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对《行尸走肉2》角色设定的分析

发布时间:2017-01-22 15:56:46 Tags:,,,

作者:DUTERTRE Simon

大家好,我要回来再和你们谈论故事设计了。这一次我想要说说Telltale的《行尸走肉2》。

之所以等到现在才开始谈论这款游戏是因为:

作为游戏续集,创造者从之前的游戏中吸取了一些经验教训

这款游戏发行后Telltale又发行了其它游戏,而我们可以从其它游戏中看看它们是否从这款游戏中吸取了经验教训。

Clementine。

在我的分析中我将尽可能地保持公平,你们当然也可以反驳我的看法。尽管我要说游戏带有问题,但这并不意味着我不喜欢游戏。通过本文我将明确怎么做才能“更好”,而不是去批评一款游戏。

当然了,这里也会有不少剧透,你们要小心了。以下便是我要讨论的内容:

在电子游戏中如何选择你的角色/英雄有可能在故事中妨碍到其他人。

开始前我想要明确一些内容:故事中的主角是谁。

有许多关于角色的理论。最基本的便是,主角是贯穿于我们故事体验的那个人,即通常是叙述者。第二种说法是主角是能够推动故事发展的人,如英雄。还有一种说法是,主角是在故事过程中发生最多变化的人。

但并非每一个理论都适用于每一个故事,有些故事因为拥有许多不同角色而更加复杂。就像在《指环王》,《冰与火之歌》以及《献给阿尔及的花束》中谁才是主角呢?

虽然我的答案是Sam,Jaime和Charlie,但这只是我自己的答案。明确主角是非常必要的,因为这样你才能决定其他角色的重要性。一个角色更重要,你才能更加重视他—-不管是基于正面方式还是负面方式。如果你不在乎一个角色,那便意味着这个角色不重要,或者作家不能成功将你的注意带向他。

现在让我们回到正题中。

《行尸走肉2》决定让Clementine作为我们的主角。我们将能够扮演她,而不再是她的守护者。但是选择Clementine是否是最佳选择?

为了让玩家沉浸于游戏中,Telltale需要出一些古怪的决定。首先,他们为Clementine创造了一个游戏条件,即意味着他们需要创造一些一个10岁孩子能做的事。如设定只有小孩子才能钻进去的小洞。

然后他们需要创造这个孩子与其他角色之间的关系,并且必须记得我们面对的是一个10岁角色。他们不能只是漫无目的地跟着她,并且为了让玩家觉得自己的选择很重要(游戏邦注:这也是Telltale游戏的前提),他们还必须听从Clementine。这是很难做到的。没错,这是关于僵尸启示录的游戏,孩子们总是能够飞快成长。但是一群成人是否真的会听从一个10岁孩子呢?这取决于不同情况。

这里存在两分法:

玩家必须感受到自己的重要性,所以Clementine需要做许多事。

为了让玩家感受到重要性,其他角色将依赖于一个孩子。

Clementine(from gamasutra)

Clementine(from gamasutra)

这一情况是源自第一章节。

也就是Clementine被一只狗咬了,不是僵尸。但是这群人认为她撒谎而将她关了起来,但是他们却忘记了被咬只会让你生病的事实。或者是因为他们并不想放走Clementine。

然后Clementine逃出去偷了一些药物又回到了牢房,给自己受伤的手臂缝上了线。然后僵尸闯入了牢房,她想杀死僵尸但却因此制造了较大的声响。那群人冲到了牢房开了门,并看到被Clementine杀死的僵尸。

这便是Clementine,她向我们展示了自己能够照顾自己,可以杀死比自己高三尺的僵尸,但是其他人却什么都做不到,这便是问题所在。

你怎么会喜欢那些毫无用处又如此无情的角色呢?至少我不会喜欢的。

有很多这样的情况。就像在第3个章节中,Clementine和其他人一起被囚禁着。他们想要逃跑,但却需要有人爬上屋顶,潜入坏人的办公室,偷取2个无线电话,避开守卫,并在下一次查房前回到牢房。我想知道谁能做这件事?是哪个强大的黑人?还是灵活切神秘的女人?还是那个小女孩?没错,就是那个小女孩。

我们完全可以理解作家/导演希望突出Clementine的重要性的想法,他们也的确做到了。Clementine是游戏中的最佳角色,尽管她可能不如Lee那般“复杂”,但是在她这个年龄来看她真的已经很棒了。但这同样也不利于其他角色,因为和她相比起来他们在故事中显得非常懒惰,懦弱且无用。在Alvin牺牲自己去抓坏人之前我只与他交谈过2次。我要怎么去关心那些什么都不做的 角色呢,除了让我为妻子藏些食物外他们几乎不会与我进行交流。你只会觉得自己是“被迫”去做某事。

以下是在第一季游戏中你会去关心其他角色的原因:

Lee,因为杀害别人而被定罪,这是你的角色,他非常机智且善良。

Clementine,你需要去保护的小女孩,但是她不断变得更加独立且学会去保护自己。

Kenny,总是在修理某些东西,他失去了自己的妻子和儿子。

Ben,非常懦弱且知道自己的问题。

Carley,是个理性的人。

Lily,想要成为一名优秀的领导者,但却缺少抗压能力。

在不同时刻你都会想去了解这些人,关于他们的“感受”或角色原型。尽管你是在做着Lee要做的事,但你却仍会愿意去了解其他角色。你会看到Kenny在修理TV,Lily在清点库存,其他人在修补着栅栏。但在第二季中我们却因为情节的节奏而不能真正去了解这些角色。

第一季游戏就像是自驾游,你可以随时停下来,在解决问题的同时与别人进行交谈。之后又会出现物体,这样无休止地循环着直至你用光所有角色。

相反地第二季拥有较少的“安静”时刻,总是会有些事情的发生且没有“自由”探索。这里没有像第一季那样的晚餐时刻,与所有人交谈的时刻,了解Duck受到挑战或Carley喜欢Doug的时刻。在这里你必须等到第5章节才能真正了解那些还活着的角色。因为游戏情节发展太快你甚至没有时间去考虑里面的角色。谁是Carver?我们要去哪里?战争爆发前这些人在做什么?

而好消息便是,这是一款发行于2013年的游戏,在那之后Telltale已经发行了一些其它游戏。例如《冰与火之歌》,《蝙蝠侠》和《行尸走肉3》。

那么让我们看看《冰与火之歌》,小心哦,这里还是会有很多剧透。

不过关于《行尸走肉2》还有的另一个问题是你唯一关心角色的便是安全。你之前应该已经玩过其它Telltale的游戏,并且你知道到最后你不需要再担心Clementine,就像Lee或Bigby那样。这在像《行尸走肉1》等之前游戏中并不是什么问题,因为你至少会关心像Clementine等其他角色。即即使你知道在第5章节之前自己扮演的是Lee这一角色,你还是会想了解是否能够够保全Clementine,Carley,kenny的周全。

恩,现在我们来说说《冰与火之歌》。你是扮演Squire。介绍结束后,黑暗袭来。新场景出现,Squire将到达勋爵的城堡,并开始各种讨论,然后便是游戏加载。

你找不到自己的角色了,现在你扮演的是一个年轻的勋爵!这是在最近的Telltale游戏中未曾出现过的。好吧,或许这只是一种介绍。

在各种决定后你将与勋爵的姐妹交换身份。而在发生了更多事情后你又变回了勋爵。现在你已经快到章节最后了,因为你已经玩了一个多小时游戏,你知道游戏不会持续太久。之后Ramsay Bolton来了。然后又是讨论,威胁,决定,更多威胁,讨论你的姐妹,威胁你的姐妹。够了,别再这么做了!

一刀下去,你的角色便死了。该死!

但其实这样的设定能够教会你一些东西:你的角色也会死于游戏中!你不仅会害怕其他人,也会害怕你的角色。而与电视或书里一样,游戏也将真正侧重角色,并且你也要清楚死亡会降临到任何人身上。

最后,我想知道Telltale选择这么做是否是因为:

他们发现人们意识到他们的模式但却没像他们那样投入其中。

他们想要模仿书上用第一人称视角去叙述角色所创造的效果。

在2个角色间做出选择与选择NPC角色具有很大的区别。

结论便是,我建议那些对故事设计感兴趣的人可以去尝试并研究这些游戏。我也想再次表白Telltale我很喜欢这些游戏。而我之所以选择它们进行说明是因为想就此做出一些总结。

本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转发,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

How not to care for characters : The Walking Dead season 2 analysis

by DUTERTRE Simon

Hello everyone,

I am back again to talk about narrative design, and this time (to change) I want to talk about The Walking Dead Season 2 from Telltale.

I waited a bit to talk about it but now is a good time for several reasons :

As a sequel, the creators have gathered lessons from the previous one

There has been other game released by Telltale since, in which we can see or not what they learned from this one.

Clementine.

I will try to be as fair as I can be in my analysis/critic and you can disagree with what I say. And although I am about to say the game has issues, it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. This article is mostly me trying to identify what could have been “better”, not a critic of the game.

And of course, there will be a lot of SPOILERS so beware. So here is what I want to talk about:

How picking your character/hero can narratively hinder the others one in a videogame

Before I start, I want to define something: What is a main character in a story .

There are a lot of theory regarding characters. The basic one is that the main characters is the one through which we experience the story, often the narrator. The second one is that the main character is the one enabling the story to progress, the actor/hero. Finally, (I will stop here else it is going to be too complicated), the main character is the one that change the most during the story.

Not every theory can be used for every story, and some stories are so complicated with so many characters that classifying them is quite hard. Who is the main character in The lord of the ring ? Who is the main character in A song of ice and fire? Who is the main character in Flowers for Algernon?

My answer would be Sam, Jaime and Charlie but these are my answers based on what I consider is a main character. Defining a main character is necessary because then, you can decide the importance of others characters. The more important a character is, the more you are supposed to care about him, in a good or a bad way. If you don’t care for a character, either it means this character is not important, either the writer failed to make you care for him. ?Oh no, Grunt #789463 died by a blaster blast in scene 98, I am SOOOOOO sad” said no one ever.

Still following? Good! I can now dive into our subject.

The Walking dead season 2 made the choice to select Clementine as our main character. We play as her, not her guardian anymore. We cannot make choices she wouldn’t make such as making comment about the sex life of Luke and Jane. But was choosing Clementine the best choice?

To make the player feel engaged in the game, Telltale had to make some weird decisions. First, they had to create gameplay situation for Clementine to accomplish, this mean they had to create some stuff that a 10-year-old could do. Situation such as a tiny hole in a whole that only a small child could fit into.

Then, they had to create the relationship she would have with the other characters but keep in mind, we are dealing with a 10-year-old. They can’t just follow her aimlessly, but for the player to feel his choices matter since it is the premise of Telltale’s game, they still have to listen to her. This is kinda hard to juggle. Yes, it is a zombie apocalypse and children grow up faster. But would a group of adult really listen the input of a 10 years old ? Might depend on the situation…

This is where there is a dichotomy:

The player has to feel important, so Clementine must do lots of stuff.

The other characters have to rely on a child for the player to feel important.

Anyone seeing the incoming issue?

This situation is taken from the first chapter.

To sum it up, Clementine has been bitten by a dog, not a zombie. She encounters this group of people who wisely lock her in a shed because they believe she is lying about the dog and want to see if she will turn, discarding the knowledge that the bite doesn’t turn you, it just makes you sick. An no, they won’t just let her go away (sequestration, very nice).

Being badass, she escapes the shed, steals some medical supplies,comes back to the shed, fix her bitten arm with stitches in a gut wrenching scene. Then a zombie breaks into the shed, and she manages to kill it but makes a whole lot of noise doing so. The group rush to the shed, open the door, only to see Clementine and the dead zombie.

This will be Clementine daily bread. She will show she is cool, can take care of herself, can kill zombies from her 3 feet tall but the others won’t do very much … And that’s where the problem is.

How can you care for character that are so useless and heartless? You don’t! Are at least, I didn’t.

There are plenty of situation like this. Another one is during the chapter 3 where Clementine and the group are prisoners. They want to escape, but they can’t do it so easily so they need SOMEONE to climb on the roof, infiltrate the office of the villain, steal 2 radios, avoid the guards, and finally return before the next inspection. I wonder who could that be? The strong black guy? The nimble mysterious woman? The little girl? YES, that’s it. Let’s send the little girl while we stay here doing nothing.

It is perfectly understandable that the writers/directors wanted to make Clementine important and they did. Clementine is the best character in the game and although she might not be as “complicated” as Lee, she is incredible for her age and realistic. But it really hurt the other character as they appear as cowards, lazy, dead weight, and frankly not that useful in the story/narration. I only had 2 conversations with Alvin before he “sacrificed” himself to hold the bad guys. How am I supposed to care for a character that did nothing, didn’t interact with me except for asking me to hide the food from others so his wife can eat it? You feel “forced” to do stuff. And you shouldn’t, you should want to help them because you like them.

In the first season, here are the reasons why you can care about other character:

Lee, convicted after killing someone, your character, pretty resourceful and kind.

Clementine, little girl you have to protect who becomes more independent, learning how to shoot despite her young age.

Kenny, always fixing stuff, loses his wife and son.

Ben, deeply flawed, coward and knows he fucked up.

Carley, shoots stuff, voice of reason.

Lily, try to be a good leader but has trouble bearing the pressure.

These characters all have moment where you get to learn about them, about their “feelings” and character archetypes. And although you are doing as Lee a lot of stuff, you don’t mind. You see Kenny repairing a RV, Lily doing inventory, people working on repairing a fence. But here, we don’t have any opportunity to know the characters due to the pacing of the plot.

The first season felt like a road trip, you made stops, talk with people while solving a “puzzle”. And then, there was trouble. And so on, press repeat until you run out of characters.

The second season on the other hand has way less “quiet” moment, there is always something happening and no “free” exploration. Nothing like the moment in the first season where you were at the dinner, speaking with everyone, learning that Duck was “challenged” or that Carley liked Doug. Here, you have to wait until the chapter 5 before you actually get to know a little bit the characters that are still alive. I know you shouldn’t always compare stuff but in this case, it helps to identify why this one didn’t feel as great as it could have. The plot unfolds so fast and you get caught up in it without having a moment to think about the people in it. Who’s Carver? Where are we headed? What did these guys do before the outbreak?

Now, the good thing is that this game was released in 2013 and Telltale has been able to release other games since. We have had A game of Throne, Batman, The Walking Dead season 3 …. So many to look at and see what the studio is currently doing.

So, let’s look at A Game of Thrones, and be careful, many spoilers incoming.

Another issue with The Walking Dead Season 2 has is that the only character you care about (your character) is safe. You have played the others Telltale’s game before and you know that except at the end, you have nothing to fear for Clementine just like for Lee or Bigby previously. It is not bothersome in the previous game as in the season 1, you cared about at least one other character who was Clementine. So, although you knew you would play as Lee until Chapter 5, you wanted to see if you could keep Clementine, Carley, Kenny alive.

Now, you start playing A Game of throne. Stuff happens, you play as a Squire, red wedding massacre, lots of dead… It is Game of throne. Introduction over, Fade to black. New scene, more playing the squire, arriving at his lord’s castle, discussion, discussion. Loading.

BAM! You can’t find you character and you are now playing as a teen lord. This has not been done before in the recent Telltale game. Okay, maybe it was just for the introduction, I guess I will be this guy now.

Decision, decision, QTE, decision. Now you swap to the lord sister; okay, okay, several points of view. More stuff happening, back to the lord. You are now closing toward the end of the chapter since you have been playing for around 1 hour and by experience, you know it will not last much longer. And then, Ramsay Bolton arrives. Discussion, threat, decision, more threats, creepy comment about your sister, threatening your sister. Enough, stop grabbing my sister!

Knife to throat. Your character dies… F****k.

But this is great, as this will teach you something: Even your character can die in this game! You are not only scared for the other, but also for your avatars. Alike the series (books/TV), the game will focus on characters but you better learn that Death comes to all.

In the end, I wonder if Telltale chose to do this because:

They saw that people recognized their pattern and weren’t feeling as invested as they did

They really wanted to mimic the effect of the book were characters as narrated with a first person point of view.

But it felt great, and having to choose between 2 characters you have played is very different than choosing between to NPC.

As a conclusion, I would like to advise anyone interested in narrative design to play/study these games. And I want again to remind Telltale that I love these games. I am juts nitpicking and using them to express some conclusion I came up to.(source:gamasutra)

 


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