@Riot'sLoreWriters: Please do not write such heavy-handed exposition

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Marisa

Senior Member

02-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotRunaan View Post
Like I said, it was a conscious choice to be more deliberate and obvious about a lot of this. The goal wasn't to lay out a bunch of inconclusive and mysterious threads for the character (both Ironstylus and I felt like this would be confusing and frustrating to a lot of players who are really just looking for a character preview, not a puzzle), it was to present as much information as possible about her in a compelling way. I'd hoped people would be on roughly the same page about her at the end of the journal and come out of it with more forward-looking questions rather than trying to discern the secrets of her backstory. I wanted people to know who Caleb was--there was already the running mystery of who "Val" was, after all, so I chose not to confuse the plot further.

Again, though, some of these are really cool ideas--a letter from Garen or Jarvan might've been an interesting addition to the piece as well. Hm!

Also, for the record, I'm perfectly willing to partake in a constructive conversation here provided it remains constructive.
I disagree. I feel like the purpose of a sneak preview in this case, especially considering how this is marking an increased focus on lore and character exploration, is to draw the people who are actually interested in lore further in. Storycrafting like this, written specifically to convey information from the bio in the case that the reader does not read the bio, doesn't really draw lore-interested people further in; because the information it conveys is eventually redundant and already core to the character, releasing a page detailing the detailed circumstances of her loss only serves to create early hype (I guess it's successful in that way).

I understand that you feel that there are certain people who pay little attention to bios, but I also feel that those people would not be looking for this kind of information on the new champion as it it doesn't actually "preview" the champion; it provides relatively few actual hints as to her abilities. Those people would already be uninterested in the lore of the character and presenting more obvious data about the champion's personality would be relatively meaningless to them. These are the people who, if they wanted lore, would read the character's official bio and base their understanding of that character solely on that.

On the other hand, you have people who are actually looking for well made lore, who are actually looking for characters who act, perhaps not realistically, but in a manner that doesn't seem forced or solely expository. These are the people that you should be writing for, people who actually care how the lore turns out, who want more than just the bare-bones bio that is listed on the character.

What I'm saying: There are 3 groups of people:

People who read the bio, but don't care about lore, who won't care about this and will get the same information from the bio. They are looking for the basic motivation of the character secondary to her actual effect on the game.

People who read the bio and care about lore, who will be disappointed that the character is being written in an obvious, expository way and will be disappointed that that part of the journal conveys redundant information.

And people who don't read the bio: I will make a sweeping generalization about this group and say that they don't care much for the lore and that they probably won't have read your journal pages if they have no intention of ever reading the bio.

So why write for them?


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Melancholy Exile

Senior Member

02-10-2013

I don't know if this will be addressed in her bio, although I expect it most likely will, but would you be willing to share with us the nature of Caleb's death?

One thing that irks me somewhat is that it's clearly put forward as a moment of some importance to the character, and serves to add an additional level of emotional significance to her mission, but we don't actually know the details behind her brother's passing. I could certainly understand if it was a natural death but the focus on "[that] part of the woods" makes me feel as though there's something more to all of this. This is of particular curiosity to me because his death seems a little redundant at present. It didn't provoke a lasting change of direction, like the loss Riven suffered, and her motivation went essentially unchanged by either it or the period in which she abandoned her dreams.

Is there anything more you could tell us at this time or is everything we need to know expressed in the preview?


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Zerglinator

Senior Member

02-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex3omg View Post
Oh god and this. I don't really get why 'the most important decision in this person's life' is being left out of their story. Sometimes you can assume but, really, it should be straight up written down. Malzahar wants an audience to sell his cult to, Singed wants to try his chemical weapons out, Jax wants a challenge... Nami is looking for a moonstone? Or did she already do that..
I still feel like the League, being a place where people from everywhere, from Demacia to Noxus to the Shadow Isles to Lokfar to THE VOID would be a good place to question about and demand moonstones.

Know who I really want to know a League motivation for? Gragas.


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Alex3omg

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Senior Member

02-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotRunaan View Post

Again, though, some of these are really cool ideas--a letter from Garen or Jarvan might've been an interesting addition to the piece as well. Hm!

Also, for the record, I'm perfectly willing to partake in a constructive conversation here provided it remains constructive.
I appreciate that you're so openminded and allow these discussions- and I hope you know all of my criticism is out of love for the game, and wanting it to be beast as ****.

So, will these pages be shown to the rest of the players? Will they let you put it in game? (and you know, you could always revise it before then if you did want to adjust the caleb part.)



Are you allowed to talk about different mediums you might use to convey the lore? It seems like there are so many options, have you guys actually talked about things like full comic stories, or animated shorts, or 'cutscenes' or just short stories- to show current plots and old backstory type things? The JoJ was great but I do agree it had trouble showing things that are long past and more personal stories. It had a different narrative, as did the Judgements and the little bios but actually posting just some short story (in whatever format) would tell us something.

Personally I'd prefer something visual, but really a 'chapter' that's just prose would be amazing. My favourite league story is RenektonBot's Jayce Judgement, so that's definitely acceptable. (and I consider it canon, of course.)


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swan2swan

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Senior Member

02-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotRunaan View Post
Like I said, it was a conscious choice to be more deliberate and obvious about a lot of this. The goal wasn't to lay out a bunch of inconclusive and mysterious threads for the character (both Ironstylus and I felt like this would be confusing and frustrating to a lot of players who are really just looking for a character preview, not a puzzle), it was to present as much information as possible about her in a compelling way. I'd hoped people would be on roughly the same page about her at the end of the journal and come out of it with more forward-looking questions rather than trying to discern the secrets of her backstory. I wanted people to know who Caleb was--there was already the running mystery of who "Val" was, after all, so I chose not to confuse the plot further.

Again, though, some of these are really cool ideas--a letter from Garen or Jarvan might've been an interesting addition to the piece as well. Hm!

Also, for the record, I'm perfectly willing to partake in a constructive conversation here provided it remains constructive.

The fun thing about having a character write a letter is that it's a definitive look at his/her personality. Not only does it show that the person likes to write letters, but it shows what the character considers important; and also, as with dialogue, there is an opening for "mistakes" or for things to be done in a not-so-subtle fashion.

Example: I picture Diana as a girl who studied books in her isolation back when she was with the Solari; as a result, her dialogue tends to be precise and ordered (though isolation should also limit her to short sentences, perhaps...). If Diana wrote a letter, it would probably be grammatically correct (unless she felt that it was something sun-worshippers did and thus decided to hang grammar). But Leona, who was raised to fight and kill and only got picked up by the Solari at sixteen, might have a few spelling mistakes, sloppy handwriting, and always put an apostrophe when she writes "the parrot flew to it's nest."

The letter-writing of Quinn is something much more direct and to the point; but when she talks about her brother, it goes on a little more. This shows her attachment and the value she put upon him. She seems to me to be someone who is very concerned with doing the job correctly--filing the reports, taking notes, working it out, and not letting anything fool her.

And I cannot wait to play her.


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RiotRunaan

Writer

02-10-2013
3 of 6 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex3omg View Post
I appreciate that you're so openminded and allow these discussions- and I hope you know all of my criticism is out of love for the game, and wanting it to be beast as ****.

So, will these pages be shown to the rest of the players? Will they let you put it in game? (and you know, you could always revise it before then if you did want to adjust the caleb part.)

Are you allowed to talk about different mediums you might use to convey the lore? It seems like there are so many options, have you guys actually talked about things like full comic stories, or animated shorts, or 'cutscenes' or just short stories- to show current plots and old backstory type things? The JoJ was great but I do agree it had trouble showing things that are long past and more personal stories. It had a different narrative, as did the Judgements and the little bios but actually posting just some short story (in whatever format) would tell us something.

Personally I'd prefer something visual, but really a 'chapter' that's just prose would be amazing. My favourite league story is RenektonBot's Jayce Judgement, so that's definitely acceptable. (and I consider it canon, of course.)
In terms of alternate lore mediums, I can't say much more that we've already said, honestly, and for that I apologize. There are a ton of options, certainly, but a lot of them require a great deal of development and IP construction up front. Before I became a part of the game industry, I would've never guessed the amount of time, manpower, effort and resources it takes to fully develop a cohesive and engaging IP. At Riot, it's been a massive cross-team effort for a long time now, and it's coming along--all we can do is continue to ask for your patience and promise that our tom men are on it. Top men! I've met them myself!

The JoJ had a lot of issues, many of which were sadly invisible to you guys (a lot of stuff like resource management, time investment and localization time played a part). As the one who wrote most of the last third of the JoJ, however, I cannot stress enough how much better the story of the JoJ would have been if we had been allowed to tell it through a better medium. Nitty-gritty development-language stuff aside, that's really what Riot wants to bring you guys: more awesome, more accessible and more engaging stories.

Coming back from that tangent, I'd love to find a place for Quinn's journal to live in the client, but it's tough to find a home for a one-time project like this (that isn't to say that we won't do more like it, just that if we do future stuff, it might take a different form depending on the champion). Don't rule it out entirely, but it's not a priority at the moment.


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RiotRunaan

Writer

02-10-2013
4 of 6 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by swan2swan View Post
The letter-writing of Quinn is something much more direct and to the point; but when she talks about her brother, it goes on a little more. This shows her attachment and the value she put upon him. She seems to me to be someone who is very concerned with doing the job correctly--filing the reports, taking notes, working it out, and not letting anything fool her.

And I cannot wait to play her.
I tried to show that she's very direct and to-the-point, methodical and all business when interacting with people (thus the rather short-handed nature of the pages concerning Jarvan and Garen), but she can be very introspective and thoughtful on her own (concerning her brother, out in the wilderness with Valor, etc). I'm glad that came across for you!


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Alex3omg

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Senior Member

02-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotRunaan View Post
In terms of alternate lore mediums, I can't say much more that we've already said, honestly, and for that I apologize. There are a ton of options, certainly, but a lot of them require a great deal of development and IP construction up front. Before I became a part of the game industry, I would've never guessed the amount of time, manpower, effort and resources it takes to fully develop a cohesive and engaging IP. At Riot, it's been a massive cross-team effort for a long time now, and it's coming along--all we can do is continue to ask for your patience and promise that our tom men are on it. Top men! I've met them myself!

The JoJ had a lot of issues, many of which were sadly invisible to you guys (a lot of stuff like resource management, time investment and localization time played a part). As the one who wrote most of the last third of the JoJ, however, I cannot stress enough how much better the story of the JoJ would have been if we had been allowed to tell it through a better medium. Nitty-gritty development-language stuff aside, that's really what Riot wants to bring you guys: more awesome, more accessible and more engaging stories.

Coming back from that tangent, I'd love to find a place for Quinn's journal to live in the client, but it's tough to find a home for a one-time project like this (that isn't to say that we won't do more like it, just that if we do future stuff, it might take a different form depending on the champion). Don't rule it out entirely, but it's not a priority at the moment.
Well I'd love to see some sort of 'image story' (I'm reluctant to say comic because it's not exactly that) like the old previews... I think that should have a section in the client.

I get that the JoJ wasn't ideal but it was a good way to keep us up to date without much burden on the readers (just a blurb here or there, quick and fun) I think it would have worked better as a supplemental source of information, with the Judgements giving us a 'story from the champion's past' (for instance, a great place to show what exactly happened to Quinn and her brother from her PoV) and then the bio is just a quick important-facts about the champion and their persona. Then, in game, we get personality.

All of these things form the champion, not just one element. Nobody wants a block of text telling you everything, that's boring. Different mediums convey different things and engage the audience.


So... can't you guys sort of ... outsource comics or something? I mean, there are people who dish out a chapter a week for comic books, why can't you guys just hire someone like that? There are plenty of cool stories from the past that could work in that format in order to get things rolling, and then the occasional 'present time' story progression. Is that not at all feasible?


and you know, you could always hire renektonbot to write stories. just...double check them first. once i saw a post of his and there were burrios and warwick and I don't want to get into it. ;.;


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Thryale

Senior Member

02-10-2013

Hey runaan, since yer on, I've got a suggestion for you. Right now in the client there is an unused tab called "acheivements" that has hovered around in our summoner profiles ever since season 1. My proposition to you is this. Use the achievements tab as an engaging way to unlock champion lore.

For example, if I'm playing Soraka or Sona, I could get unlock an achievement for placing X amount of wards cumulated over all my games played. And in doing so, I would unlock a tidbit of lore for that champion.

Or if I'm playing akali if I get a penta kill in a solo q ranked game then I could unlock another form of lore or somthing else extra special.

That is just my thoughts. As for quinn, you could have her journal be "unlocked" by simply buying quinn.

What do you think? I find it kinda sad that a tab has gone unused for 2 whole years now.


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Alex3omg

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Senior Member

02-10-2013

You know, in the client there's a "lore" button right in the main area, next to profile.

Why is it empty? You can see the latest journal but the rest are links to the website- why aren't they part of the client? The map of valoran is outdate, it says mount garganutuan and probably 'megling city' somewhere

So why not have this area redone? Have every JoJ, every Judgement, every bio, every other bit of lore could all be here. This area should be pretty important but it just seems to be looked over by Riot.


Sort of reminds me of the forum(no avatars, pming) and the achievement tab (not even one). Just... Riot doesn't seem to care. And, Runaan, I don't want you to think for a second that anyone thinks you personally don't care- I know a lot of Rioters care about lore themselves... but Riot doesn't seem to be giving the resources needed to make the lore what it should be. It's like the lore is this extra **** and we're lucky to have anything at all. The money Riot spends on Dyrus's pizza each week could pay for an artist for you guys and you could crank out comics/images/whatever all the time.

I love the style of the old 'teaser' images and the art in the JoJ... so even some of that for some stories would be great


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