User Avatar Image

Telltale subtitles - they're too quick

posted by Kroms on - last edited - Viewed by 586 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
  • If it weren't for subtitles, deaf people couldn't play these games.

    Has anyone tried lipreading with the volume and subtitles turned off?

    Personally, I'd like to see games done in sign language (not finger spelling). Problems regarding subtitles, audio or translations in various languages would be a thing of the past.

    Not that I'm hearing impaired, but it would sure make for an interesting game... :D


    (I use subtitles, too)

  • Wouldn't people who don't know that particular sign language still need subtitles? Even in English speaking countries, the sign languages can be quite different.

  • Either my eyes have a slow motion button or the Subtitles to me are too slow. Well, actually they're medium speed for me.

  • @Shwoo said: Wouldn't people who don't know that particular sign language still need subtitles? Even in English speaking countries, the sign languages can be quite different.

    Thanks for pointing that out. You're right and I stand corrected.

    I thought the majority of signs (except finger spelling) would be understood all over, but now I can scratch that off my list of bright ideas... :rolleyes:

  • @splash1 said: Either my eyes have a slow motion button or the Subtitles to me are too slow. Well, actually they're medium speed for me.

    I'm with you on that one. I'm happy with their speed, it's no faster than the dialogue. Though i can understand non-native speakers having trouble keeping up.

  • User Avatar Image
    DjNDB Moderator

    It is probably a lot of work to time subtitles correctly.
    I wonder if it would be helpful to use voice recognition technology in order to assist synchronizing subtitles to the spoken words.
    I don't mean deriving the subtitles by voice recognition, but rather using it to map the timing of the voice to the words.
    Also the engine would have to support showing parts of a sentence at a time.

  • @Jake 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!

    Wow, Subtitles is part of what makes a Telltale game fore me, so this is shocking.

  • I totally disagree with the threadposter. I use the subtitles, because english isn't my first language. I read, write and speek it just fine, but when watching movies and playing games, I prefer subtitles just so I dont miss anything.

    The speed of the Telltale subtitles are just perfect. When I read them I adjust my reading speed with the speed of the voice actor. If he pauses, I pause too. Its really not too hard to do. The subtitles must be on the screen for the intire time the character is speaking, so we can read along. And it shouldn't be cut up in shorter pieces, this will just make the pace and rythm too fast and choppy.

    Keep it the way it is!

  • @splash1 said: Either my eyes have a slow motion button or the Subtitles to me are too slow. Well, actually they're medium speed for me.

    They're too slow appearing on screen, or too slow changing?

    My problem is that they appear on screen too early.

  • This is a shame, but part of it is just an inherent problem with subtitles. Being hard of hearing I'm glad TT offer subtitles at all, yes it would be nice if they segmented them better but games are primarily voice these days and I can see why they don't tend to put in the effort.

Add Comment