The Problem that comes with[out] Payoff

So one aspect of these games that seems to play a major role in how people view them, the characters, and it's stories is the idea that there should be payoff. That anything should lead into something notable in order to qualify as being any good. That a good narrative should be comprised of arcs that are ultimately meaningful and climactic.

This can probably be considered a factor in the quality and/or controversy behind how people view and react to the various elements that make up these games. Some might say that an enjoyable sense of conclusion is why characters like Kenny, Clementine, and of course Lee are generally considered to be great. By contrast, many of the same may also lobby a failure to deliver in a similarly satisfying impact to be a general flaw in characters like Carlos, Gabe, and Lilith. And by either token, there are others who could make the argument that this mentality is ultimately problematic or at least make the case that lack of such a feeling is more a result of the execution rather than the idea.

How important do you think the concept of payoff truly is in the context of this series and/or others?
What are some things that you feel either deliver or fall short?
How would one be able to improve upon them?
Would such things, especially some of the more generally flawed elements, be better overall by simply having a conclusion?

Comments


  • Huh. Guess I really did drag my ass on actually getting this out.

  • A weak character is a one dimensional one. What makes a great character is how he/she evolve overtime. Lee going from a rage filled murderer to a warm hearted protector is what made him great and distinctive. Kenny went from a happy family man to a cold hearted soul after losing the only thing that made him human while still holding onto loyalty and protectiveness of Clem and AJ. These alterations and development is what made him a great character. Love him or hate him, he was an intriguing individual. Louis starts out as a careless, easy going teenager, but changes into a resentful adult and acts more mature after losing his closest friend. Violet is an introvert, a pessimist, and anti-social. But she changes by expressing emotion like love, sympathy, regret, and understanding. Her evolution from a callus, cold, outcast to a warm, happy, and very functional member of the group made her a very satisfying character to watch grow.
    One dimensional characters like Ava, Clint, Gabe, and Badger (just to name a few) made them bland and a chore to watch on screen. They remained the same throughout the story; never changing personality or having to question their own motives, beliefs, or actions.

  • edited May 7

    This thread isn't about character depth.

    That Violet got three sentences compared to the one Louis got is telling of something else.

    And Gabe is definitely not one dimensional or Static for that matter.

    Also noticed how all the characters you put in the first category are main characters.

    A weak character is a one dimensional one. What makes a great character is how he/she evolve overtime. Lee going from a rage filled murderer

  • A story requires a payoff. Every character, however, does not and instead can serve the overall story in different ways. Some get a complete character arc that contributes to the story payoff, many contribute to another character’s arc and some are merely plot device. This is as it should be. That’s not to say it is always done well or in a way that you want it to play out but not everyone gets or even should get a complete arc, especially in a world like The Walking Dead which is in part defined by the danger that any character can be killed at any moment.

    So I think payoff is of huge importance but you seem to be framing it around individual characters and I don’t feel that’s entirely the right way to look at it.

  • Best movie is best movie

    DabigRG posted: »

    Huh. Guess I really did drag my ass on actually getting this out.

  • I just realized that this store was endorsing cannibalism. It took me all these years, but I finally get the joke. Ha ha ha.

    Melton23 posted: »

    Best movie is best movie

  • You and for characters that left an impact on the story and that's what I posted above so... what's this about?

    DabigRG posted: »

    This thread isn't about character depth. That Violet got three sentences compared to the one Louis got is telling of something else. A


  • That's not just an idle meme; he legit covers it from multiple bases.

    BeefJerkyX posted: »

    A story requires a payoff. Every character, however, does not and instead can serve the overall story in different ways. Some get a complete

  • @Zombiekiller3121 I just realized that this store was endorsing cannibalism. It took me all these years, but I finally get the joke. Ha ha ha.

    Oh no, some of the gags are legit funny, but the movie itself is dated as string.

    Melton23 posted: »

    Best movie is best movie

  • Impact is technically a element of it, yes, but you're definitely being overly narrow on both.
    Which is technically also part of what I'm trying to deconstruct, so go figure.

    You and for characters that left an impact on the story and that's what I posted above so... what's this about?

  • I didn't post about everything that made the story impactful. Instead I exclusively focused on how character development pushed the story forward.

    DabigRG posted: »

    Impact is technically a element of it, yes, but you're definitely being overly narrow on both. Which is technically also part of what I'm trying to deconstruct, so go figure.

  • Uuuh, did you? Because aside from the tumor that is Kenny, almost none of the characters you listed had much push on the plot progression.

    I didn't post about everything that made the story impactful. Instead I exclusively focused on how character development pushed the story forward.

  • Sarah probably could have gotten a bigger payoff if the devs dint begin to hate the character, it would have been great to get a small arc if you save her where she manages to come back from her traumatic state which would conflict with Jane s whole ´´broken people´´ thought process.

  • Louis takes part in sending Clem out in the woods; meeting Lilly later on, which sets the next 3 episodes in motion. He also assists Clem organize and attack the boat. Violet helps Clem construct the defenses at Ericson as well as help with the boat raid.

    DabigRG posted: »

    Uuuh, did you? Because aside from the tumor that is Kenny, almost none of the characters you listed had much push on the plot progression.

  • How did I did forget the vote?
    Doyee!

    Louis takes part in sending Clem out in the woods; meeting Lilly later on, which sets the next 3 episodes in motion. He also assists Clem or

  • Don't be hard on yourself. We all make mistakes

    DabigRG posted: »

    How did I did forget the vote? Doyee!

  • Yeah, seriously.
    Looking back, she's one of the characters that kinda zigzag in terms of their relevance to the ongoing direction. In term's of the intended plot, she theoretically only ranks above Nick and for most part Pete in terms of the Cabin Group vs Carver Myth Arc, but her characterization was so inherently unique compared to everyone else that she just kinda stood out and maintained some focus after they decided to make it The Kenny Show.
    Granted, they still obvious must've cut some things from Episode 3 by that same account and there were the hub interactions before that, but it still wasn't until they decided to make Jane a Creator's Pet and/or Self-Insert Sue that they really threw her away.

    UrbanRodrik posted: »

    Sarah probably could have gotten a bigger payoff if the devs dint begin to hate the character, it would have been great to get a small arc i

  • I think I’m the only person on the planet who totally loves how Nick’s final death plays out.

  • I like the idea of it, but I can somewhat understand people not being pleased with it.

    BeefJerkyX posted: »

    I think I’m the only person on the planet who totally loves how Nick’s final death plays out.

  • i think id actually be more accepting of Nick s death if it wasnt done with a determinant character. then it wouldnt feel as if the writers just took the cheap way out but more as a realistic death. like finding chuck s dead body in season 1.

    BeefJerkyX posted: »

    I think I’m the only person on the planet who totally loves how Nick’s final death plays out.

  • Yeah I guess I can see that, if you’ve taken the steps to save him up to that point and then he just turns up dead anyway. But yeah, Chuck’s body is another one I like for the same reason - it implies that life goes on when the main character isn’t around. Things happened and you missed it. And I found discovering Nick to be quite sad. It’s more haunting to me than had we seen it play out. We were too late.

    UrbanRodrik posted: »

    i think id actually be more accepting of Nick s death if it wasnt done with a determinant character. then it wouldnt feel as if the writers just took the cheap way out but more as a realistic death. like finding chuck s dead body in season 1.

  • Gotta disagree with the idea that Gabe didnt have a character acr. He turns from a moody teen to a...somewhat capable survivor.
    That's what they were going for at least.
    Plus, not every character NEEDS a character arc to be well written and interesting. Carver has next to nothing in the way of development, but he's still a great character.

    A weak character is a one dimensional one. What makes a great character is how he/she evolve overtime. Lee going from a rage filled murderer

  • Carver is memorable because he had a big role in S2. He's the one who put everything in motion. Gabe was a side character the whole time. Sure he was there, but his presence wasn't as strong as other characters

    Cdognkal2 posted: »

    Gotta disagree with the idea that Gabe didnt have a character acr. He turns from a moody teen to a...somewhat capable survivor. That's what

  • Oh, so you're the one who bumped this. Okay.

    Appreciate the backup and to an extent the follow up idea, but can't say I agree with the last point.

    Cdognkal2 posted: »

    Gotta disagree with the idea that Gabe didnt have a character acr. He turns from a moody teen to a...somewhat capable survivor. That's what

  • While I'll admit that his weird handling was part of why I made this thread, Gabe is clearly only a main/major character. I even go as far as to say he's one of the three most developed and/or fleshed out.

    Carver is memorable because he had a big role in S2. He's the one who put everything in motion. Gabe was a side character the whole time. Sure he was there, but his presence wasn't as strong as other characters

  • “I need to be a man, just like my dad was”
    Modern society:

    We got a problem

    DabigRG posted: »

    While I'll admit that his weird handling was part of why I made this thread, Gabe is clearly only a main/major character. I even go as far as to say he's one of the three most developed and/or fleshed out.

  • edited May 22

    I just noticed that remnant of a longer sentence.

    But yeah, in hindsight, it's like holy shit. Poor kid had it oddly tough.

    Melton23 posted: »

    “I need to be a man, just like my dad was” Modern society: We got a problem

  • So here's a flop on the head: What id something that paid off but didn't really need to?
    I know what one answer is, but let's see your dome crack.

  • Not liking the directions the writers choose to take for a character now means that those writers hate the character, Alright then, seems logical :/

    UrbanRodrik posted: »

    Sarah probably could have gotten a bigger payoff if the devs dint begin to hate the character, it would have been great to get a small arc i

  • The thing there though is that, even ignoring how this particular character was treated in the end, the writers themselves more or less admitted that.

    Not liking the directions the writers choose to take for a character now means that those writers hate the character, Alright then, seems logical

  • What, that they hated the character? I really doubt that but okay.

    DabigRG posted: »

    The thing there though is that, even ignoring how this particular character was treated in the end, the writers themselves more or less admitted that.

  • I found Sarah hard to buy in the same way that I found the kids in ANF hard to buy. To have survived that long under those circumstances, especially with the kids in ANF who were in it for longer and also on the road, they all likely would have been exposed to the most hideous things over an extended period of time. Always felt to me that they should have been much more hardened. I realise that was the point with Sarah, that she was shielded but I just found it hard to see how that was all that possible.

  • Uh, were the Garcia Siblings really that off? I mean, Mariana is a little airy, but still, there was the vibe that they'd been through a few things over the years and knew how to deal with them.

    Also, I think the point with Sarah was more that she developed issues because of the outbreak that were never really dealt with because There Are No Therapists and then it became necessary for them to escape Howe's after however long to be constantly on the move.

    BeefJerkyX posted: »

    I found Sarah hard to buy in the same way that I found the kids in ANF hard to buy. To have survived that long under those circumstances, es

Sign in to comment in this discussion.