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Subtitles

posted by Guybrush Threepwood on - last edited - Viewed by 743 users
Warning: The following post is a very petty complaint.

Did anyone find the subtitles to be sub-par? I don't mean the actual script, but just the way they were presented. With Sam & Max you get a little icon of the character speaking and a cool font, but SBG4AP just had big, generic-font writing and no icon.

I liked the game apart from this, though! :D
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  • I never used the subtitles but if I did I probably wouldn't have minded.
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    Jake Telltale Alumni
    Guybrush Threepwood;83798 said:
    Warning: The following post is a very petty complaint.

    Did anyone find the subtitles to be sub-par? I don't mean the actual script, but just the way they were presented. With Sam & Max you get a little icon of the character speaking and a cool font, but SBG4AP just had big, generic-font writing and no icon.

    I liked the game apart from this, though! :D
    Readability on a TV screen was important, and in the end, after a few nice-looking-but-less-legible, we decided to just go for something that wasn't offensive but was very legible even on a smaller CRT TV.

    A fairly useless mini-rambling on subtitles, which is solely my opinion and not that of anyone else, unless they coincidentally happen to share it: In all honesty I'm fine with subtitles being a bit boring. They're a utility, not a part of the game aesthetic. I don't mind that it maybe encourages people to turn them off, or encourages them to spend less time looking at the subtitles and more time looking at the game. I notice that when I play Sam & Max with them on, I spend a lot less time actually watching the game, and more time reading the text. This was, I think, more than fine with older adventure games, where the most a character could do was smile, or occasionally point in a one-frame animation, but there are lots of moments in TTG games that the choreographers put in that I realized I was missing because I was, kind of against my will, just idly reading the subtitles instead.
  • Jake;83805 said:
    Readability on a TV screen was important, and in the end, after a few nice-looking-but-less-legible, we decided to just go for something that wasn't offensive but was very legible even on a smaller CRT TV.

    A fairly useless mini-rambling on subtitles, which is solely my opinion and not that of anyone else, unless they coincidentally happen to share it: In all honesty I'm fine with subtitles being a bit boring. They're a utility, not a part of the game aesthetic. I don't mind that it maybe encourages people to turn them off, or encourages them to spend less time looking at the subtitles and more time looking at the game. I notice that when I play Sam & Max with them on, I spend a lot less time actually watching the game, and more time reading the text. This was, I think, more than fine with older adventure games, where the most a character could do was smile, or occasionally point in a one-frame animation, but there are lots of moments in TTG games that the choreographers put in that I realized I was missing because I was, kind of against my will, just idly reading the subtitles instead.
    I actually never cared too much about the subtitles at all, but I actually think it's very interesting to hear that perspective.

    In that vein, though, I feel that the subtitles are a bit too big for a PC game. While I get that the Wii version needs to have text that large for readability purposes, it can be large and distracting on the PC version. I don't care too much about the font and more about size.

    But then, I pretty much decided "Oh, these are getting in the way. I'll turn them off", and didn't think anything of that until I read this post. So the above is little more than a minor quibble brought up by the subject at hand.
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    Flo
    While I don't normally read the subtitles (unless a character speaks with a heavy accent that I might otherwise have problems understanding), when I do, it often bothers me if the subtitles don't keep up with the voice overs.
  • I like the subtitles because when I get bored I can read them instead of waiting for the characters to finish speaking and be done in half the time. Although, admittedly that happens much less in Sam n Max games than other adventures. *coff*benoit sokal*coff*
  • The only reason why I use subtitles is because English is not my native language, and mostly didn't have enough sleep / should have gone to bed earlier, so having subtitles on somewhat helps me in keeping up with the spoken.

    That being said, I never really use the subtitles that much because of the visual gags.

    I also have to say that this "boring" style of presenting the subtitles actually works the best on the SBCG4AP series, since, in my opinion, any visual additions would actually retract from the actual visuals.

    It also mostly reminds me of all these Flash animations I've seen with optional subtitles. These were always, or at least often, just boring pieces of text, yet they were the only types of text needed for that animation. I mean, imagine the Ark and Kerrigan series with some added visuals, like heads next to the text showing who said what. The only thing that was somewhat useful were the colors for each individual. That same thing however has also been used on SBCG4AP.

    So, in short, I think the subtitles are fine as it is.
  • I must admit that I've had a problem with Telltale's subtitles since Bone. Yes it's very petty but the layout they use frustrates me (this is no doubt due to the many years of playing point'n'clicks pre CD-ROM).

    Games like Monkey Island (and most titles I can think of) would finish the sentence of dialogue before moving on. In many games now dialogue stops on screen mid sentence making it impossible to continue reading until the subtitles catch up with you.

    Actually, I recall how much funnier I found some of the dialogue in Hit the Road in the floppy version as the voice over on the CD ROM sometimes didn't do justice to the writing. One piece I certainly remember chuckling over back in the day with a friend was when we clicked on the stairs leading up from Sam & Max's office.

    SAM: We don't go upstairs.

    MAX: Not since the accident.

    When I played the talkie version years later, I felt the line was rushed and not as funny.

    It's certainly a very small detail, but one that bothers me when subtitles appear. One that I find can - in games like this - be joke-breaking.

    I mean would Surfing the Highway's gags work as well if it went something like...

    "Oh thank God! I thought it was a twitching"

    *turn the page*

    "lemon-sized brain tumour."

    Personally I find things like this break the flow of the comedy. But hey, what am I talking about? It's the 21st Century, who cares! No one's going to read when there's spoken dialogue.

    ...are they?
  • Jake;83805 said:
    ...In all honesty I'm fine with subtitles being a bit boring. They're a utility, not a part of the game aesthetic....
    I understand what you mean, however surely they are only not part of the aesthetic because not a lot of time seems to have been given to them aesthetically (apologies if I'm wrong here)?

    For instance, with the comic book roots of both Bone and Sam & Max, speech bubbles could certainly be a part of the design being in keeping with their original formatting.

    That being said, I realise that would be one more thing getting in the way of releasing the games in a timely manner. ;)
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