Forums

A Narrative Designer?

Quick find code: 341-342-6-65866147

of 3
Hazeel

Hazeel

Posts: 6,720Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Never really noticed character inconsistancies. There are some, but they're so far and few between that I don't take much notice. The only significant one with Seren is her view on Zaros' death going from "OMG HE DIED! D'X" to "Eh, I knew he wasn't really dead." Runescape doesn't need a hero...it needs a villain. An all encompassing force of evil that will remain ever-threatening and use chaos to make the peoples of Gielinor tolerate each other, grow strong together, and fight side by side against this evil. I am that villain.

05-Jan-2017 21:16:55

Vardan

Vardan

Posts: 1,237Mithril Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Elf of Seren said:
I'm pretty sure, story-wise, they do have a plan set out for what they want to do (Like, have you heard the layouts of Infernus and Teragard that are on the Dev Q&A's from a few months ago? The lore from those convo's aren't even on the Wiki). It's just, as you said, the mood with each quest being a little weird as it switches between developers.

Like, Plague's End, and Birthright were, imo, horrible, but they did *technically* keep with the story. I think, instead of blaming Jagex as a whole, you should pressure the individual designers.

I mean, look at what high standards we hold Raven to, and look at how good his quests are. The only downsides that I ever see with his releases are the time constraints preventing full completion (i.e. Sliske's Model with the Staff of Armadyl not being implemented in the final fight).

Hindsight is 20-20, and if you're not working there, you won't actually know what they're planning, so let's be a little careful with our criticisms.

I had no clue they had gotten that far, where is this info at?
We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.

05-Jan-2017 21:45:06

Elf of Seren
Nov Gold Premier Club Member 2012

Elf of Seren

Posts: 3,313Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Vardan said:
Elf of Seren said:
I'm pretty sure, story-wise, they do have a plan set out for what they want to do (Like, have you heard the layouts of Infernus and Teragard that are on the Dev Q&A's from a few months ago? The lore from those convo's aren't even on the Wiki). It's just, as you said, the mood with each quest being a little weird as it switches between developers.

Like, Plague's End, and Birthright were, imo, horrible, but they did *technically* keep with the story. I think, instead of blaming Jagex as a whole, you should pressure the individual designers.

I mean, look at what high standards we hold Raven to, and look at how good his quests are. The only downsides that I ever see with his releases are the time constraints preventing full completion (i.e. Sliske's Model with the Staff of Armadyl not being implemented in the final fight).

Hindsight is 20-20, and if you're not working there, you won't actually know what they're planning, so let's be a little careful with our criticisms.

I had no clue they had gotten that far, where is this info at?


It was in one of the Lore Q&A's within the last 4 months. I believe both Raven and Osborn were on the panel, but i'm not 100% sure. I'll go back and look, and try to post the link here if I find it.

Edit: Found it!

Lol. It was the RuneFest Lore Q&A. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILhUxGCGYcY

This Thread talks about Infernus a bit (along with a player idea).

Edit 2: I went ahead and updated the Teragard and Mazcab pages on the wiki, but not Infernus or the Enchanted Valley, so you'll have to watch the vid to get all the info on those.

06-Jan-2017 02:03:05 - Last edited on 06-Jan-2017 03:43:05 by Elf of Seren

Vardan

Vardan

Posts: 1,237Mithril Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Elf of Seren said:
Vardan said:
Elf of Seren said:
I'm pretty sure, story-wise, they do have a plan set out for what they want to do (Like, have you heard the layouts of Infernus and Teragard that are on the Dev Q&A's from a few months ago? The lore from those convo's aren't even on the Wiki). It's just, as you said, the mood with each quest being a little weird as it switches between developers.

Like, Plague's End, and Birthright were, imo, horrible, but they did *technically* keep with the story. I think, instead of blaming Jagex as a whole, you should pressure the individual designers.

I mean, look at what high standards we hold Raven to, and look at how good his quests are. The only downsides that I ever see with his releases are the time constraints preventing full completion (i.e. Sliske's Model with the Staff of Armadyl not being implemented in the final fight).

Hindsight is 20-20, and if you're not working there, you won't actually know what they're planning, so let's be a little careful with our criticisms.

I had no clue they had gotten that far, where is this info at?


It was in one of the Lore Q&A's within the last 4 months. I believe both Raven and Osborn were on the panel, but i'm not 100% sure. I'll go back and look, and try to post the link here if I find it.

Edit: Found it!

Lol. It was the RuneFest Lore Q&A. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILhUxGCGYcY

This Thread talks about Infernus a bit (along with a player idea).

Edit 2: I went ahead and updated the Teragard and Mazcab pages on the wiki, but not Infernus or the Enchanted Valley, so you'll have to watch the vid to get all the info on those.

Thanks man, there's some really interesting stuff here.
We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.

06-Jan-2017 19:54:37

Rondstat

Rondstat

Posts: 2,770Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Elf of Seren said:
I think, instead of blaming Jagex as a whole, you should pressure the individual designers.

...

Hindsight is 20-20, and if you're not working there, you won't actually know what they're planning, so let's be a little careful with our criticisms.



I don't know, I feel like unless there's a proven track record of notably subpar performance or similar errors, one should never assume that a developer is responsible for issues that could easily originate in management.

Software development takes time. While my experience in coding is almost certainly less than any of the developers at Jagex, I've done enough to say, fairly confidently, that it's far more art than the science it's often portrayed as. Certain things don't work, certain things need to be rebuilt from the ground up, and when you're working with non-annotated code from some long gone developer - which has to be common sifting through a 16-year old world like Runescape - you're going to hit major roadblocks.

The scrum system removes agency from individual developers, while prioritizing deadlines and multiple levels of management. I believe this is destructive to, well, pretty much any sort of software development that doesn't rely on external compiling. And, in this environment, the first thing that's likely to fail is plot, dialogue, character. You can easily playtest a piece of content where the dialogue is all placeholders. You can effectively qa a quest without a lick of text written.

So, with unreasonable, arbitrary deadlines on projects where devs don't have full control, there's an impetus to rush through text, spend less time, put lowest priority on the aspects that, ironically, are the most important to narrative. This is why I suggest a narrative designer - someone for whom dialogue and story are a sole priority - could support consistency in the game.

07-Jan-2017 06:46:40

Mod Rowley

Mod Rowley

Jagex Moderator Forum Profile Posts by user
In terms of planning, the reverse is true. In the early days, developers were left to dream up whatever stories they wanted, often without any real plan of how they would develop. There were some exceptions to this, of course, which tends to be seen in the longer quest series (Myreque, goblins, etc), but why there are also oddly disparate, unconnected, even supposedly contradictory narratives (e.g. Tower of Life).

It's led to the developers of today having to come up with creative ways to tie all of these disparate loose ends together in a way that is both narratively interesting, and without causing too much confusion, which also respect what has come before. It's not an easy task. Retcons of older lore have been one way to do this, though they aren't ideal - sometimes, though, they are the cleanest and quickest way of getting something to make any sort of sense. We try not to do that anymore, and have refined our approach and techniques over the years.

IMO, a single narrative designer would not be able to wrangle everything alone (though there would be some value in having one person on this full-time). Runescape is just too big (and long-running) for one person to keep it all in their head. Luckily, we have a group of devs (and QA and beyond) who care about maintaining the game's lore, all of whom have an extensive knowledge of the game's lore. Last year, we got a bit more organised and formed the Lore Council (before that we had something else, less organised) and we regular meet to discuss current and future lore development. The group collectively has a wide range of experience and disparate backgrounds, so contributions are from a range of perspectives.

We have and are establishing plot lines and character development ahead of time for years to come (and seeding them now, like in the early days, but with an actual plan this time around!), but it has to be left to individual projects to fill in the details as and when they go into active development. We have a discussion group for individual projects in which we discuss ideas and newly introduced lore, so nothing is written in a vacuum.

The issues raised here are primarily outside of a developer's control. Even a competent narrative designer wouldn't be able to do much in those situations. I think we'll always have a slight issue of different developers' voices coming through when writing dialogue for well-used characters, but that, I feel, is a small issue in the grand scheme of things.

09-Jan-2017 10:40:10

Eren Lapucet

Eren Lapucet

Posts: 1,636Mithril Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Hmm, I think that rather than a narrative designer, I'd like a full time dialogue editor who also doubles as a lore expert. Their main job would be to edit, add and review dialogue. They would do extensive research to inform jmods of potential lore inconsistencies, remind them of things they might be forgetting, and also help with rushed or non-existent dialogue (eg. Ardougne Revolution).

The person doing this as a full time job should might also be handy to improve/update dialogue in old content, and give npcs Sixth Age and post-quest-dialogue. Since I notice Jagex has been lagging on those two fronts.
I'm too Unaligned to have a forum signature.

09-Jan-2017 17:11:55 - Last edited on 09-Jan-2017 17:16:57 by Eren Lapucet

Elf of Seren
Nov Gold Premier Club Member 2012

Elf of Seren

Posts: 3,313Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Eren Lapucet said:
Hmm, I think that rather than a narrative designer, I'd like a full time dialogue editor who also doubles as a lore expert. Their main job would be to edit, add and review dialogue. They would do extensive research to inform jmods of potential lore inconsistencies, remind them of things they might be forgetting, and also help with rushed or non-existent dialogue (eg. Ardougne Revolution).

The person doing this as a full time job should might also be handy to improve/update dialogue in old content, and give npcs Sixth Age and post-quest-dialogue. Since I notice Jagex has been lagging on those two fronts.


I'm sorry but, did you not read Mod Rowley's post, just above yours?

(see below for a direct quote, see above to read more)

Mod Rowley said:

... a single narrative designer would not be able to wrangle everything alone (though there would be some value in having one person on this full-time). Runescape is just too big (and long-running) for one person to keep it all in their head.

09-Jan-2017 17:23:10 - Last edited on 09-Jan-2017 17:25:12 by Elf of Seren

Eren Lapucet

Eren Lapucet

Posts: 1,636Mithril Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
I did read it, I was responding to the "there would be some value..." part. I'm aware that he also said one person can't have all lore in their head, though. I'm too Unaligned to have a forum signature.

09-Jan-2017 17:26:59

Hazeel

Hazeel

Posts: 6,720Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
One editor wouldn't work. Personally, I'd suggest at least two, though four would be preferable. Everyone has their preferences in lore. The current Lore Community is big on Sixth Age lore, while Fifth Age lore has sorta been pushed aside. TSP is seperate from the lore community in a way that it hardly interacts and seems to prefer Fifth Age lore and focus on this. I figure with an editor you would have one who's fanatical about one aspect of lore (Sixth Age, Gods, Mahjarrat etc.) and another who's more interested in another part of lore (Fifth Age, penguins, pirates, etc.) and each member would keep track of their "expertise", which is much more managable. Runescape doesn't need a hero...it needs a villain. An all encompassing force of evil that will remain ever-threatening and use chaos to make the peoples of Gielinor tolerate each other, grow strong together, and fight side by side against this evil. I am that villain.

09-Jan-2017 17:36:01

Quick find code: 341-342-6-65866147Back to Top