Pages: [1]

Depiction of humans?

Depiction of humans?
« on: August 02, 2015, 02:09:43 pm »

That the depiction of human life is dominant in a medium like cinema makes sense. Cameras are very good at capturing reality. It's the easiest thing to do with that technology! But in videogames, it seems rather strange to have the same focus. There is nothing in this technology that makes it particularly good at capturing reality. With the possible exception of motion capture (but even that's far from easy). The depiction of humans in games is one of the hardest things to do. Maybe we should not be so quick to default to it.
Logged
Re: Depiction of humans?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2015, 03:08:30 pm »

This is exactly why i feel that the Myst approach still has merit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5TpftFDIWY
Logged
Re: Depiction of humans?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2015, 05:12:26 pm »

I think it is more that games are bad at rapid successions of intelligent interaction. The problem is, methinks, not so much depicting humans (especially with the technology of today) but making it interactive without having the 'video / choice / video / choice / video / walking / video / choice / video' type structure which is currently in most of the human-driven games (Life is Strange or any Telltale game) or the 'watch an audiolog' approach (Bioshock, Gone Home and their new game). It requires leaps in AI to be able to make such things interesting to play with.

The problem with the landscape games is that Gamers (who-ever that is) are culturally disinclined against them. I wish we had invented games in another century, we would be drowning in travelogues and imaginary landscape games. But by that same thought; we do need a Koyaanisqatsi of games, too.
Logged
Re: Depiction of humans?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2015, 11:39:05 pm »

How does one play a Koyaanisqatsi of games?

I find the most effective approach to be not raising the player's expectations in the first place. Characters are NPCs that quietly wait for your interaction and lend you their ear in the most intimate way affordable upon request.

Think of a scene as still life waiting to be interacted with. Better yet if the visual mode of delivery is in agreement with the level of sophistication of the theater troupe. 

This will be off putting to audiences who've been trained to expect feats of the computer that are mostly just heat. But if you pull it all together in a total package it will win their hearts, and either way it will satisfy the bays of the less-domesticated-of-us.


EDITED: If you look back at most of the best remembered games, and you look closely you might not have noticed that none of the characters have faces. Sometimes blotches, rarely eyes, sometimes little to nothing at all to suggest a face. If eyes are the window to the soul, your artwork better look like it has a soul. I think only the Metal Gear Solid games 2~4 really manage to overcome this problem. You were probably smart on Fatale to get a Japanese artist in there to do the model for Solome. The 3D artists in the west don't even have bead on this. It's a suicidal tightrope walk that probably shouldn't be attempted under any circumstances. You can get away with with more with a cartoon style, but that can limit the kinds of things you can do tone/mood-wise (in theory this doesn't have to be so, but no game exists that has cracked this mold. I think you'd have to simulate hand drawings to the point that its indistinguishable that computer is doing them in real-time, and that would also mean making it appear like they are not overly rotoscope-y.)
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 06:58:08 am by Mick P. »
Logged

Re: Depiction of humans?
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2015, 03:02:59 am »

How does one play a Koyaanisqatsi of games?

It's interesting in a way you ask it that directly, because in a way it is very easy to make Koyaanisquatsi interactive, either through camera movement, translation movement, determining cuts or rates, &c., &c., but it is hard to know whether it is 'good' because for that you need the right audience to experience it.

It is rather temping, now you have me thinking about it.

*Guardedly adds it to the daunting stack of 'rather interesting game ideas'
Logged
Re: Depiction of humans?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2015, 06:46:09 am »

How does one play a Koyaanisqatsi of games?

It's interesting in a way you ask it that directly, because in a way it is very easy to make Koyaanisquatsi interactive, either through camera movement, translation movement, determining cuts or rates, &c., &c., but it is hard to know whether it is 'good' because for that you need the right audience to experience it.

It is rather temping, now you have me thinking about it.

*Guardedly adds it to the daunting stack of 'rather interesting game ideas'

To me this sounds like a way to make different versions of the same thing. An editing tool. I think we spend too much time making/playing games and not enough making/thinking in terms of tools and improving/studying existing games. I think that's why progress is glacial. I don't like having the option to look around when interesting things are happening, it creates a sense of anxiety, never knowing if you are looking at what you are supposed to be looking at. So I only see something like this as a development tool for if you think you can edit better and are unhappy with the edit, or think an alternative edit would be interesting.


PS: We should be asking these things directly. It reveals that we are not really thinking of them critically if we do not have clear answers. Too often the words here are amorphous, nebulous. Games are anything but.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 06:55:41 am by Mick P. »
Logged

Re: Depiction of humans?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 09:13:28 am »

we do need a Koyaanisqatsi of games, too.

Funny that you should say that. I just watched the 'qatsi trilogy in preparation of a new project…
Logged
Re: Depiction of humans?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2015, 03:20:48 pm »

How does one play a Koyaanisqatsi of games?

It's interesting in a way you ask it that directly, because in a way it is very easy to make Koyaanisquatsi interactive, either through camera movement, translation movement, determining cuts or rates, &c., &c., but it is hard to know whether it is 'good' because for that you need the right audience to experience it.

To me this sounds like a way to make different versions of the same thing. An editing tool. I think we spend too much time making/playing games and not enough making/thinking in terms of tools and improving/studying existing games. I think that's why progress is glacial. I don't like having the option to look around when interesting things are happening, it creates a sense of anxiety, never knowing if you are looking at what you are supposed to be looking at. So I only see something like this as a development tool for if you think you can edit better and are unhappy with the edit, or think an alternative edit would be interesting.

I humbly think it is by far too early to say that. I know the anxiety you mean; but that is then also a problem of a game showing you Interesting Things while having a big countdown in the background. In ballet there can be a huge number of simultaneous things happening without viewer anxiety over missing parts (which will inevitably happen). I think the anxiety more comes from badly guiding players and bad scene set-ups than the possibility of looking around. Certainly when you get to something like Koyaanisqatsi, which has far less of a clear "Interesting Things".

we do need a Koyaanisqatsi of games, too.

Funny that you should say that. I just watched the 'qatsi trilogy in preparation of a new project…

Go oooon.... Wink
Logged
Re: Depiction of humans?
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2015, 04:50:07 am »


I humbly think it is by far too early to say that. I know the anxiety you mean; but that is then also a problem of a game showing you Interesting Things while having a big countdown in the background. In ballet there can be a huge number of simultaneous things happening without viewer anxiety over missing parts (which will inevitably happen). I think the anxiety more comes from badly guiding players and bad scene set-ups than the possibility of looking around. Certainly when you get to something like Koyaanisqatsi, which has far less of a clear "Interesting Things".

What I mean is there is a clear focus, and there is periphery, and if there is a scene and it isn't clear what is its focus that's generally considered poor staging. I can't recall ever having seen such a scene myself. Sometimes there are slow tableau like scenes where there is time to look at all of the different elements one by one like a painting, but the elements themselves will then be overall static. So I don't have a problem with having the option to look around. I just doubt that it will be used unless the viewer/player already knows the scene by heart and it can't hold their attention, or they have something like ADD or autism or can't resist the urge to fidget with the shifting apparatus, in which case that could be a net negative even as an option.

This is why a lot of the time people think holodeck like technology will be a new way to experience movies, but it won't be. It will only work in an intimate setting like a classroom or basically something that can play out in a single room, and it would have to be short and self contained since moving to different scenes would be disorienting, and if there is a narrative again you have the anxiety of not knowing where to focus, so it has to be a much more open scenario where where you focus is more fluid and so it cannot be a substitute for cinema, like 3D glasses or anything like that.

we do need a Koyaanisqatsi of games, too.

Funny that you should say that. I just watched the 'qatsi trilogy in preparation of a new project…

Go oooon.... Wink

In the U.S. you never see the first two parts, only the third, which I think I read somewhere is the more underwhelming of the trio. I'm familiar with it because I regularly listen to Phillip Glass for recreation. You can see the third part on Netflix right now, and the third part was always available for rental when I was a kid, but never the others, so I've never encountered them. Speaking of Netflix I was horrified the other night when I noticed that the to-watch list I'd curated for myself had been reduced to at least a forth. I'm less convinced now that Netflix can ever be a semi-permanent home for older films. It's either been gutted or it's going to rotate it's library like a broadcast television channel when technically it shouldn't have to. I expect it's gutted because there's almost no reason to build a watch list unless you can count on the films to remain available. It's a lot of work for nothing otherwise (on the plus side that night I saw Pasolini's Canterbury Tales for the first time. It's now probably my favorite example of a medieval setting, which is a popular one in video games.)

This week ted.com is featuring random old talks. I caught this (http://www.ted.com/talks/scott_mccloud_on_comics) one which although it's fast I feel like there might be a micrososm for video games in there. I want to start a thread featuring the presentation but I'm a little bit pressed for time. Comics are often compared to games both for being a format that seems overwhelmingly in arrested development but has genuinely progressive things to offer to art, and because supposedly as a medium it hasn't yet experienced a burn out stage where everyone gets tired of arguing about it and so stop and then never recover, that supposedly all other mediums have experienced at some point in their western history as a kind of coming of age. I think all of the ideas on rapid display in the talk are intriguing but also the navigation ones seem almost sibling like to video games.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 06:34:50 am by Mick P. »
Logged

Pages: [1]
Jump to: