BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL IN GAMES

Posts

Pages: first 12 next last
In cartoons, it is typical for the characters to break the fourth wall in the end of the episodes.

So I ask, is it okay to break the fourth wall in games?

Must you, in any circumstances, never break the fourth wall except when trying to explain the instructions for the minigames or when in the introductions?
I personally believe that the only time it should be broken is for humor and even then not unless your game is meant to be humorous as otherwise it detracts from the realism too much. What that means is that I also don't think it should be used in instructions unless absolutely necessary of course I''m sure quite a lot of people disagree on that but I use it mainly because I think if your game needs tutorial for basic controls ever it's too complicated.
you can broke the 4th wall if it just a stage play or it just a comedy game...
but it been used in comedy show for years now but i don't see any games that broke the 4th wall.. except for valve often do some ARG that it totally break the 4th wall on the portal series
Disgaea does a lot of 4th wall breaking
Yellow Magic
Could I BE any more Chandler Bing from Friends (TM)?
3154
author=Archeia_Nessiah
Disgaea does a lot of 4th wall breaking

i forgot about Disgaea, my bad!
I joke around a lot. So I enjoy breakin the 4th wall. I usually get a good laugh. Im probably one of the only ones that feels its ok. Ascendence does it in a great way at the begining.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5958
Games don't even have a fourth wall, except sometimes temporarily during cut scenes. Your spirit guide is always popping out of your sword to tell you "Master Link, your health is dangerously low" or "Master Link, please replace the batteries in your Wii Remote at your earliest convenience." Every time you put the cursor over an item, the game tells you that it gives +30 strength and 50% fire resistance, or that it restores 250 MP. When you walk up to a shop counter, you get an on-screen display telling you to press X to speak to the shopkeeper.

Games literally involve the audience. In fact they generally do so as often as they possibly can. I don't know how much more you can possibly break the fourth wall than that.
author=LockeZ
Games don't even have a fourth wall, except sometimes temporarily during cut scenes. Your spirit guide is always popping out of your sword to tell you "Master Link, your health is dangerously low" or "Master Link, please replace the batteries in your Wii Remote at your earliest convenience." Every time you put the cursor over an item, the game tells you that it gives +30 strength and 50% fire resistance, or that it restores 250 MP. When you walk up to a shop counter, you get an on-screen display telling you to press X to speak to the shopkeeper.

Games literally involve the audience. In fact they generally do so as often as they possibly can. I don't know how much more you can possibly break the fourth wall than that.


Aren't you just playing as the character so they're not really addressing you but rather the one you're playing?
author=ivoryjones
Aren't you just playing as the character so they're not really addressing you but rather the one you're playing?

I don't know about you, but when I get sick people don't tell me "EMMYCH USE ESUNA TO HEAL YOUR NEGATIVE STATUS BY PRESSING A"; They tell me to go see a doctor.

@LockeZ: I think the topic is more talking about cutscene stuff or being self-aware...? Seems that way, at least. OTL

As far as I feel about that goes, YEAH BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL IS COOL, but don't do it very often. I mean, look at comedy games like Earthbound -- even it didn't break the fourth wall that often! I can think of maaaaaybe 3 examples off the top of my head...? And FF6 does it once -- it's a split second gag and it's ridic adorable. <3

I think folks also need to realize there is a major distinction between breaking the fourth wall and making self-aware jokes. Having a character go "WELL WHY DON'T WE JUST USE A PHOENIX DOWN" when a party member dies for real is self aware, but not necessarily breaking the fourth wall. Having the old hermit say "Press A to use your new ability! ...Hero, stop looking at me like that; I wasn't talking to you" is breaking the fourth wall. Too often I see these things mixed up or lumped into the same category when they're definitely not! You can make gags that are both self aware and fourth wall breaking ("I've fallen into a sand trap! Mash the X button!"), but they're not one in the same. OTL

I COULD RANT FOR HOURS ON THE POOR STATE OF COMEDY but I will not do that because I'm only ever circumstantially funny; trying to be funny never works for me. IB
Leo and Leah breaks the 4th wall, it's not comedic, and it has a really great effect on game experience.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5958
Emmych, I don't think OTL even means anything with you any more, I think you just use it in place of punctuation marks.

I guess my point earlier was that breaking the fourth wall during cut scenes doesn't actually matter at all in video games, because you're already doing it all the time during the rest of the game anyway. It's not adding any awkwardness that wasn't already there in full force. It just sometimes adds some humor in cases like Disgaea when you start a cut scene and pretend to erect a temporary fourth wall and then are like HA HA NOT REALLY, JUST KIDDING and introduce a character named Mid-Boss.

...FF6 did it more than once though. Once with Mog and at least twice with Kappa. But it wasn't really part of a cut scene in any of those cases, it was just a character in a black void giving you gameplay instructions. I don't think of that as a fourth-wall-breaking cut scene, I just think of it as a tutorial with animations.
I don't like it when games break 4th wall, it's something I stray from vehemently. I usually cringe when I see it in professional games etc, unless it's justified.

These instances don't always dictate the final verdict of a game either. Snatcher was great and destroyed the 4th wall at times. An example of justified 4th wall breaking is basically anything Deadpool.

I agree that it is sometimes inherent to games that 4th wall be broken to convey relevant information to the player, but this is sometimes also a crutch. An example being a tutorial being explained to you by an omniscient 3rd person narrator, vs. someone explaining something to the main playable character. It depends on the designer's choice to integrate lessons into the game itself so it's more self contained and doesn't rely on outside sources to convey meanings.
It happens in LOTS of prominent games.
(but man, you gotta be careful with TV tropes. I just ruined for myself the story of a game I'm currently playing by reading the spoiler text in one of those entries, grrrr)
some of you don't understand on games...
let's start the game logics
well the game must always have 4th wall so the characters will not interact with the player...
only the story will have 4th wall and you control that world with anyone knowledge that you the player are controlling everyone in that game but the 4th wall will break if anyone in the game start talking to the player unexpectedly means the characters already know or think that someone controlling him/her which broke the game logic and the 4th wall...
that how game story work...
and it doesn't work on tutorials if the character is talking just to give instruction to the player... the 4th wall is temporary open just to talk the player on how to play the game and the character will immediately forgot that someone is controlling him/her and the 4th wall closes and normal gameplay will start.
Breaking the 4th wall always makes me laugh..I might actually try that sometime if I ever decide make a game directed more towards comedy~ :)
I think it can work great in a comedy game if it's done well. Like in Space Quest. Space Quest IV has a lot of it.

"Hey, keep your hands off yourself! This is a family game." <- Probably the best quote from that game.

I agree though that it's acceptable for tutorials and such, but it's better if it's done not through the story or told by a character. Like if some guy tells the hero hey by the way press "A" to attack enemies. I think it's better if instead you get a popup or something so it's just information for the player and doesn't become part of the game story.
masterofmayhem
I can defiantly see where you’re coming from
2610
Characters in my game break the forth wall all the time, but in my case it’s an actual supernatural power, like magic, obtained by reaching a sort of spiritual enlightenment.

Basically they realise the're in the Matrix and treat the whole thing like it’s an MMO.
iddalai
RPG Maker 2k/2k3 for life, baby!!
1194
Breaking the 4th wall can be used in comedy games constantly, in serious games for comic relief or in serious games whose story is related with it (Star Ocean 3 (kind of) and Baten Kaitos).

It's quite neat when done well.
Hesufo
I am pretty interested in hooking up sometime. Screw me.
1199
author=flowerthief
It happens in LOTS of prominent games.
(but man, you gotta be careful with TV tropes. I just ruined for myself the story of a game I'm currently playing by reading the spoiler text in one of those entries, grrrr)

You've gotta be careful with TV Tropes because well fuck I just inadvertently lost 2 hours of my life

But yeah, I pretty much agree with everyone else here, breaking the fourth wall in comedy or specific gags or cutscenes is okay. I made the mistake to do it in a main cutscene which ended pretty badly style-wise (but then again it was a project long time ago).
Pages: first 12 next last