First off, greetings to all of my fellow mutes. I know the world can be a difficult place for people like us, but we must persevere and continue to live in the shadows in these trying times. We have been through so much, we have suffered many losses. Today we are to talk about a man who, with the power of his words, has done more damage to us and what we stand for than anybody else. His name, Emil Pagliarulo. I stumbled on this video a few days ago. I should probably clarify that I hold no good feelings about the presenter in this particular conference. I think he is a talentless hack who has somehow managed to remain responsible for leading the writing of one of the oldest and most beloved franchises in gaming. A man who is in my opinion either completely delusional, finding pride in the achievements of others and riding on their success, or a very good liar who secretly hates himself and his job. This is just my opinion and even though it seems to be the opinion of most people who have tried to find out more about this person's work, I am certain there are people who will disagree with me. Regardless, I forced myself to listen through a conference on the writing of Fallout 4 by him. I admit I walked in completely biased, but I was genuinely interested to see his approach in the making of the story of Fallout 4. I am now sharing this video with you to discuss that, not our shared hatred towards this person or your disapproval of my statements on his talent. I think this video can serve as the foundation for a discussion on the writing of Fallout 4. If you believe that the story in Fallout 4 was executed well and this conference supports your opinion, I would also like to hear from you. * * * I have saved you from listening the first half in which he references movies and books which have inspired his work. In short, he brought up many great works of art without interpreting them in any way or even explaining how he took those concepts and adapted them in his own stories. I got the impression that he either lacked the understanding of those works or was unable to use that knowledge in his own work. (at least he never explained that process) He contradicts himself by saying that many of the greatest stories have overarching themes and he gives examples of such works, but then he goes on to give the advice to the audience to "keep their stories simple". He then describes Skyrim's story as "messiah" and "dragons" and Fallout 4's story as "androids" and "looking for your son". This advice leads to an explanation of the philosophy at BGS and their motto: Great games are played, not made. Personally, I believe this motto holds little meaning and can be applied to about anything in entertainment. Great games are well made, including well written. Any game can be played, but not any game is great. If a game is well made, it will be played. I can't remember how many times Bethesda PR and their loyal fanatics have brought up "average play time", "size of the game world" and "value for game time". In their mind "great games" seems to be equivalent to "big games" and they have used that as their biggest selling point, always happy to present their products in the idealistic image of a game that can be played forever. It's only logical that this philosophy should affect the writing of their games as well. Pagliarulo explains that he could have created "a great American novel", but no one would have appreciated it because of all of the other means of "entertainment" that the game has to offer. (gives example of settlement building and collectables) Frankly, I find this attitude disrespectful. Disrespectful to my intelligence, to suggest that I would ignore a good piece of writing in favor of a repetitive game mechanic. Disrespectful to me as a fan of the franchise, to suggest that it is expected from a Fallout game to revolve around scavenging and building settlements. However, that argument was made to support his original statement: that the stories in games should be so insignificant, so easily molded into any shape that compliments the rest of the game. He shows many pictures of cosplayers in his attempt to convince us that the player character is the most important piece in all of their stories which should always revolve around them. I understand that for many players, throwing them in a huge open world and allowing them to explore, scavenge and shoot their way through waves of interchangeable generic enemies is more than enough. Even I like to switch off my brain sometimes and indulge myself in exploring these vast worlds that Bethesda have become so good at shaping. What I do not understand is why Emil Pagliarulo, the lead writer for that game, is taking any credit for the experiences that might result from the work of his colleagues or the haphazard unscripted events that players might experience. Bethesda have spoken many times about the strengths of working in a team, but in this case I believe that they have become ignorant. I can't help but think that their most recent games have been developed in a bubble where any past experience is thrown away in favor of reinventing the wheel every single time. The success of one aspect of their games seems to become a reason for celebration and pride for everyone in the team. He goes on to discuss the importance of player interaction and how important it was for them to improve on the dialogue system from past games. Then they show images of keyboards and controllers... The best improvement on player interaction that the lead writer of Fallout 4 could come up was making the choice of a dialogue option intuitive, taking inspiration from Mass Effect and TellTale games. Again, this was most likely not suggested by him. UI design is usually not done by lead writers. He just went with the decision made by another department, without any consideration of the effect it might have on his work. Unless he thought that restricting the dialogue to four flavors of the same response would make his job easier. Similarly, he presents the idea of a voiced protagonist as something "they had to do". It was his job, his responsibility as an artist, to question that decision. Obviously, he doesn't forget to boast about the one hundred thousand or whatever stupid number of lines of voiced dialogue that resulted from this decision. Once again, quantity over quality. For Bethesda 100 000 lines of dialogue and 40 000 lines for the main character means good player interaction. So does restricting the player to an emotional story about "finding your son", as he describes Fallout 4. The truth is far from that, when you consider that those 40 000 lines are 4 iterations of the same 10 000 lines of canned dialogue with little to no "interaction". That is followed by an example of players skipping dialogue, which he learnt to accept and that resulted in being able to leave a dialogue whenever you want in Fallout 4. Instead of challenging the writing team to create interesting stories that no sensible person would want to skip, he provides an alternative to the people who have bought the game to shoot, loot, repeat. Not only that, he treats this as a means of player interaction and takes credit for it. No writer for a role playing game should be content with relying on the entertainment that comes from other departments' work. Anyway, I feel I have gone on for too long. In fact, I would be surprised if anyone has made it this far into my post. Let's have a discussion on this conference. I have expressed my opinion, but some of you might disagree with me. Do you think there are advantages to the changes in Fallout 4? Do you agree with the statements made by Pagliarulo?