No disabling character reaction notification? Boo.

#1 Posted by Pezen (1591 posts) -

I recall in The Walking Dead, I had every sort of notification and hint system turned off. Likewise in this game, I've turned off it showing me things to click on. But why did they take out (or not implement) your ability to turn off notifying you whenever someone will remember something or if you just made an important choice? I am on and off taken out of the game whenever those lines of text comes up.

I don't think I've missed anything, it's no where to be found in the menus.

That aside, so far I'm enjoying it being about 1/3 of the way through.

#2 Posted by pyrodactyl (1961 posts) -

Well that sucks. Turned off all that shit in the walking dead. Not sure why they feel the need to implement such an immersion breaking feature.

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#3 Edited by FrobroX (3 posts) -

The video I watched of the developers on IGN said they liked having it in The Walking Dead so your actions feel like they have weight. I would prefer it off too, and just assume that all my decisions have meaning besides just the ones that they tell me do.

#4 Posted by Xymox (2076 posts) -

Yeah, I kept that on in TWD but I really really wanted to remove the text prompts in this one. Bummer there was no option for it.
It's more immersive to just look at the faces.

#5 Posted by Snail (8593 posts) -

These games can be quite weirdly arbitrary with what stuff is considered an "event" in that way, and what isn't.

Turning it off seems silly, in my opinion. You're over-trusting the game.

#6 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (1549 posts) -

@snail said:

These games can be quite weirdly arbitrary with what stuff is considered an "event" in that way, and what isn't.

Turning it off seems silly, in my opinion. You're over-trusting the game.

It's not about trusting the game, it's wanting to make decision based on the direction of the story and how you feel about the characters rather than making decisions based on game mechanics.

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#7 Posted by Quarters (1663 posts) -

Wow, really? I didn't have much intention to play that game, but I always turned it off in TWD, and I much preferred it that way. That's a legit bummer.

#8 Posted by Chaser324 (6389 posts) -

It's maybe a bit intrusive and heavy handed, but I don't think it really diminished what was a very well written and well presented opening to this series.

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#9 Posted by Snail (8593 posts) -

@snail said:

These games can be quite weirdly arbitrary with what stuff is considered an "event" in that way, and what isn't.

Turning it off seems silly, in my opinion. You're over-trusting the game.

It's not about trusting the game, it's wanting to make decision based on the direction of the story and how you feel about the characters rather than making decisions based on game mechanics.

You might just get unexpected surprises when characters remember stuff that you never thought they would, or when they don't remember stuff that it seems they obviously would.

And all of that doesn't necessarily feel natural, as much as it does almost cherry-picked sometimes.

#10 Edited by Pezen (1591 posts) -

@snail: To me it's mainly breaking the illusion. I don't want to see the math behind the wall. I don't necessarily need to know someone remembers something when it happens. I'll know they remembered it when they reference it later.

@chaser324: It certainly didn't diminish the content, I thought the episode was excellent. But I wish there was an option to remove it as I found it taking me away from the moment-to-moment either way. I'm sure I'll get used to it though.

#11 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

@pezen: it actually works in the game's favor. When it says "_____ will remember that" you'll think "oh they'll be sticking around to call me on this later." Thus making it more surprising when they die 5 minutes later.

#12 Posted by Pezen (1591 posts) -

@jz: That's not really my reaction personally, but I get your point. But if people end up dead, I'll probably be surprised either way, assuming they don't telegraph it a mile away.

#13 Edited by development (2207 posts) -

@frobrox said:

The video I watched of the developers on IGN said they liked having it in The Walking Dead so your actions feel like they have weight. I would prefer it off too, and just assume that all my decisions have meaning besides just the ones that they tell me do.

Exactly. Huge bummer. If they really said that, then... well shit, they don't notice the overwhelming dissonance with that reasoning? Like, that's totally opposed to what their games are about: giving the player choices. Some players want to rip dudes' arms off; some players don't want stupid messages ruining the immersion. Really hope they patch that in or put it in the next episode.

#14 Posted by TheHT (11080 posts) -

That's a shame. Seeing that notification really takes me out of it. That moment sticks in my head and every time I see that character I know I'll be thinking about that thing I now know they'll remember. It's why I turned it off in TWD.

I just want to answer the questions, gauge reactions, and be more in the moment if they bring it up again rather than be thinkin"oh yes, so this is where that part the game said they'd remember comes back into play".

#15 Edited by AMyggen (2754 posts) -

Talk about not trusting the player. Why not at least just keep it as an option?

I really enjoyed the first episode, but this took me out of the story at times. Especially with such a story-driven game as this one, I'd like to just go with it.

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#16 Edited by project343 (2816 posts) -

@pezen: Those notifications work into the narrative experience in some meaningful ways. For instance, if you see "______ will remember this," you expect that the character will likely not die 2 seconds later unrelated to the decision you made.

There are several instances throughout The Wolf Among Us where I believe Telltale used this tactic very purposefully. Removing those notifications would hurt the narrative experience significantly, I believe. Telltale would lose a very key means of telling their story and fucking with the expectations of the player.

#17 Posted by Pezen (1591 posts) -

@project343: Like I told someone else, I don't need the game to tell me something it could just show me with a character referencing it later. And if they die, I'll be surprised about it either way due to how important they may or may not have made the character. When those notifications pop up, I'm more likely to think "Exactly how will they remember it?" than "I guess they'll be around!" As there were several moments in that episode where I was seriously confused about what exactly in an exchange was worth remembering and if so, from what point of view.

But maybe I'm one of those odd exceptions to the rule on which their intended purpose doesn't work.

#18 Posted by project343 (2816 posts) -

@pezen: Beyond using those notifications as narrative devices, the alternative is not knowing if your decisions have impact. Personally, I tend to assume that dialogue decisions are meaningless flavour text unless the game indicates otherwise.

I guess it's the same sort of thing as the Call of Duty X + sound feedback that you get when you register a hit. It gives the interaction a sense of weight and meaning, and helps to foster the illusion that your interaction will change the course of the story.

#19 Edited by Counterclockwork87 (647 posts) -

I liked when they did that in The Walking Dead so I'm happy it's there and don't care you can't disable this. They obviously did it for a reason, give the team some respect it was their artistic choice. They want you to know when something matters.

#20 Posted by Pezen (1591 posts) -

@project343: In games such as The Walking Dead and A Wolf Among Us, there's very little flavor text to be had. Maybe one could arguably think that before TWD had it's initial season run. But once that was over and you jump into this, you realize pretty soon that it's the same type of game. Assuming your choices are completely arbitrary seems a bit strange. I assume every answer and choice have meaning, whether big or small. Whatever they choose to do with those is the interesting part down the road. And I find facial expressions and overall scene momentum to give a pretty clear indication of how my choices affect the situation at hand, and later scenes will determine what other choices had weight. I don't need them to be overly blunt about it.

#21 Posted by pyrodactyl (1961 posts) -

@pezen: Those notifications work into the narrative experience in some meaningful ways. For instance, if you see "______ will remember this," you expect that the character will likely not die 2 seconds later unrelated to the decision you made.

There are several instances throughout The Wolf Among Us where I believe Telltale used this tactic very purposefully. Removing those notifications would hurt the narrative experience significantly, I believe. Telltale would lose a very key means of telling their story and fucking with the expectations of the player.

I liked when they did that in The Walking Dead so I'm happy it's there and don't care you can't disable this. They obviously did it for a reason, give the team some respect it was their artistic choice. They want you to know when something matters.

If they really need some out of universe text pop ups to tell their story I don't feel like playing that story. Those pop ups seem like either misleading lies (as in ''they'll remember this'' but in a inconsequential sort of way), patronizing storytelling (as in ''SEE, YOU MADE A MEANINGFUL CHOICE RIGHT THERE'') or a reminder that dialogue choices don't matter 90% of the time. That kind of game mechanic only reminds me that I'm playing a gamy game instead of making meaningful choices in a great interactive story. If telltale chose to use those pop ups as some sort of weird storytelling device then it's a design choice I completely disagree with. I mean, seriously guys? You couldn't find anything better to improve your story than a block of text overlay that appears to tell players what's going on in the code?

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#22 Posted by golguin (3868 posts) -

@pezen said:

@jz: That's not really my reaction personally, but I get your point. But if people end up dead, I'll probably be surprised either way, assuming they don't telegraph it a mile away.

There is that huge moment in the Walking Dead that had people scrambling to turn off their systems and replay the sequence because the game said that the character "Would remember that." The notifications in the Walking Dead were never there to really inform you when a choice was about to have an impact. It was about the potential for the story to go down a certain road. Remember that potential vote Kenny talked about in episode 2 that never happened because everything went to shit right after?

#23 Posted by TheHT (11080 posts) -

@pezen: Those notifications work into the narrative experience in some meaningful ways. For instance, if you see "______ will remember this," you expect that the character will likely not die 2 seconds later unrelated to the decision you made.

It's just distracting. I see how it could make the surprise that much more of a surprise for some people, but I'd rather just focus on the surprise and not be thinking about how clever the developers are for using their mechanic to pull one over on me.

#24 Edited by BaconGames (3357 posts) -

I can see a better argument here if they meant the game to focus more on that detective theme and playing into it but even so I think its net effect is negative. I too turned the system off immediately in The Walking Dead because the game was so great at making the dialogue choices all meaningful to the player without these notifications. Furthermore, the notifications are things the character you're playing would never really know either so being telegraphed this specific detail at each turn does have the immersion breaking effect for me and many others. Of course many also didn't care or minded but really this is why making it an option in The Walking Dead was the best solution.

I can't see a good reason why it can't be an option and I wouldn't be surprised if they head this problem off at the pass and patch it in before the second episode comes out. Even if they intended it for a good design reason, the option worked so well last time then I think they would always be on the losing side of that argument if they started it. I don't think it's worth risking a lot of the good will from players of The Walking Dead over something so minor.

#25 Posted by FriendlyPhoenix (379 posts) -

That...that might actually keep me from playing the game. The reason I loved The Walking Dead was agonizing over every decision and not knowing what was going to come back to bite me in the ass. Having that pop-up completely ruins that because it's basically saying, "this matters in some way, and the other decisions you make that don't have this notification mean jackshit". I understand that most of the choices are inconsequential, but I don't need the game constantly taking me out of the experience to remind me of that.

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#26 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3780 posts) -

Having the notifications off in Walking Dead made me consider every choice more, because, not knowing how often or not things were "remembered" made me consider every choice one that could potentially be remembered and greatly effect things.

#27 Posted by megalowho (963 posts) -

I found this to be a strange omission as well. Turning off notifications halfway through TWD made the choices feel more organic instead of triggers that caused me to second guess myself more often. I hope they reconsider if it was a conscious decision to leave it out, definitely spent some time in the menus of TWAU looking for the toggle.

#28 Posted by bkbroiler (1614 posts) -

I feel like the game is talking down to me when it says stuff like "your silence made her unsure." Well yeah, I was silent and she looked unsure after that, thanks for pointing it out. It's inelegant and seems to point to a lack of faith that the dialog and animation are getting the job done story-wise.

#29 Edited by Warmachine (58 posts) -

@bkbroiler:

Totally agree. I kinda did a video review of the game but it devolved into a rant about this system around 1:24

#30 Edited by SunBroZak (1066 posts) -

#31 Edited by Warmachine (58 posts) -
#32 Edited by SunBroZak (1066 posts) -

@sunbrozak: most appropriate use.

Sorry duder, I hope you don't think that was a snide remark at your review. I've just noticed you had posted your review beforehand. I actually saw the thread title, and that particular scene in Wolf Among Us came to mind. I don't personally have a problem with the notifications, I think it lends itself to multiple playthroughs. It distinguishes what is important and what is flavour text, so that you can have a sort of mechanical chart to help explore all the points where the story might differ. I can understand the criticism if you're the type of person to play this sort of game once, and you don't want these notifications in your flowing narrative. Should it be an option? Probably. Would I have it off? No.

#33 Posted by Warmachine (58 posts) -

@sunbrozak:

Oh no man, I didn't think you were being insulting. I legitimately thought that was the best use of the notifications. Thanks for reminding me!

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