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How important do you think a narrator is?

posted by caeska on - last edited - Viewed by 573 users

There are a couple of things I'd really like to see carried over from the previous King's Quest point & click games. Firstly, a narrator like there's been in KQ5, KQ6 and the fan-project The Silver Lining. A narrator just adds that much more feeling to the game, and I for one would be very disappointed if the Telltale game doesn't have a narrator.

Secondly, something I think is equally important is additional ways to interact with objects in the game world. The Sierra model has always had changeable icons for looking, touching and talking, while the Telltale adventure games do not have this feature. In the Telltale games you click on something, and the character will do whatever he's scripted to do, whether it's talking or picking something up or commenting on it.

Adventure games need to have the ability to just examine something, and in the King's Quest franchise this is especially important.
There should be the traditional "hand, eye, talk" icons and a narrator with a wide array of voice-acted lines to make the game world feel a bit more three-dimensional, or it just won't do justice to the King's Quest genre at all.

So I'm curious, what are other people's views on this? How do you feel about the TT games so far only having a mouse-pointer that doesn't change into for example an examine-icon?
And is a narrator something you guys will be expecting?

49 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • The multi-icon interface is not something Telltale will ever do. It's too "difficult" and adds too many useless possibilities. I mean, Telltale's stance seems to be that if it doesn't have the potential to further the game or the plot then it gets cut out or not thrown in to begin with. Why would they add multiple icons that won't add anything but more lines of dialogue for all possible interactions?

    I think they should, but they won't. I also doubt we'll be getting a narrator.

  • Adding non-essential things to explore is not pointless, it gives a game substance and replay-value. If the only things you can do in a game is further the game's story along, then you might as well eliminate the clicking and make the game one big cut-scene.

    I also really think they should revise their model with the single-purpose icon and use multi-icon for this particular game. Not doing so would be a mistake. Sure, it may be appropriate for some of their earlier titles like BTTF and Sam and Max, but not for KQ.

  • I really really want a narrator. Three different cursors would be great too, as it really makes the game more alive, the puzzles more challenging (should I lick the object, or should I poke it~), and allows funny lines about "incorrect" usages of objects for either the main character or the narrator

  • There HAS to be a narrator. It wouldn't feel like a Sierra game without one. Telltale characters already mumble things to themselves when looking at things; how hard could it be just to give that dialogue to a disembodied voice?

    That said, the narration either needs be to extremely well written and interesting or concise and to the point or both. I don't want a TSL-style narrator who drones on and on for ages about absolutely nothing. Josh Mandel is the only one who can get away with writing paragraph after paragraph of pun-filled prose about tiny, insignificant things in the background.

  • @thesporkman said:

    That said, the narration either needs be to extremely well written and interesting or concise and to the point or both. I don't want a TSL-style narrator who drones on and on for ages about absolutely nothing.



    I actually think Amy Kurylo is doing an outstanding job as narrator in TSL. She breaks the fourth wall a bit too much maybe, but the voice-acting is splendid.
    The Roger Wilco comments in the pawn shop had me laughing really hard though, hehe. More references like that certainly wouldn't hurt.

  • She's a decent narrator, but her dialogue is atrocious and quite un-King's Quest. It's more like Space Quest, really.

  • Really didn't enjoy her narrating work in TSL. It just didn't sound natural to me. The guy from AGDI's KQ games is terrific, however.

    And on the main point - yes, I do think there should be a narrator. It wouldn't feel like a King's Quest game without one.

  • That would be John Bell. Very talented guy.

  • Totally agree on multiple modes of interaction -- a verb menu (or icons or pop-up "verb coin" or cursor-cycling; the UI/implementation doesn't matter so much) adds detail to the game-world and complexity to the gameplay. A single mode can work in some games, but most of the best adventures -- the most satisfying to play -- have more, at the very least a separate mode for "examine".

    As for narration, I agree with MI, sporkman and Freeze -- I've seen only the first episode of TSL and didn't care for the narration at all, mostly due to the writing; the voice-acting wasn't bad but it didn't seem particularly special, either. I prefer the narration style in KQ 5/6 and the AGDI remakes.

  • As TSL has so clearly illustrated, a narrator is only as good as the dialog written for him/her. lol

    As for multi-icon interface and "pointless" interactions--I don't think any fan would argue that they were really pointless. MI meant pointless from Telltale's point of view. As of BttF, Telltale's games have already devolved into mindless click-to-advance cutscenes, so doing almost ANYTHING that diverged from that model would be a good thing. I doubt they will, since they seem pretty much committed to transforming (read: destroying) the adventure game genre by turning their "games" into barely-interactive movies. But we shall see. It'd be harder to do WORSE than BttF from a game design standpoint, so I am cautiously optimistic that KQ will be better.

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