Unclear Description: Scripted Event

Deadlock Clock: 30th Oct 2013 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [20]
The difference between Video Game Setpiece and Scripted Event is murky. According to their respective descriptions, a Scripted Event is something in-game that occurs the same time each play-through, while a Video Game Setpiece is something that happens that wouldn't normally be possible in the game's mechanics (such as environment destruction in a game engine that doesn't support that), with the additional note that setpieces are usually unique and visually impressive (but not a Cutscene), and ones that are used repeatedly are actually just a Scripted Event. The examples on both pages need a lot of work: some are clearly on the wrong page (describing a setpiece as a scripted event, or vice versa), while a lot are just flat-out misuse. It's hard to blame anyone, though, because the descriptions aren't great in the first place.

I think what's intended with these tropes is pretty clear, it's just the execution of them that's bad. A Scripted Event is something that happens during gameplay that has to be explicitly programmed in by the developers (as opposed to the AI doing it spontaneously), usually because it involves breaking the rules of the game engine. A Video Game Setpiece is a unique, usually cinematic, situation that can generally be expected to go the same for every play-through of the game; they don't necessarily use scripted events, but if they do, they're frequently unique and visually impressive.

We need to edit descriptions to match that usage, and go through the example lists to make sure they fit.

edited 15th Sep '13 12:38:45 PM by NativeJovian

Bump? Almost a week with no response.
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IMHO, a setpiece is about ... well, a set. The scenery or environment is crafted in such a way to support something that the game engine wouldn't otherwise be capable of.
Is this really in disrepair? The difference between two pages being confusing sounds like it belongs in Trope Talk and if you've found some misuse you can take it to the long term discussion for trope misuse.
5 AnotherDuck21st Sep 2013 08:12:00 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
I think the name suggests just about anything that isn't isn't the ground or living entities. And sometimes trees or giants. Or continuous background events, like having a war in the background that's there to set the mood. Just saying it's an event of some sort of definition feels non-indicative.

I'm not really sure what it is, though, and how exactly it's defined.
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"Setpiece" in this context doesn't refer to scenery, a la theater or film, it refers to a planned out series of events that should, in theory, happen identically every time. ie, "A situation, activity, or speech planned beforehand and carried out according to a prescribed pattern or formula" (definition 3b).

As far as misuse, it's hard to check for misuse when I'm not sure what the proper usage actually is — that's why I put "unclear description" as the issue when I created the thread. If you want some evidence that there's a real problem, though, I can provide a list of examples that are listed on both pages.

  • Call of Duty: Both pages say something to the effect of "franchise uses a lot of setpieces". Even the Scripted Event page explicitly uses the term setpiece.
  • Half-Life: Ditto, both pages are essentially "uses them a lot".
  • Left 4 Dead: Both pages mention the exact same event: a plane crash near the end of the "Dead Air" campaign.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: "Every 3D Sonic the Hedgehog game has this." (Scripted Event) vs "Since [Sonic Adventure], it has become increasingly common in Sonic games" (Video Game Setpiece)
  • Fallout 3: Mentioned on both pages, though different in-game events are referenced (mostly seems to be whichever the editor who added the example found more significant).
  • Resident Evil: "famous for its sudden scares from zombie dogs crashing through the windows" (Scripted Event) vs " frequently include setpieces such as enemies smashing through windows to eat the player" (Video Game Setpiece)
  • Max Payne: "uses many" vs "features a couple", though they do largely seem to be thinking about different things, so may not be a real duplicate.

So that's 7 shared examples between the two pages. That's almost half of Scripted Event's page (17 examples total) and about a third of Video Game Setpiece's (26 total examples). I imagine a wick check would have a similar lack of distinction between the two. If the two tropes are really distinct, there shouldn't be that much overlap. If they aren't, then they should be merged.
The distinction is made quite clear on both pages. Video Game Setpiece is for one-time deals and Scripted Event is for repeatables. I'd be inclined to call The Same, but More Specific on that "distinction", though. Whether something is "visually impressive" is subjective.

It can also be difficult to draw a line between the same event repeated in multiple places and multiple separate but similar events, which explains the example overlap.

I'd support a merge. The pages aren't large enough to be dividing them over such trivial differences.
Like I said earlier, I think the intention of the two pages is clear, but the execution of both are bad. A Scripted Event is anything that's programmed in explicitly by developers (as opposed to happening randomly, or occurring spontaneously under the control of the AI), while a Video Game Setpiece is a sequence where the gameplay temporarily becomes more constrained than usual in order to show off something cool or impressive.
9 AnotherDuck23rd Sep 2013 09:42:52 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Essentially a scripted event you play through?
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I suppose you could think of it that way. It's a sequence in the game where the player can be relied on to act a certain way, thus giving the developer more freedom in creating a specific scene, since they don't have to take into account the possibility that the player will decide to wander off into the corners of the level, or try to backtrack, or whatever else they might get into their head.

  • Scripted Event: The player walks across a bridge. As soon they reach the middle, it collapses, depositing them in a different part of the level. Since the bridge always collapses at that exact point no matter what (rather than only happening if the player is on the bridge too long, or is carrying too much equipment, or some other factor being involved), the collapse is a scripted event.
  • Video Game Setpiece: The player walks across a bridge. As soon they reach the middle, it collapses, depositing them in front of an Implacable Man and forcing them to Run or Die. Since the sequence happens more or less the same way every time (player falls, disturbs enemy, runs through the level trying to escape), allowing the developer to take advantage of that predictability in the level design, that's a setpiece. Note that it doesn't actually matter if the bridge collapsing is scripted or not; even if the Implacable Man is an optional encounter, it's a setpiece either way.

edited 24th Sep '13 5:24:39 PM by NativeJovian

11 AnotherDuck24th Sep 2013 06:19:00 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
What's the difference there?
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In Scripted Event, it's just a thing that happens. The bridge collapses, the player ends up in another part of the level. In Video Game Setpiece, it's a setup for the videogame version of an Interesting Situation Duel; it's a way of putting the player into a unique situation so they can do something cool, interesting, or unusual.
13 AnotherDuck24th Sep 2013 08:56:10 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
And you can't set up the same with a scripted event?
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You can use a Scripted Event to set up a Video Game Setpiece, yes, but you can also have a scripted event without a setpiece, or a setpiece without a scripted event.
15 AnotherDuck25th Sep 2013 08:10:03 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Well, after reading your explanation they seem far more similar than what I thought to begin with.
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...which is why I started the thread, to better differentiate them.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Since Jovian is so familiar with the terms, I vote they rewrite the definitions to clarify the difference.
18 AnotherDuck26th Sep 2013 09:43:04 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
I vote that someone other than Jovian rewrite them. *me* tongue

edited 26th Sep '13 9:43:20 PM by AnotherDuck

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19 Willbyr27th Oct 2013 06:16:57 AM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Clock is set.
20 Willbyr31st Oct 2013 03:53:39 AM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Clock's up; locking for inactivity. No action is to be taken based on this thread.
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Total posts: 20