Non-skipable cutscenes and other silly development decisions

If there's absolutely one thing I hate about games, it's cutscene-heavy ones that don't give players the ability to skip the cutscenes. Notable purpotrators that spring to mind are Final Fantasy X, Starfox Adventures and Eternal Darkness. Yes, they were fun, but two of them being games that actually inspire replayability (FFX's different grids and secrets; ED's three different endings and experiencing all the insanity effects), it's really pathetic and downright offensive of the developers to force players through them all every single time. There's absolutely no reason not to make this an option. Even if people were to "accidentally" hit the action/start button and skip a cutscene unwillingly, it could easily be fixed by having some sort of button-combination to skip them. A hassle, for sure, but it'd sure as heck make my gaming-life more comfortable.

Another thing many developers tend to ignore is including subtitles. Games that rely on dialogue for plot progression should definitely include this, especially considering the whole voice script has already been written. I'll never forget playing Splinter Cell at a retailer with the sound turned down and having to go through the intro and the like without having a clue what was going on.

So, opinions? Am I just being a real hard-ass on the poor developers or do you agree?

Actually, now that you point it out, I tend to agree. It''s particularly irritating when the games feature cutscenes that last several minutes. Sometimes I really don''t have the time to wade through, often weak, expository material just to get some play time in. There should always be some kind of way for the player to forward the action. Not necessarily that I will. I just need that option.

- Elysium

Mostly unrelated, but related to long cut scenes

Everytime I beat a game(which in and of itself is a rare occasion).

My wife wanders downstairs(also a rare occasion) and wants to strike up a conversion.

Anybody else have this issue?

"phragged" wrote:
Everytime I beat a game(which in and of itself is a rare occasion).

My wife wanders downstairs(also a rare occasion) and wants to strike up a conversion.

Anybody else have this issue?

What issue? A wife?

Phragged, yes. Most emphatically, YES! I don''t know why my wife always wanders into the room at the most crucial plot points to discuss expanding cat care or market inflation, but it''s inevitible.

- Elysium

hahahahahaha they just know it! It''s a test I tell ya.

I have to agree with the Fool (Royal as he may be )

I started to Play Final Fantasy 8 (or should that be VIII) and gave up after watching the same summons attacks and not being able to skip them.

I just don''t feel like watching crap that I can''t skip through, this is a very big design FLAW in some games.

Any game that does this always gets a mark agains it in my book.

All the cutscenes at the beginning of RAD kept me from purchasing it. I was in pure, unskippable, hell!

Morrowind designer 1: ""Good god! morrowind is going to be the best rpg ever created. The world is huge, the story kicks ass, the framerate...well never mind the framerate but it looks pretty. Anyone else have anything worth adding into the game?""

Morrowind designer 2: ""Why yes, I have a revolutionary change.""

morrowind designer 1: ""Are you joking? What could you possibly add to this masterpiece that could add to the sheer orgasmic delight of playing this game?

morrowind designer 2:
IMAGE(http://hatimages.netfirms.com/cliff.jpg)

One thing developers could do to alleviate this is to have the game run past some ""convenience"" testers, whose job is to come to the game fresh, and then specifically crit the UI and frontend as opposed to gameplay/technical testing. I''m sure that if games went through a few rounds of this sanity checking, there''d be a lot fewer frustrations for players.

In addition, topics like this would be good to raise at forums like the GDC. The Industry could come up with some ""best practice"" guidelines. There doesn''t seem to be a lot of that in gaming.

"A_lonely_hat" wrote:
Morrowind designer 1: ""Good god! morrowind is going to be the best rpg ever created. The world is huge, the story kicks ass, the framerate...well never mind the framerate but it looks pretty. Anyone else have anything worth adding into the game?""

Morrowind designer 2: ""Why yes, I have a revolutionary change.""[

Not surprising that one of the first user created mods for Morrowind was ""Remove Cliff Racers"".

"SmashX1" wrote:
All the cutscenes at the beginning of RAD kept me from purchasing it. I was in pure, unskippable, hell!

At least RAD lets you speed up the cutscenes by pressing ""Start"" (or maybe it was select...I''m sure the powers of trial and error will lead you to the correct choice) I like the idea of zipping through a cinematic so that you at least have a feel for what just happened.

People often criticize Metal Gear Solid 2 for being a ""crappy game with no gameplay."" Have it as you may, but at least MGS2 offered players the ability to skip cutscenes and fast-forward through codec conversations. A polished game, indeed.

things like this really piss me off in games.. i know a little about coding and stuff like this really couldn''t take more than an afternoon to add to a game could it?

Another thing that pisses me off about console games is the lack of options, not being able to fully configure the control pad etc.. Though these days games are getting a bit better.. Like how time splitters and halo let you save your control scheme in you player file.. There should be more of that..

A bit off topic, but another cool thing that has become a bit of a trend in games is the storing of statistics.. this is something that most likely wouldn''t be that hard to implement but, for me anyway, makes the game a whole lot more fun. re. Super Smash Bros Melee, Timespitters and most recently Tiger Woods ''03..

I know theres a few devs hanging out round here, what do you guys think about the development time required to implement these little added extras? Am I completely off the mark?

As far as I know, most ED cutscenes are skippable, with a little button mashing. I''ve managed to skip some, but not others. It''s useful, if a little inconsistent.

Wish the same was true for the Final Fantasy games though - whomever thought it would be smart to have a ten minute unskippable conversation before each and every hard-as-hell boss is, well, a raging moron. Usually, by the time I get back to the battle at hand, I''ve completely forgotten how I was planning to beat the bastard in the first place.

I''m surprised no one has mentioned Save Spots.

No explanation needed, they outright suck.

Games should give players more control schemes (More than one default one that many players find horrible is a good rule of thumb) or enable full configuration.

Save points are horrible inventions designed only to irritate and frustrate. It''s always damn fun to have made some progress in a game, but you can''t stop playing because you have to find that next damned save point so you can rest in peace knowing you can continue playing from where you left off. Why developers can''t just implement ""save everywhere"" features where you just start again in the area you last entered is beyond me.

And finally, ED''s cutscenes were weird. Now that you mention it, I remember being able to skip some of them, in random order.

And finally, ED''s cutscenes were weird. Now that you mention it, I remember being able to skip some of them, in random order.

My first post!

Actually, we allowed you to skip them once you have seen them once and saved your progress on the memory card. If your progress was not saved you would have to watch it over. It may have seemed random but it is not really. Something we will definately fix next time around. For the last boss fight this oversite was a painful. This was not intentional - sorry.

BlindSwordsman.