more about Sam Fishers past and why he is how he is, but the game does enough explaining to see one half of him, and his team. I mean to quote Wiki you can tell hes a hero.

Sam Fisher

Personality

A gruff and no-nonsense individual, Fisher has little patience for government bureaucracy or political maneuvering. A political realist, Fisher maintains a cynical and sarcastic sense of humor about the covert, illegal, and often morally ambiguous nature of his work. At the same time, he is highly loyal and a staunch believer in the American ideals his work ultimately protects; he will follow orders even if he finds them disagreeable or inconvenient to his mission, and he is quickly angered by the casual slaughter of Americans or U.S. military personnel by his enemies.

In the original Spinter Cell, Fisher is a new member of Third Echelon, and thus his interactions with his commander Colonel Lambert are relatively straightforward and respectful. At the same time, Fisher does drop the occasional "smart" comment at particularly unusual or obtuse mission orders.

In Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, Fisher is more familiar with his fellow Third Echelon personnel and therefore feels more free to express himself to them. He makes several sarcastic and somewhat cynical comments about the nature of his work. He also demonstrates a somewhat light-hearted side when he describes himself as "A pumpkin that hunts penguins for the phone company" to a confused hostage he rescues.

In Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Fisher is shown as rather ruthless towards his enemies, and he appears fairly disappointed when Lambert orders him to avoid enemy fatalities as part of his mission parameters. Frequently holding captured enemies at knife-point, his dialogue with them is creative and highly intimidating, though often morbidly humorous to the audience.

Throughout the games, Fisher attempts to uphold what he believes is "right." A notable instance occurs during Chaos Theory where Lambert instructs Fisher to leave the bodies of downed pilots at the scene of the crash, which Fisher is about to demolish. While the game allows the player to demolish the site, he or she can pick up the bodies and carry them to safety. Lambert tells Fisher to stop because it may compromise the mission, but Fisher continues anyway. Lambert then reminds him that his actions will not be recognized and that he will not receive a medal, to which Fisher replies, "medals don't help me sleep at night." Another instance is when Fisher is ordered to not tamper with the body of a tortured computer engineer because they don't have the means to extract him. The player may choose to cut down the ropes binding the corpse which will cause Lambert to yell at Fisher who will reply by saying, "Just because he's dead doesn't mean I have to leave him there hanging like a piece of meat...you can spare a few seconds for some simple dignity."

This is my point you see this in the game, you know this guy isn't just your usual soldier there there is a place in his heart and soul that motivates him to do the job, again i stress it's explained in the game, if Sam died or got replaced everyone would be sad. With Team Rainbow there is zip, nada just a bio. No one cares if Ding lives or dies obviously, because no 1 is too bothered Logan is at the helm apart from 1-2 PC fans *lol*

KungFu_CIA
05-24-2006, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by WhiteKnight77:

This is why characterizations are not needed. The characters backgrounds have already been fleshed out.

This isn't the same as trying to create a character in-game via sound bytes, visual cues and cutscenes from scratch whose history is not from an outside source.

As much as long-time R6 fans might not want to admit, Woosy has it spot on in there are too many names to remember -- and some of their stories are too similar anyway -- AND most gamers probably have not read the books the game is based on and this is who they are targeting more than those who have, for better or for worse.

What a lot of fans, myself included, have a problem with is Lockdown tried to create "characters" in such a horrible way (using cliched dialogue and hackneyed stereotypes) which completely detracted from the overall immersion -- what little there was -- The game was trying to promote.

In a way, I am glad they are starting over with Logan Keller and company, but am still wary they are going to substitute visual cues for true charactgerization -- Which this entire discussion is about more than anything.

As I said, having one operative stand differently than another operative and having one dart his weapon around more often than the others is not characterization no matter what anyone says. If we found out WHY one darts his weapon around more than the others -- Maybe he is new and this is his first live op and he's nervous? -- Then this is a step in the right direction, but so far, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme nor reason for this other than to differentiate between two character models.

The devs calling this "characterization" in an interview is what promoted me to start this thread because it is not true as far as storytelling technique goes.

WhiteKnight77
05-24-2006, 03:05 PM
Actually, Sam, in the first SC is welcomed back by Lambert. Sam used to be with Third Echelon previously and was called back (hmmmmmmmm seems vaguely like Ryan being called back time and again to work for the CIA).

Rainbow is supposed to be a team based upon the book. Both were started and worked on at the same time (though the book and game have different endings and some of the characters are different). Many of us bought the game due to reading the book and already knowing the characters and their backgrounds. This is why the game as it is now is a failure, they are leaving the team behind (even if using 3 others on the "team" still). The team of 8 was what the game was about, not just one person. You were supposed to care about more than just one person.

My favorite character has been removed from the game. Homer Johnston, who was with the team from the get go (and in the book too) no longer exists. We have a different sniper instead. Eddie Price made it in from the book and is best known for his pipe smoking (and is how the Russians figured out it was the same team doing all the takedowns). It is known that the team takes their job seriously and can still have a good time afterwards. All are competitive in nature.

By the 5th generation of the game, people should have an idea of who is who, but Ubi appears to have blown that already. We know that Rainbow is an elite (not anymore mind you) counterterrorist team that had many people from varied backgrounds and personalities. What works for SC or Halo does not neccessarily work for R6 as it was already done, well in advance of the latest version. If new characters are added, then give more information about who they are and how they would fit in with the team.

Woosy
05-24-2006, 04:37 PM
Sam Fisher worked in the CIA and Navy Seals previously before Third Echelon, because in the first game he was the first ever Splinter Cell. The other members worked for the NSA who where assigned to the task to work on the project.

In 1998 when I got Rainbow Six I was 14, the storyline in the game, was the appealing side of the game not the characters. I was interested in Counter-Terrorism, thats was another appeal. I'm now 22 and times have really changed. My point is if you haven't read the book which the gamer shouldn't have to do, you know jack! Thats my point. The Bio is like a CV, if I go for a job interview, i'll still get asked "can you tell me more about yourself?" With Splinter Cell you know everything from the game, all the characters, and there is more then just four. In the Splinter Cell books you can learn about how his wife died how one of the most amazing women to touch his heart took a bullet from a hitman who was following him. But this is not needed because whats explained in the "game" is enough to give the team and him personality, you're not forced to buy a book. People say I don't want to know who they are, in that case should we have no Bio's no faces just Soldier A,B,C or call them Mr White, Mr Brown and Miss Pink?

Now when there is a solid storyline in SC or any game for that matter and it brings out the characters those games become the most immersive games of all time. Gameplay is one thing but if I wanted a simulation I would play Janes flight sims.

Play Mafia, which explains the story in past tence format, amazing game. It explains who he is, loyalities etc etc... It is one of the best games designed and is totaly non linear played almost like a MMO can go anywhere do what you like. Play Max Payne a dark story where your wife and 6 month old baby is killed. And like Sam Fisher takes a job undercover, gets framed and has to uncover the truth and explain why his wife and daughter where killed. A HUGE back story to that game. Halo, Even that has a huge back story, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy, System Shock 2, Homeworld, FSW I could go on. Then I'm sure I would have someone say but these games arn't real, these are games rainbow Six is a game. It's meant to be immersive, some people just want gameplay, they would be in the minority people would wonder what the heck is going on in this game without a solid storyline?

One thing thats Good about the upcoming SCDA game you get too see the bad guys characters and you have some compassion and understand why they're doing it but at the same time you have a mission to complete. R6 is lacking this.

The excuse that Rainbow Six is a unique game isn't an excuse. If you haven't read the book which many console and PC player haven't except the hardcore, you know sod all. Thats bad writing by Tom Clancy, SC storylines are done by someone else, which is probably why they're better and make sence. They need to get the entire team on Two Black Hawks at the Start of R6-5 and watch them get blown up by a SAM Launcher and introduce a new team one which we can actually get to know in some form, unless they explain them in some way. because yes they are an elite and highly secretive SF unit but not to the player they shouldn't be

And please for all things good and holy! When people ask for personality it doesn't mean we want to know if they like diet cola or mc donalds.