Cut scenes: how long is too long?

This is all very good advice. I'm trying to keep things faster paced while providing the depth of story that makes an RPG an RPG. Old school RPGs managed to do this with only a handful of text boxes, so I should too.

Religion and the After-Life

@arcan: True, I cannot say a blue sky is green, because I can look at the sky and see with my own eyes what color it is. Not so with religion. Spiritual belief is a choice based on faith in what believers cannot see. No one is born believing in a higher power. It is their upbringing and environment, coupled with their own choice to believe, that makes someone spiritual.

I myself choose not to believe, not due to any specific event in my life, but a complete lack thereof. But saying I dont believe isn't the same as saying it doesn't exist. As a self described scientist, I can't say god does not exist. It's impossible to prove a negative. But if I'm going to accept such a possibility, I have to lend the same courtesy to all forms of supernatural entities. So yes, I accept there may be a god. But I also accept that there may be a Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy. I'm also going to put forth the same amount of effort in believing in them. (read: none)

Religion and the After-Life

From a purely logical standpoint, I would rather be a Christian and end up being wrong than be an atheist and end up being wrong. From a risk-benefit assessment, atheism is the belief system that makes the least sense to choose.
This only works if you believe that the Christian god is a vain bastard who would send people to hell for not believing in it, despite them being caring, loving and law-abiding people... in which case it's gonna send you to hell for your assessment of it as vain, as vain entities don't tend to like being called vain.

This I rather agree with. I wouldn't want a god that forces me to choose between them and eternal damnation. But maybe it's not as simple as that. Maybe it's not the god that sends you to whatever form of damnation you believe in. Maybe it's you.

You ever see "What Dreams May Come"? What if it's like that, and those punished in the afterlife are simply punishing themselves? It makes a lot more sense than a loving god visiting eternal torment on you because you had sex before marriage.

Besides, if you're going to quote stuff like that:

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is God able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is God both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is God neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

From a "purely logical" standpoint, it's clear that god either doesn't exist or is a massive douche.

The problem with this line of logic is that it completely removes the will of man from the equation, thus absolving them of accountability. But I would ask, where does evil come from? What do we classify as evil? Not the actions of animals, who by most philosophical reasoning are outside of such classifications as good or evil. The word "evil" is attributed to only one living creature on earth, and that's man.

Whether you believe in things like temptation from demons or not, it's mankind who perpetrates the acts that others call evil. But this is a direct result of our ability to think for ourselves, our free will. If there is a god (or goddess, or gods), then I should hope they understand the difference between free people and enslaved minions. If they only want obedient lapdogs, why give us even the opportunity to turn against them? Why give us free will at all?

I don't know about you, but if I were a loving god, I wouldn't want slaves, I'd want children. I'd want my children to choose to follow the path I set out for them on their own, not because they needed me, nor because they feared me, but because they loved me back. In order for them to do that, they'd have to have free will. Yes, that opens the door to them doing terrible things, and yes it means I'd have to take a step back and not involve myself in their decisions. But ultimately, that's the price of growing up. It's the price of sitting at the big kid table: we have to be held accountable for our actions.

So yes, a truly omnipotent and loving god would have the power to stop all the evil in the world. But so do we. Maybe there's a god, maybe there isn't. Maybe someday he/she/they will sweep in and clean up our messes. Or maybe it's time for us to stop looking to one to do it for us.

What are you currently reading?

Haven't checked the previous entries in this thread to know if it's been brought up yet, but I've been diving head first into Discworld. I'm in the middle of Mort, which is turning out to be quite awesome and hilarious, as is Terry Pratchett's style. I really love all the Death-central stories, he's proving to be quite a sympathetic character.

Also, finally picked up some H.P. Lovecraft after a friend lent me one of his. I'm now reading Dagon for the first time ever. Man, this guy really gets horror. Not like modern writers, who assume "mutilated bodies and buckets of blood" are the only means to horrify someone.

Movie Suggestions...

The Silent House. A Spanish film about a young woman and her father who move into a very old house with the intention of repairing it. Bad things happen. What makes this film so intriguing is the fact it was filmed in one continuous take. It was ambitious, suspenseful as hell, and very, very good.

Religion and the After-Life

@Kindredz: then, being non-confrontational, you might reconsider the next time you choose to post an ill defined opinion in a forum where it may be challenged. I cannot be held responsible for any perceived ignorance on my part. If you refuse to clarify your own position, you have only yourself to blame.

Religion and the After-Life

Hindus believe in multiple gods, but preach a very ordered universe.

Religion and the After-Life

It also couldn't have been made possible without Christians, Muslims, Jews and a host of other religious people. Perhaps there's a message of tolerance and equality in there.
I knew my statement would not be properly understood...but it needed to be said, anyway. I'm not one to waste time helping people see the proper meaning of things but one day you'll get it...hopefully.

To posit an opinion without elaborating, and then claim your opposition is simply being ignorant for disagreeing with you is a rather convenient way to avoid backing up your argument. It's also what certain religious types do to non-believers.

Additionally, I'm pretty sure I understood your stance quite clearly. What was it about mine that was unclear? I don't believe as others do, but I accept that the world in which we now live we created together, for better or worse. Everyone, from believers to non-believers, had a hand in it.

Also, I neglected to mention this before, but I noticed that you lumped the entirety of the scientific community in with non-believers. Has it not occurred to you that there might be scientists with religious beliefs? Do you know for a fact that all of your modern technology was created by atheists?

Cut scenes: how long is too long?

I may have hit upon a compromise. The suggestion of making the cut scenes skippable did not sit right with me, but it did get me thinking about interactivity. Instead of presenting the player with a skip button, I instead plan to offer the player the ability to skip certain sections of dialogue if they don't feel they need to go through it. A question will be posed to the player, and they can choose to either continue discussing the current topic, or to simply say, "We don't have time for this" and move on. That way, the depth is available for those who want it, and avoidable for those who don't.

Though, and I can't stress this enough, I really hope people choose the former over the latter. It would make for a richer gaming experience all around.

Religion and the After-Life

It also couldn't have been made possible without Christians, Muslims, Jews and a host of other religious people. Perhaps there's a message of tolerance and equality in there.