"Press X to not Die"- Opinions on Quick Time Events

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Re: "Press X to not Die"- Opinions on Quick Time Events

#16 Post by Desu_Cake » Wed May 01, 2013 4:56 am

QTEs are horrible and you should feel bad for even thinking of using them.
That is all.


More seriously though, QTEs exist pretty much solely to stop people with short attention spans from falling asleep during cut-scenes. Since a VN is by nature almost entirely cut-scene, they're not your target audience. Especially since if people are waiting for QTEs, they're not actually paying attention to the plot. They're an unnecessary distraction.

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Re: "Press X to not Die"- Opinions on Quick Time Events

#17 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Wed May 01, 2013 5:08 am

I am planning to have a few quick time events, but they aren't going to play a big part.
There are just a few occasions where I want to emphasise that people need to react quickly sometimes, for example, trying to get off a train and the people in front won't move.
Missing the timer doesn't mean they "lose", it just changes the events that will happen somewhat.

I don't think it's ideal to subject everyone to the same timers, because everybody plays at different speeds. I actually have a number of timers running to track how quickly people go through dialogue, how long they take to make decisions, and how it changes throughout the course of playing.
The timer for quick time events will be adjusted to the player's play style.
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Re: "Press X to not Die"- Opinions on Quick Time Events

#18 Post by wordlesswriter » Wed May 01, 2013 9:35 am

LVUER wrote:Nowadays they kinda blend in, don't they? Lots of game is presented with VN formats. For me, it's which one have more portion.
Yeah, it makes formatting decisions difficult. You could go one way, you could go another.
Desu_Cake wrote: More seriously though, QTEs exist pretty much solely to stop people with short attention spans from falling asleep during cut-scenes. Since a VN is by nature almost entirely cut-scene, they're not your target audience. Especially since if people are waiting for QTEs, they're not actually paying attention to the plot. They're an unnecessary distraction.
Well, I can definitely a strong argument for it not being necessary for the VN audience. And as far as this thread has seen, it seems to be an unwanted addition.
TrickWithAKnife wrote:I am planning to have a few quick time events, but they aren't going to play a big part.
There are just a few occasions where I want to emphasise that people need to react quickly sometimes, for example, trying to get off a train and the people in front won't move.
Missing the timer doesn't mean they "lose", it just changes the events that will happen somewhat.

I don't think it's ideal to subject everyone to the same timers, because everybody plays at different speeds. I actually have a number of timers running to track how quickly people go through dialogue, how long they take to make decisions, and how it changes throughout the course of playing.
The timer for quick time events will be adjusted to the player's play style.
Actually, I don't intend for all of the events to be win/lose situations but that they rather effect your relationships with other characters. Using the Anger Meter example, and an outburst might subtract 3 points from the "Friendship Points" of the other character.

Now the timer idea is an interesting alternative. What about in the cases of people replaying the game? That would drastically change their gameplay experience the second play though, which is good in one sense, and bad in another.
Fairy Godfeather wrote:Well I would think it would depend on the player and the story which options they choose. I'd actually imagine that someone would choose every single option eventually, and they'd pick the ones that best fit their playthrough.

If anger's an important part of your game though, you could have an anger meter. Keep track of every time someone says something that's annoying and bump up the anger meter. Allow the character to blow off steam by choosing snarky responses which will reduce their anger meter. If they bottle up their anger and choose the nice options throughout then they're just heading for a complete explosion where the only option they'll have is a burning red KILL HIM NOW!!! I think that would at least have the same effect.

Or just provide angry options and flash the screen red and make the player go grrr and get annoyed and want to choose the angry replies. The nice path isn't usually the fun path.
Those are all very good suggestions, thank you.
KimiYoriBaka wrote:since so far the discussion has been on whether or not QTE's are a good idea, I thought I'd post a response to the other question in original post.

Press X to not die screen. perfect for invoking the wrath of a certain game critic

Code: Select all


to do this with multiple required inputs, you would need to check the system time before showing the screen, then have the required input change the amount for the timer based on how much time has past since the screen was first shown.  the reason to use the system time, rather than relying on the screen's timer itself is cause it will lag if the player inputs things too quickly.

it would probably work better to use a creator-defined displayable, but that takes more time to write than I have at the moment.[/quote]

Hahaha, that dialogue is hilarious! XD 
Ah, using the system time...that takes out the issues people raised on lagging. :D 
Thank you for that code, I'll see if I can use it in the future. 

[quote="SHiNKiROU"]I wouldn't incorporate a QTE in a visual novel because a VN does not test the player's reflex. If the VN has minigames that test reflex, QTE is acceptable.
It's acceptable for Mass Effect because it is half action.

Also, QTE should be "press any key" instead of "press X". The player can miss the first few QTEs for finding the key.[/quote]

I just used "Press X to Not Die" as the example because it also happens to be the name of a certain page on [url=http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PressXToNotDie]TVTropes[/url]. >w>;
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Re: "Press X to not Die"- Opinions on Quick Time Events

#19 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Wed May 01, 2013 10:26 am

The Walking Dead is a good example of how a WTE may be used, if someone is feeling brave. This also shows that the function lends itself more to tense situations, but there needs to be some kind of visual representation. Many months ago I was working on having a circular symbol around the mouse pointer that changed to represent a timer running down, so the player couldn't miss it. I'm 90% sure I got it working correctly.

As for the second play-through, it shouldn't matter so much. I'd expect the speed of making choices would increase in a similar fashion to the reading speed. If it makes it easier for them to react, good for them. They already played through once, so they've earned the right to use previous knowledge to try different things.
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Re: "Press X to not Die"- Opinions on Quick Time Events

#20 Post by wordlesswriter » Wed May 01, 2013 11:06 am

TrickWithAKnife wrote:The Walking Dead is a good example of how a WTE may be used, if someone is feeling brave. This also shows that the function lends itself more to tense situations, but there needs to be some kind of visual representation. Many months ago I was working on having a circular symbol around the mouse pointer that changed to represent a timer running down, so the player couldn't miss it. I'm 90% sure I got it working correctly.

As for the second play-through, it shouldn't matter so much. I'd expect the speed of making choices would increase in a similar fashion to the reading speed. If it makes it easier for them to react, good for them. They already played through once, so they've earned the right to use previous knowledge to try different things.
I still haven't played the Walking Dead game yet, even though I know I should because it makes you have "all the feels" D:
So far that's been the consensus on QTEs- that there needs to be some sort of visual representation.
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Re: "Press X to not Die"- Opinions on Quick Time Events

#21 Post by Greeny » Wed May 01, 2013 11:49 am

On QTE's in videogames:
Testing your reflexes is, by all means, a way to challenge yourself. I enjoy the need to be able to react fast; the challenge and the adrenaline that comes with it. Isn't that one of the reasons we play games?
Of course, it's true that you have to establish a proper time and context for them.

On QTE's in Visual Novels:
Visual novels aren't really there for the challenge, more for the story, so the usage of QTE's, if any, should be handled differently. As one option, give a longer timer, and use them to force the player into making an important decision quickly, as is demonstrated in The Walking Dead. In this case, neither option, nor inaction should really lead to a "game over", only consequences storywise that the player might not have intended, thus ensuring the player remains really involved in decisionmaking.

Alternatively, add them as optional. Players with good reflexes will be rewarded with an extra scene, but players that didn't have the reaction time won't really be punished. An example of this is Mass Effect's paragon/renegade popups.
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Re: "Press X to not Die"- Opinions on Quick Time Events

#22 Post by dramspringfeald » Wed May 01, 2013 4:47 pm

wordlesswriter wrote:Hey, everyone. Been a while.
I know there are several ways to do quick time event-style operations in Ren'Py. First, there's the basic "timed menu" route. I personally dislike this one, but that's because it doesn't always give me enough time to read the choices. The other way I know of is using screens to initiate an event like "Press A now!" I've been wondering if there's another way to do this- like creating a meter that rises when you tap the X key, and the event succeeds/fails based on if you fill the meter in time or not.
But the real question I've been wondering about is how other players feel about these sorts of things.
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Do you use quick timed events in your projects?
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Have you played VNs recently that managed to use them really well?
~I don't think ANY game has done QTE Very well. Point in case Mercenaries 2, God of War series. They are Okay games but the endings well have no balls.
You played through the game taking out bad guy after bad guy only to what? Play DDR to win the game? yeah no. Skill over QTE any day.

How would you feel about a QTE like the last one I mentioned in a game?
~ yeah, those are called mini-games. like the "clown games" in a few other games. they are lazy ways to boost "the energy" of the game.

~PS I'm a little bias to these things. I prefer playing a game where throughout the playing process you are learning skills, skills you will use against the final boss. Older Nintendo games ran off it and even now some of them are bringing it back.
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Re: "Press X to not Die"- Opinions on Quick Time Events

#23 Post by Fleeples » Wed May 01, 2013 5:41 pm

I find QT events extremely frustrating in VNs as I tend to stop playing and look at other things a lot. In other games, I'm not fond either, but they'd be a huge turn off for me in a VN personally. However, what you're describing sounds interesting. Idk if it's worth it tho.

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Re: "Press X to not Die"- Opinions on Quick Time Events

#24 Post by arachni42 » Wed May 01, 2013 6:07 pm

I don't think QTE would be appropriate in most cases, but I have played one VN/sim where it works: School Days. There are many places where you (as the protagonist) are given dialogue choices (often just two choices, very short so there is no trouble reading them). But if you let a certain number of seconds go by, the menu goes away and protagonist says nothing. It works really well for this particular game, since the protagonist is... er... not a very sympathetic character. So you get choices that are something like:

Current girlfriend: Now, you've told your last girlfriend that you've broken up with her, right??
Protagonist:
1. Huh?
2. Sure.

If you don't make a choice, the protagonist ends up just being silent.... which lends itself very well to making the "protagonist" seem even more like a jerk. ;) I'd say this game is the exception and not the rule... but, it did work.
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Re: "Press X to not Die"- Opinions on Quick Time Events

#25 Post by gekiganwing » Wed May 01, 2013 7:11 pm

There's a moderate number of VNs which use timed choices. Here's a current list of ones which have at least a partial English version or patch.

I thought that some of the timed choices in Love Hina Advance and Sakura Wars 5 made sense. They appeared in scenes that were dramatically or comedically appropriate, and when the main character needed to act quickly. And sometimes saying or doing nothing was the best possible response. Though I believe that both VNs might have been better with a few less quick time events.

It's been several years since I tried Yo-Jin-Bo. I recall that most of its choices were timed, and that there was at least one "dead end." (In other words, a point in the story where all the remaining choices lead to bad endings. That's about as frustrating as the "six consecutive decisions in which all but one choice leads to death" section in Persona 4.) There's a few others on the list which I tried briefly but have nearly forgotten.

I think that if there's a trivial quick time event that doesn't give the player small benefits, it should be omitted. And if a plot-relevant QTE is unintuitive, needlessly difficult, or overly long, then the creator should think about changing it.

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Re: "Press X to not Die"- Opinions on Quick Time Events

#26 Post by Jo'ogn » Fri May 03, 2013 11:47 am

DaFool wrote:Yeah QTEs frustrate me in console games when I'm able to beat a boss using my own skill and all of a sudden I have to press a button sequence which I didn't expect at all since I was expecting a non-interactive death sequence and resolution cutscene.
"Not expected" is it. I recall "Policenauts" very slow paced VN like adventure and suddenly there is this not exactly trivial motorcycle shooting persuit, I was like O_O wtf!?
DaFool wrote:QTEs can have aesthetic effects... like if I were making an ecchi game, QTEs can be the means to strip clothes off characters.
The Flash Games "Labyrinth" come to mind, which I came across in 2006. It's a brillant game play idea.
DaFool wrote:Basically the point is you can use these kinds of gimmicks but they shouldn't feel like coming from left field, the player must be warned before hand of these things and they must be consistently implemented.
I had planned a little reaction game to 'evaluate' the player for my long time not continued VN project. However nothing that would have them die if they miss a click. In fact it should not keep the player from continuing at all. Which is this new thingy with action games, die and have a checkpoint. Just do away with dying completely if it doesn't matter anymore anyway - what's the point?

An example is Mass Efect 1 and 2. To open boxes ME1 has those "hit or fail" button mini game. Which i find off putting simply because it kills immersion, if I am suddenly told to hit Y or X. Same back with MGS when the Colonell suddenly told me to "press the X button in order to climb down by rope". Killed totally the mood I was in. However in ME2 they made techy looking mini games. It still were reaction mini games, but they look and feel "techie", which is much better. Similar to adjusting frequencies in "Hydrophobia", this is just cool!

Another thing in Bioware RPGs were these random puzzles. In ME1 I can 'buy my way out' by using a lot of "gel" - good thing too. Shifting stuff around for 30 minutes is just rediculous, from the point of a player AND game designer.
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Re: "Press X to not Die"- Opinions on Quick Time Events

#27 Post by wordlesswriter » Sun May 05, 2013 9:58 pm

gekiganwing wrote:There's a moderate number of VNs which use timed choices. Here's a current list of ones which have at least a partial English version or patch.

I thought that some of the timed choices in Love Hina Advance and Sakura Wars 5 made sense. They appeared in scenes that were dramatically or comedically appropriate, and when the main character needed to act quickly. And sometimes saying or doing nothing was the best possible response. Though I believe that both VNs might have been better with a few less quick time events.

It's been several years since I tried Yo-Jin-Bo. I recall that most of its choices were timed, and that there was at least one "dead end." (In other words, a point in the story where all the remaining choices lead to bad endings. That's about as frustrating as the "six consecutive decisions in which all but one choice leads to death" section in Persona 4.) There's a few others on the list which I tried briefly but have nearly forgotten.

I think that if there's a trivial quick time event that doesn't give the player small benefits, it should be omitted. And if a plot-relevant QTE is unintuitive, needlessly difficult, or overly long, then the creator should think about changing it.
Thanks for the list! I plan to look into this, and good examples are always welcome. :D
And thanks to everyone for your input, it is greatly appreciated! :)
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