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Thread: Creative Development Q&A 7

  1. #41

    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 7

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Blade View Post
    It is guilty, but not as much as WoL.

    In SC and BW there was an emphasis on the death of Terrans, Zerg and Protoss.

    Terrans:
    We see arms flying in space, science vessel Zerg vs Marines, the nasty trench warfare, kerrigan's killing spree after the BW, and when someone died in game there was a strong focus on his death (stukov's blood spatter).

    Protoss:
    Dragon's blow up, and Fenix is killed multiple times.

    Zerg:
    Stacks of corpses being burned.
    I'm not disputing that. But the deaths shown mostly focus on deaths on the individual scale. Deaths of soldiers, and all that. What the earlier games didn't do was show deaths for non-combatants (bar the salvage crew). Tarsonis invaded? Green text. Aiur invaded? Some artwork and a cutscene which doesn't show a single dead protoss. UED invasion and occupation of Dominion? Not a single mention of the effect on the civilian population.

    WoL has flaws with how it portrays the war, but it at least reaffirms that there's a war going on, and the effects on refugees/civilians (virus, food shortages, conscription, etc.) are actually shown, or if not shown, at least mentioned.

  2. #42
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 7

    SCBW is guilty of having a concise plot. Much of the ongoings are left to the imagination. But if it was made in 2010 instead of 1999, then "green text" portraying deaths would not be a problem. Of course WoL goes into these details more....if you compare the scripts it has more text than all of SC1, BW, Enslavers and Resurrection combined. And it's only 1/3 of the story.

  3. #43

    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 7

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    But the deaths shown mostly focus on deaths on the individual scale. Deaths of soldiers, and all that. What the earlier games didn't do was show deaths for non-combatants (bar the salvage crew). Tarsonis invaded? Green text. Aiur invaded? Some artwork and a cutscene which doesn't show a single dead protoss. UED invasion and occupation of Dominion? Not a single mention of the effect on the civilian population.
    Huh? Deaths presented on an individual scale always have more of an impact than just prosaically listing numbers or facts (you know how the ol' "one death is a tragedy..." line goes). It doesn't matter if the death is a soldier or civilian as long as they are identifiable or relatable in some form. The aim is get across the implicit notion that every individual that dies is important because in reality we can never really extrapolate or process that feeling to encompass a large number of people.

    It is why Sc1 shows cinematics of non-descript, goofy but somewhat realistic humans dying only to then render the Zerg invasion of Tarsonis or the Protoss incineration of Mar Sara and Antiga into "green text".

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    WoL has flaws with how it portrays the war, but it at least reaffirms that there's a war going on, and the effects on refugees/civilians (virus, food shortages, conscription, etc.) are actually shown, or if not shown, at least mentioned.
    This is debatable. Name-checking such things on a newscast (a jokey one that makes one question whether one should or should not take it seriously, no less) is not exactly showing. Really, it's just a more fanciful way of showing "green text".

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    SCBW is guilty of having a concise plot. Much of the ongoings are left to the imagination.
    I think you're onto something here. The criticisms of the originals (legitimate at varying degrees) do seem to fall into the park of "well, they didn't do this or that either". Whereas given that WoL is somewhat bloated when you compare the sheer amount of material (there is a lot in there) to the actual plot (which is paper-thin and very short when you look directly at it), is it any wonder why people criticise it along the lines of "well, they did this but why not that?" Either way, I'm sure Blizz is aware of this, which I assume is why HotS length is shorter.
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  4. #44

    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 7

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Huh? Deaths presented on an individual scale always have more of an impact than just prosaically listing numbers or facts (you know how the ol' "one death is a tragedy..." line goes). It doesn't matter if the death is a soldier or civilian as long as they are identifiable or relatable in some form. The aim is get across the implicit notion that every individual that dies is important because in reality we can never really extrapolate or process that feeling to encompass a large number of people.
    How are any of the deaths in the original cinematics important? We get the following:

    a) Space salvagers. People we don't know nor care about.

    b) Lester and Sarge. People we care slightly more about, but are completely separate from the main storyline.

    c) Amerigo marines. Redshirts that, while making for a good battle, aren't developed as characters in themselves.

    d) Fenix. Who goes out off-screen and due to a power outage.

    e) Terrans on Char. Know nothing about them.

    f) Tassadar. Whose death...I can't actually complain about.

    So, going by SC1 cinematic deaths, we know a grand total of two of the characters beforehand, and only one of them gets a decent send-off. I can't fault the cinematics in themselves, given the technology avaliable at the time, but many of them are completely outside the plot (which makes sense, considering that most, if not all of them were developed when the game's plot was still being fleshed out). And in the meantime, we get the cursed green text. Not even a still image to go with it. And if you want to make the argument that the people who die are representative of deaths as a whole, as something we can latch onto, it doesn't work because usually the deaths are out of context of the war itself. No sign the zerg are overrunning Mar Sara when Lester and Sarge die, the Dominion doesn't come back to Char post-cinematic, and the terrans on Char are completely irrelevant to the protoss campaign as a whole. The attack was pointless, their deaths are pointless, and the only reason it exists is to show how the protoss completely outclass their human foes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    It is why Sc1 shows cinematics of non-descript, goofy but somewhat realistic humans dying only to then render the Zerg invasion of Tarsonis or the Protoss incineration of Mar Sara and Antiga into "green text".
    Disagree, because there's no connection between them. I can't care about the terrans on the Amerigo because I'm playing as zerg at the time. In theory, I'm reveling at the carnage my hydralisks cause. Again, I can't mourn the terrans on Char, because I'm a protoss player at the time, and I'm getting some well deserved vindication for an attack on my dragoon. In contrast, I can empathise with the deaths in WoL because I am a terran player at the time. I can empathise with humans dying at the hands of the zerg, even if only in the broadcasts, and I can empathise with the Dominion marines on Char because I've been fighting alongside them for two (three if you include the worldship) missions up to this point. Unlike the BW intro marines who fight as redshirts and die as redshirts, their sole purpose being to show that the zerg are unstoppable, DuGalle and Stukov* are cold fish, and terrans are still useless in cinematics when it comes to fighting anyone but themselves.

    *Which is decent characterization for them, but it doesn't serve the marines on the ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    This is debatable. Name-checking such things on a newscast (a jokey one that makes one question whether one should or should not take it seriously, no less) is not exactly showing. Really, it's just a more fanciful way of showing "green text".
    As opposed to "sweet rover" seriousness?

    Looking at the newscasts, they only tend to get into joke territory when dealing with the Dominion. Against the zerg, it's usually toned down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    SCBW is guilty of having a concise plot. Much of the ongoings are left to the imagination.
    If that's the case, it should have utilized signpost-type storywriting. Which it doesn't. Both SC1 and BW are extremely narrow in viewpoint. I think this is actually less of a problem in BW because the select groups we're with represent the factions as a whole. In contrast, for SC1, we're only given a narrow viewpoint of events going on. We're in a war where the Confederacy's losing, but hear little about it. We're part of a massive zerg swarm, but there's no sign of our fellow zerg when we invade Aiur, or mention of what the other broods are doing. We're fighting on Aiur, yet hear nothing about what's going on on other protoss worlds. Whatever "bloatedness" WoL has, it's worth it in that we get a sense of an actual war being fought, and see more of the K-sector as an added bonus. You can say "it's all left to the imagination" but without the signposts of storytelling, the notion is just a cop-out.
    Last edited by Hawki; 12-08-2012 at 04:04 AM.

  5. #45

    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 7

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    How are any of the deaths in the original cinematics important?
    Please read my statement again. I don't mean "important" in terms of plot but rather in a contextual sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    And if you want to make the argument that the people who die are representative of deaths as a whole, as something we can latch onto, it doesn't work because usually the deaths are out of context of the war itself.
    I never said they were effective at doing it, rather that they were evocative of that sentiment or at the least, they were trying to do so. What better way to show a civilian cost by showing actual civilians (the space salvagers) "buying the farm"?

    Also, compare the deaths of said Terran characters in the Sc1 cinematics to the Terran deaths in WoL. As far as I can recall, the majority of Terran deaths shown in the cinematics of WoL are faceless, voiceless clones (marines) of each other. The deaths of Tosh and Hanson are justified in the sense that they have given themselves over to evil and the game implies that they are rightly deserving of death. With those examples, WoL doesn't effectively show the implied cost of death in war either.

    Who cares if the news reports says there's famine and disease? We don't really get to see it either in WoL - they're just telling us (if at all since they're on the ticker-tape and the pervasive jokiness of the whole newscasts). To me, those examples in WoL are no better than the "green text" that you dislike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    No sign the zerg are overrunning Mar Sara when Lester and Sarge die...
    It goes back to what Gradius mentioned about conciseness. You actually don't need to see the Zerg overrun Mar Sara. The Lester & Sarge cinematic is representative of the lackadaisical approach the Terrans have towards the Zerg and how they will ultimately pay the price for that. It's inferred that the Terrans on Mar Sara are going to be in trouble. The rest (which is quite clear) is left to the imagination.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    The attack was pointless, their deaths are pointless, and the only reason it exists is to show how the protoss completely outclass their human foes.
    I'm not sure what "attack" and whose "deaths" you are referring to here although I do agree with the last part about the Terrans being outclassed (they are afterall suddenly surprised and caught in the middle of a war between two, ancient and intergalactic powers with many years of experience and technology ahead of them) in the cinematics. Other than that, the Terran "cost" is largely implied in those cinematics. If the military is outclassed, than the rest of the Terrans (the civilians and whatnot) are pretty much screwed as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    I can't care about the terrans on the Amerigo because I'm playing as zerg at the time. In theory, I'm reveling at the carnage my hydralisks cause.
    I never said you couldn't revel in that particular cinematic. Then again, I never said you couldn't care for those Terrans who die on the Amerigo, if you were so inclined to either... If you were to look at it from the Terran angle, you can identify them as 'people' through their exaggerated personalities (and not just because they look roughly like humans). Because of this humanisation (which is admittedly basic), one can feel their deaths in terms of a human cost, whereas dehumanisation (in WoL, it is used to justify Tosh's and Hanson's death, but it is also done on the non-descript marines who die) tends to not make you feel anything for those deaths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    As opposed to "sweet rover" seriousness?
    Context is important here. Although it was most likely written for laughs, the scenario itself is not as unrealistic as most people make it out to be.

    Contrast with this, the newscasts are all jokey. Whatever seriousness that is conveyed is ruined by that running gag at the end and the general air of facetiousness that it conveys throughout. A serious and realistic broadcast, especially media-controlled propaganda, would never look like what is shown in WoL.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Both SC1 and BW are extremely narrow in viewpoint. In contrast, for SC1, we're only given a narrow viewpoint of events going on. We're in a war where the Confederacy's losing, but hear little about it. We're part of a massive zerg swarm, but there's no sign of our fellow zerg when we invade Aiur, or mention of what the other broods are doing. We're fighting on Aiur, yet hear nothing about what's going on on other protoss worlds.
    This is where WoL is somewhat deceiving in it's premise. The plot is quite narrow and spare, which would imply that the general scope of it should be limited much like Sc1 would be. Come to think of it, the WoL defenders cite this as a reason for it lack of answers in certain areas. But, WoL's scope isn't supposed to be focused because we have all this Protoss and Kerrigan stuff thrown in and this meandering with Tosh and Hanson, which leads us to think that there should be more elsewhere as well - but we don't (or do) get it in areas where we think we should (or shouldn't). It seems that WoL is confused at what it wants to be at times.

    It's part of the conciseness and narrowness of the thing to allow the audience member to fill in the gaps on their own. Knowing that the scope is narrow as it is (whether by design or not), you shouldn't really be asking for more information which is largely, in context of its narrow scope, irrelevant.

    Not hearing explicitly that the Confederacy is losing is unnecessary because it is shown in other ways - the two pronged assault of the two alien races, the SoK running rampant, Duke being in a position to defect the SoK (would he have really defected if the Confeds were in a real position of power to rescue him?). Not feeling or noticing other Zerg broods is an unreasonable expectation since as a Cerebrate you're only privy to what the Overmind entrusts you to do or think at any given time. Not knowing what other Protoss are doing on other worlds is irrelevant because we're defending Aiur, you know the strongest, most heavily defended and, one would expect, the most important planet given that it also happens to be their homeworld...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    You can say "it's all left to the imagination" but without the signposts of storytelling, the notion is just a cop-out.
    That's one take on it. However, I'd doubt that there is only one ultimate way of story-telling as there are many levels in which to engage your audience. For me, I find that the best realised fictional worlds come with a sense of assumed knowledge that is not readily made apparent at first if at all to the reader because it entrusts you to be intelligent enough to piece it together yourself while also being faithful to the universe (an in-universe character wouldn't need constant, on-the-nose exposition around every corner to justify their existence and every action, so why must you expect it?). In other words, a level of implicitness in the proceedings without having to be spoon-fed every piece of information often encourages me to a greater level of participation.
    Last edited by Turalyon; 12-09-2012 at 12:50 AM.
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  6. #46
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 7

    1) Other protoss worlds were not important. The entire zerg campaign, the Overmind only talked about Aiur. The protoss have a fierce nationality, and it's all they talk about as well.
    2) Its implied that if other protoss worlds even exist (irrelevant) then they already been sacked. "We seek now to destroy a foe that has ravaged its way across the universe consuming all in its path."

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    You can say "it's all left to the imagination" but without the signposts of storytelling, the notion is just a cop-out.
    Such as? I was under the impression you didn't like "green text" or vague references to the war.

    There are plenty of those for the sacked terran worlds however. Such as Raynor telling us: the Zerg have taken everything from me: my home, my family, my friends.

  7. #47

    Default Re: Creative Development Q&A 7

    People who think 'show, don't tell' is a rule annoy me. No legitimate, good writer actually thinks that, so I don't know why the majority does.

    But then, when do the majority ever have anything intelligent to say about anything?

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