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Telltale subtitles - they're too quick

posted by Kroms on - last edited - Viewed by 295 users

I think Telltale's subtitles are too quick. I don't mean that in the sense that I don't have time to read them; I mean it in the sense I get to read them too quickly.

It ruins the joke. I've found the games to be a lot funnier I turn the subtitles off, just because it has that element of surprise a good joke needs.

A minor thing, I suppose, but one worth fixing. Just to illustrate my point, see how the subtitles are divided up here, in this scene with Murray in Curse. In Telltale's games, Murray's line "Roll! Roll through the gates of hell! Must you take the fun out of everything?" would have been presented in one take. I think that lessens the strength of that line.

So while Murray's lines in Leviathan are really good, some of the comedic impact is taken away by the subtitles.

The problem's in almost every line he says, though it's most obvious at 2:30: "Haha! Your contorted cast couldn't scare a schoolgirl! In my day I could turn a man to stone with a smirk! I could make blood boil --" etc. By the time he says "school girl," it takes him another 3 seconds to finish the rest of the line. Three seconds might not seem like a long time, but it is because you actually read the joke before Danny Delk's able to give it its due.

This has been around since Sam and Max, but I thought I'd mention it. It's not a big deal, though I did turn off the subtitles in TMI Chapters 4 and 5 and it made the whole experience more pleasurable. Delivery's important in comedy, and subtitles are part of that. So, working on pacing your subtitles is probably something worth doing.

25 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Y'know.....

    I actually agree completely......

  • thats how just about ANY game is. unless i really cant understand the actors, i always turn them off.

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    puzzlebox Telltale Staff

    I always turn them off for a similar reason. If subtitles are on, I'm reading way ahead and get impatient for the voice actor to finish. Would much rather have them off and enjoy the pace.

  • This is one of the many reasons we default the subtitles to "off" on initial install... Subtitles are great if you're having trouble understanding whats being said, but outside of video games they're not something that is always just on. TVs and films don't come with subtitles unless they're needed for purely functional purposes. I think they're on in games by default because games were text-only for so long, and after that most are still poorly acted as an afterthought (or lazily dubbed). We put a lot of work into the voice and character animation, so I'd almost always rather people get their information right from the characters voice and faces, unless they find it too hard to understand for whatever reason (noisy room, game's audio quality or mix issues, English not being their first language, etc), in which case subtitles are in the settings screen!

  • @shref said: thats how just about ANY game is. unless i really cant understand the actors, i always turn them off.



    I can play games without subtitles, but I prefer having them because I'm not native English speaker and I don't want to miss anything if there's some word I haven't heard before or if actor's accent is difficult to understand. Also I sometimes play late at night and try to keep volume at minimal level, so subtitles are really helpful for me.

    And when it comes to original question I usually adapt my reading speed to the speed of the voice acting.

    @shref said: This is one of the many reasons we default the subtitles to "off" on initial install... Subtitles are great if you're having trouble understanding whats being said, but outside of video games they're not something that is always just on. TVs and films don't come with subtitles unless they're needed for purely functional purposes. I think they're on in games by default because games were text-only for so long, and after that most are still poorly acted as an afterthought (or lazily dubbed). We put a lot of work into the voice and character animation, so I'd almost always rather people get their information right from the characters voice and faces, unless they find it too hard to understand for whatever reason (noisy room, game's audio quality or mix issues, English not being their first language, etc), in which case subtitles are in the settings screen!

    We have subtitles in every foreign language TV shows and movies. Only children's programmes are dubbed in here. So subtitles are something I'm quite used to. And some programmes in our native languages have options for subtitles too for people who have hearing disabilities.

  • I put subtitles on a lot because there's a lot of little visual gags that come-up - scum(m) or whatever - and because reading something helps me remember it better than hearing it does, which is useful for puzzle-solving. I really wish you'd fix the subtitles, at least in any future games. It's not a big deal, but it helps. That whole element of surprise is so important in comedy, and for people who prefer subtitles...well, it'd be a nice thing to do.

  • I am a big subtitle fan, but I still agree completely. Many a time I have found myself skipping dialogue because I have already read it. Now I'm going to have to do a replay with no subtitles on.

  • I like subtitles in games. It's not that i don't understand english (it's my first language) it's that i sometimes mis-hear something that is said, so i love being able to check the bottom of the screen. Plus, it just seems right for me in a P&C game.

  • I always have subtitles on, because I have trouble understanding words sometimes and I don't want to miss anything, and I've learned to laugh when the actor finishes saying the line, not when I read it. The only time it's really been a problem is when there's a long pause in the sentence and the end shows up on the subtitle. But that's pretty rare.

  • I always keep subtitles on, as I tend to parse text better than audio. I agree that it can kill a joke, but it's worth it to know I'm not missing anything. Also, I never skip dialog just because I read the subtitle too quickly... it seems like a slight to the VAs, and it ruins the flow.

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