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Linguistic comparison of IE games with Nu-Games

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Bester, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. Cross Magister

    Cross
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    I doubt anyone is surprised that the modern games are linguistically weaker. But I don't know if analyzing the amount of unique words is such a good idea considering PoE and TToN suffer heavily from 'thesaurus syndrome' where the writers seemed to be falling over themselves to come up with the most flowery way to say something very basic and straightforward. Does this analysis include the backer NPCs from PoE?

    And vocabulary is one thing, but I would argue prose and style of speech are more important. Planescape: Torment has hundreds of named NPCs and even the most minor of them have more distinctive dialogue than most main characters in other RPGs. Item descriptions in Planescape: Torment are also much more memorable than in any of the other games, although this analysis seems to be restricted to NPC dialogue.
     
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  2. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Damned odd thing, to attempt to write prose like Vance wrote dialogue. Worse still the abject failure of the attempt.
     
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  3. Nifft Batuff Arbiter

    Nifft Batuff
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    Now I am curious about POE2, PKM and Underrail. And Fallout 1&2.
     
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  4. CanadianCorndog Literate

    CanadianCorndog
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    Kind of interesting to a dingus like me who skimmed over your data. Mainly what I notice is none of them are really unique, there are no Cormac McCarthys or H.P. Lovecrafts.
     
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  5. Melcar Arcane

    Melcar
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    So the games suck?
     
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  6. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
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    Of course in the end Baldur's Gate wins, since it has the line "less talk, more fight".
     
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  7. lukaszek the determinator Patron

    lukaszek
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    what did you use?
     
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  8. Bester ⚰️☠️⚱️ Patron Vatnik

    Bester
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    Funposter suggested I run readability tests and I did.

    TLDR: It was a waste of time.

    What these tests take into account is
    - words length
    - sentences length
    - occasionally they will define "difficult words" either as words longer than ~7 characters or by using a database of 3000 simplest words

    The methods are very simple.
    Some of their formulas to give you an idea of what they do:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunning_fog_index
    [​IMG]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMOG
    [​IMG]

    Etc...
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coleman–Liau_index
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flesch–Kincaid_readability_tests
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lix_(readability_test)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dale–Chall_readability_formula
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automated_readability_index

    [​IMG]

    What these results mean:

    1- All these games can be easily understood by 10-13 year old children (varies depending on test), but all come very close with no significant difference
    2- Tyranny uses the lengthiest words and the lengthiest sentences, scores highest on "reading difficulty"
    3- I threw in the first Drizzt book "Homeland" by Salvatore to see how it compares and it blew all games out of the water with its supposedly "much more complicated language".

    The conclusion that I'm drawing is that these tests were NOT made to analyze dialogue/speech. They were made to make sure drug instructions are simple and clear, or that the literary descriptions are easy to understand. Natural sounding speech is simpler both in terms of structure and vocabulary, it needs to be analyzed with other tools.

    Also, inadvertently, my conclusion about Trump's supposed speech "written for 6 graders" is that he just TALKED, instead of reading from the teleprompter.

    In the end, all these tests are nothing but a fancy was of representing these 3 simple factors:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
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  9. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
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    Tyranny is such a chore to read and maybe the constant repetition of the unique terminology might be a reason why, apart from everyone speaking like everyone else.
     
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  10. Funposter Liturgist

    Funposter
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    I probably could have told you this without the need to run an analysis.
     
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  11. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    Gradually I began to hate the storyfag.
     
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  12. Bester ⚰️☠️⚱️ Patron Vatnik

    Bester
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    No wonder. In terms of dialogue text it's twice as long as POE1 and PST. It's another one of those games where the editors just didn't show up to work.
     
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  13. Stavrophore Arcane

    Stavrophore
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    So Tranny is good for non native speakers. I knew it, it was quite easy to read.
     
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  14. deuxhero Arcane

    deuxhero
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    How about some fantasy literature as comparisons? I'd pick the The Fellowship of the Ring, The Hour of the Dragon (Isn't it the only full length Conan novel?), Fool Moon, and Monster Hunter Vendetta. If you can be assed, add Eragon and The Eye of Aragon so we have known shit as comparison.
     
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  15. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    Unique is overrated~ Unique word is just a way for mediocre writers exhaust their laughably creative to cover for their subpar writings.

    Another sign is unnecessarily lengthy sentences. In English, novel lines have no business being long. And that was a long time standard "Brevity is the Soul of Wit".
     
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  16. Funposter Liturgist

    Funposter
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    Add one of the Harry Potter books to the mix, probably the third one, before they all ballooned to 600+ pages.
     
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  17. Ol' Willy Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Zionist Agent

    Ol' Willy
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    [​IMG]
     
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  18. oscar Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    oscar
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    Tyranny and PoE1 sucked in different ways but PoE's was much more annoying. I think because Tyranny was more self-aware of itself while PoE came across as ludicrously pretentious (as well as having the horrible practice of giving bizarre clumsy names to established fantasy conventions to give a false sense of originality).
     
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  19. Eirinjas Cipher Patron

    Eirinjas
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    You didn't find Tyranny's writing ludicrously pretentious? The Tyranny I played had the edgiest of edgelord writing, was populated entirely with irreproachable feminist characters, used excessive verbiage in mundane dialogue, and repeatedly described to the player that which could be seen by the player's own eyes for seemingly no other reason than to add word count to the game.
     
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  20. Hóngwèibīng Arcane Vatnik

    Hóngwèibīng
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    To be fair, it depends on the author's particular style. I am quite fond of Hemingway's concise prose, but more flowery styles can work as well (such as Ol' Willy's aforementioned example of Lovecraft).
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  21. Niggerino Learned

    Niggerino
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    Yeah, that was my experience as well. Had to stop playing after 20 minutes and uninstall.
     
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  22. Eirinjas Cipher Patron

    Eirinjas
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    Sorry, I forgot about our special ed readers here on the Codex.

    *makes note to dumb down all future posts just for Maxie. Will use something he can understand: ebonics.
     
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  23. Terenty Arbiter

    Terenty
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    I dropped Tyranny like a hot potato when my companions decided to rape me with their word diarrhea disguised as a dialogue. So the OP seems to be on point.
     
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  24. Vlajdermen Arcane

    Vlajdermen
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    Case in point, Bloodlines. Very basic, low-brow vocabulary, and it's still brimming with personality. The base difference between good writing and bad writing, at least in RPGs, is whether the dialogue feels organic or forced. In other words, whether the writer was thinking ''The characters will say this and this because it feels right'' or ''The characters will say this and this because it'll make me look smart''. Same goes for the humour in Kingdom Come as opposed to The Outer Worlds, angst in the Witcher games as opposed to nier automata, et cetera. I'd also use ATOM as an example for pop culture references, but that game lives in a world of its own.

    That's not to say vocabulary isn't important. A writer's vocabulary is his toolset, and tools are good to have around even if you're not always gonna use them.
     
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