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Brief word on cinematics

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Why have cinematics? They bring a sense of achievement to the player. They feal that they earned it. It also makes your game look more professional. When do I show them to the player? You should show the player the movie after a big fight or when you need to show them a part of the plot. Something that makes your story more deep. Heres an example of an ingame cinematic. If you have ever played starcraft then you know what im talking about. After a few missions you get a cinematic like the protoss blowing up the temple or the zerg invading a terran city. It adds a sense of achievment to the game. Its like saying here you go for beating this hard level. You could also give them secrets like extra levels charectrs or even cheat codes. more to come... http://www.unixhideout.com

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Cinematics should only be done if they can be done well, without detracting from the rest of the game. I totally agree with you on Starcraft - the intro movie to the expansion pack, Brood Wars, was one of the best I''ve ever seen. Blizzard does a great job with almost all of their cinematics, as do many other developers. I love how more and more games are using the actual game engine to render their movies, like GTA III or the old Interstate 76. But we''ve all seen games where poor gameplay rests on movie clips with horrible voice acting and/or poor visuals, where the cinematics make you scream "Why didn''t they just focus on the game itself?!?".

Just my 2 cents...

-Mike

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Interstate 76 still used prerendered movies btw. You can tell because the texture quality, some of the lighting, etc. is better or different than the actually in game sequences. They just made the prerendered scenes with the same style (and roughly the same polycount) as the in game sequences. Other recent (next gen) games use a similar technique. Because realtime graphics and prerendered graphics can be of roughly the same quality now, a lot of the time you see prerendered sequences that look very close to ingame sequences. If you look closely though, you''ll see things that aren''t done or aren''t possible in realtime. Everything is still pretty much seamless, unlike years ago, where you had 200 polygon ingame characters with 64x64 textures and cutscenes with 100,000 polygon characters with phong shading...

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I agree in game cinematics are nice... but I will have to say that as rewarding a player sometimes it works, i dont like the unlocking of secret stuff...simply because if it was soo secret it must not really have to do with the game itself, so why should I bother taking all that time to unlock it? I think personally a better reward for me (this only applies really to action adventure RPGs) is seeing my character get stronger. Like the designers should dribble some low lever bad guys when our character can smite them with just thinking about it. Sure its not challenging but I think its rewarding seeing your character decimate bad guys that at one point gave you a real run for your money.

Just my thoughts i guess more on rewards than cinematics

-Shane

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I think it depends on the audience and the cenimatics. Who said they have to be rendered? Take Amped or Tony Hawks Pro Skater series of games. In Amped after you start getting lower in the Pro Ranking, they start giving you videos of Big Airs, and misc tricks. In THPS, You are rewarded when you complete all the goals with certain skaters. They then give you cenimatics of skaters doing tricks and the like. Both of which are really cool, and are a worthy reward.

_____________________________
Refried beans are good.

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Personally, I much prefer in-game cinematics to pre-rendered ones. Sure, the pre-rendered movies look way nicer, but they are totally seperate entities, somehow detracting from the overall game itself.
My favourite games (especially RPGs) are those that emerse you totally within a world. Breaking from this to show a pre-rendered version of events somehow weakens that feeling of emersion.
I''m not saying pre-rendered is bad though, it can be very effective in its own right. But as doctorsixstring pointed out, it is too often used as a crutch for a weak game.

-Leigh

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In game cinimatics are good if there done really well and only if it makes sense.. ie, your in the middle of a combat mission and the plot thickens ie. starlancer.. but sometimes its just plain good (and pretty cool) to show a more detailed description of something incredible happening that the player has accomplished ie. Freespace2 or (as mentioned) starcraft... remember the idea of any cinematic in-game or pre-rendered is to progress the plot or show what the player has accomplished. hows its done is just a matter of taste..

Get busy livin'' or get busy dyin''... - Shawshank Redemption

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