View Thread : Eiji Aonuma interview


OB1
It's not brand new (from GDC, but Nintendo didn't let anyone post it until after E3), but there are some very interesting Zelda timeline comments from him, which I'll post below. Here's a link to the interview: http://www.gameinformer.com/News/Story/200405/N04.0517.1915.59084.htm

BB: As far as the storyline, there was kind of a certain progression of the way Link progressed through the original Legend Of Zelda, to The Link To The Past, To Ocarina Of Time, and the rest of the titles, until Wind Waker. Miyamoto stated that the Link in the Wind Waker was really another Link. Can you explain that? It’s a little confusing for some people that this is a different Link. Did Wind Waker start a whole new chapter, or a whole new story?

EA: I think the easiest way to explain this is that Link is always the main character in Zelda titles. With new games, naturally people are going to think how does this Link relate to the Link from the last game? The thing is, when making a new Zelda game, we don’t necessarily start with the storyline first, we start with the game, and we think, “What’s Link going to be like in this game? What kind of a character is he going to be, and what kind of a personality is he going to have?” In that sense, for us, we didn’t necessarily feel there was a need to have an infinitive connection between everything, because it was this idea that Link is the hero no matter what. He’s here, and he’s part of the story. Obviously for people that are fans, it’s something that they pay a lot of attention to. If you start thinking about that, then you’ll have questions, say, if this Link is related to that Link in this way, what does that say about the four Links in Four Swords? How does that all fit in?

To me storyline is important, and as producer, I am going to be going through, and trying to bring all of these stories together, and kind of make them a little bit more clear. Unfortunately, we just haven’t done that yet.

BB: That’s something that, you (Bill Trinen – Localization Team) and I have talked about with the release of the Zelda compilation disc, cleaning up some of the spellings like Ganon, and making sure everything is cohesive. Maybe that’s an American thing – us wanting to know how it all works together. I guess that leads me to my next questions. How do the Links in The Four Swords Adventure relate to the overall story line? Or is it just a subchapter or something like that?

EA: The GBA Four Swords Zelda is what we’re thinking as the oldest tale in the Zelda timeline. With this one on the GameCube being a sequel to that, and taking place sometime after that.


Wow, that's certainly interesting. They're actually trying to fit Four Swords into the Zelda timeline. Very, very interesting. It's going to be great to try to figure out the whole Zelda timeline with Four Swords thrown into the mix now. It's also great to hear him say that he wants to bring all of the Zelda stories together, which he showed signs of in Wind Waker. Now he can fix all of those contradictory comments Miyamoto made over the years. :D

Great Rumbler
This probably won't mean a lot to most people, who just play each game and don't really try to put them all together, but people like DJ and lazy will be very interested in where this could go.

A Black Falcon
Wasn't this like a week ago? Or close to it...

Anyway, yes, to clear it up they'd have to go against SOMETHING Miyamoto said. That latest quote in the other thread is hardly the only thing he's said about it and I'm sure that somewhere he said otherwise... it definitely seems like a confused situation, and they have some work to make it work. Like, if LttP is actually after LoZ (which would make absolutely NO sense), why does that game explicitly state that it's set before said game? :)

OB1
Maybe Miyamoto's translaters are all insane.

A Black Falcon
That's another possibility to explain this. :)

OB1
Or maybe there are a dozen Miyamoto clones, and the only one who knows anything never talks to reporters.

A Black Falcon
But then wouldn't he have enough time to also deal with foreign-developed titles, and not pass them off to others as he did recently because it was taking up too much of his time in addition to his other duties? :)

OB1
He's worked on just about every major first-and-second-party GC game released thus far, so I think he's doing a great job.

lazyfatbum
This is what I love about video games and storylines.

In film the audience sees the action on screen, the actors, the music, the direction, and sets and props. And of course special effects. But all of those things were created in the mind of the writer months or years ago on paper; The entire film, no matter what film you pick, existed in a perfectly edited story as a screenplay.

In video games, there is something called a tech script. Tech scripts are all about character and level designs and gameplay engineering. What does Samus look like while she's in a ball? what do the bombs look like? how do they move? how does gravity effect her? etc. But a tech script very rarely has anything to do with a story. The story comes from the producer and director but only in the most simple sense. "Scenario 4; Link has to get the Iron Boots, so he has to get the hookshot in area 2C and use it in area 23B to enter dungeon 5 where he finds the Iron Boots." etc. To a video game, that's as 'in depth' as the story gets.

Where the real story comes from in a video game is the art department, they sit down and think of all these things presented to them and they are going to decide how the game looks. And in doing so, will present the story with their interpratation.

In Metroid Prime, it was the art department that decided that Space Pirates use a mechanism that is shaped like the depression of their hands in order to activate something. It was also the art department who drew up Flaahgra and why it exists. Meta Ridley and why he exists, Metroid Prime and why she exists. All the scan data in the game comes from the art department, all the tiny tidbits of info about every creature and giant boss was thought up by the art department. The producer, the director and all of the coders usually have no idea what the story is (other than the overall picture) because they work on it a piece at a time, it's up to the art department to make sure all the pieces fit.

When people ask Miyamoto about the Zelda story, it's just like asking any of the actors in a film about the Lighting and Set Decorating, they aren't going to know lighting and set decorating from their ass and a hole in the ground. Talk to Miyamoto about game design and he'll show you his genius, talk to an actor about acting and they'll show you theirs. But if you want to know the story in a film talk to the writer and director. if you want to the story in a video game, talk to the art department because they're the only people who have a clue.

Now there are some video games that have a story from the begining, those are games based off movies or books and those almost always suck... unless there's some bend in the creative writing. In Goldeneye did Bond ever have to rescue hostages on board the frigate? Did he ever infiltrate the train station? There were alot of things he didn't do in the movie that happened in the game, and that's why the game is better than the movie in many ways.

I'd like to see a time where developers spend as much time on the game as they do the story, but then development time would be twice what it is now.

OB1
That's true for most games, and people like Miyamoto, but there are many developers who are trying their best to add stories to their games, even at Nintendo. Eiji Aunoma places great importance on story and showed that with Wind Waker. Yoshio Sakamoto has also said in interviews that he thinks story is important, and showed that with Metroid Fusion and Zero Mission. Neither of these games had very complex stories, but you can see what direction they're headed towards. Aunoma said (http://cube.ign.com/articles/517/517033p1.html) that "there are a lot of games that other developers are making that have really in-depth stories and I personally don't know how they develop theirs", and then went on to explain that at Nintendo they first come up with gameplay ideas and then build storylines around those concepts, which works just fine. That's Nintendo, they're still learning how to tell stories in their games. There's stuff like Metal Gear Solid which is basically a movie with game bits placed in between cinemas, and while that's all good and everything I know that there are ways to tell deep stories in games without making them movies. Personally that's one of the things that excites me the most about the future of video games, just how many possibilities there are with this medium.

lazyfatbum
I love Metal Gear Twin Snakes, but in reality it's overly simple gameplay from old arcade style ideas. So the gameplay in one respect is bland but, it's traditional and easy to grasp so in many respects it's quite good and because of that is easily converted in to a story. Metal Gear was most likely engineered around ideas, much like Resident Evil. In both series, they constantly pay homage to many different movies.

In one scene in Resident Evil it's very Aliens-like, from the lighting and what weapons are available to you, to the creatures and sound effects and even the art direction of the set you're playing on. But in another scene it will become Night of the Living Dead or Dawn of the Dead, then in another it becomes Frankenstein and then it turns in to the Matrix, and then it throws Mission Impossible scenes at you.

so basically you sit down and take scenes from movies; what scene in a movie would be awesome to see in a video game? How about where Ripley and Newt were trapped in the room with the Facehuggers? (That scene is in Resident Evil Code Veronica) so you build the story and character path so that the character will find themelves in a room similar to the scene in Aliens and you can play it out in an interactive form.

While this type of game is fun it can become bland very easily. In Metal Gear, I dunno about you, but I got really sick of Snake saying overly dramatic lines and then entering a room where music starts that sounds like the theme to Mission Impossible and has camera angles taken right from the movie (where the camera floats around showing you how the trap works and what you need to do to get past it). It's nostalgic and it makes for a fun idea but when you present original content it takes a totally different tone, it's serious. And it draws the gameplayer deeper in to the game.

Instead of "Oh I remember this scene from this movie" it becomes a more serious matter of "Oh krap what do I do?" and Resident Evil, Metal Gear and other games of its types rarely can do that. Silent Hill does it in spades. Every minute of the game is something more and more bizarre to the point that the gameplayer has no idea what to do. Being attacked by people in hospital beds hanging from the cieling... in the dark. You wont find a movie reference there, and that's just awesome. It's new, it's fresh and it's something you've never seen before and it's presented with an actual story that is in itself an original story. That's what all video games should have.. instead it's either brand new gameplay and a simple (trite) story or a brand new (good) story with overly simple play mechanics.

My whole take on it is that video games are not movies and they will never be movies. Movies are movies, games are games, and video games can do something movies will never be able to do and that's become fully interactive. Video games need their own story telling method; Multiple branches and different things that can happen every time you play. Every character you meet, can die. Every place you visit can be destroyed (or rebuilt) and the gameplayer chooses his path and creates the story as he plays - which can be different every time he plays depending on what he wants his character to be. That's the future of video games. True role playing games in that you create the character, instead of like in a film where the character is presented to you, you actually FORM it.

Dark Jaguar
I never noticed any nods to movies there, likely because I'm no film buff, so I never had a thought of "oh I remember that from whatever movie", so it was serious to me.

But some developers do write the stories themselves as they go along, and it's not always the art department that does it. With Blizzard, the art department pretty much controls game development, but in other companies, the art department is pretty much told exactly what to do and what the story is and they have to work around that.

Oh yes, your ideas of the future where stories are TRULY interactive have been the goal for a long time. However, it's VERY hard to manage all the variables. Fable is giving it a try for example, a truly fully interactive story, but they can only let you interact with so much. Finally, all the lines of the scripts, no matter how many branches they add, will ALL have to be written by the makers of the game. Not a single game has had characters that can actually decide what to say themselves. There is only so much freedom a computer can allow for. However, within the boundries of having to write all the variables of the story themselves, thus limiting how varied each play experience can be, there is still a lot there. Being IN the story is still fun, even when the story is prewritten with only a few variables. Ignore that, and you get that feeling that you are the one who's causing all these events to happen by your actions. Yes, it's not full FREEDOM, but it's certainly a fun experience that shouldn't be ditched just because "games are not books". However, a game can have both great gameplay and great story. Chrono Cross for example accomplishes this VERY well, as does Metal Gear. Then again, that's all in my opinion on these things. I enjoy going through interactive stories even if the ability to change the story is nearly non-existant. I tend to push that fact aside when I play.

OB1
I love Metal Gear Twin Snakes, but in reality it's overly simple gameplay from old arcade style ideas. So the gameplay in one respect is bland but, it's traditional and easy to grasp so in many respects it's quite good and because of that is easily converted in to a story. Metal Gear was most likely engineered around ideas, much like Resident Evil. In both series, they constantly pay homage to many different movies.

In one scene in Resident Evil it's very Aliens-like, from the lighting and what weapons are available to you, to the creatures and sound effects and even the art direction of the set you're playing on. But in another scene it will become Night of the Living Dead or Dawn of the Dead, then in another it becomes Frankenstein and then it turns in to the Matrix, and then it throws Mission Impossible scenes at you.

so basically you sit down and take scenes from movies; what scene in a movie would be awesome to see in a video game? How about where Ripley and Newt were trapped in the room with the Facehuggers? (That scene is in Resident Evil Code Veronica) so you build the story and character path so that the character will find themelves in a room similar to the scene in Aliens and you can play it out in an interactive form.

While this type of game is fun it can become bland very easily. In Metal Gear, I dunno about you, but I got really sick of Snake saying overly dramatic lines and then entering a room where music starts that sounds like the theme to Mission Impossible and has camera angles taken right from the movie (where the camera floats around showing you how the trap works and what you need to do to get past it). It's nostalgic and it makes for a fun idea but when you present original content it takes a totally different tone, it's serious. And it draws the gameplayer deeper in to the game.

Instead of "Oh I remember this scene from this movie" it becomes a more serious matter of "Oh krap what do I do?" and Resident Evil, Metal Gear and other games of its types rarely can do that. Silent Hill does it in spades. Every minute of the game is something more and more bizarre to the point that the gameplayer has no idea what to do. Being attacked by people in hospital beds hanging from the cieling... in the dark. You wont find a movie reference there, and that's just awesome. It's new, it's fresh and it's something you've never seen before and it's presented with an actual story that is in itself an original story. That's what all video games should have.. instead it's either brand new gameplay and a simple (trite) story or a brand new (good) story with overly simple play mechanics.

My whole take on it is that video games are not movies and they will never be movies. Movies are movies, games are games, and video games can do something movies will never be able to do and that's become fully interactive. Video games need their own story telling method; Multiple branches and different things that can happen every time you play. Every character you meet, can die. Every place you visit can be destroyed (or rebuilt) and the gameplayer chooses his path and creates the story as he plays - which can be different every time he plays depending on what he wants his character to be. That's the future of video games. True role playing games in that you create the character, instead of like in a film where the character is presented to you, you actually FORM it.

Yes that is basically how I feel. Right now in video games, the only real type of "cinematic" experience is stuff like Metal Gear where it really gains its cinematic feel through, well, movies. I think developers should try to stray away from what they consider a cinematic gaming experience and instead try and see how they can further immerse a player into video games and tell a story without resorting to hours of cinematics. Games like Half-Life and Silent Hill do a good job of that, but there are still so many more possibilities.

A Black Falcon
Books might be a better comparison... there are plenty of games that would do well as books...

lazyfatbum
DJ/ I wasn't talking about Fable or anything like it.

You dont need a giant game or 5 years of production to do it. All you have to do is reimagine the way games are played and experienced.

In a movie you are presented with a stranger. The movie will now spend about two hours to make you love or hate that person through experiences he or she goes through and through extremely well crafted writing that few can do and even fewer can comprehend, since all they see is the story and not the sctructure.

Act 1. The Hook; Initiating Event, the Call to Action, the Commitment to act. 25%

Act 2. Subplot (optional) Moment of Truth, '4 act theory' (optional). 50%

Act 3. Realization, confrontation, resolve and "unexpected/inevitable" ending. 25%

The protagonist goes through the changes.
The antongonist causes those changes.
The end of the movie is when the main plot and any subplots is resolved. This is usually 120 pages (page a minute) but sometimes need to go on longer as in Titanic or Abyss; The perfect examples of when a movie needs to be longer than 2 hours.

In video games today, they try to emulate that very same structure and they have no idea what they're doing. The result is a video game with a story on top of it like a beautiful dinner at an expensive restaurant covered in ketchup. In an RPG there is actually very little gameplay until you get in a fight (or find a mini game)! But the story is sometimes really good though they almost always borrow from anime structure which I usually dont like (they dont follow story telling dynamics and usually rely on suspense of belief = a 'bad' story telling agent (it's why the matrix sequels sucked)) so the result is ketchup with a beautifuly prepared dinner on top of it. Chrono Trigger, for example, actually got the player to worry about the characters, you have to save Lucca's mom from the machine, you need to help Marle resolve the fight with her father, Frog MUST find peace with Cyrus, Robo must come to terms that he was built on the deaths of human beings and he was made to exterminate humans. Add some more sub plots and an obvious pro-ant relationship between the characters, and lots of mini games, arcade style play and an awesome fighting engine make the game a perfectly well rounded experience that is exactly what people have always wanted - A cinematic experience in a video game. But it only works in RPG's! You cant make a first person shooter with a story that detailed because you're constantly shooting something. You cant do it with a fighting game because you do nothing but kick the krap out of other people, in only works in RPG's because it's ssssslllllooooowww paced and allows for many aspects of story telling.

In old video games, there was no progress, the better you got at the game, the harder it would get until eventually you reach the limits of the game, and beyond that, you can reach stratospheric points to amaze yourself and your friends. That's it. And that's the basis of all good video game structure. Now you want to put a story in that? Okay how about:

“Greetings Starfighter! You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada!"


A kid in a trailer park, named Alex who wants a better life, lives with his mother and little brother Louis, Alex had dreams of going places. His girlfriend Maggie was content with going to City College, but Alex wanted more than that.

One night, at the end of a particularly bad day, Alex was playing the only video game around: The Last Starfighter. By chance or by skill, he racked up the highest score ever on the game, with the entire trailer park population as witness! (Tells you how exciting things were around there when something like that was a really big deal!). The crowd celebrated his success, and then left him alone to contemplate his accomplishment.

Then a visitor arrived. Centauri, a stranger in a fancy car (The Star Car), asked Alex who beat the game, and Alex told Centauri it was himself. Then everything in Alex's world changed.

Centauri introduced Alex to Beta, an android duplicate who took on Alex's features after simply touching him. Unknown to Alex, Beta's role was also to take over Alex's life. Alex is coached into Centauri's car and then locked in as Centauri takes off down the road at a stunning 300 MPH before arcing into the sky and heading off into space. Alex's adventure has begun.

A few minutes later, Centauri takes off his "face mask" and reveals himself to be an alien. Sometime later, they land on Rylos, home to the Star League Command. Unbeknownst to Alex, he's been recruited to join the Star League! Alex is led to the inprocessing area and given a translator before he is shuffled into a briefing area. There Alex meets Grig, a friendly alien who comments that Earth isn't mature enough to be approached by the Star League.

Alex has already had enough. After a suprise "visit" from Xur, Centuari is forced to take Alex home. Once back on Earth, the Star Car breaks down, leaving Alex to walk home. Discouraged by the turn of events, Centauri hands Alex a signaler to call him back should he change his mind.

Yet, Alex can't return to his old life. He discovers Beta in his bed, and, after a rather humorous discussion, uses the signaler to call Centauri to pick up Beta. Within the hour, an alien assassin called a Zandozan attacks, injuring Centuari. Realizing the danger, Alex decides to return with Centauri to Rylos, leaving Beta to mimic him on Earth. Beta is unqualified for the duty and runs into some pretty funny situations, especially at the lake with Maggie.

On Rylos, the Star League HQ has been all but destroyed in an attack. Alex realizes the even more serious danger out in space and again decides to return home. Unable to further use the broken Starcar, Grig decides to return Alex in a proto-type fighter called a Gunstar.

On the return trip, the pair encounter an enemy fighter and Grig, much Alex's dismay, engages it. During the battle, Alex realizes that he does have what it takes to be a Starfighter and realizes he's the last one, the others having been killed in the earlier attack.

The pair engage the Ko-Dan armada, blasting apart enemy fighters with their advanced superfighter, and eventually destroying the Ko-Dan mothership in a spectacular battle. Alex returns to Earth a hero and gets Maggie.

They return to Rylos where Alex begins to help rebuild the Star League.

Great story! Now, as a video game. We'll break it up in two different engines.

First you have your Trailer Park and here, the game is akin to Shenmue. you can talk to everyone in the trailer park and the idea is to keep your love meter high with your girlfriend (watch out for Jocks with trucks!) while playing The Last Starfighter arcade game and trying to get th highest score, you can only play once a night (day to night time is 15 minutes). We'll re-use the Trailer Park engine for the Space Station as well so you can meet and greet with aliens in the same functionality. In this engine, you have some fighting moves and you can drive your 1978 Pinto.

The next engine will be the Gunship cockpit, a space shooter. Just an arcade shooter with wave after wave of enemies, the better you play, the harder it gets.

Now... we'll just fill everything else in with cut scenes.

Hey! This sounds like... huge krap. Another push the botton and watch a movie game. Oh rapture. Be still my beating heart. And you know what? They never made a game about The Last Starfighter because by the time video games caught up to the level of what the Last Starfighter could be as a game (Starfox) no body wanted to play a wave after wave shooter save for a quick 10 minute fix.

Okay that story doesn't work at all in a video game unless it's just the Starfighter scenes which means everything else is told through cut scenes. That would work, but the story would be an aftertaste and a game like this should be just that.

If you think of the best game you ever played, what usually comes to mind first? If you're like me, you thought of Mario 64. Which has absolutely no story. You progress through the game based soley on the desire to see what's next and see what other experiences you can achieve. After the 3rd level I totally forgot that I had to fight Bowser who was causing only indirect changes to Mario. He locked all the doors, he fights you 3 times and that's it. In Mario 64 you didn't have to think of a plot or wonder who that person is, you never had to guess who killed who (which I think is a stupid plot in a video game where you can die and come back whenever you want) or stop an evil empire. You simply did what came naturally in a video game - You looked for fun things to do.

By accomplishing goals, you would be rewarded with stars. All the stars did was give you the ability to access new levels and areas. No special powerups or weapons, no special power that would help you defeat the end boss. All it did was reward you with the idea of getting a new level. That is so genius but it's totally over looked.

Now take Mario 64 give each level a story with multiple braches. Each level has act's 1 through 3 with all the fixin's. And how it's resolved is up to you, there's no "best way" just different ways to resolve the issues. And those ways of resolving them are up to you and in that process Mario's character if formed; Certain arguments and confrontations, questions and answers are recorded on to the memory card and then pulled up whenever you converse with a new character so that your character stays intact through the entire game. Dont like the character you ended up with? Start a new game! But then the theory is destroyed that if you create a character with no character people will project themselves in to that character through the actions they choose to do, to keep that method we have to find a balance between confrontation, story and choices.

Now like a said a movie has the technical aspects of storytelling down pat, but video games dont. You cant make a two hour window in to someone's life an interactive video game. In a game, you ARE that person. In a movie you wonder what it would be like to be that person. And that's the trap that devs are falling in to "Isn't our character awesome!?!? Isn't the story we put that character through awesome???" No he or she isn't awesome because it's not me! That character would be awesome in a movie or book but not a game; Samus is me, Link is me, i'm also Mario and Chrono... and none of these characters have dialoge! They never talk except for grunts and gasps! I wouldn't call "Here we gooooo!" a huge insight in to Mario's character, he's saying that because I pressed start and I want to play the game (perfect manipulation of in game dialoge to player interaction).

Nintendo, RE, SH, and Sega are trying to find that place in virtual story telling where it has a story with characters but it's still a good video game. And they're close. Morrowind almost does it but still comes across as a stat building game and a simulator; "you can do anything and we give no direction" You dont need total freedom to do ANYTHING you just need to have a few choices. I know I sound like an egomaniac, like I know more than these companies but I do know alot about stories and storytelling and i want good stories in video games, but keeping it a video game... that's the hard part. It's never been done and the people who are trying to do it can only work off of theories. Some devs think you need a grand game, a game with no ending, you can alter any aspect of it, but there's no art there and there's certainly no story telling. Unless you like reading pages upon pages of backstory.

And... yeah.

OB1
Well said, I completely agree with the above statements, except for maybe the last one if I read it correctly. There are plenty of artistically beautiful games out there, and one game in particular that I'd call a work of art (ICO).

Dark Jaguar
Oh there's art there, to work up your post rather than down. Honestly, I don't see what makes CT's story so much different than other Square-Enix games. It's got that avatar character aspect, and that's all fun too because you can sorta imprint yourself on that character, but I'm ALSO playing as Lucca and Frog all at once, and I can just kill off Chrono and never deal with that character again. So long as I feel like I'm there, even if the main character is thinking and feeling things without me telling them to, I have fun.

lazyfatbum
Oh absolutely, but I was saying that Chrono in particular is easy to project yourself on to since he never speaks and has an easily acceptable character. Just a kid who practices wooden sword play, owns a cat and lives with his mom in a big town governed by a kingdom; He has no backstory just for the ability to project your own on to him. Other than that, the only action he does without your consent is sacrificing himself for the other characters, but at that point in the story you're willing to do that to save them. When you play as Marle for example, you know you are Marle and she has a backstory, you feel different and act different (factually, you know she's a healer and not a fighter) and you fight differently.

Cloud, for example, isn't as easily accepted. It's more difficult to project yourself on him because he has more of a character than Chrono does. He has his own voice and way of talking, likes and dislikes, so in reality Cloud offers up more of a role playing experience than Chrono does.

So since Chrono has no character, he's easily the best focal point of imprinting your own ideals.

OB1/ Almost all good games have beautiful art. I never meant that no game has art or story. I was talking specifically about games like Worrowind that are stat building games and let you do anything without guidence or scope. ICO has guidence and scope, so does Zelda and other good games. But games such as Morrowind are a part of a new genre; The non-game.

Dark Jaguar
I do like freedom, but I like some sort of end goal to work towards. In the case of Animal Crossing style games, well, there's the exception to me.

Anyway, we shall see what sorts of games we all end up making won't we? Well, first lazy will make some movies...

OB1
There's nothing new about Morrowind's type of gameplay, there have been open-ended games like that for almost two decades. It's just with GTA's recent popularity more developers are starting to figure out how it can make certain games better. Just look at Spiderman 2, which looks like it might actually be really fun. Almost all of New York City yours to explore, choosing missions that you want to and just fooling around.

A Black Falcon
And isn't Morrowind short and linear compared to Daggerfall? :)

Um... Torment! ... I have to mention it every time story comes up... but no one else here has played it so I'll continue to not really be understood about it.

Oh, and what's wrong with a game wanting to tell a deep story? Metal Gear Solid tries to be a movie, really. So you might feel less like you are that character, but it's got a really deep story to interest you in...

Oh yeah and my favorite game is Starcraft. And one reason is the great story in single player mode.

Great Rumbler
And isn't Morrowind short and linear compared to Daggerfall?

I played Morrowing for upwards of 40 hourse [possibly more] and I never really got anywhere.

OB1
My little brother played Morrowind so much that he actually beat the main mission. Seriously. I played for dozens of hours just fooling around, barely beating any main quests. The ending is really lame, there's this extremely dorky-looking guy with a weird metallic sun mask on who shoots sparkly magic at you, and then there's some voice and FMV, blah blah blah.

A Black Falcon
I haven't played either Morrowind or Daggerall, but I know that Daggerfall has a larger world and, I believe, a longer quest... and even less direction, scary as that may seem. :)

Daggerfall also supposedly has a lot of repetition in the graphics... a LOT of it. Morrowind does a better job of that I believe, and one reason for that is that the game world is smaller...

Great Rumbler
the game world is smaller...

It's still pretty big. I spent hours running across empty landscape between towns.

A Black Falcon
Oh, I know it's big... but it's not AS big. :)

Does it have mounts? I think Daggerfall had horses... and needed them...

OB1
Well you're comparing a flat 2D world to an immersive 3D world.

A Black Falcon
Huh? Daggerfall. ~1996 PC game. It isn't the best looking 3d game, but it is one.. all three TES games are, I think... unless you mean something else?

OB1
Oh hey you're right, Daggerfall was a 3D game (kinda). I never played it and always assumed it was 2D like Baldur's Gate.

Great Rumbler
Does it have mounts? I think Daggerfall had horses... and needed them...

It had these big things that you could fly on, they took you to cities instantly.

A Black Falcon
http://www.elderscrolls.com/index.php

They released Arena (TESI) as freeware recently. 10th anniversary... It's 3d too. :)

http://www.elderscrolls.com/images/tenth_anniv/screens/annivar_scrn01B.jpg

As for Daggerfall, this is kinda 3d?

http://www.elderscrolls.com/images/tenth_anniv/screens/annivdf_scrn05B.jpg
http://www.elderscrolls.com/images/tenth_anniv/screens/annivdf_scrn02B.jpg

http://www.elderscrolls.com/tenth_anniv/tenth_anniv-daggerfall.htm

"Gameworld the size of Great Britain". And they mean that literally.

I think that they scaled things back in Morrowind because people got tired of having to go so far... and I think they wanted to make the different parts of the world more unique, as well, and having a smaller world is better for that.

OB1
Well not really 3D.

A Black Falcon
As they say, it's 3d in the way Doom is...

Great Rumbler
It reminds me of Wizardry 7, except it had random encounters and turn-based battles.

A Black Falcon
I really liked the Wizardry 8 demo... but that one is much more recent, and isn't much like this at all I think... at least the demo wasn't (so open-ended that is)...

I did play the Daggerfall demo once or twice, but I didn't play it much and don't remember a whole lot.

Great Rumbler
Wizardry 8 was pretty fun, but I didn't get to play it very much. Wizardry 7 was fairly open-ended I think, but it did have a clearly defined main quest, there were lots of other stuff to do though and the graphics were very similar to Daggerfall [first-person view, semi-3D].

OB1
If the next Elder Scrolls game can get the whole "make your own story" element to work better and if they get some new artists and a better fighting engine, it could be one amazing game. And basically be called Fable. :)

A Black Falcon
Fable is much more limited than Elder Scrolls... it was ambitious but they've had to rein it in some...

OB1
Not really. It's still just about as ambitious as ever, and everything it does that Morrowind did it seems to do much better.

A Black Falcon
http://xbox.ign.com/articles/514/514744p1.html

Previews like this sure say that it's been simplified from its original concept, at least...

OB1
The only thing that's been simplified from the original concept is how the body morph system works. And really that's not even a simplification.

A Black Falcon
Isn't listing the state categories and not leaving them hidden a change for the conventional? For instance.

OB1
That makes it a little more complex, since you actually control the stats now instead of growing more naturally. The simpler way was better.