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QTEs - How do you feel about them? [roundtable]
 
I've always said that I hated them. And I kind of do. But sometimes, they're tolerable, and it took playing the Dead Space 3 demo to finally realize why. No, not because they were tolerable in Dead Space 3. Because they were AWFUL. In a way that was AWFULLY reminiscent of the climbing while stuff is falling apart sequences in Uncharted. Beyond the superficial similarities, both usages of QTE were, in the service of some form of realism, slooooooow. Inexorable, endless... molasses-y. With slow animations and sluggish output to your tedious input.

I think that's what generally makes QTEs hard for me to take. Rather than immersing me, they get in the way of my fun. The generally snappy God of War QTEs don't bother me too much. Hell, even Dragon's Lair didn't bother me that much. 'cause Dirk was movin'!

There are other factors at play, like having random button presses instead of logical ones, and the whole...

Oh, I just remembered the most irritating thing about the Dead Space 3 QTEs! Sometimes you had to press a button, and other times, you had to jam on it repeatedly. But it was totally unclear that you had to do that! Aaaarrrrgh!

In conclusion, the relation between speed and tolerability in regards to the QTE might have been a totally obvious point to make, but yeah... it was kind of an epiphany for me.

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Posted: 02/02/13, 04:53:15
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@kriswright Well, I kind of think cutscenes should start to go away as well. They do have a purpose, and some games still benefit from them, but we're seeing more ways to tell a story without abruptly stopping player participation. I mean, ways beyond a cutscene with QTEs. Stuff like Prince of Persia and Bioshock where it is done within the game itself.
Posted: 02/02/13, 18:41:16
@Zero

Agreed. I think that's a positive development, too. And it only underlines that QTEs are the wrong direction to go if a developer wants to offer more engaging storytelling in their game.
Posted: 02/02/13, 19:59:06
@GelatinousEncore

I agree with everything this man said.
Posted: 02/02/13, 20:04:01
I loved Dragon's Lair, Space Ace, and especially Dragon's Lair 2 with it's flashing guide to bonuses. But they were arcade games, and when you plunked a quarter into an arcade game, you were basically signing a contract that meant you understood that the arcade machine is there to make money, and will be thrown out if it can't make a certain amount of money within a certain amount of time. So the Dragon's Lair series was largely a thing of guesswork and memorization until you plunked enough quarters into it that you could play the whole game on one credit (which still gave you half and hour of game-time, so it wasn't a bad deal).

Today, video game culture has changed, and the idea is to give the consumer the most bang for their buck. The only good example of good Dragon's Lair style events that comes to recent memory is Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor's Edge. When you see your ninja about to slam into a wall, you know you have to press and hold those ZL and ZR buttons to jam your kunai into it and get ready to climb, dodge, and counterattack. When you see your ninja hurtling towards an unsuspecting terrorist you know you're going to have to hit X to deliver a quick death to them and a soft landing to yourself. The QTEs (I really dislike that phrase, because the first thing that comes to mind is Apple's QuickTime, which wasn't a bad codec for its time, but it had nothing to do with Dragon's Lair styled events) in other games seem to be a crutch. In Resident Evil 4, Leon might forget what running is if you mash A and B instead of L and R when the prompt shows up, because it'll randomly switch between the two! Capcom seems to have forgotten the "R" part of "R&D", considering how 5 and 6 turned out.
Posted: 02/03/13, 02:23:23  - Edited by 
 on: 02/03/13, 02:25:38
Xbob42 said:
Asura's Wrath proves they can be fantastic and actually make you enjoy the game more.

Every other game ever just proves they're a terrible idea.

Yep! Especially in the Part IV DLC where they get really crazy with it.

One cool thing about the QTEs in Asura's Wrath is that they're actually tied to what Asura is doing. X is always jump, circle is always punch, etc.. I wonder if there would be a way to have an Asura's Wrath-style game where you play by interacting with the cutscenes, but without any button prompts?
Posted: 02/03/13, 02:41:35
I think cutscenes are bad game design. I play games because I want to control the action, so any point where I can't do that is boring. Quick-time events don't really provide any control to cutscenes, they are more like pressing A to advance dialogue boxes. So by extension, quick-time events are bad game design, though I don't know if I find them any worse than cutscenes to begin with.
Posted: 02/03/13, 03:20:50
I don't know why QTEs started, but they should end. They have no place in gaming.

I don't think they add anything particular, (most of the time they frustrate the player) even when they are well executed. I think we've now evolved sufficiently where quick time events are no longer needed (like DmC demonstrated).
Posted: 02/03/13, 03:58:05  - Edited by 
 on: 02/03/13, 03:58:45
Tranquilo said:
I don't know why QTEs started

Shenmue.
Posted: 02/03/13, 04:07:34
@GameDadGrant

I know when, I don't know why.
Posted: 02/03/13, 04:16:55
Posted: 02/03/13, 04:20:08
@Tranquilo

Shenmue was the when AND the why.

@Zero

Yeah, but does that count? Either way, Shenmue not only coined the "QTE" phrase, but is also the reason why they got popular in modern games.
Posted: 02/03/13, 04:52:04
Dragon's Lair wasn't really about QTEs. I mean, I realize they're the exact same thing, but the entire GAME was that simply by virtue of you not being able to control the character. I suppose it's a semantics argument at that point but QTEs ruin actual games, games that are entirely QTEs can be okay because they ain't pretending to be anything else!
Posted: 02/03/13, 04:58:00
@Xbob42

Good point.
Posted: 02/03/13, 21:37:27
@Secret_Tunnel

I've never played that game, so everything else is based on other games.

My opinion on QTE's is they need to die in a fire. It's a cheap way to excite a game but for me it breaks almost every element of immersion. Resident Evil 4, for example. You take control of Leon. A character who has no pep in his step, can't turn side to side without feeling like he's hit a time warp, a character who lacks any sort of jump or physical movement beyond pulling a trigger. Yet, suddenly, some buttons pop up on screen and you are diving out of the way of massive boulders, kicking someone's face in, punching another person half-way across the room, making giant leaps with only a couple feet of room, and all these other incredible feats. Then Capcom is nice enough to bring you back into the game after these incredible moments and reality strikes. Your character is slow, cannot perform any super-human feats, and feels like he has a stick up his ass.

Why not just give the player the ability to do these great feats? I don't feel anymore engaged in a game pressing "L + R" at a seemingly random moment. Why not allow me to dodge things on my own? Instead of some cheap death sequence.
Posted: 02/03/13, 23:47:29
@missypissy

I always thought Leon did those cinematic moves because he had a rush of adrenaline or something. Like, if he DIDN'T do all those acrobatics, he'd die. So survival instinct took over, and...BULLET TIME! (or whatever)

Kind of like Snake during all those crazy cut scenes in The Twin Snakes.
Posted: 02/04/13, 01:43:55
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