Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
The orb experience in "Of Bajor" is the best use of the actors and animations in the STO game engine I've seen to date. Not only was it remarkably faithful to the orb experiences portrayed in the show it was very intelligently put together. It used only a handful of animations intelligently and effectively. The sequence was brief, to the point, and the voice acting worked very well.

To be mercifully brief, the conference scene in "Second Wave" is inferior in every possible way. The most glaringly goofy part of it was the ludicrously over-the-top, comic-booky hand gestures that were constantly being made.

I wish to do two things. Firstly I wish to offer congratulations to the artist and animator for the orb sequence. I was surprised and shocked at how well that orb experience was implemented. That's the most powerful minute or so of Star Trek Online there is to offer at this time in my opinion. Sure, it has no space battles, but what it does have is characters the player knows, doing things a star trek fan should expect, in a meaningful fashion.

Secondly, I wish to make something clear: in almost every respect less is more but especially so when it comes to hand gestures. Keep it understated. Sometimes people just stand or sit there and say their piece. Some characters in the shows were fond of over the top hand gestures - Marc Alaimo's Gul Dukat hammed it up all the time, and that was good because his performance reflected important aspects of his character. Other characters had very few big hand gestures, if any at all. Can you imagine Spock rolling around an invisible tribble? To use another example contemporary to Gul Dukat - Jeffrey Combs's Weyoun had a very subdued and controlled body language. Part of the effective dynamic between those two characters, part of how they were distinguishable even though both were villains, emerged from their different body language.

Don't just apply animations to every character in every scene where it might be appropriate - body language shouldn't be added to everyone and should and can be used to convey meaning. The Prophets in your orb experience seem aloof and otherworldly in part because they're not constantly charging invisible hadoukens or trying to flag down an invisible passing space cab like the diplomats were during the egregious conference scene in the preceding episode. Use body language with your characters sparingly and when it serves to emphasize character, and it will do wonders to improve the overall ambience and story. You've got a lot of animations to choose from when designing scenes, Cryptic, and if you use them sparingly and intelligently it will at the same time lessen the repetition and heighten the impact of each gesture.

Thanks for your time, and thanks for making some cool storytelling.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-19-2012, 05:46 PM
While I didn't have as much of a problem with the NPC gestures as many other, I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment.
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