History Main / TheLawOfConservationOfDetail

5th Apr '16 11:24:06 PM Galacton
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Video games also provide an excellent distillation of this law, in that any detail in the game requires a significant investment of time and manpower to develop between art asset creation, writing, programming, and insertion into the game. Details of lesser importance get economized: One-off [=NPCs=] rarely ever get anything more than a [[OnlySixFaces generic sprite/character model]], have only the most generic walking animations, and have [[NominalImportance no name]]. You can tell that a character will play some role in the plot if they have an unusually complex character model or a headshot next to their dialog (unless plenty of other characters have that same headshot). Plotwise, this serves to separate [[RoundCharacter Round]] and {{Flat Character}}s. Since artists create video game worlds from scratch, scenery also obeys the law. Say they set a level in a supermarket; a real supermarket stocks ''thousands'' of individual products in ''hundreds'' of different brands, each and every one with different label designs, and the time it would take to design (or license) all that packaging and trademarks could easily add up to several games' worth of development cycles. So they use a handful of designs over and over. And it works to their favor: We accept less detail because it is not central to the game.

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Video games also provide an excellent distillation have their own version of this law, in that any detail in the game requires a significant investment of time and manpower to develop between art asset creation, writing, programming, and insertion into the game. Details of lesser importance get economized: One-off [=NPCs=] rarely ever get anything more than a [[OnlySixFaces generic sprite/character sprite or character model]], have only the most generic walking animations, and have [[NominalImportance no name]]. You can tell that a character will play some role in the plot if they have an unusually complex character model or a headshot next to their dialog (unless plenty of other characters have share that same headshot). Plotwise, this serves to separate [[RoundCharacter Round]] and {{Flat Character}}s. Since artists create video game worlds from scratch, scenery also obeys the law. Say they set a level in a supermarket; a real supermarket stocks ''thousands'' of individual products in ''hundreds'' of different brands, each and every one with different label designs, and the time it would take to design (or license) all that packaging and trademarks could easily add up to several games' worth of development cycles. So they use a handful of designs over and over. And it works to their favor: We accept less detail because it is not central to the game.
3rd Apr '16 3:45:06 PM toclafane212
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* The end of the first episode of "Series/PrettyLittleLiars takes time to show every main cast member leaving Alison's Funeral, except for [[spoiler:Mona]]. The A tag at the end then shows A staying behind at the funeral.
21st Feb '16 4:38:15 PM skidoo23
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Any time a critic or a fan refers to something as gratuitous in a film or TV episode, whether that be an obvious narrative tangent, a scene of extended violence, a sex scene, a comic relief scene, or an extended bout of SceneryPorn, they are invoking this trope. However, in this context it is very subjective: one viewer's porn is another viewer's necessary character development; one viewer's "boring five-minute long tracking shot of a beautiful mountain range" is another viewer's "this is not film, it's art."

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Any time a critic or a fan refers to something as gratuitous in a film or TV episode, "gratuitous", whether that be an obvious narrative tangent, a scene of extended violence, a sex scene, a comic relief scene, or an extended bout of SceneryPorn, etc., they are invoking this trope. However, in this context it is very subjective: one viewer's porn is another viewer's necessary character development; one viewer's "boring five-minute long tracking shot of a beautiful mountain range" is another viewer's "this is not film, a movie, it's art."
21st Feb '16 4:37:18 PM skidoo23
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Any time a critic or a fan refers to something as gratuitous in a film or TV episode, whether that be an obvious narrative tangent, a scene of extended violence, a sex scene, a comic relief scene, or an extended bout of SceneryPorn, they are invoking this trope. However, in this context it is very subjective: one viewer's porn is another viewer's necessary character development; one viewer's "boring five-minute long tracking shot of a beautiful mountain range" is another viewer's "this is not film, it's art."
19th Feb '16 1:24:16 PM morenohijazo
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* ''VideoGame/TheWitness'': Blow made a point of noting in the run-up to ''The Witness''[='=] release that adventure games of the past didn't use this trope well: they would either render too many things in the game environment, confusing players on what objects to interact with; or, if text based, have a text parser so rudimentary that it couldn't be programmed with all of the nuanced phrases a player may randomly come up with. In ''The Witness'', anything that can be interacted with is generally easy to spot (even if it's not easy to solve.)
14th Feb '16 4:52:58 PM wohdin
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* This is rather ''infamously'' "subverted" by pretty much all of the works of JRRTolkien, almost to the point of it being memetic; it's not at all unusual in his works for there to be several pages of tangential activity that seemingly has nothing to do with the rest of the plot whatsoever. But to some extent, it's left up to the reader to determine what exactly constitutes as "important" in the greater lore of his work. For instance, his work TheSilmarillion could by some people be easily misconstrued as a book of ''nothing but'' such unnecessary fluff, but in reality it serves as the entire body of ancient Elvish history spanning back to the creation of the world (and fans sometimes appropriately refer to it as the "Elvish Bible" as a result), and that "fluff" provides considerable insight into the context of the Elves' existence, their culture, and even their worldviews which tend to differ considerably from that of Men or Dwarves, and doesn't often get extrapolated upon in his other, [[LordOfTheRings more]] [[TheHobbit famous]] works.

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* This is rather ''infamously'' "subverted" by pretty much all of the works of JRRTolkien, almost to the point of it being memetic; it's not at all unusual in his works for there to be several pages of tangential activity that seemingly has nothing to do with the rest of the plot whatsoever. But to some extent, it's left up to the reader to determine what exactly constitutes as "important" in the greater lore of his work. For instance, his work TheSilmarillion could by some people be easily misconstrued as a book of ''nothing but'' such unnecessary fluff, but in reality it serves as the entire body of ancient Elvish history spanning back to the creation of the world (and fans sometimes appropriately refer to it as the "Elvish Bible" as a result), and that "fluff" provides considerable insight into the context of the Elves' existence, their culture, and even their worldviews which tend to differ considerably from that of Men or Dwarves, and doesn't often get extrapolated upon in his other, [[LordOfTheRings more]] [[TheHobbit famous]] works.works, which feature only light brushes with the Elves that leave readers/viewers with a stark impression of their strange ways but no real understanding of it. And needless to say, considering his works are essentially the primordial ooze from which was birthed modern HighFantasy, no detail is truly unimportant in hindsight.
14th Feb '16 4:48:31 PM wohdin
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Added DiffLines:

* This is rather ''infamously'' "subverted" by pretty much all of the works of JRRTolkien, almost to the point of it being memetic; it's not at all unusual in his works for there to be several pages of tangential activity that seemingly has nothing to do with the rest of the plot whatsoever. But to some extent, it's left up to the reader to determine what exactly constitutes as "important" in the greater lore of his work. For instance, his work TheSilmarillion could by some people be easily misconstrued as a book of ''nothing but'' such unnecessary fluff, but in reality it serves as the entire body of ancient Elvish history spanning back to the creation of the world (and fans sometimes appropriately refer to it as the "Elvish Bible" as a result), and that "fluff" provides considerable insight into the context of the Elves' existence, their culture, and even their worldviews which tend to differ considerably from that of Men or Dwarves, and doesn't often get extrapolated upon in his other, [[LordOfTheRings more]] [[TheHobbit famous]] works.
28th Jan '16 2:13:52 AM CassandraLeo
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* Similarly to the ''A Song of Ice and Fire'' example above, ''The Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' [[ZigZaggedTrope zig-zags]] this. A lot of crucial plot details are foreshadowed by subtle details in earlier books, but a lot of things a reader might assume to be [[ChekhovGun Chekhov's Guns]] turn out to have little impact on the plot. This is done deliberately and is one of the reasons the series has such a reputation as a difficult read (the other is the deliberate use of LostInMediasRes).

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* Similarly to the ''A Song of Ice and Fire'' example above, ''The Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' [[ZigZaggedTrope zig-zags]] this. A lot of crucial plot details are foreshadowed by subtle details in earlier books, but a lot of things a reader might assume to be [[ChekhovGun [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Guns]] turn out to have little impact on the plot. This is done deliberately and is one of the reasons the series has such a reputation as a difficult read (the other is the deliberate use of LostInMediasRes).
28th Jan '16 2:13:32 AM CassandraLeo
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Added DiffLines:

* Similarly to the ''A Song of Ice and Fire'' example above, ''The Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' [[ZigZaggedTrope zig-zags]] this. A lot of crucial plot details are foreshadowed by subtle details in earlier books, but a lot of things a reader might assume to be [[ChekhovGun Chekhov's Guns]] turn out to have little impact on the plot. This is done deliberately and is one of the reasons the series has such a reputation as a difficult read (the other is the deliberate use of LostInMediasRes).
4th Jan '16 8:47:35 AM Pinokio
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* ''Literature/BagOfBones'': In ''On Writing'', Stephen King describes reducing a two page section on Mike Noonan's community-service work backstory to two paragraphs after his wife said it was boring.
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