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Heavy Rain inspired gameplay

posted by Woodsyblue on - last edited - Viewed by 1.7K users

The Game Informer article said that the gameplay in Jurassic Park is going to be inspired by Heavy Rain.

Applying the Jurassic Park license to the storytelling systems Telltale has created in past games makes sense to a degree, but in our conversations with the team they kept coming back to Quantic Dreams’ Heavy Rain. “While our story is more linear than Heavy Rain, actions the player takes are reflected in the way the story is told,” Boyle says. “The choices the players make result in changes to the details of the story. Players will know we are paying attention to the decisions they make.”

Telltale is also heavily inspired by Heavy Rain’s gameplay mechanics. The team is still figuring out how actions are presented to the player, but Boyle says Telltale is approaching the task with “more focus on cinematic presentation of your interactions.” Expect plenty of investigating and looking around in the slower-paced gameplay sections, but when the tension escalates to life and death scrambling, the gameplay shifts from selecting destinations to immediate response.

(If you haven't read the article yet you can find it here.)

I don't own a ps3 so I've never played Heavy Rain but if they had released it on PC or 360 I'd would have picked it up in a heartbeat. (For the record I don't actually own a 360, my friend's brother works for Microsoft and they gave him one when he finished his internship and I just sort of inherited it because I have the nicest TV and game playing area of all my friends.) From what I've seen in the videos is that it looks heavy on the quick time events. Also, I hear that decisions in the game are final, like if a character dies, even a main character, they stay dead.

So what do people think of this change in direction from the more traditional adventure game formula Telltale usually employs? I for one like the idea, partly because I never got to play Heavy Rain and would like to get a taste of what the gameplay was like. I also think it would work better for a franchise like Jurassic Park were the element of danger can't be ignored.

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  • @Woodsyblue said: I believe the idea is it will be a standard adventure game but at scenes of danger and tension it will swap over QTE cinematic style cut-scene, though I could easily be mistaken.

    That is what the GameInformer article seems to imply. But what I'm concerned about is whether Telltale makes the "investigating and looking around" parts compelling and complex enough in their own right so that they aren't just busy-work preludes to the QTE danger-and-tension parts, which will be more enjoyable if accompanied by solid gameplay elsewhere.

    They also used the term "downtime" to refer to the no-immediate-danger parts, which I hope is just an unfortunate choice of words and not indicative of Telltale's regard for them in terms of gameplay.

    The article also talks a lot about getting players emotionally invested in the characters which, along with the fact that Telltale's recent games have emphasized cinematics and story-telling over stimulating gameplay, adds to my concerns. The best way to get me invested is to let me steer them through challenging situations. When I think back on memorable game characters, I remember the ones that immersed me in complex gameworlds with formidable obstacles to overcome. For instance, I was much more invested in this little guy, whose name (number?) I never even knew, than I was in the Sam and Max of Season 3 -- because the former presented me with far more demanding puzzles to solve (and nary a cinematic, I might add). I hope Telltale takes that aspect of gaming into consideration when designing JP.

  • @thom-22 said: When I think back on memorable game characters, I remember the ones that immersed me in complex gameworlds with formidable obstacles to overcome. For instance, I was much more invested in this little guy, whose name (number?) I never even knew, than I was in the Sam and Max of Season 3 -- because the former presented me with far more demanding puzzles to solve (and nary a cinematic, I might add). I hope Telltale takes that aspect of gaming into consideration when designing JP.

    This props a very interesting discussion. Did you feel more invested in protagonist of Machinarium because you went through tougher times together and more challenging puzzles or because he is a fundamentally more endearing and sympathetic character?

    Sam & Max are amusing but irreverent characters who don't do little developing throughout their adventures. The robot in Machinarium, on the other hand, is the lovable underdog. The world is very mean to him but he remains upbeat and overcomes his demons. We root very strongly for the robot to succeed in the face of adversity. With Sam & Max we're more detached from their story and instead focus more on the wacky hyperreality of the universe they inhabit.

  • @thom-22 said: But I can't imagine I would enjoy a game where QTE are used as the primary game mechanic, a substitute for direct-control and puzzle-solving mechanics. That would make the game nothing but cutscenes and slightly-more-interactive cutscenes. As a gamer, I would say that's not really a game at all.

    This.

  • @Woodsyblue said: I believe the idea is it will be a standard adventure game but at scenes of danger and tension it will swap over QTE cinematic style cut-scene, though I could easily be mistaken.

    Man, I so hope that this is not the case, otherwise I'd be really dissappointed.

    I agree with thom-22, QTEs might be a good addition to some point, but only them wouldnt deliver the feel of the movie enough, it just isnt immersive enough. I also dont think they can do QTEs like Heavy Rain, expect maybe half of the possibilities and influence the players actions has on the games story and experience

  • @Woodsyblue said: This props a very interesting discussion. Did you feel more invested in protagonist of Machinarium because you went through tougher times together and more challenging puzzles or because he is a fundamentally more endearing and sympathetic character?

    I'm not sure those things are separable. He was more endearing and sympathetic because he was facing tough times, and my connection to him stemmed from helping him through those tough times. I see your point, though, and admit that whatever point I was trying to make was undermined by comparing comedy characters to a tragic one.

    In the article, Telltale's emphasis on players' emotional investment in the characters bothers me. First, I wonder whether Jurassic Park is really the right property to be talking about emotional investment in characters. But more importantly, I get attached to game characters, whether comedic or tragic, when they involve me in a good game -- with rich gameplay and a detailed gameworld as the foundation for the narrative -- and not because the developers made a conscious effort to get me emotionally invested.

  • I think they mean that there's going to be more character involvment and not that we're going to get teary eye emotional scenes. In other words, there's a story involved and not just a bunch of people running from dinos like the other JP games.

  • I have a couple of questions for those who have played Heavy Rain.

    I most games with QTEs if you fail Wesker does a back flip over your head and snaps your neck (and don't even get me started on Chris' boulder punching :D) but failing just means you start the cutscene again and retry until you get it right. What does Heavy Rain do differently? Does failing a QTE change anything? Are you capable of making choices in the game? Do the choices mean anything?

    I mean people seem to think that JP being inspired by HR just means it'll have some QTE scenes, but that's been done before in hundreds of games. What does Heavy Rain do differently exactly?

  • @Woodsyblue said: I have a couple of questions for those who have played Heavy Rain.

    I most games with QTEs if you fail Wesker does a back flip over your head and snaps your neck (and don't even get me started on Chris' boulder punching :D) but failing just means you start the cutscene again and retry until you get it right. What does Heavy Rain do differently? Does failing a QTE change anything? Are you capable of making choices in the game? Do the choices mean anything?

    I mean people seem to think that JP being inspired by HR just means it'll have some QTE scenes, but that's been done before in hundreds of games. What does Heavy Rain do differently exactly?

    Heavy Rain does two things differently.

    First, QTE's are placed in the game so that they feel part of the experience and not something out of left field. Most people don't like QTEs because it pulls them out of the expirence. You're shooting or punching the entire game and the all of a sudden you're forced to push buttons. It just comes out of no where. But Heavy Rain is mostly all QTE. It's part of the experience of playing so it never feels like it doesn't belong. For example. You hold down the R2 button to walk and the left stick to turn the character. When you reach an object you can interact with you either use the right stick or one of the action buttons to use the object. Like when you open a door you normally movie the right stick to the right and then spin it left as if you're turning the knob. There's also a part where you're in a car and you have to use the right stick and buttons to make sure you don't hit anything.

    Second, if you fail a QTE the game continues... even if the character you're controling dies. There are only a few QTE's that when you fail you just try again. Like if you're opening a door and let go to early the on screen icon turns red and you just simply do it again. In other QTEs though if you fail the action continues but the outcome is less gracefull. There are also times in the game where your character is in danger. If you fail then the character can die. But the story just continues with that character being dead.

    It's really cool how they put it all together.

  • @Woodsyblue said: I mean people seem to think that JP being inspired by HR just means it'll have some QTE scenes,

    They don't. At least I don't. When I saw HR inspired gameplay, I immediately thought QTE's for everything.

  • @waroftheworlds01 said: Like when you open a door you normally movie the right stick to the right and then spin it left as if you're turning the knob.


    Sorry, but I have to say it: Ewww.

    Of all the exciting things you can do in video games that you can't do in real life, they make a game in which mundane tasks have to be excruciatingly mimicked with a controller? Reminds me of SimStapler, except that's supposed to be a joke. And it would be ironic in the Jurassic Park universe -- players having to go through convoluted machinations to open a door, but the velociraptors can open them lickety-split. :D

    You might have demonstrated that Heavy Rain's QTEs don't pull you out of the experience, but unfortunately the experience doesn't sound too appealing in the first place.

    I think alexrd is right to be worried about JP being mostly QTE-style gameplay. Because otherwise, if the game just adds QTE to traditional adventure gameplay, it could seem like the QTE are coming out of left field. That's why I said above that I really don't know what to expect. Could be something entirely different, I suppose; Telltale is certainly capable of interesting innovations.

    Maybe after the TT press event later this month we'll start seeing some "hands-on" preview articles about JP and we'll learn more about how they're approaching the gameplay.

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