The concept of "show, don't tell" in RPG's

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by TheHouseAlwaysWins, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. TheHouseAlwaysWins

    TheHouseAlwaysWins Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    366
    Nov 28, 2015
    I've been exploring the world of RPG's for the past few years and a problem I notice commonly in both RPG's and JRPG'S is a lot of them tend to rely on infodumps to tell their stories instead of actions in the gameworld.

    A big idea that comes from the film industry is the thought of "show don't tell". The best sequences in a lot of films tend to be the parts that rely on good camerawork and emotion of the scene. A good example of this is found at the end of 2001: A space Oddysey. The protagonist is shown without words higher realities.

    I notice a lot of RPG's that cater to the RPG crowd tend to limit themselves too much and always stick to infodumps and stats. I think this is why Fallout 1 is my favorite Fallout of the series because it has heavy elements of the show don't tell philosphy. The Glow isn't memorable because it has infodumps describing it. It's remembered because it's a place we're warned about as if it's a legend from the Brotherhood and when we go there we see a giant radiated hole with a unique spooky music track playing in the background. Similarly, the most memorable moment in Deus Ex for me was finding out the Majestic 12 lab was under Unatco the entire time and it was a clever way without words or infodumps to tell us the situation.

    It's one thing to tell us legends and stories from books like what modern bethesda tends to do for their games. If you have cool ideas actually implement those in some form in your games.

    I have a basic idea for an RPG. So instead of an RPG filled with infodumps, how about one where we get a lot of the story through actions that happen at that time in the environment and the player has to respond to it? So instead of number stats, our characters upgrades his skills through actions in the environment? If your character is a boxer, he can join a club for boxers and do quests for it and learn new moves that allow the character to becomes more powerful.
     
  2. mannawyadden

    mannawyadden It Wandered In From the Wastes

    144
    May 3, 2016
    I've found what you've been searching your whole life for. The game of your dreams and the best MMORPG I've ever played:

    70mining.PNG
     
  3. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    618
    Jul 2, 2016
    Uh....almost all of the story for the Glow comes from holos. Most of the story in Fo come from dialogue. It's very oriented towards telling, as with any other text and click type game.

    My solution is to provide images and sounds to all instances of storytelling by NPCs and notes. Basically your character would be daydreaming/picture thinking/tripping balls/having a vision whenever you are told a story. Even just a slideshow with sound effects would do wonders for the experience.
     
  4. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    "Show don't tell" can be a great storytelling method, but it doesn't necessary mean that one is alway better than the other. Some author also manage to tell great stories while never showing anything, leaving your imagination to fill the gaps.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 4
  5. lolpop109

    lolpop109 Water Chip? Been There, Done That
    Modder

    839
    Jul 14, 2016
    I fcking love OSRC is based and epic. Btw i got lvl 71 mining. Your other stats are pretty good to be fair as well !!!
     
  6. mannawyadden

    mannawyadden It Wandered In From the Wastes

    144
    May 3, 2016
    Unfortunately those aren't my stats, it's just a random picture I got from online...but yeah the game is awesome

    The problem is that requires a lot more work, animation, and voice acting compared to typing some text into a box...that's why they use text as their delivery method in the first place it seems
     
  7. lolpop109

    lolpop109 Water Chip? Been There, Done That
    Modder

    839
    Jul 14, 2016
    Unlcuky you'll get there one day !! XD Yeah managed to make 72 mining now haha. Runecrafting is the grind-est skill
     
  8. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    618
    Jul 2, 2016
    It's not much more in the grand scheme of things. A few static images, or even just asset screenshots, plus the sound effects they already have in game...doesn't get much easier than that.
     
  9. mannawyadden

    mannawyadden It Wandered In From the Wastes

    144
    May 3, 2016
    True, I didn't understand your original idea until just now. Hmm...can't recall if anything like that has been done before, someone would have to put something like that into a game and see how it feels compared to reading notes and journals