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Is This Common For Modern Games?



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KingdomKurdistan

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I would say: Totally.

And I think it is totally acceptable taking into account we can't really expect every cutscene to be animated to it's full potential, there's over 10 hours of full blown cutscenes in this game, unlike other modern games that use "slow walking sections" or small talk sections as cutscenes.

Case in point:

And there are plenty of cases where every single frame of animation has depth, meaning, and artistic merit.

Case in point: Last of Us Part II:

If the length of cutscenes is too unwieldy to give them the duty of care they deserve, then your cutscenes are too long/frequent.

Also, the slow-moving walk replacements for cutscenes are to solve the exact problem discussed in this thread.

I'd say KH is stuck in a bygone era, but KH1 did a far better job of its OG character cutscenes than KH3 did. I feel the only reason Disney character animations (and acting, writing etc) were good in KH3 is because Disney forced them to without bothering to apply the same QC standards to the original Kingdom Hearts lore.
 
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Face My Fears

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I feel like people ignored me so I'm just gonna post the 0.2 secret ending. You only need to watch the first 30 econds of both clips to see the difference

OMG! Kairi actually moved out of the way, so Riku could talk to Mickey directly! You're exactly right!

They CAN do it, so why don't they!?
 

Cumguardian69

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Do you remember the flat sprites used in KH1 and KH2's text bubble scenes? Well KH3 replicates that with characters who stare into the V O I D and frankly there is nothing you can do about it. Some of the folks just aren't needed in cutscenes but it isn't reasonable to load and unload models in UE4 at times.
 

KingdomKurdistan

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Do you remember the flat sprites used in KH1 and KH2's text bubble scenes? Well KH3 replicates that with characters who stare into the V O I D and frankly there is nothing you can do about it. Some of the folks just aren't needed in cutscenes but it isn't reasonable to load and unload models in UE4 at times.

I agree that's what it is. But there's a metric plethoratonne of things you can do about it.
 

cakito123

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I would say: Totally.

And I think it is totally acceptable taking into account we can't really expect every cutscene to be animated to it's full potential, there's over 10 hours of full blown cutscenes in this game, unlike other modern games that use "slow walking sections" or small talk sections as cutscenes.

Case in point:

I love both examples because that was exactly what I had in mind as well! And while I agree we can't expect SO MUCH at a entire game's animation, I think that if there is any feature that the player will have to watch or see again and again, just make sure to make it good, you know? Honestly at this Horizon video I couldn't even watch more than 3 minutes because it was really unsettling to see the random ways their eyebrows and expressions go as they TALK?!!! And this Dialogue Tree mechanic gets in your way EVERYTIME through the game, I remember feeling disconnected from the universe multiple times just because of that. :(
I like the game tho. Maybe I'll finish it someday

Do you remember the flat sprites used in KH1 and KH2's text bubble scenes? Well KH3 replicates that with characters who stare into the V O I D and frankly there is nothing you can do about it. Some of the folks just aren't needed in cutscenes but it isn't reasonable to load and unload models in UE4 at times.

I know no one's asked at my garbage opinion but I really miss the old bubble scenes. It was really cheap and simple but it sold SO MUCH for me back then and in the current old games. Not every communication from characters needs to have a camera going around as they speak, or have a dialogue tree stopping you, you know?? The Final Fantasy VII way of telling story elements is one way as well, but you know what? In my pov, this is a videogame, just abstract it. some times a simpler way of delivering impact is toning DOWN and focusing on writing and game feel
 

2 quid is good

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OMG! Kairi actually moved out of the way, so Riku could talk to Mickey directly! You're exactly right!

They CAN do it, so why don't they!?
Well if it helps, they did it in Remind, for the FF/Radiant Garden cutscenes.

I guess they were just pressed for time, which makes me wonder if they really spent the majority of the ~5 years dev time on the Disney worlds. Just a personal disappointment for me because those parts aren't really what I look forward to but I get it works for the mass appeal part of KH for the Disney to be tip top
 

Face My Fears

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Well if it helps, they did it in Remind, for the FF/Radiant Garden cutscenes.

I guess they were just pressed for time, which makes me wonder if they really spent the majority of the ~5 years dev time on the Disney worlds. Just a personal disappointment for me because those parts aren't really what I look forward to but I get it works for the mass appeal part of KH for the Disney to be tip top
I look forward to the entire package. I want to see Disney and original content being in tip top shape. I get that in KH3, they lost a significant amount of time, so I can let it slide. But I'm hoping in future games they get it together.
 

AdrianXXII

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I feel like if they could implement a program that lets them have the models turn to a certain other characters and run generic facial animations for reactions that'd help quite a bit. But I could see that needing quite a bit of work to get working properly.
 

Sign

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I look forward to the entire package. I want to see Disney and original content being in tip top shape. I get that in KH3, they lost a significant amount of time, so I can let it slide. But I'm hoping in future games they get it together.
You're kinda just going to have to accept that larger scale projects require evaluating priorities and focusing efforts on what's most necessary. They might be able to spare the resources for minor background animations in smaller projects, but larger ones are a different beast entirely. It's just kind of the case with game development. A whole lot of different factors at play at any moment, and not every developer operates the same way or has the tech or the manpower to dedicate to every minute detail.

Would it be nice to see more of going forward? Sure. But if they can't get to it, it's understandable.
 

Katsagu

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And there are plenty of cases where every single frame of animation has depth, meaning, and artistic merit.

Case in point: Last of Us Part II:

So you pick the cream of the crop when it comes to cutscene direction and detail in gaming, ignoring the huge crunch said detail brings to Naughty Dog's dev team, and think it somehow proves your point? Naughty dogs games aren't the standard, they're the exception. I don't expect every game to live up to that, and thank god.

If the length of cutscenes is too unwieldy to give them the duty of care they deserve, then your cutscenes are too long/frequent.
That's just not true, we're talking about an ARPG, with a story that spans a ton of different settings and with a ton of different characters, all of that throughout what is supposed to be a 30 hour game. It isn't easy. And if you would really preffer to replace these cutscenes with anything else, that's on you, I preffer it this way.

Also, the slow-moving walk replacements for cutscenes are to solve the exact problem discussed in this thread.

And I would argue they're wholly inferior to a simple cutscene that's there to serve it's job instead of being forced to push the analogue stick forward just so some audiolines can trigger.
 

Face My Fears

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You're kinda just going to have to accept that larger scale projects require evaluating priorities and focusing efforts on what's most necessary. They might be able to spare the resources for minor background animations in smaller projects, but larger ones are a different beast entirely. It's just kind of the case with game development. A whole lot of different factors at play at any moment, and not every developer operates the same way or has the tech or the manpower to dedicate to every minute detail.

Would it be nice to see more of going forward? Sure. But if they can't get to it, it's understandable.
What do you mean "if they can't get to it?" They should strive for quality first and take as much time as they need. I'm not demanding that they rush the game out and it look like trash. KH3 had a huge budget, so they could afford to take an extra year to fix animations to be on the up-and-up.

And if they can't afford to do it, then film the scenes differently or execute it differently. The scene with Axel, the camera could have been on him only, then cut to Ven, then cut to a shot of everyone (from behind) and Axel to keep the illusion of a packed room but skip having to animate them. Or they could have made the scene Axel/Ven only in the staircase of the Mysterious Tower (as everyone's walking up), then cut to another conversation on the stairs walking up (Kairi/Aqua). I would take less characters in a scene with more life over everyone in the scene being robots.
 

SweetYetSalty

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I don't know if many modern games are like that now, but KH always had this, even with the fish face. The KH character models default faces all look zoned out, and because of the updated graphics of KH3 it's much more noticeable. They could try making them more animated in the future, like maybe cycle through different expressions during the cutscene. I don't know how much work that would require and it's a minor thing. I'm mainly focusing on the person who is talking anyway, so I tend to ignore the zoned out look of background faces.

The example you gave wasn't even the worst one. The one where Sora and Kairi are looking at Riku on the beach is straight up creepy zoned out faces. If I had people looking at me like that, I would want to run and hide somewhere.
 

Deliverance

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And there are plenty of cases where every single frame of animation has depth, meaning, and artistic merit.

Case in point: Last of Us Part II:

If the length of cutscenes is too unwieldy to give them the duty of care they deserve, then your cutscenes are too long/frequent.

Also, the slow-moving walk replacements for cutscenes are to solve the exact problem discussed in this thread.

I'd say KH is stuck in a bygone era, but KH1 did a far better job of its OG character cutscenes than KH3 did. I feel the only reason Disney character animations (and acting, writing etc) were good in KH3 is because Disney forced them to without bothering to apply the same QC standards to the original Kingdom Hearts lore.
TLOU isn’t really a good counter example because while those games do have hours and hours of cutscenes, they’re also incredibly scripted and linear. It’s all about priorities. Their direction is narrowly focused.

If you’re making a game that has giant levels, RPG stat bullshit, open world space exploration, complex action combat, and so on and so forth, you’re not gonna have time to expertly craft hours worth of cutscenes.
 

Sign

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What do you mean "if they can't get to it?" They should strive for quality first and take as much time as they need. I'm not demanding that they rush the game out and it look like trash. KH3 had a huge budget, so they could afford to take an extra year to fix animations to be on the up-and-up.

And if they can't afford to do it, then film the scenes differently or execute it differently. The scene with Axel, the camera could have been on him only, then cut to Ven, then cut to a shot of everyone (from behind) and Axel to keep the illusion of a packed room but skip having to animate them. Or they could have made the scene Axel/Ven only in the staircase of the Mysterious Tower (as everyone's walking up), then cut to another conversation on the stairs walking up (Kairi/Aqua). I would take less characters in a scene with more life over everyone in the scene being robots.

Exactly what it means? People are not allotted all the time in the world to do what they need. This isn't even a game dev thing; it's just an unfortunate matter of fact. They have a schedule to adhere to and deadlines that must be met. In a perfect world, games could and would be delayed indefinitely to ensure that the end product is as flawless as can be, but that's just not the case.
 

Face My Fears

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Exactly what it means? People are not allotted all the time in the world to do what they need. This isn't even a game dev thing; it's just an unfortunate matter of fact. They have a schedule to adhere to and deadlines that must be met. In a perfect world, games could and would be delayed indefinitely to ensure that the end product is as flawless as can be, but that's just not the case.
If it takes 5 years to make KH4, I they should have time to prioritize cutscenes somewhere in those 5 years. Maybe they should dump some cutscenes (like Gummiphone ones). I would have had no problem if we got a dialogue cutscene after beating the world - like on the map, we just see dialogue boxes (with recorded audio and just a picture of whoever is talking with text) pop up for the Ienzo/Sora Gummiphone conversation. It would suck not having proper main story cutscenes, but if sacrificing those cutscenes will help actual relevant cutscenes be less robotic, then they should invest in that.

Or maybe just reduce the cutscenes to ones we really need. I just don't want to see more robots on the PS5.
 

Cumguardian69

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If it takes 5 years to make KH4, I they should have time to prioritize cutscenes somewhere in those 5 years. Maybe they should dump some cutscenes (like Gummiphone ones). I would have had no problem if we got a dialogue cutscene after beating the world - like on the map, we just see dialogue boxes (with recorded audio and just a picture of whoever is talking with text) pop up for the Ienzo/Sora Gummiphone conversation. It would suck not having proper main story cutscenes, but if sacrificing those cutscenes will help actual relevant cutscenes be less robotic, then they should invest in that.

Or maybe just reduce the cutscenes to ones we really need. I just don't want to see more robots on the PS5.
We finna see even more robots though. Because cutscenes just aint the focus of KH. KH really is about the music, then the gameplay, then the plot, THEN the cutscenes. Like, especially with KH3, the cutscenes were there to facilitate the plot. For ex, the weightless Keyblade on Keyblade fights, or how Aqua got hit by the mega destruction dark ball of darkness ans destruction.

Yeah we can say that KH3 got off track of dev time (we know they lost at least a year from UE3 to UE4 switch) but still...the cutscenes aint it
 

Face My Fears

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We finna see even more robots though. Because cutscenes just aint the focus of KH. KH really is about the music, then the gameplay, then the plot, THEN the cutscenes. Like, especially with KH3, the cutscenes were there to facilitate the plot. For ex, the weightless Keyblade on Keyblade fights, or how Aqua got hit by the mega destruction dark ball of darkness ans destruction.

Yeah we can say that KH3 got off track of dev time (we know they lost at least a year from UE3 to UE4 switch) but still...the cutscenes aint it
How is KH about the music first? There's no way Yoko could compose music without some idea of the plot and characters. The music is probably one of the last things done, so that Yoko can see what she's composing for.

I agree that the cutscenes are there to facilitate the plot. With that said, animate the cutscenes appropriately or don't have them. The scene with Axel talking about Ven looking like Roxas, and the group in Yen Sid's tower was basically useless. I would have totally redone that whole segment. I would have had Ven/Aqua have a moment together, Sora/Riku/Kairi talk about going into battle together as a group at last, Mickey/Donald/Goofy reminiscing on their old musketeer days and comparing it to this battle (which will prompt Sora/Riku to give them a look), then have Axel come down and call out Ven looking like Roxas, then quip that Yen Sid wants to see everyone upstairs. With each group having their own time, the animators have less people to animate per scene. Then the Yen Sid's chamber scene will be focused on Yen Sid and show all the models from behind, that way you only need to animate Yen Sid and maybe close-ups of Sora and Aqua.
 

KingdomKurdistan

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We finna see even more robots though. Because cutscenes just aint the focus of KH. KH really is about the music, then the gameplay, then the plot, THEN the cutscenes. Like, especially with KH3, the cutscenes were there to facilitate the plot. For ex, the weightless Keyblade on Keyblade fights, or how Aqua got hit by the mega destruction dark ball of darkness ans destruction.

Yeah we can say that KH3 got off track of dev time (we know they lost at least a year from UE3 to UE4 switch) but still...the cutscenes aint it

That's not strictly true, though? Most KH1 cutscenes was shot and paced like a movie. It's still brilliant today but at the time it was revolutionary. Not really fair to declare with KH is and isn't about when there's plenty that would disagree with what got them into the series in the first place.

Again, the issue is there's a minimum standard they just have to reach and they didn't reach it. So many of the pivotal moments in the story were completely botched because of it. The issue is there's been acute regression.

It's not just animation of background characters. There's no blocking, shot composition, editing for pace, dramatic value. It's literally just people standing, gesticulating abstractly, and speaking the dullest mechanistically translated dialogue with the slowest diction possible. Everyone I know IRL who plays KH skipped the non-Disney cutscenes because of how dull and slow they were. This is before you even get to how frequent cutscnes are and how they break up the momentum at every opportunity. I know some on here will say SE isn't responsible for people being bored but then art critique really becomes impossible, doesn't it?

KH isn't a hyperrealistic property (in fact I feel they've gone far too realistic recently), it's no where near as hard to animate as something like TLOU. We don't even have to compare it to other games: just compare it to other cutscenes within the same game. It's a stark contrast. Other developers and properties have innovated and found solutions to problems in video game narrative storytelling. But KH feels stuck in the PS2 era just with better graphical fidelity and bigger crowds. They've merely replaced textbox dialogue with phoned-in voice narration (I refuse to call it "acting"); empty town squares with people; etc. The overall structure is still the same, for better and for worse.
 
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Dark Rot

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Yeah they could do so much better.

Damn, I mean Disney and Square are both animation studios lol. KH should just flow better, it shouldn't be uncanny all the time. The univeral plasticine glaze and strange skin textures on the character models make everything look flimsier. I've wondered if that's on purpose, to give KH3 a fake, doll-like aesthetic to contrast the realer realism of Verum Rex.

Crowds and generic npcs are overrated to me. It's fine to space em out. Special characters in special locations only. How characters are posed or idle can go a long way too.

Someday I'd like to see more cartoonish, expressive animations in the scenes and gameplay. I hope they mess around with new textures too. The original games were very clever in the soft way the models and worlds were painted. Still looks nice. But you could really do anything now, make a world look like a literal painting or Sora into a clay puppet.
 
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